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At last we get a few laughs about WWII.
A Guest Review by Wallace
See Woody's other works . .
Sergeant Who Captured A Division"
Jet Engines Grand-daddy
Battle of Britain,
Salute to the Jet Age
or Battle for Snow Mountain
by Don Young
It's a surprise to find a new book
about WWII we can enjoy without an upset stomach. If there is
anything funny about war, Don Young has a lot to tell us about
it with "Eisenhower's Party: A Double Mirror", a short
novel that "sort of" tells thestory behind the story
adventures of GI's Richard and Timmons,
a grimy pair of foot sloggers like Mauldin's Willie and Joe characters
who are no heroes, but just grunts doing their job in a disaster.
|Battle of the Bulge.
And more.If you have seen the war cartoons by Bill Mauldin,
you can appreciate the
This book has been reprinted under the new name: Battle
for Snow Mountain. See letter at
Not since "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut, or
"Catch-22" by Joseph Heller has there been such a biting
satire of military operations that were so FUBAR (F
Beyond All Recognition).
Don Young was there when it all began, he says, with the American's
under-trained, under-equipped, unready and badly led Lions Head
Division in 1944. The division was sitting right in the path of
the powerful German Volksgrenadiers sneaking up on them for a
surprise attack through the Ardennes Forest of captured Belgium.
An attack Eisenhower and others considered impossible.
"Unlucky" doesn't begin to cover their situation.
"We're sitting ducks," one GI sums it up accurately.
"He heard the sound of wishful thinking" all around
him, Young writes.
It took me awhile to catch on to the humor and irony of being
caught in a major attack of the war. But war is so awful that
all you can do is laugh as this hapless pair of Richard and Timmons
bumble and stumble their way into battle and captivity and then
out of it again. Once I did catch on, I couldn't stop laughing.
Richard is the Candide-like optimist, a self-styled poet and "Power
of Positive Thinking" dreamer, while death and destruction
rain down around him. He writes courtly love poems and letters
home to an earthy hometown gal who he has never even kissed. But
his fallen angel has kissed--and more than kissed-- just about
everyone else in the meantime.
His best buddy Timmons is the realist. Timmons idea of poetry
comes from reading the stalls of lavatories and his literature
is a cheap pornographic novel, Hungry Thighs. Richard carries
a picture of his soiled angel dear to his heart. Timmons carries
a memento, too-- a matchbox with soft tufts of short hair cut
from the nether regions of a girlfriend.
In a moment of great irony, Richard is forced to use his precious
picture as toilet paper.
Of course, Timmons gets the girls.
Real soldiers who know war will catch the many zingers of satire
on war books and movies that Young inserts as a veteran himself.
Every German outpost has a cabin conveniently available for reconnaissance
that the GI's can use. Every bombed town has a house with three
sides gone and the furniture still intact inside. Every letter
from home is filled with patriotic platitudes meant to buck up
the soldiers' spirits, but actually covering deep fears and personal
secrets that will become "Dear John" letters-or worse.
Every GI letter back to his family is filled with soothing lies
to smooth over amorous adventures and the real dangers, deprivation,
and horrors he faces.
Sophisticated readers will also notice an echo of Voltaire's classic
book, "Candide", in some of Richard's and Timmons' conversations.
"But Richard, how did we get into this mess?" (Timmons
"Well, we volunteered to come here. Others stayed at home,
claiming exemption for bad eyes or a heart murmur or because they
peed in their beds. At least we showed some hair in agreeing to
"But we came with a totally fucked-up outfit. We got a captain
who was afraid of his own shadow."
"In peacetime, good men never joined the army. So we ended
up with officers like (Captain) Plankton."
"That doesn't help us much."
"It should help you understand what happened."
"None of our officers knew what was going on at the front.
And we had no artillery--the ammo never arrived."
"Things like that happen in wartime."
"And we ended up in a crossfire, shooting at our own guys."
"That's because of the snow and fog. They couldn't see us
and we couldn't see them."
"There you go--- trying to make sense out of it. Our division
was defeated, wiped out in a few weeks
Richard, why can't
you see how ridiculous everything is?"
There is a once-famous picture of Eisenhower's Jeep leading a
parade into Paris on its liberation day. Guess who is the uninvited
GI shown riding on the fender on Ike's Jeep? -according to Don
Young. It was Eisenhower's Party, and Richard and Timmons were
Highly recommended for a good laugh if you can see through the
dirt smudges and grimy faces of war.
Young's more serious book on the Battle of the Bulge is titled,
"The Lion's Share"
This is a fast paced spy
A Guest review by J. J.
U.S. Navy and OSS Operation Torch
The Tangier Option: U.S. Navy
and OSS Operation Torch by Harold (Hal) Malt, Ethos Publish
(copyright) 2009, pp. 213 with two maps and Appendix. Price
This is a fast paced spy story about a washed out navy pilot
and a beautiful consulate Code Analyst in W.W. II Tangier, Morocco
who are assigned counter-intelligence roles when
|Roosevelt and Churchill
decide to invade North Africa. As the allied fleets set sail,
it was critical that Hitler, his SS agents and his submarine commanders
be misled as to the exact place and date of the forthcoming invasion.
The story develops from dangerous missions by J.J. Jernigan and
April Kearfoot, interwoven with subplots of intrigue and characters
of conflicting loyalties: the French, Spanish, German and Rif
mountain Berbers. In a thrilling climax of aerial combat the Navy
pilot redeems himself and successfully thwarts Hitler's desperate
attempt to forestall the allied invasion.
Harold Malt, author and W.W. II Army Air Corps pilot, was able
to research secret archives in the American Legation library in
Tangier. There he uncovered hand written notes describing OSS
(later CIA) operational events. These accounts provide credibility
as well as operational and technical detail to the story.
Well documented story of the Cold War
In The Vatican
By John Koehler
Recently I had a
talk with a young Russian man. He was here in a work exchange
program on the beach. He asked about the many war relics on
at Fort Pickens. He was interested and knew a lot about WWII.
He corrected me on the turning point of the war in Europe being
Stalingrad. It is no longer Stalingrad but he knew all about
I am of the generation that was taught to
hide under the desks at school when the Russians were bombing
so I asked about the Cold War. He knew little about it as would
an American youngster his age. This book is an amazing account
of part of that war and how intense it was. It is a very well
footnoted account of the Soviet's infiltration of the Pope's
The author, John Koehler, was a former U.S. Army Intelligence
Offer specializing in counter-espionage and intelligence collection,
and an advisor to President Reagan as well as journalist for
almost 40 years. As I have said about other contributors, he
This is a must read for anyone who wants the real scoop about
the Cold War and maybe required reading for those who claim
to teach history.
Kilroy Was There: A GI's War
by Tony Hillerman. Photos by Frank Kessler
This book is a treasure
of grey scale WWII photographs from the European theater in
WWII. As you will see these photos were taken by a combat photographer
who was there! They remained in his attic long after he died
until his brother found them. When one of my favorite writers
found these treasures, he published them with his narrative
based on the original captions. This is a book to keep!
Now, if I may be allowed a little self-congratulation,
note on several pages throughout the book my registered copyrighted
version of the graffiti appears. I'm not pointing out the registered
copyright to attempt to stop it's use but to establish authorship.
I, with my own two hands (after much research) drew this version
in 1997. It has been registered since 1998.
|Don't get me wrong,
I have granted permission to any and everyone who asked. I am
just so proud that my version of the millions has become the worldwide
accepted version. Click the star for more information about the
An F-35 in the hands of a home grown
By Charles D. Richardson
I hate to use tired old cliches and name dropping but this book
almost earns them all. It is a good read, a page turner and
a thriller. In the style of Michener Charles Richardson goes
back several generations (1780) to build complete familiarity
| one leading character and
his motivations. The jacket doesn't tell us about Richardson but
he must have experience in military aviation or he is a researcher
on the level Tom Clancy. His accurate descriptions are that good.
I usually keep notes on a little tape recorder
as I'm reading a book I plan to review but this time . . . I
forgot. The book is that good. There is little in the way of
a love interest but lots of action and you feel as if you understand
the workings of the F-35, aircraft carriers and even the pentagon.
The Missing Bomb
by Harry Rubin
The military has code words for mishaps that
involve nuclear weapons. The most serious are those in which
a weapon is lost or there is an area contaminated with radioactivity.
They called them "Broken Arrow." A real Broken Arrow
occured in 1958 when a Mark 15 nuclear bomb was really lost
in Wassaw Sound near Savannah, Georgia. This weapon used at
Hiroshima was a "mere" 15 kiloton fission bomb. The
Mark-15 had a yield of 1.6 to 3.9 Megatons! It has never been
found. For the true story, click HERE.
But what if an enemy of the US wanted to find
it to learn how to make one themselves? Harry Rubin weaves an
interesting novel based on this true story of a Broken Arrow.
Harry tells a very detailed account of another search for the
lost H-bomb -- before an unknown enemy is able to find it.
Novel of Intrigue and revolution
Nelson O. Otttenhausen
WOW, what a timely book. It was first published
in 2004 but could have been written today after watching the
news. With fierce partisanship roaring on all sides and rhetoric
getting worse by the day and a collapsing economy along with,
some say, Socialist "bail outs" it is scary. Do you
ever wonder where this is all going? Well, Nelson Ottenhausen
tells us a possibility in a gripping tale of intrigue and revolution
. . . like any good story teller, he makes it sound very possible.
OK, OK, his stereotypical treatments of
Southern law enforcement and Southern wardens (not to mention
Southern names) only prove that he was not privileged to be
raised in the
The Brenner Assignment
by Patrick K. O'Donnell
The Brenner Pass through the Alps between
Italy and Austria has been a route of conquest and commerce
since before the Romans. The last combat took place there in
the 1940s when Germany, the Allies (US OSS), and the Italian
partisans (the communist Garibaldi Brigades, Giustizia e Libertà
Brigades, and socialist Matteotti Brigades) fought the last
year of WWII. They fought to stop supply to the Nazis, to cut
off the retreat from the Nazis and to start the civil war in
This is the untold story of brutality, intrigue,
combat, and even a little romance. You'll like it. I did!
The Blackened Canteen
By Jerry Yellin
Image courtesy http://39th.org
Jerry Yellin pouring Kentucky bourbon over shrine dedicated
to Japanese and American dead - on Mt. Shizubata
is an amazing talent! At his age he should have many books on
best seller lists. I submit that he would have if it were not
for a minor little distraction -- WWII. Then, like the rest of
his generation, he returned to lead a second-tier nation barely
out of the depression and into the country we know today.
The book is at once a novelized history of
WWII in the Pacific, a love story, and a poignant story of humanity
in a world gone mad. Jerry has a gift for detail that is amazing.
I felt as if I were actually in the nose of a B-29 and
I have actually been in the nose of a B-29! Jerry's description
His narratives are about some participants
in WWII both major and minor, American and Japanese. And they
are sharp and clear. We get an intimate picture of Japanese
and American individuals as they experience the war beginning
with the depression for the Americans and the war in China for
I have already purchased another copy to send
to a Japanese friend in Japan. This is a wonderful book and
a must read, not just for WWII students but for everyone who
enjoys a wonderful story well told.
NOTE: Jerry is still at it! The following is a quote from
Doctor K. Inge Holman a retired physician and also
a superb pilot:
"This fellow is part of the greatest generation leaving
us. Wonderful interview. A class act regardless of age.
Well worth the time to watch. One of the few WWII vets
left. When you listen to what he says, you will understand
why you are proud to be an American.
They simply don't make 'em like this any more. Take five
minutes watch this video interview -- and listen carefully
to what he says and how he says it. I promise you, you
won't regret a second of it.
Ask yourself, how many of the few surviving WWII veterans
kept themselves and their uniform in such good condition
for over 70 years and can still proudly wear it?
Notice his superb delivery, no teleprompter, no script
-- just a
91-year-old fighter pilot representing the greatest generation
at home and
abroad who won WWII. He has some surprises and a great
take on the
philosophy of life."
here to watch the video on dvids Defense Video & Imagery
Novel of December 8th
Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen
by Alex Kershaw
During the Viet Nam war when Canadians were
welcoming American draft dodgers and deserters, I wrote that
there was another time when young American men broke American
law and were welcomed by the Canadians. Only then it was Americans
going to Canada to join the RCAF or a few who continued to England
to join the RAF and fight the Battle of Britain. This is the
story of that few . . . and what a story it is. Alex Kershaw
brings it to life with an up close and personal view of their
lives as well as the
lives of the other young pilots in Spitfires
and Hurricanes plus the German view of the battle from Me-109s
Excellent and detailed descriptions of dogfights seem like fiction
until you check the footnotes and find that they are taken from
many actual individual combat reports. An excellent book and
well worth the read! Alex Kershaw also wrote The
Whispers from an Empty
So real, unpretentious, and down
to earth that you feel
you are there and a member of the family.
By Kathleen Belfiore Schuman
This book is first a tribute to an American
WWII hero. It then abruptly switches to a detective story as
the author searches for the hero's grave. The author's description
of the search is so real, unpretentious, and down to earth that
you feel you are there and a member of the family. Kathleen
Belfiore Schuman talks to the reader as if she were standing
in the room with him.
The book is very well documented. She includes
actual scans of the original documents including the terrible
telegram telling the family of the loss off their son. There
is so much in the way of scans and/or verbatim transcripts that
it would make a good reference book if only there were an index.
A family history is hard to write in such
a way that it is interesting to outsiders but she pulled it
Thank you Kathleen for letting us share
For more info see
Reminiscences from WWII
The Hitler Book, The secret dossier prepared for Stalin. Edited
by Henrik and
Rainbow over Hell
deliverance of a World War II assassin
heartily recommend this book to anyone but especially to those
Marines who fought on Saipan. At last, a human face on the fierce
What a great book! This is the story of
Saburu Arakaki an 18-year-old caught in the battle for Saipan.
Afterwards he was sentenced to death for assassinating two prisoners
for collaboration with Americans. His death sentence was changed
on review from Washington, but his life was inexorably changed.
He was finally released only after he had found God and was
to became a Seventh Day Adventist pastor. It is a story of terror,
horror, defiance, courage, betrayal, despair and finally redemption
and absolution. I heartily recommend this book to anyone but
especially to those Marines who fought on Saipan. At last, a
human face on the fierce enemy. I hope Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson
brings us more like this!
Originally published in 1998 in Japanese as Jigoku-no Niji,
it is a gripping read and well written. The translation must
have been difficult, but Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson managed to
retain the emotion, excitement and one of the best personal
descriptions of warfare I have seen. You can almost feel Saburo's
terror as he saw the American armada offshore. It is strange
for me to feel terror of Americans especially knowing from Marine
accounts that those boys heading in on the landing craft were
just as terrified. Finally, the close and intimate telling of
his discovery of Christianity is inspiring!
As a personal aside, it is enlightening to read of this famous
battle from the Japanese side. I have long been fascinated by
that last great banzai charge on Saipan. Banzai charges served
the Japanese army well in China as it did western armies through
WWI but against Marine firepower they turned out to be slaughters.
They continued as a Japanese tactical measure until Saipan.
At Iwo Jima and Okinawa they were dropped in favor of a defense
in depth that proved much better from the Japanese viewpoint
and much much worse for the Americans. This story about Japanese
youth on Saipan mentions the banzai charge only in passing but
brings new light to it. In this case, the banzai charge here
was less a tactic that a sad, desperate last attempt to die
for the emperor and some four thousand were successful.
And another review from a reader who has
read both the Japanese and English versions.
Over Hell is the true story of a young civilian named Saburo
Arakaki who stood on Suicide Cliff during the Battle of Saipan
and who, against all odds, survived one of the bloodiest battles
in the Pacific War. He was one of the men in Captain Oba's
Company, the historic final group of Japanese stragglers to
surrender on Saipan nearly a year after the island had been
secured by American forces. Arakaki also has the distinction
of being sentenced to death for assassinating two Japanese
men who were cooperating with the Americans. When he discovered
that Jojima, the MP who had given him the assassination order,
had betrayed him and gone home to Japan as a free man, leaving
him to die alone, he vowed to himself that, if he were ever
released, he would find the man and kill him. Because of a
healing and transforming encounter with the Bible while imprisoned
in Hawaii, however, he was so transformed from a hatred-filled,
angry man into a peaceful, compassionate man that his own
warden petitioned for his release. He was granted full pardon
by President Eisenhower. Once released, Arakaki promptly made
business of visiting the man whom he had once vowed to kill.
Would he be able to forgive his Judas? How would Jojima react
to his sudden appearance?
a murderer, now a minister of Gospel, Arakaki has been telling
his life story whenever and wherever he has a chance, for
more than forty years now. In Japan, in Korea, in America
and Canada, he preaches about the miracle that had taken place
in his life. And no matter how many times one hears him tell
the story, he/she is moved. The man's passion and enthusiasm,
after so many decades, has not diminished one bit. He is still
awed and thrilled by the way that God has changed his life,
and it is impossible to leave his presence without being touched.
same story of great deliverance and redemption is now told
by award-winning writer Tsuneyuki Mohri. An accomplished storyteller,
he draws you like magic into the depths of young Arakaki's
innermost battles. This is not a "based on a true story"
novel. It is a true story. The author rigorously follows the
truth and facts without embellishing anything. One can tell
that a great deal of research was done; the details of the
war, the conditions of the detention camps, how the stragglers
were cornered from one end to the other of the tiny island,
are painfully vivid and real. Those who are interested in
what it was like on the Japan side during the WWII, this book
is a "must" read.
in documentary style, the story begins with the scene in which
Miike (the name Mohri uses for himself in the story) and Pastor
Arakaki flying to Saipan from Fukuoka, Japan. They are on
a tight-schedule to retrace what had happened decades ago
in Arakaki's life. The story, then, moves to Arakaki's poverty-stricken
childhood. Alternately and freely, going back and forth in
time, the author takes us on a journey of Arakaki's life and
of the trip that they're currently taking.
friendly, for both young and old, for both Christian and non-Christian,
it's a real page-turner. Once one starts reading it, one cannot
put it down. The Japanese language is considered one of the
hardest languages to translate into Western languages, but
Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson skillfully achieves the task, without
failing to preserve Mohri's charismatic writing. The reader
will cry, laugh, rejoice as the boy Arakaki goes through life's
trials. But that's not all. Do not miss the writer's postscripts
which are just as powerful. One will come to realize that
this book was not written by chance, but by the guidance of
a Superior Power. It is a one-of-a-kind story, which no one
Yoshika Caraig, April, 2006
Yoshika Caraig: Musician/artist.
Born in Japan, now resides in NY with her husband and 3 naughty
by Will Irwin
where the French Resistance in WWII got their name of Machi? Well, this is the
book for you. You will also find out how the Jedburghs got their name and how
the Allies supplied and supported resistance forces from Belgium and France and,
after the fall of Germany, to Asia a well to help defeat the Japanese. The Jeds
enemy lines and supplied resistance
forces with arms and assistance. What a story! This was the beginning of Special
Forces. See how it all began in spite of it being "ungentlemanly"according
to the Allied pre-war General Staffs.
The secret dossier prepared
The Hitler Book, The secret dossier prepared for Stalin. Edited
by Henrik and
from 12000 years ago to modern times
By Bill Hanson
love mysteries? I do! I don't mean "Who done it's" but mysteries like
the Bermuda Triangle, The
Lost Patrol, Spontaneous human combustion, the Winchester home and others.
These intriguing stories, done right, are fascinating . . . Hanson's are done
right. Unlike most, however, these mysteries include some from modern times, including
19, and the Nazi's efforts to build an atom bomb. .
I have lived in
and loved Florida for many years but have never known it like I do now. I was
even lucky enough to see the old "Hotel Notorious" as Bill Hanson puts
it, where the movie Key Largo was filmed; but that's all I knew until I read this
book. There is a whole lot more to that story than a movie filming. This is a
Closely Guarded Secrets:
assassination of F.D.R., Japan's Atomic Bomb,
The Massacre at Port Chicago.
A fun and intriguing read
kick back, relax and prepare for a good light read. As with any conspiracy theory
worth the name, it has lots of facts that you knew already. More that sound like
they could be true and some conclusions that just could be true based on these
facts. This one is well done and starts with some great history on Nazi operations
in the US before and during WWII. There is definitely enough there to get you
As a bonus, he fleshes out the rumors of a Japanese A-bomb
that was tested within months of ours and of some more on the well-known explosion
of two cargo ships in Chicago in 1944.
All three stories are fascinating
and well worth the read!
you love America bashing
Flyboys by James Bradley
am getting very weary of writers and journalists using any excuse to criticize
America and America's history. True, there were some awful things that happened
as Europeans moved west but that is the same story of agrarian cultures displacing
hunters-gatherers and nomads since Neanderthal. There were always nomadic cultures
that had the same thing in common, great battlefield heroics, and terrible treatment
women and captives.
They were invariably pushed aside by plodding farmers accompanied by multitudes
and civilization. Some historians cherry pick the history that proves their preconceived
point . . . in this case, how terrible 19th century Americans were, ignoring the
other worse horrors taking place throughout the world; the Napoleonic wars, 1,000,000
deaths by Shaka's wars<1>. More than two million black slaves shipped to
Islam<2> (while Americans were fighting the bloodiest war in our history
to free ours), Thailand's extermination of the indigenous pygmies on the Malay
peninsula, Thugees in India, Pogroms in Russia, British, French, Russian, Ottoman,
empires flourishing with more brutal tactics and less excuse. Bradley's apparent
intent is to prove that 19th century Americans were the worse.
plays the always useful race card implying that it was racism that made Europeans
move west across a continent. He actually seems to compare the alleged American
"ethnic cleansing" of the west with the Japanese in China in the 30s
quickly, skipping over the Rape
of Nanking! He caps the America bashing by joining the Smithsonian theme that
the entire Pacific war was a result of American racism.
historians will cherry pick through the history of our current times. With little
effort they can pick antiwar historians and prove that America started an illegal
war, brutalized prisoners and murdered thousands of civilians. Or pick different
ones that prove that America defended herself against an implacable cruel enemy
humanely and, in the process, freed millions of oppressed people. Which one you
"prove" depends upon your predisposition. In this case, Bradley's predisposition
seems to be trash American history up to Pearl Harbor. I don't know what he says
after that because I stopped reading his book after his trashing our history through
the Philippine War.
Why does Bradley need to throw in
hot-button words like "ethnic cleansing," "conquest," or "extermination"
when referring to America's move west, the Mexican American War (Mexicans good
- Americans bad) and the Philippine War (1899-1902.) Is it that he is the product
of modern American schools or just to give him perceived stature among his peers?
Does it make an author feel somehow more intellectual to bad-mouth the country
of his birth that has given him so much?!
I loved his first
book (Flags of Our Fathers) where he stuck to the subject of his father's heroic
history and left the bad-mouthing to Jane Fonda and Michael Moore. Flyby this
one, at least flyby chapters one through seven - these chapters ruined the book
for me. I had to stop there. In short, skip this book unless you love America
<1> Terror and Resistance, Eugene Walter
<2> Islam's Black Slaves, Ronald Segal
Click the image for a larger view
The Fighting First
Untold Story of the Big Red One on D-Day
is "The Untold Story of the Big Red One on D-Day" but so much more!
This Big Red One story begins in North Africa and the Kasserine Pass where "The
first Division stopped the famous 10th Panzer cold in two attacks." It goes
on to Sicily where with Patton where they "suffered greatly." You'd
think they had earned a rest but the only rest they got was back in England preparing
for Omaha Beach. While there, Whitlock gives the reader some real insights into
life for Americans in wartime England. |
it's on to Omaha Beach and Rommel's Atlantic Wall. Whitlock gives a lot of details
of loading landing craft and of the actual landing where it was said by Corporal
Michael Kurtz as reported in The Longest Day: "I want all of you Joes to
keep your heads down. As soon as we are spotted, we'll catch enemy fire. If you
make it, OK. If you don't, it's a hell of a good place to die. Now, let's go."
Whitlock also tells of serious errors in the preparation of the Omaha beaches
that led to this understated comment: "The beach area of Omaha Beach was
almost unscarred. We did not have a single one of those gun emplacements or pillboxes
knocked out. Not a good situation.
"Now, have they
earned a break? No way. They are finally pulled off the line in December, 1944.
Guess what was about to happen the morning of 16 December - The Battle of the
Bulge! The Big Red One is called upon again!
often been asked why WWII GIs have waited to talk about their experiences till
now and Korean War vets still aren't talking. Perhaps, Whitlock says it best:
"Only with other veterans would a soldier speak of the unspeakable for only
other veterans would know of the hardships, fear and tragedy, and, yes, even the
exultation of combat."
This is one hellava book!
Don't miss it.
One American town's Ultimate
by Alex Kershaw
Click the image for a larger view
|The Bedford Boys, One
American town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice |
by Alex Kershaw, Da Capo Press,
Twenty-two young men, all from a small town in Virginia, made the ultimate
sacrifice. Nineteen died during the first wave on Omaha Beach; later, three more
died in the campaign that followed. This is their story - theirs and the other
young men from Bedford. It is also the story of the people they left behind and
the country they were fighting for.
This book is sad but inspiring and informative.
You will follow these youngsters from a small- town childhood through the tragedy
of Operation Tiger to the fierce brutality of Normandy, June 6, 1944. You will
find out more than you ever really wanted to know about why you chose the top
of six bunks on the Queen Mary (converted to a troop ship) instead of the more
convenient lower ones. You will learn, perhaps with some comfort considering today's
news, that the country was not totally united during WWII, in spite of what we
are now believe. John L. Lewis conducted his strikes, and there were race riots
in Los Angeles and Detroit.
This book inspired Saving Private Ryan . . .
as it will inspire you.
Click image for a larger view
Lt General Keller
Voices from Normandy
Robin H. Neillands and Roderick de Normann, Cold Spring Press, 2004
book may very well become the definitive book on D-Day, at least from the British
viewpoint. It is very detailed, reminiscent of Churchill's The Second World War
or Morison's 15 volume History of United States Naval Operations in World War
II. Groups are named, often down to the squad level and personal stories from
named individuals (British, American and German) are smoothly woven into the story.
This book starts with an excellent
chapter, Dunkirk to D-Day 1940-1944, that in very few words brings you up to date
including even a defense of the ill-fated raid on Dieppe, in that it taught the
basic lessons on how to operate on D-day, indeed amphibious warfare throughout
All in all, this is an excellent book on D-daya
little too heavy and detailed, perhaps, for the average, casual reader but for
historians, researchers, and avid WWII "junkies" such as those who read
Kilroy Was Here, it can't be beaten!
''The story is simply and modestly told, and
for that reason gains greater dramatic effect than if Reynolds had set himself
up as a hero or sounded off on the 'lessons' of the war and what-to-do-with-Japan.
''The impression you get is that he went
through hell gracefully, survived his sufferings by a combination of luck and
moral and physical stamina.
begins with the last ditch fighting at Bataan and goes on to the frightful death
march, the various prison camps where death and foulness were gruesomely commingled,
and two months' voyage on a Jap 'hell ship' and finally a term as slave laborer
''The happy ending comes when the
emaciated Reynolds, who had missed death by inches countless times, sees a giant
B-29 fly over the POW camp after the surrender, and drop food supplies."
Minneapolis Star Journal Reviews from the book jackets.
by Robert V. Reynolds, The Leicht Press, 1951
Yerger Hamilton has given. us a vivid account of the war in the Far East of the
ruthlessness of the Japanese warriors; of the privation, suffering, sorrow, bravery,
and faith of our missionaries who were interned in the Philippines: and of their
thrilling and swift liberation by American troops. Above all these things, however,
standing out like a beacon light in the darkness of the night, is seen the faithfulness
of God to His own amid terror, danger, and death. The war is brought right into
the homes of people we know in this historical tale.
book is not without its romantic appeal. In fact, the devotion of John Hamilton
and Esther Yerger, their trust in God and confidence in each other, and their
reunion and marriage after eight years of waiting and five years of forced separation
are as strange as fiction, and will play on the heart-strings of all, satisfying
the most sentimental of readers.
an engaging story full of adventure and love, but a story which is fact and not
E. Schuyler English, Litt.D
....Reviews from the book jackets. by
Esther Yerger Hamilton. Pinebrook Book Club, 1946
"Two thousand Emaciated British
prisoners-of-war, packed like sardines on wooden shelves in the gloomy holds of
a small tramp steamer battling up the China Seas; no medicines provided, dysentery
raging; one in every four was destined to die, while the rest went to slavery
for the next three years in the coal mines of Honshu and Kyushu. This is the theme
of one of the grimmest yet most human stories in the whole literature of World
War II. It is told for the first time in this compelling book, taken direct from
a factual diary kept throughout 3 ½ years imprisonment in Java and Japan.
It is a complete and vivid record of a long, terrible experience - yet gripping
as any imagined adventure story.
never lost faith that another day would come, and come, and it did. Ken Attiwill
faithfully records ever changing phase of it. The tide of war turned, engulfing
an arrogant nation suddenly bewildered. He heard the devastating explosion of
The Bomb That Stopped The War . . . and saw Nagasaki swirl up in atomic dust.
He saw the Japs in tears over the shame of surrender, the poor puzzled women raking
their ashes for food; and then, when P.0.W. relief supplies were air-dropped,
the half starved prisoners forgiving their tormentors, sharing their manna from
is a tremendously encouraging Story for those who believe ill life and have faith
in its good purpose"
from the book jackets, by Ken Attiwill, Robert Hale LTD, London 1957
are three books I discovered. I thought you and or the Kilroy readers might find
them interesting. The books are all true accounts of brutal imprisonment by the
Japanese. They are dated 1946, 1949, and 1957.
It is often said that racism played a significant role in the conflict between
Japan and the Allies during World War II. The Japanese hated the colonialism of
the whites in what they considered their sphere of influence. We in turn had nothing
but loathing for the Japanese following Pearl Harbor. Also, there is much written
about the use of propaganda, the vilification of the enemy, and the use of negative
characterization in media. These covers may reflect some of this, but after reading
many books such as these, I imagine that those thousands who suffered and died
in Japanese prison and slave camps would find these images fairly accurate.
Aviation Photography of
I don't usually review
publications other than books but my new Ghosts Calendar for 2003 just arrived.
To those who love old warbirds, this is a must! As you can see above, the cover
is a warbird lovers favorite, the Mustang! But it doesn't stop there. The photographs
are absolutely beautiful! January is a early Tuskekee Mustang (without a bubble
cockpit) flying formation with a YAK 3M. February is British Meteor, March, a
Spitfire, April, a B-25 but I won't give them all away -- look forward to each
month as I do.
Instead of listing Fathers Day or Flag Day, Phil puts
an excellent time line of WWII, historic aircraft events and aircraft specifications.
A must for us warbird nuts! See Phil the Ghost's web site at: www.Ghosts.com.
OK, who should
read and would enjoy this book? First, anyone from the "GI" generation
(Brokaw's The Greatest Generation) born 1901 -- 1924* or the "Silent Generation"
born 1925 -- 1942.* They can remember a time in America when a 10-year-old could
go out to play in the morning and his parents not worry about him unless he was
late for dinner. Those who remember can play "Nostalgics" (a word coined
by Shelley Berman) and relive those days. Boomer generation members, born 1943
-- 1960, will love it because it shows a time in America that they were born into
- but lost. Generation X, born 1961 -- 1981 can begin to understand that all those
wonderful stories the old man (their fathers and grandfathers) told are really
true. The Millennial Generation and beyond, born 1982 -* should read it so they
will listen with more attention to the old men. They can learn so much!
a story! Richard Rohrbacher starts it in 1935 and skillfully makes a youngster
spring to life before your eyes. From hanging around a construction site to the
first guilty feelings of an adolescent that can't help but fall in love (lust?)
with his 8th grade teacher. From the sad musings of old man about dying to the
youngster's hilarious fear of dying himself from an "advanced case of acutum
masturbatum morbindus," Richard keeps your face in his book.
narrative saddens, as did the whole world, as first, his love (the teacher) left
to join the WACs. Then his family, then his friends as ". . . we watched
the June graduates trade their gowns and mortarboard for uniforms." They
also ". . . wondered if our name was slated to appear on some future casualty
roster . . ."
This book captures, in an easy readable
way, life in America as the world skid inexorably into WWII.
by Neil Howe, William Strauss, William Morrow & Co.
books are available at . . .
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