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(A through F)
Books
Books - in association with amazon.com
Organized Alphabetically by Author's Last Name
Page 1 / 2 / 3 / 4


A Blood-Dimmed Tide by Gerald Astor

A Blood-Dimmed Tide by Gerald Astor


From Publishers Weekly
Astor synthesizes interviews, diaries and correspondence in this evocative treatment of the Battle of the Bulge from a first-hand, front-line perspective. Through the testimony of German and U.S. participants, he re-creates the confusion and brutality of the war, the Germans' determination to break through at any cost, and the desperate American resistance that frustrated Hitler's last offensive. Many of Astor's interviewees, overrun by the German advance, became prisoners of war. Their accounts of their experiences in a collapsing Reich are the most original contribution of a work that, with its focus on the human aspects of the fighting in the Ardennes, brilliantly complements Charles MacDonald's A Time for Trumpets. Military Book Club main dual selection.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Vivid account of the Wehrmacht's final offensive, by Astor (The Last Nazi, 1985, etc.). Exhaustively researched, much of it narrated by participants, this is a chronicle in the style of the new military history, conveying an experience as well as a report on a military action. The immediacy and clarity of enlisted men's accounts form the core reality here, giving a palpable sense of infantry and tank warfare. Comparisons with George Feifer's Tennozan (p. 368) are inevitable.


Battling Buzzards by Gerald Astor
Battling Buzzards by Gerald Astor


From Publishers Weekly
The 517th saw action in Italy, southern France, the Ardennes Forest and the final thrust into Germany. What makes this account one of the best WW II unit histories is the attention Astor pays to the leadership aspect, particularly the regimental and battalion commanders. The reader gets a clear and detailed look at the bombastic, hard-driving Lt. Col. Louis Walsh's leadership style and that of his low-keyed, self-effacing successor, Lt. Col. Rupert Graves. Their approaches differed drastically, but both elicited a high level of combat performance from the troops, giving the 517th its reputation as one of the U.S. Army's elite outfits. Astor traces the unit from its inception, through its innovative training and confrontation with the realites of war, to its deactivation in 1946. Astor is the author of A Blood-Dimmed Tide: The Battle of the Bulge by the Men Who Fought It. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.


The Mighty Eighth by Gerald Astor
The Mighty Eighth by Gerald Astor


Synopsis
The gripping story of the Eighth Air Force in Europe - Told by surviving members - Brings to life the horror of bombing raids over Germany In 1941 the RAF fought a desperate battle of survival against the Luftwaffe over Britain. After victory in the Battle of Britain a new generation of American pilots, gunners, and bombardiers arrived, along with a new generation of flying machines called the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator, the P-47 Thunderbolt, and the P-51 Mustang fighter. Soon they men were hurling themselves and their unproven planes across the Channel and into the teeth of enemy firepower, raining down bombs on the German military machine, and going up against Hitler's best fliers in the sky. This is the dramatic oral history of the Army Air Corps and the newly created Eighth Air Force stationed in Britain, an army of hard-fighting, hard-playing flying men who suffered more fatalities than the entire U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific campaign of World War II. Here, in their own words, are tales of survival and soul-numbing loss, of soldiers who came together to fight - and win - a kind of war that had never been fought before. The Mighty Eighth chronicles the testimony of the pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners who daily put their lives on the line. Their harrowing accounts recall the excitement and terror of dogfights against Nazi aces, manoeuvering explosive-laden aircraft through deadly flak barrages, and fending off waves of enemy fighters while coping with subzero temperatures. Beginning with the opening salvos from a mere dozen planes, crewmen describe the raids on Berlin and Dresden, the fiasco at Ploesti, Romania, and Black Thursday over Schweinfurt. They fell to the terror of seeing aircraft destroyed - helplessly watching as comrades crash and burn, or parachute over enemy territory, where they will attempt to evade enemy capture through the underground. Others tell of mourning downed airmen murdered by vengeful citizens and soldiers, and of those who endured captivity in POW camps.


Operation Iceberg by Gerald Astor
Operation Iceberg by Gerald Astor


From Publishers Weekly

On April 1, 1945, a combined Army-Navy-Marine force landed on Okinawa for what turned out to be the last major battle of WWII. In Astor's panoramic overview, nearly 100 American and Japanese survivors recall the fighting, each voice bearing out the author's contention that "the savagery of combat on Okinawa over a period of three months epitomized war at its worst." By June 20, 1945, General Simon Buckner's Tenth Army had conquered the island, though Buckner himself had been killed two days before. Statistics alone convey the epic scale of the battle: 12,520 American and 110,071 Japanese killed; 763 U.S. and 7700 Japanese planes destroyed. In this first-rate account of the tactical ebb and flow, Astor (Battling Buzzards) brings into focus the bitter rivalry between the Army and Marines during the campaign. And he incidentally tells the story of the last days of Ernie Pyle, the war's most celebrated correspondent, including details of Pyle's little-known sojourn with the Marines. Pyle was killed by a sniper on April 18, 1945. Photos. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Rangers in World War II by Robert Black
Rangers in World War II by Robert Black


Book Description

From the deadly shores of North Africa to the invasion of Sicily to the fierce jungle hell of the Pacific, the contribution of the World War II Ranger Battalions far outweighed their numbers. They were ordinary men on an extraordinary mission, experiencing the full measure of the fear, exhaustion, and heroism of combat in nearly every major invasion of the war. Whether spearheading a landing force or scouting deep behind enemy lines, these highly motivated, highly trained volunteers led the way for other soldiers -- they were Rangers. With first-person interviews, in-depth research, and a complete appendix naming every Ranger known to have served, author Robert Black, a Ranger himself, has made the battles of WWII come to life through the struggles of the men who fought to win the greatest war the world has ever seen.


Flyboys by James Bradley
Flyboys by James Bradley


From Publishers Weekly
The author of Flags of Our Fathers achieves considerable but not equal success in this new Pacific War-themed history. Again he approaches the conflict focused on a small group of men: nine American Navy and Marine aviators who were shot down off the Japanese-held island of Chichi Jima in February 1945. All of them were eventually executed by the Japanese; several of the guilty parties were tried and condemned as war criminals. When the book keeps its eye on the aviators-growing up under a variety of conditions before the war, entering service, serving as the U. S. Navy's spearhead aboard the fast carriers, or facing captivity and death-it is as compelling as its predecessor. However, a chapter on prewar aviation is an uncritical panegyric to WWI aerial bombing advocate Billy Mitchell, who was eventually court-martialed for criticizing armed forces brass. More problematic is that Bradley tries to encompass not only the whole history of the Pacific War, but the whole history of the cultures of the two opposing countries that led to the racial attitudes which both sides brought to the war. Those attitudes, Bradley argues, played a large role in the brutal training of the Japanese army, which led to atrocities that in turn sharpened already keen American hostility. Some readers' hackles will rise at the discussion of the guilt of both sides, but, despite some missteps, Bradley attempts to strike an informed balance with the perspective of more than half a century.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw
The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw


Amazon.com

Veteran reporter and NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw went to France to make a documentary marking the 40th anniversary of D-day in 1984. Although he was thoroughly briefed on the historical background of the invasion, he was totally unprepared for how it would affect him emotionally. Flooded with childhood memories of World War II, Brokaw began asking veterans at the ceremony to revisit their past and talk about what happened, triggering a chain reaction of war-torn confessions and Brokaw's compulsion to capture their experiences in what he terms "the permanence a book would represent." After almost 15 years and hundreds of letters and interviews, Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation, a representative cross-section of the stories he came across. However, this collection is more than a mere chronicle of a tumultuous time, it's history made personal by a cast of everyday people transformed by extraordinary circumstances: the first women to break the homemaker mold, minorities suffering countless indignities to boldly fight for their country, infantrymen who went on to become some of the most distinguished leaders in the world, small-town kids who became corporate magnates. From the reminiscences of George Bush and Julia Child to the astonishing heroism and moving love stories of everyday people, The Greatest Generation salutes those whose sacrifices changed the course of American history.
--Rebekah Warren


Beyond the Rhine by Donald R. Burgett
Beyond the Rhine by Donald R. Burgett


From the Publisher

In June 1944, the Allies launched a massive amphibious invasion against the Nazi-held France. But under the cover of darkness, a new breed of fighting man leapt from airplanes through a bullet-stitched, tracer-lit sky to go behind German lines. These were the Screaming Eagles of the newly formed 101st Airbourne Division. Their job was to strike terror into the Nazi defenders, delay reinforcements, and kill any enemy solders they met. In the next seven days, the men of the 101st fought some of the most ferocious close-quarter combat in all of World War II. Now, Donald R. Burgett looks back at the nonstop, nightmarish fighting across body-strewn fields, over enemy-held hedgegrows, through blown out towns and devastated forests. This harrowing you-are-there chronicle captures the baptism by fire of a young Private Burgett, his comrades and a new air-mobile fighting force that would become a legend of war.


Marching Home by Kevin Coyne
Marching Home by Kevin Coyne


From Publishers Weekly
This distinctive "Greatest Generation" chronicle portrays men from the author's hometown of Freehold, N.J., as they left for war and returned to face the often mundane but still very real difficulties of postwar life. Coyne (Domers: A Year at Notre Dame) recounts this panoramic story in superior journalistic prose, free of hyper-patriotic guff or pop-psych jargon. Stu Bunton was a naval radio operator who later entered the Freehold police force. Walter Denise returned to the family apple orchard after a distinguished career as an infantryman in northern Europe. Jake Erickson was a radio-intercept operator in the southwest Pacific who married an Australian woman and rose to foreman at the local rug factory. Undertaker Jim Higgins was in air force intelligence in England, while Jewish immigrant Bud Lopatin, a home builder, flew 72 missions in B-26s. The youngest of the six, Bigerton "Buddy" Lewis endured the gross discrimination that was the lot of the army's African-Americans, but came home to rise in county government. Eventually, Jake's rug factory went out of business, and Walter's orchard was reduced to housing-development oblivion as Freehold turned into a New York City bedroom community. A fire destroyed much of downtown, and rebuilding set off arguments over urban renewal; the civil rights and antiwar movements provoked much tension but little bloodshed and led to real progress; and while prayers were banned in schools, other prayers were answered by the building of a new hospital. While this book does not break new ground, it is head and shoulders above much of the near competition, with graceful storytelling and enough social commentary to appeal to fans of Studs Terkel.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Hell Woundn't Stop by Chet Cunningham
Hell Woundn't Stop by Chet Cunningham


The Battle for Wake Island inspired a nation after the horrendous loss at Pearl Harbor. This is a remarkable compilation of first hand experiences, both by the author's brother and the men of all ranks who fought alongside him. The smoke and haze of battle prohibits any one person from experiencing the whole. Cunningham cleverly weaves the stories of his brother's fellow Wake Island defenders into tapestry that gives a remarkable vision of this heroic defense.

Taken as prisoners, the men were enslaved in the highly profitable Japanese War machinery, enriching companies like Mitsui and Hitachi. The savagery and endless brutality of the Japanese against the POWS became an a living hell. Truly, Cunningham has written the personal answers of so many to the question: "What really happened to these gallant men?"

Little is said of the gallantry of the civilian construction company employees, many of whom were equally brave defenders. A number of errors (dates, names, sequence of events) are evident but, except for historians seeking exactitude, are of no significance. An errata sheet should be made by the author.


Love Company by Donald Dencker
Love Company by Donald Dencker


LOVE COMPANY BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT

Love Company is the factual account of a young U.S. Army infantryman's experiences serving in a front line Rifle Company during the battles of Leyte, Philippines and Okinawa , Japan . The trials and triumphs of his unit, Company L, 382nd Infantry Regiment, 96th Infantry Division is faithfully detailed as his outfit meets the enemy in the swamps and jungles of Leyte and then on the fire-swept hills and ridges of Okinawa . During the course of these battles, Love Company, which landed 187 men on Leyte , suffers over 300 battle casualties. The few surviving battle-wise veterans and a steady stream of replacements heroically carry the fight to the Japanese until the end of fighting on Okinawa ,the last battle of World War II. Love Company and the rest of the 96th Infantry Division, almost immediately after Okinawa , is shipped to Mindoro , Philippines for rehabilitation and to prepare for the invasion of Japan . To everyone's overwhelming relief, the atomic bomb ends the war, and interest turns to returning home. The wait ends and the author returns home to complete a civil engineering education at the University of Minnesota . In writing Love Company, the author includes events encompassing the big picture of the war against the Japanese and the achievements of the 96th Infantry Division. The author also manages to interject into the narrative humorous events as they occur during the deadly days of combat. Love Company is to be published on May 1, 2002 by Sunflower University Press of Manhattan , Kansas . The author is Don Dencker, Historian, 96th Infantry Division Association.


Victory at Sea
Victory at Sea by James F. Dunnigan and Albert A. Nofi


From Publishers Weekly
Dunnigan and Nofi (Dirty Little Secrets) have put together a reference book about the Pacific theater that WWII buffs will find handy. In a succinct, breezy style (one chapter is titled "The Boring Stuff," another "The Really Important Stuff"), they describe campaigns, assess the ships, planes and weapons on both sides, compare war aims and fighting styles, provide a who's who of officers and conclude with a daily "chronolog" from before Pearl Harbor to after V-J Day. Dunnigan and Nofi evaluate Allied and Japanese armies and subunits (they have something to say, for instance, about each of the six U.S. Marine divisions), analyze various conspiracy theories (some of the theories about the attack on Pearl Harbor "rank right up there with Elvis sightings") and clear up several common misconceptions ("The popular perception is that the Flying Tigers were volunteer American pilots fighting for the Chinese before the United States entered the war. Wrong on all counts...").
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


General Ike by John S.D. Eisenhower
General Ike by John S.D. Eisenhower


John S.D. Eisenhower modestly explains General Ike as "a son's view of a great military leader — highly intelligent, strong, forceful, kind, yet as human as the rest of us." It is that, and more: a portrait of the greatest Allied military leader of the Second World War, by the man who knew Ike best. General Ike is a book that John Eisenhower always knew he had to write, a tribute from an affectionate and admiring son to a great father. John chose to write about the "military Ike," as opposed to the "political Ike," because Ike cared far more about his career in uniform than about his time in the White House. A series of portraits of Ike's relations with soldiers and statesmen, from MacArthur to Patton to Montgomery to Churchill to de Gaulle, reveals the many facets of a talented, driven, headstrong, yet diplomatic leader. Taken together, they reveal a man who was brilliant, if flawed; naïve at times in dealing with the public, yet who never lost his head when others around him were losing theirs. Above all, General Ike was a man who never let up in the relentless pursuit of the destruction of Hitler. Here for the first time are eyewitness stories of General Patton showing off during military exercises; of Ike on the verge of departing for Europe and assuming command of the Eastern Theater; of Churchill stewing and lobbying Ike in his "off hours." Faced with giant personalities such as these men and MacArthur, not to mention difficult allies such as de Gaulle and Montgomery, Ike nevertheless managed to pull together history's greatest invasion force and to face down a determined enemy from Normandy to the Bulge and beyond. John Eisenhower masterfully uses the backdrop of Ike's key battles to paint a portrait of his father and his relationships with the great men of his time. General Ike is a ringing and inspiring testament to a great man by an accomplished historian. It is also a personal portrait of a caring, if not always available, father by his admiring son. It is history at its best.

John S.D. Eisenhower, a graduate of West Point, a retired Brigadier General in the Army Reserve, and the former American ambassador to Belgium, is also the author of seven books, including the bestseller The Bitter Woods; Agent of Destiny: The Life and Times of General Winfield Scott; and, most recently, Yanks: The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I.


Visions from a Foxhole
Visions from a Foxhole by William A. Foley Jr.


From Booklist
Retired commercial artist Foley was an 18-year-old squad leader in the 94th Infantry Division in Europe in the winter of 1945. He led, survived, and drew extensively, creating a portfolio of drawings, many of which are to appear in the finished edition of this memoir. If he draws as well as he writes, the resulting volume should be even more impressive than the text, which already showcases an artist's powers of observation and a keen visual memory. Foley and his comrades came through an underpublicized but thoroughly arduous portion of the northwest European campaign, fighting a still stubborn Wehrmacht while enduring inadequate winter clothing, little air support (it was grounded by the weather), and many officers who, for all the use they were to the GIs, might as well have been on the other side. Foley survived minor wounds, frostbite, green replacements, losing friends, and dealing with fellow soldiers he would rather have lost. Abounding with well-chosen details, his memoir is a harrowing portrait of the infantryman's war. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Hornet Flight by Ken Follett
Hornet Flight by Ken Follett


Amazon.com
An old-fashioned tale of ordinary people thrown into the drama and danger of war, Hornet Flight is a rippingly good read. The time is 1941, and British bombers attacking Germany are being blown out of the sky in horrific numbers. How do the Nazis know they're coming? The answer is an infant technology called radar, and the Brits--with help from the Danish Resistance--must figure out how and where the German radar stations operate. Follett, an old pro at World War II storytelling, vividly evokes the period, creating a sense not of historical re-creation but of urgently unfolding news. His cast of characters is memorable, including Harald Olufsen, a brainy 18-year-old pulled into the Resistance half against his will, and--typically for Follett--several central, well-drawn women. The plot does have some predictable elements: for example, from the time Harald first encounters a tiny wood-and-linen biplane called a Hornet Moth, half-rotted and stored away in a Danish barn, we know that it will heroically take to the skies. Then, when the very outcome of the war begins to turn on Harald getting a certain roll of film from Denmark to England, well... you can see where things are headed. But it's great fun to watch them develop, and Follett throws in just enough unexpected shocks to keep you off balance. Though it lacks the intensity of Eye of the Needle, Follett's finest and best-known book, Hornet Flight offers generous helpings of suspense and a climax that could hardly be more satisfying.
--Nicholas H. Allison


Jackdaws by Ken Follett
Jack Daws by Ken Follett


JACKDAWS is the code name given to a band of brave and brash women whose task it is to destroy a Nazi telephone center in the last crucial days before D-Day. Said to be based on a true story, we are immediately thrown into an ill-fated attempt to disrupt the strategic communications hub as the Allies gather across the English Channel for the Normandy invasion. A crew of French Resistance fighters is thwarted in their attempt to carry out the assignment, and the leader of the group, Felicity Clairet, known as "Flick," and her husband Michel are among the handful of survivors of the ill-fated mission. Michel is wounded in the attack, so Felicity must return alone to the MI6 headquarters in London and devise a new plan. With time running short and the Nazis on high alert to a possible second attempt, British Intelligence reluctantly decides to go with Flick's plan to infiltrate the communications center with a group of women disguised as cleaners. The challenge is to find, recruit and train a suitable cadre of women with the temperament and skills needed for such a task --- in three days. In the mid-1940s there were few women with explosives, weaponry, and telephone engineering skills available, so other personality characteristics were sought. Flick and her cohorts scour bars, jails, and country estates to enlist the aid of one of the most unlikely groups of misfits since "The Dirty Dozen." Most of the book is spent describing the recruitment and training of this band of marauders, exciting stuff on its own. As D-Day draws near, the group encounters time and again the cruel and diabolical Dieter Werner, Nazi chief interrogator. The plot twists and turns at every event, leaving us on the edge of our seats. Laced with graphic violence, torture and sex scenes, JACKDAWS may not be for the faint of heart. This extraordinarily cinematic book plays out in the mind's eye as if on the big screen. Hollywood mega-producer, Dino De Laurentiis, with smash thrillers Red Dragon, Hannibal, Ragtime, and Blue Velvet among others under his belt, has purchased the film rights. Ken Follett has entertained millions of readers with smash bestsellers set in World War II, such as THE KEY TO REBECCA, CODE TO ZERO, EYE OF THE NEEDLE, and others. Already a best seller in Italy, JACKDAWS promises to take its place among those novels.
--- Reviewed by Roz Shea © Copyright 2003, Bookreporter.com. All rights reserved.


The Boys' Crusade by Paul Fussell
The Boys' Crusade by Paul Fussell


The Boys’ Crusade is the great historian Paul Fussell’s unflinching and unforgettable account of the American infantryman’s experiences in Europe during World War II. Based in part on the author’s own experiences, it provides a stirring narrative of what the war was actually like, from the point of view of the children—for children they were—who fought it. While dealing definitively with issues of strategy, leadership, context, and tactics, Fussell has an additional purpose: to tear away the veil of feel-good mythology that so often obscures and sanitizes war’s brutal essence. “A chronicle should deal with nothing but the truth,” Fussell writes in his Preface. Accord-ingly, he eschews every kind of sentimentalism, focusing instead on the raw action and human emotion triggered by the intimacy, horror, and intense sorrows of war, and honestly addressing the errors, waste, fear, misery, and resentments that plagued both sides. In the vast literature on World War II, The Boys’ Crusade stands wholly apart. Fussell’s profoundly honest portrayal of these boy soldiers underscores their bravery even as it deepens our awareness of their experiences. This book is both a tribute to their noble service and a valuable lesson for future generations.

Paul Fussell is the author of fifteen books, including Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War and The Great War and Modern Memory, which won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named by the Modern Library as one of the twentieth century’s 100 best nonfiction books. He taught literature for many years at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife.

 

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