Nice guys didn’t finish last during World War II - they didn’t finish at all. It’s a truth at the heart of Len Levinson’s tales of the misfits, oddballs, and badasses of the 23rd Regiment Reconnaissance platoon, The Rat Bastards. Ray Porter captures the voices, the tensions, the tears, fears, hopes, and even G.I. humor of men who have been kicking, clawing, shooting, and stabbing their way from their initial landings on Guadalcanal to Bougainville and now New Guinea. Here, July 1944, they set themselves against equally determined and vicious Japanese troops in what will likely be the last battle for many, maybe all.