Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.
This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day - the American - Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17 - and the German - Second Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.
A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz’s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddies’ planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of one thousand bombers, each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack.
Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American Eighth Air Force would later classify as top secret. It was an act that Franz could never mention without facing a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for 40 years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever.
©2012 Adam Makos (P)2013 Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
“This book grips you like a movie. It’s part Top Gun, part Valkyrie, and more!”(Marcus Brotherton, New York Times best-selling author
“It is often said that ‘war is hell’ - and it is - however, this story reveals how the human spirit can shine in the darkest hours. A Higher Call is an eye-opener.” (Col. Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman, WWII)
“‘Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war?’ The author asks the question and delivers the answer. A powerful, haunting read.” (Chuck Tatum, author of Red Blood, Black Sand)
So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.
I saw this book had received a landslide of amazing reviews, and was eager to listen to it. I also enjoy learning about World War II, so I knew I'd enjoy it. It didn't diappoint me, but it also didn't thrill me like I thought it might. It was no Unbroken, which after reading all the reviews I thought it could be. There are a couple key chapters in the book, and I often found myself wanting to speed it along to these pivotal moments. The book closes with such an amazing wrap up to the story that it leaves a great final impression, and makes you glad you listened to it.
The underlining chivalry of the two soldiers. Being a former US Soldier stationed in Germany I totally understood what the author was talking about. In fact I had the wonderful opportunity while in Germany to train with the Germany Army and I was awarded a German Shootsner(bronze). What an awesome experience and the German's were wonderful! Very respectful to me an American, treated me like royalty.
To many to list just one. There were two moments that will just grab you specifically. First when the two pilots first meet. And second, was when they meet after the war.
Charlie was, just because of his sense of loyalty to his men. Just an incredible man.
Just to many to name just one.
Yes, absolutely! This is a must read for any American. This exemplifies what it has taken to remain a free country. One must always remember, Hitler was trying his best to strike America. Since WWII we have continued to have wars, the World Trade Centers have been brought down(albeit by cowards). America can never rest, we ARE the shinning light of the world. It is well documented throughout history.
Loved the true stories and adventures in this book and learned a lot about the US and German WWII Airforces; it reminded me a bit of "Unbroken: A WWII Story...". The narrator was PERFECT too! Recommended it to all my friends :-).
What an amazing book. The book will bring tears to your eyes in the first section of simply setting up the story. It gives us as bit of kindness from a nasty war in which both sides sacrificed so much. This is a story of good men asked to defend their Country and they choose to do it with honor and dignity. This story happens early in the war and after you hear what both parties lived through and experienced, it is a miracle in itself that both parties lived to tell their stories. War is Hell and this amazing story came from its deepest destruction. Hats off to Adam Makos for giving us their story. For all our veterans and our active military and families, I can only tell you Thank You for your service to this Nation. I am forever grateful.
Throughout the story will hinge upon ordinary men performing extraordinary acts of courage, and compassion. Each individual was completely explained emotionally and with the character of devotion to duty
A very gripping and moving story of what people endured in WWII. I very much enjoyed this story and narrator.
I have read so much about World War II, and I now occasionally contribute to a wonderful blog that focuses primarily on visiting England's deserted airfields, "Aviation Trails", but over the years, we have added new sections, and recently after both Andy, the creator and creative force behind the blog, and I, finished reading this book (I "read" the audio book, which I highly recommend as it was so superbly done by Robertson Dean!), we wrote a piece together, published on the anniversary of this encounter, 12.20.16, entitled, "Chivalry Amongst Enemies". We were both so moved by this incredible story about the power of the human spirit to prevail in its most honourable state, even in war time, that we felt we HAD to share the tale with others. It is our hope that because of that piece, other people DID seek out "A Higher Call" to read, as
it is truly my favourite WWII account. I cannot give this book a higher recommendation! You MUST read it! I promise you, by the end, the people in its pages, Franz, Charlie and all the rest, will become like family to you. At least, they did for me. What a wonderful tale of true honour. Thank you to Adam Makos and Larry Alexander for such a fabulous read!
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