Book Review: WW2 Memoirs

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Thread: Book Review: WW2 Memoirs

  1. #1
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    Array Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    Book Review: WW2 Memoirs

    If you've watched the HBO mini-series Band Of Brothers or read the book of the same title by Stephen Ambrose, then you should definitely read Beyond Band Of Brothers, The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters.

    As a First Lieutenant, Dick Winters took over command of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, during the Normandy invasion. He fought with Easy Company as its CO thru France, Holland and Bastogne, then served as CO of the 2nd Battalion of the 506th thru the end of the war.

    These memoirs contain stories and recollections not included in Ambrose's book, as well as many that were, and also include a 16 page centerspread of superb black & white photographs. Both books compliment each other quite well.

    Dick Winters was not just another civilian in uniform in WW2, he was a true combat leader. His bravery, professionalism, patriotism, utter devotion to the cause and his genuine concern for the welfare of the men he commanded, cannot be questioned. His Ten Principles for Success, called "Leadership at the Point of the Bayonet" is inspiring.

    Now 86 years young, Dick Winters is one of the last surviving members of Easy Company's Band Of Brothers. We are fortunate indeed to have these memoirs, so that we never forget the sacrifices of men like Dick Winters and his comrades in arms, part of the Greatest Generation.

    5

    .


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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    Member Array Barry in IN's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review.
    I just got a copy recently, but haven't had a chance to read it. I had others in line ahead of it.

    You might also like them.

    First was "Curahee! A Sceaming Eagle At Normandy" by Donald R. Burgett.
    It was first published in 1967, but re-released in 1999 with an intro by Stephen Ambrose.
    Mr Ambrose's last paragraph says:
    "There is much more in this outstanding book. I have read lots of books on the experience of combat from both World Wars, and this is by a longshot the best. Without Qualification."

    With that intro, I had high hopes. I was not disappointed. The man's memory for detail is incredible. It's not a very long book, just under 200 pages, but it's packed with "good stuff".
    It covers his enlistment, through training, on into approx D+10 at Normandy when he was wounded, then an Afterword.

    The ending includes a speech from Eisenhower to the unit after returning to England. I won't spoil it by telling the details, but it is one speech that never made the papers. This alone is worth reading the book for, I felt.

    The other book, which I'm reading now, is:
    "Parachute Infantry, An American Paratrooper's Memior of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich" by David Kenyon Webster.

    You probably recognize that name from "Band of Brothers". He was the Ivy Leaguer who wanted to be a writer. In the book "Band of Brothers", Ambrose quotes Webster's writings often. As I read it, I thought how nice it would be to read those memiors.
    I found out recently that they had finally gotten published, and had to have it.

    It's pretty good also, but in a different way from the first book I mentioned. It starts with arriving in England and goes from there.
    It's another that I'm happy I got.

    In addition to "Beyond Band of Brothers" I also have another Major Winters book waiting in the wings: "Biggest Brother, The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers" by Larry Alexander.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    i saw that book the other day and was gonna pick it up but go side tracked i will get it to read now thanks for review

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    Member Array mkeBob's Avatar
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    Here's a short, 120 page, paper back book you'll possibly enjoy. Titled, My Mother Kept a Scrapbook: the True Story of a WWII POW by Gerhard Johnson as told to Kathleen Marie Marsh.

    Dedication. My Mother Kept a Scrapbook is dedcated to the "silent
    military," family and friends who faithfully keep the home fires burning while their loved ones are away. Scrapbook is also written in tribute to all those who serve in uniform, especially those who have been prisoners of war.

    If interested contact:
    E-mail Orders: kathiemarsh@yahoo.com
    Web Orders: www.otterrunbooks.com
    Phone Orders: 715-276-6515
    Mail Orders: Otter Run Books LLC
    16965 Nicolet Road
    Townsend WI 54175
    The power of the future is in its ability to inspire the present.

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    Member Array Barry in IN's Avatar
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    Thanks. I may have to look into it after I get caught up.
    I have to finish H.W McBride's "A Rifleman Went to War", and start his "The Emma Gees".
    Than there's Col John George's "Shots Fired in Anger", and both the Dick Winters books mentioned above.
    I also need to finish "John Browning, American Gunmaker" someday.

    So many books, so little time.

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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    A great WWII book if you are interested is "Ghost Soldiers". The author's name escapes me but the book details the raid led on the Japanese POW camp in the Phillipeans. These men were the survivors of the Bataan death march.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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    Member Array Barry in IN's Avatar
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    Hampton Sides is the author of "Ghost Soldiers".

    I stumbled across it in our tiny local library last summer and read it. I was unaware that a movie based upon it ("The Great Raid") was coming out in a matter of weeks.
    As usual, the book tops the movie.
    Good book.
    It's as much about the Death March and captivity at Cabanatuan afterward, as it is about the raid.

    Trivia:
    I've heard, but haven't confirmed it, that one of the soldiers in the Cabanatuan raid was also involved in the Son Tay POW raid in Vietnam in 1970.

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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Yeah, I saw the DVD at Blockbuster but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet. It looked kinda low budget..........
    The book is outstanding though. I love WWII histories and this was one that I couldn't put down. I finished it in a day and half.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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