I love the cheesy cover on this 1959 paperback from Monarch Books. I also think Delano Stagg is a great pseudonym. The copyright page lists Mel R. Sabre and Paul Eiden as the authors. The cover is intentionally misleading. Monarch Books specialized in sensationalist paperbacks and the covers rivaled the alluring titles from Beacon. There is nothing sexy about The Glory Jumpers. This is a brutal, hard-boiled story about men in combat. The sex scenes are nominal and hardly erotic. It’s a damn good book and the type of post-war prose about combat that was once standard material for the so-called “men’s paperback” market. The cataclysmic events of World War II had an immediate effect on writers and artists of all types. The best known novels of the post-war era are The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer and The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw, both published in 1948. I prefer Shaw over Mailer. Dozens of paperback titles became modest best-sellers, only to fall into obscurity. Does anyone out there recall The Reef by Keith Wheeler? Then we have the men’s pulp magazine market which exploited every aspect of combat in wildly divergent ways. I don’t know if there exists any qualified academic study of the war fiction that flooded the market until the early 60s, but that strikes me as a fascinating project for anyone willing to tackle it. The Glory Jumpers resembles The Dirty Dozen. The plot will be familiar to all of you: Eleven men picked from the Army stockade are sent to do a dangerous job behind German lines. These include Reb and Swampy, two hillbillies, a beatnik character named Cadillac, the cruel Sergeant Nolan, the idealistic Dana, and a killer named Sergeant Mungo. Other characters offer support but add little depth. The six primary characters carry the storyline. As you would expect, many of them don’t survive the narrative. I like the matter-of-fact style to the prose. There’s not a smidgen of sentiment to be found. Mailer and Shaw’s influence, and maybe even a dash of Hemingway, is obvious. Stories like The Glory Jumpers bridged the gap between objective journalism and creative fiction. It comes across as a straightforward account of war with all of war’s horrific blemishes visible. The Glory Jumpers is a great piece of war fiction.