Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Suddenly, a German Messerschmitt fighter pulled up on his tail. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would 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: 2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a farm boy from West Virginia, and 2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.
What happened between them was later classified 'top secret.' It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was an encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years...
©2013 Adam Makos (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
This audiobook is a must for anyone addicted to military aviation history. Well researched, written and rendered, it's author, publishers and reader delivered a masterpiece. Thank you very much for this outstanding experience.
"An Iconoclastic Take on WW2 Aerial Warfare!"
Yes I would! A compelling story, well written and well read. Really draws you into the lives, fears, and hopes of the principal protagonists. It also gives a good overview of the politics and military situation that shaped the lives of those we read about.
Without a doubt, the Luftwaffe fighter ace Franz Stigler. The book really pivots around him.
It has to be the moment where Stigler holds off shooting down the crippled B17 flown by Lt. Charlie Brown. In doing so, he has a personal shift in conscience: sacrificing his hitherto coveted Iron Cross but, by his own later admission, gaining something much more valuable...
Yes. Many. Many. But particularly the one described above.
My only concern is just how much of the book is actually true. Such is the immediacy of the writing, it reads like a novel. The authors state that the text is based on more than eight years of interviews with the principal participants, but I wonder how much detail can be recalled so many decades after the events. So many WW2 books have come under suspicion recently, particularly those that, like "A Higher Call", have been published after the deaths of those involved, meaning that there's nobody around to either corroborate or refute the facts. There's no denying it's a fantastic read, but if were an author trying to make lots of money - and I understand the film rights have already been sold - I'd try to make it as entertaining as possible, too.
Still, I loved this book, and I hope my doubts are unfounded. Go read it!
"Like no other"
I have read quite a number of books recently on these fly boys of the war and this is an outstanding account of an incredible story. The german pilots had it hard theres no doubt anout it, this covers the experience of Franz and his commrades vividly.
"One of the best books I've ever ' read'"
An excellent and heartwarming true story which shows that even in war the individual can overcome the hatred and glory of a victory and let his Humanity triumph over all.
"A very different sort of war story."
I found this story interesting and ultimately uplifting make sure you listen to the end.
Amazing story to listen to of two enemies and brief encounter over Germany and 40 yrs of thought for each other's safety.
"Moving account of German air war"
details the air war from the German perspective well read and left me wanting to learn more about the other side of the battles
"A book for all seasons!"
The narrator was captivating - his intonations and accents really held my attention
The thread throughout. This is a story with a moral behind it - anyone with military service will understand the moral code of the opposing forces during WW2.
I liked the way he portrayed Franz - probably because Franz was the main character - although Charlie's was good too.
I was in tears at points during this story, the tragedy and pointlessness of war and how people were treated afterwards. Franz had a big struggle to regain his dignity after doing his calling for his country.
This is one of the must read books - I only have a few and this is high on my list. Thanks to my Uncle Donald who told me about it.
"Unique and very special"
The insights into the life of a Luftwaffe pilot in WW2.
Two decent men, brought together in the heat of battle on opposing sides.
I have a very extensive aviation library, and this is one of the finest true stories I've come across.
"A must for all aviation fans"
exciting interesting honest
Can't say, might spoil it for others
Great spoken voice, easy to listen to
Near the end, can't spoil it for others though
Probably my favourite military history book and one that makes me feel very differently about those we call the enemy.
An awesome book. I've read quite a few similar books and never been as gripped as I was by this. It was also interesting and shocking to hear the story from the Luftwaffe pilot's side.
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