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Author recalls local WW II training
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From 1941 to 1944, more than 850,000 U.S. Army soldiers engaged in very realistic simulated combat across 22 counties of Middle Tennessee.The author of a new book on those World War II-era Tennessee Maneuvers will be at the McMinnville-Warren County Senior Center at 10 a.m. this Thursday to describe the massive war games and how civilians were affected.“The Tennessee Maneuvers occurred literally in the back yards of residents,” said Senior Center executive director Cheryl Watson Mingle. “Paratrooper and glider landings, tank battles, artillery barrages and infantry fighting were common sights for most Warren County residents as soldiers trained for combat in the presence of civilians. The program will provide information about what happened here during World War II, and will feature a display of more than 100 World War II artifacts.”Woody McMillin, who spent two years researching and writing “In The Presence Of Soldiers,” said the 502-page hardcover book provides detailed descriptions of every exercise in every maneuver, including which units were involved, when and where fighting occurred, and what it took to transport, supply, house and train those soldiers in the midst of civilians.“The terrain of Warren County was similar to that of France, Belgium and Germany, making it an ideal place for soldiers to train before going overseas,” McMillin said.