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This article refers to Charles B. MacDonald, military historian. For the U.S. golfer, refer to Charles B. Macdonald.

Charles B. MacDonald
Born (1923-11-23)November 23, 1923
Died December 4, 1990(1990-12-04) (aged 67)
Place of birth Little Rock, SC
Place of death Arlington, Virginia
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Captain
Unit 23rd Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Battle of the Bulge
Huertgen Forest
Awards Silver Star
Purple Heart
Other work historian, writer

Charles B. MacDonald (November 23, 1923–December 4, 1990) was a former Deputy Chief Historian for the United States Army. He wrote several of the Army's official histories of World War II.

War service

After graduating from Presbyterian College, MacDonald was commissioned as a US Army officer through ROTC and deployed to Europe. By September 1944, as a 21 year old captain, he commanded a rifle company in the 23rd Infantry Regiment. His company was intended to be part of the effort to capture the Huertgen Forest. They had been transferred north from the area which was, soon after, overrun by the Germans in the first moves of the Battle of the Bulge. In the event, they were redeployed to defend a crossroads against the German advance. They were forced to retreat but the enemy had been delayed for long enough to allow the rest of MacDonald's division to deploy. He received the Silver Star for the action. MacDonald was wounded a month later, on January 17, 1945, while leading his company in a counterattack. After two months' convalescence, he was given command of another company in his old regiment, which he led until the end of the war. He also received the Purple Heart.

His first book, Company Commander, was published in 1947, while his wartime experiences were fresh in his mind.


MacDonald wrote the final volume of the Green Series on the European Theatre, The Last Offensive. He retired as Deputy Chief Historian, United States Army Center of Military History in 1979. After his retirement, MacDonald wrote A Time for Trumpets, his last book, a personal history of the Ardennes Offensive which concentrates on the first two weeks of the battle, which he spent five years researching. MacDonald also wrote or co-wrote two other books of the Green Series, The Siegfried Line Campaign and Three Battles: Arnaville, Altuzzo, and Schmidt. He also contributed to Command Decisions.

MacDonald suffered from cancer and lung disease and he died on December 4, 1990 at his home in Arlington, Virginia.


  • Company Commander
  • Airborne
  • The Mighty Endeavor: American Armed Forces in the European Theater in World War II
  • On a Field of Red: The Communist International and the Coming of World War II (with Anthony Cave Brown)
  • The Battle of the Huertgen Forest
  • A Time for Trumpets


  • Charles MacDonald (1984). A Time For Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge. Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-34226-6. 

External links

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