Battle has its own strange chemistry. The courage and endurance of a group of men is greater than the sum total of the courage and endurance of the individuals in the group; for, when most of the group have reached the limits of human endeavour, there is always one among them who can surpass those limits, who will hold the others together and drive them on. It is not the romantic picture of war; but it is the truth of war.
In January 1944, on the south coast of England, the Fifth Battalion, Wessex Regiment, wait patiently and nervously for the order to embark. There is boredom and fear, comedy and pathos as the men-all drawn from different walks of life-await the order to move. With an economy of language that belies its emotional impact, From the City, From the Plough is a vivid, unflinching account of the fate of these men as they embark for Normandy and advance into France, where the battalion suffers devastating casualties.