A really great book and the author does a great job reading it for audio book. I didn't realize this was a part of a series until after I purchased it. I will surely go back to read the first of the series and will be anticipating the third book. My only reason for not giving this five stars is that the book comes from an 90% American perspective. Minimal time is dedicated to the Commonwealth and German forces. I only wish it had been a little more well rounded but for what it was, it was an outstanding book on the American forces in the MTO!
This book is not about the German military at war in the second World War. It's yet another book on the atrocities of the Nazi government. Don't get me wrong, the Nazis were horrible but this book barely had any thing to do with German military actions in WW2. When I read in the review, new and fresh history regarding major battles I was astounded on the lack of information this book offered. This is 90% information on the genocide which does seem to be well documented, although I'd have to pick up the physical book to check sources. If you're looking for a book on the Nazi atrocities of the war, you have a good choice here and that's why I'm not giving it one star. If you're looking for a good book on the German military actions of the war, look elsewhere. This book should seriously have a different title.
I caught on to many name errors such as General der Flieger Kurt Student being referred to as "Karl Student". The author also could NOT keep German terms correctly. He was constantly mixing up the differences between Wehrmacht, Heer, Luftwaffe, OKW, OKH, ect... This was an absolute disaster when trying to keep German commanders and operations separated. Example: He kept writing things like 'The Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe'. Wehrmacht is the German term for the combined military forces; Heer (Army), Luftwaffe (Air Force), Kriegsmarine (Navy), and Waffen-SS (Combat Forces of the SS). The OKW controlled them all, the OKH was in charge of the Heer. Any student of World War Two history will know that if these terms aren't used correctly, the work will be riddled with errors which is what happened here.
I did enjoy the fact that the book did bring to light that the Soviets killed more Jews and civilians than the Germans ever did. I'm not defending the Germans, they were bad too but I hate how the Soviets are always painted as such wonderful men in many WW2 books. Ask the Polish their thoughts on the Russians during and after the war. This is a proven fact swept under the rug for years by the victors. I'd like to say the Author remained non-bias by doing this but on the other hand he made plenty of unjust jabs at the French. I'm not French nor a fan of French action or leaders during the war but I do not enjoy bias in any book as a student of history. I want the cut and dry truth, not everyone's opinion.
I was also a bit upset at the lack of depth on many major battles. For example Unternehmen Merkur (The German airborne invasion of Crete - Operation Mercury) was incredibly short and lacking in many facts that should have been added to this book. This is also where I kept getting very annoyed at Kurt Student being called "Karl Student" repetitively. This was one of the largest airborne operations in history and it was summarized in a couple minutes. This operation has so many devastating affects on the Germans that it NEEDS to be detailed! To summarize: The delay of Operation Barbarossa causing the Germans to be ground to a halt outside Moscow due to the Russian winter, the lost of confidence in major airborne operations, the loss of so many German transport aircraft and highly trained Fallschrimjager, and the list can go on.
My last note as that the narrator did an OK job but I was terribly annoyed with his accents when reading for characters, especially the German ones.
If you want a quality book, I highly recommend: 'The Second World War' by Keegan.
I really loved this book. An epic story of struggle for survival that most of us will never even remotely begin to understand. The author does a great job of breaking the journey to life with his great writing style, with the material, and the narrator's job. Read this and it will give you appreciation for the little things in life.
Despite the age of this context the principals and values still hold true. I really feel after taking things to heart in this book that I have at minimum become a better friend, listener, and overall better person. It really makes you look at the way you act and how simplistic things you do in day to day life may be quite detrimental to your character. Highly recommended. The narrator is also superb.
Classic story from F.Scott Fitzgerald that almost every American has read in grade school at some point. I haven't 'read' this in probably five to ten years but was glad I did again with this rendition. My appreciate just grows for this book and Fitzgerald's masterful writing. Tim Robbins did a pretty good job as narrator but I had two qualms against him. First was petty but his female accents were ear splitting. The big problem was that he was a terribly quiet reader. I constantly had to have my headphones cranked to hear anything and constantly had to skip back to hear something. Especially parts when he is whispering which proved almost impossible to hear. Best saved for a quiet environment.
Was very disappointed with this book. The structure was all over the place. It just presumes you already have read all the other works on Basilone; namely the works of Robert Leckie and This is another thing that bothers me. The whole book is just a mash of books from other people and the author's comparing them for inaccuracies or just plain nit picking minor military details as if he were almost there. The author was a Marine as well, but years after Basilone and makes sure to bring his time in service into comparison many times. Why? I thought this book was about John Basilone. The few solid points brought up in the book (yes there actually are some very good points) are lost in appreciation to the reader who has to consistently sift through Brady's witch hunt for errors from other's works. There were less theories on the JFK assassination than Brady's theories on Basilone's service record. Being generous with my stars but overall I found the best part of the audiobook, was the narrator.
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