General Dwight Eisenhower once again commands a diverse army that must find its single purpose in the destruction of Hitler's European fortress. His primary subordinates, Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery, must prove that this unique blend of Allied armies can successfully confront the might of Adolf Hitler's forces, who have already conquered Western Europe.
On the coast of France, German commander Erwin Rommel fortifies and prepares for the coming invasion, acutely aware that he must bring all his skills to bear on a fight his side must win. But Rommel's greatest challenge is to strike the Allies on his front, while struggling behind the lines with the growing insanity of Adolf Hitler, who thwarts the strategies Rommel knows will succeed.
Meanwhile, Sergeant Jesse Adams, a no-nonsense veteran of the 82nd Airborne, parachutes with his men behind German lines into a chaotic and desperate struggle. And as the invasion force surges toward the beaches of Normandy, Private Tom Thorne of the 29th Infantry Division faces the horrifying prospects of fighting his way ashore on a stretch of coast more heavily defended than the Allied commanders anticipate - Omaha Beach.
From G.I. to general, this story carries the reader through the war's most crucial juncture, the invasion that altered the flow of the war, and, ultimately, changed history.
©2008 Jeff Shaara; (P)2008 Books on Tape
"The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why" Mark Twain
The Steel Wave is the second in a trilogy (which ended up being 4 books) Shaara wrote about WWII, the first three about the war in Europe and the fourth covering the latter end of the war in the pacific.
The Steel Wave picks up right where The Rising Tide left off - with the Normandy invasion and Patton's sweep across Europe. These books have been some of the best resources I have come across for learning WWII battles, major players, and timelines. The book effectively conveys the horror of these key battles through the eyes of several main characters.
And unlike many war novels, Shaara is fairly clean in his writing. He doesn't go over the top trying to mimic soldier-speak or the language any one of us might use if under fire. In other words, the books are a great way for teens or young adults to learn history. That's not to say the books are too polished or boring - they're exciting and well written. Highly recommended.
Shaara does a great job with Generals and statesmen. But when the story jumps away to tell a soldiers story, it just doesn't have the same impact as the dialog the Generals speak. The soldier parts are almost forgettable, where the Generals seem to have better lines.
I like this format of "history telling". It makes it easier to listen to and retain. I am ready to get the last part of this trilogy of WWII history.
Another great work by Shaara. For historians and non-historians alike it is a great read. These books, while simplifying some of the more complex aspects of WWII (for obvious reasons)provide a vibrant tableaux that enhances anyones understanding of these monumental events. History is not a series of events, but a series of actions by people with distinct motivations, attributes and flaws as Shaara so amply demonstrates.
Paul Michael is a national treasure. Not only does he 'get' Eisenhower and Churchille in tone and temperment (not to mention sounding like them)but he brings the fictional characters to life. His soldiers sound like soldiers. As one myself, I know them when I hear them.
As a Rommel buff, I will never read anything about Rommel again, without hearing Paul Michaels excellent performance of him.
Like the first part of this series, this book tells a historical story from a personal perspective.
This book tells the story of D-Day from the eyes of mainly American Forces.
The big difference with part 1 is this story is more from the men on the ground and less from a commanders perspective.
I really enjoy these personal stories. You really feel the emotions and experiences of the men.
I'm totally hooked to this series.
VERY highly recommended.
Well researched as usual...... I've read the classic histories of this campaign.... I have walked all 5 beaches in humble awe.... and I was still surprised with aspects from the German side in his narrative..... another awesome work.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
'Saving Private Ryan' as mentioned in this book was a great visual conception of the D-Day Normandy Invasion, but like I said the movie as with most could not go into detail of all the different viewpoints that were involved into the planning & ultimate follow thru of all the 'moving parts' of the invasion of France... Everyone knows the paratroopers sent behind lines were completely scattered & basically were still able to pull together & achieve their ultimate objectives showing that 'commandos' or soldiers performing behind enemy lines can really be a pivotal technique
The book itself goes thru a lot of behind the scenes of power & which major characters (Eisenhower, Churchhill, Patton, etc...) thought about pre-invasion planning & strategy & the last parts of the book mainly focus on individual soldiers experiences overcoming the fear & odds stacked against them to be part of a war that the world will hopefully never have to see again, although considering how our enemies fight nowadays I doubt anything like WW1 or WW2 will go down as clear cut as the past with battle lines & world domination (but u never know?). I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys both the historical value & the action in a well written fiction. Shaara is great in combining both, I personally enjoy the visceral violence of battle, written of course! But there are always ways of writing it in a way that is both filled with historical knowledge & giving u the feeling of fear & what the troops had to go thru physically
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a book on a subject that has been written on frequently, put into movies, or just included on TV so commonly, this will not disappoint in giving another level in the guessed/written perspectives of those involved on both sides of the fight...
Any of Jeff Shaara's books are compelling in my view
Paul Michael's can make you feel like you are listening to the real person, great performance
being a bit of a history fan the entire book was infomative andeductaional while still entertaining
Listen to the entire trilogoy of WWII but do so in order so it all ties together. Jeff Shaara puts you there and Paul Michael does a great job with the characters
"Refreshing personal look at Operation Overlord"
Once again I loved the relationship between Patton, Eisenhower, Monty and Churchill with fantastic performances of all four. The novel format makes the events of D-Day really accessible.
Probably the moment when Patton tried to help out by speaking at a voluntary group and put his put in it in the most disastrous way.
Again, I'd have to say to performances of the top four commanders so different in character, particularly Monty and Patton who are so so different.
The story of the young American soldier in the amphibious assault was upsetting and thought provoking.
Am looking forward to listening to the final novel in the series.
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