Entertaining, Inspirational, Educational
This is a great read that makes you laugh and cry. It puts you in the B-24 in many different missions and lets you feel what the crew felt.
I love reading Stephen Ambrose. I have read most of his books, and have yet to be disappointed. My favorite by him was Undaunted Courage, but Citizen Soldiers was a close second.
I love to learn and share whatever excellence I discover in the process
This book had it moments, but it just did not captivate me as I had expected.
This is not one of Ambrose's best efforts in my humble opinion. He personally must have been fascinated by McGovern's military service-- and it comes across that way. A "nice" biography and some important insights into the sacrifices of the men who flew bombers in WWII. They are all heroes. Given the material, I think the author certainly could have done a more heroic job of writing about them.
This is an interesting, but not particularly enlightening, book. Ambrose obviously idolizes McGovern. While I admire and am thankful for the sacrifices of the servicemen of WWII, the fact is that they were not all universally selfless and exemplary human beings. There were cowards, cheats, and evil men even in the Army Air Force. You will get no hint of that in this book - everyone was an unmitigated hero, every decision by leadership was fair and wise, no crewmember made foolish and deadly mistakes.
At no point do any of the claims of former pilots or crew get the scrutiny a true work of research would have required. The 60 year old memories of the brave servicemen often ring more of apocrypha than truth - a bit of flak piercing a map right at the home base of the crew comes to mind.
There is a mention in passing about the high causalities from frostbite aboard the bombers, but no criticism or discussion of the political decisions that ignored the risk to the young men who lived with the dangerous and frightening situation daily. Ball gunners were subject to horrendously uncomfortable working conditions but did not have a particularly high success rate in protecting their planes, according to other, less awestruck, authors.
Ambrose did us a service by giving us the story of a single crew. This is the type of book that humanizes war and we all need to understand that it is men, women, sisters, fathers, sons and wives who fight and die in wars.
The narrator was competent and for a different book would probably be excellent. But he conveys none of the youthful enthusiasm of the airmen then, nor the wistful recollections of the same men today. He presents the book in a straightforward and direct style that is not in keeping with the writing.
The first person accounts and the historic details of the time period
How it was told not in a novel type way but in a historic way
since this is not a novel but a historic documentry there was no main character
yes and then listened to it again it was that factual I learned a lot from it.
although it mentiones George McGovern it is not just about him but about the whole 8th airforce good read if you like history
It felt to me more like a selective account of operations written as a book for enjoyment, rather than literary work, with plots, storyline, etc., but it was interesting and enjoyable regardless of that.
Many interesting anecdotes and details are mentioned, together with irrelevant to general reader squadron and air force numbers.
The book certainly helps appreciate the dangers and difficulties of operating WWII bombers.
When I tried to find out more about the episode in the book where a B-24 signalled surrender to escorting German fighters and then treacherously shot them out of the sky - I could only find a post by a former B-24 pilot saying that there was no evidence of it ever happening and explaining how the myth came about. I felt that the book was a bit under-researched.
This book appears to have had 1/10th of the effort put into it compared to Masters of the Air. What a true masterpiece that book was. Not to mention that book is read by the same masterful narrator as Inside Delta Force. If you want the story of the US bomber boys, the history around what this group accomplished and suffered through, get that book instead of this. You will not be disappointed.
The things I liked best about The Wild Blue was that it portrayed both the B-24 as well as McGovern in a way that I had never heard about. The narration was good and crisp and it made for a great story.
I enjoy this time and consider it well spent exercising my imagination. I now have these other worlds to tell you about. I have value.
This book was suggested by a trusted friend and local school teacher. Because I respect him I took the chance to walk away from the norm and I am not sorry, I found the book informative. I learned alot about another part of world war 2. I have an interest in that era. But I had never read much about the bombers and the devoted fliers that created such an important part of the war effort and outcome. I also realized I knew little of George Mcgovern and his involvement in this part of the war. I have a knew respect for him and his wife. It is very well written and seemed to be planned and delivered in a good way. Read it.
If you really wish to know how hard life was for these guys, I highly recommend this book. They would fly for 6 to 12 hours in 20 degree below air with little heat and only hard steel seats to sit on. On many days "at the office" 30% of their co-workers would not return home. The stories are deeply moving mixed with some good humor. I could not put it down.
My husband, a retired Naval Aviator, (2 cruises to VN), enjoyed the technical and training details about this historical aircraft. I enjoyed the social. cultural history of that era and appreciate the commitment the Greatest Generation made to our way of life. Focusing on Senator McGovern's war time experience, the author provides insight into the character of a man who could have been President. Perhaps if he had promoted his war time service, he might have been elected. How different our nation would be today with this honorable, courageous, modest man had won----looking back, I'm sorry for all of us he lost.