My great-grandfather was a B-24 tail gunner in the 8th and had some amazing stories that made me wonder how he was still alive. This book told incredible stories of the 15th and the challenges they faced. I started this book with the intent to gain more information for the things my great-grandfather saw and experienced during the war; however, I became glued to the crew of the Dakota Queen and the challenges they faced. I became a fan of Stephen Ambrose after reading Band of Brothers in high school, right before the mini-series debuted. His writing has never let me down. The Wild Blue, like Band of Brothers, does an amazing job of portraying the people that much was demanded of and never asked to be recognized, applauded, or awarded, but did their job as it was asked of them.
I n book it talks about the B24 boamer pilots and in particular about George McGovern. just a great listen if has any interest in what pilots of WW III went though.
Another great book by the master, providing many insights about the "other" heavies - the Liberator, the "other" bomber group - the 15th, and their valiant crews.
Listening to its beautiful narration was a experience worth each second of it.
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.