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A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II | [Adam Makos]

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (1481 )
5 star
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4.6 (1334 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Thomas 06-28-15
    Thomas 06-28-15 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Hope for humanity"

    Charley and Franz were able to see through the war cries and, through their example taught the world to honor their "enemy" as a human

    Excellent read that helped me to understand the horror of war and the meaning of evil

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David R. Rishel Philadelphia, PA 06-19-15
    David R. Rishel Philadelphia, PA 06-19-15 Member Since 2012

    Normal Guy

    ratings
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    3
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    "Amazing story!"

    This is a wonderful book about an absolutely amazing event. Reading this book, I'm stunned by the scale of what went on in World War II. It simply beyond my comprehension.

    He gives one hope and inspiration for humanity that within such horrors of war, men were able to do things that were right Honorable and chivalrous, even at great personal risk. This is a wonderful story and I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren 06-19-15
    Lauren 06-19-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So Good, For So Many Reasons"
    What did you love best about A Higher Call?

    An incredibly poignant story. Brought me to tears at times. Yet I learned a lot, too. Very interesting and well researched piece.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Higher Call?

    Well, there are more than just one! When Ye Olde a Pub was leaving Germany and going across the Channel. The pilots meeting up several years later. Those are two of the best.


    What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

    E V E R Y T H I N G! I think he's my favorite narrator right now.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, I cried a couple times, but also smiled at some of the touching moments or moments of triumph.


    Any additional comments?

    Just Wow! You won't regret using your credit on this. I also highly recommend "For Crew and Country" also narrated by Robertson Dean.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel H. Johnson, Jr.., MD Metairie, Louisiana United States 06-17-15
    Daniel H. Johnson, Jr.., MD Metairie, Louisiana United States 06-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    "An amazing tale from WWII"

    This is a remarkable book. The story is at once inspiring and conflicting. The history undertones are significant and helpful in understanding what was happening in Germany under Hitler.

    The book is well written and informative as well as very interesting.

    Equally important, the performance is top notch. When listening while driving, I found myself lingering in my vehicle to continue to listen, even though I had reached my destination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nic 06-12-15
    Nic 06-12-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Fantastic read."

    Loved the insight into both sides of this story. A must for military history fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Jacobson USA 06-09-15
    Tyler Jacobson USA 06-09-15 Member Since 2014

    tjaco

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    "you are my adversary not my enemy."

    Honorable men were sent to war to fight for their countries. They fought to protect their family and neighbors. This story gives a look at the perspective from each side. I highly recommend this book. It doesn't apologize for war or killing or glamorize it in any way. It captures the stories of heroes on both sides of the conflict.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy Harris 06-09-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Amazing story; superb retelling; very touching"

    I was enraptured from beginning to end. I was mystified about halfway through when the story of the actual event was told, and wondered then how the rest of the book could be filled. But not to worry, there was plenty of good stuff to say. The last chapter had me weeping— for various reasons that I won't elaborate lest I spoil it for others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kimocaza 06-07-15
    kimocaza 06-07-15
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    "Inspirational"

    An inspirational story of friendship arising out of war and a lesson of compassion and chivalry in the harshest of circumstances.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bart WICHITA, KANSAS, United States 06-01-15
    Bart WICHITA, KANSAS, United States 06-01-15 Member Since 2013
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    "The Best WW2 Air Combat Story I've Read"

    If you read WW2 non-fiction of any type get this now.

    Perspective from the German fighter pilot point of you is phenomenal. The pacing of the story reads like fiction.

    The connection over the years after the war, heart warming.

    Please somebody make the movie

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monika Comick 05-31-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Good story"

    too much detail at times and dialogs were very slow. Good story and worth hearing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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