One quality that can be found in the memoirs of both world wars is a shared sense that the males of their respective generations had been singled-out for extermination, and when the end to these wars finally came, the most seasoned combat veterans were in a state of disbelief that they would be allowed to grow old, when so many had died. Some of this relief can be felt in this article from 1945 in which the battle-savvy men of the U.S. Army's Fifth Ranger Battalion anticipated their return to civilian life now that the war was over.
"I don't believe it will do much good to talk about the war with civilians. I don't think war is something that anyone can know about unless they're actually in it. I would just rather forget I was ever in the army..."
The Rangers underwent intense training in hand-to-hand combat, you can read about about it in this 1942 magazine article.
CLICK HERE... to read one man's account of his struggle with shell shock...