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To Kingdom Come: An Epic Saga of Survival in the Air War Over Germany | [Robert J. Mrazek]

To Kingdom Come: An Epic Saga of Survival in the Air War Over Germany

On September 6, 1943, 338 B-17 "Flying Fortresses" of the American Eighth Air Force took off from England, bound for Stuttgart, Germany, to bomb Nazi weapons factories. Dense clouds obscured the targets, and one commander's critical decision to circle three times over the city---and its deadly flak---would prove disastrous. Forty-five planes went down that day, and hundreds of men were lost or missing.
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Publisher's Summary

On September 6, 1943, 338 B-17 "Flying Fortresses" of the American Eighth Air Force took off from England, bound for Stuttgart, Germany, to bomb Nazi weapons factories. Dense clouds obscured the targets, and one commander's critical decision to circle three times over the city---and its deadly flak---would prove disastrous. Forty-five planes went down that day, and hundreds of men were lost or missing. Focusing on first-person accounts of six of the B-17 airmen, award-winning author Robert J. Mrazek vividly re-creates the fierce air battle and reveals the astonishing valor of the airmen who survived being shot down---and the tragic fate of those who did not.

©2011 Robert J. Mrazek (P)2011 Tantor

What Members Say

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  •  
    Andrew Scott McClanahan 11-07-12 Member Since 2012

    I've lived in Austin, Texas, for over 10 years, not Houston. World War II is my lifelong interest since my father was a combat veteran in the 8th Air Force. I grew up with pilots, bombardiers, and navigators. They told me many stories of their experiences and I cannot get enough of books and documentaries.

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    "38 Planes Were Sent Out. Only 2 Returned."
    What did you love best about To Kingdom Come?

    The battle descriptions.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The weaving of many lives into one mission.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narrator will drive you nuts at first, but stick with it. His style really works in the combat sequences.


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

    The combat sequences had a profound affect on me.


    Any additional comments?

    The book takes some time to get going. Like the squadrons of Boeings forming over England, the characters are gathered in a large intro to the fateful mission. Keep with it. What these men went through deserves patience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 10-19-13
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 10-19-13 Member Since 2011

    Iranians keep their nukes, Americans lose their insurance.

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    "I felt a kinship with these boys"

    This story is so well told. It is personal and touching, while still being historically accurate. I LOVED and cherished the "rest of the story" at the end, giving us a glimpse of what the boys went through after the war.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 03-12-11
    Christopher 03-12-11 Member Since 2007
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    "An important story"

    As the last veterans of World War II pass away, their stories are disappearing. This is a sad thing, because it is in the personal stories of important events that we can truly learn history that affects us. Robert Mrazek's book conveys this history in a compelling fashion that makes it possible for 21st century Americans to relive the experiences of the young men of the Eighth Air Force during their time of trial in Europe.
    The personal touch Mrazek brings to each story manages to convey it at all scales from grand strategy to the happenings in individual planes. It's difficult to span this wide a scale, but Mrazek does it skillfully.
    In the interests of full disclosure, Ray Theodore Wilken, one of the men Mrazek follows through the raid was my biological grandfather, so I had a reason to read this book. Doing so has taught me more about my own family history and the histories of the men linked to Ted by their joint service, and the German fighter ace who killed him.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jon Meridian, ID, United States 04-10-11
    jon Meridian, ID, United States 04-10-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Painful narration"

    The narrator killed this book, but the writer got the assist. The sentence structure of every passage was rigid and repetetive. The narrator used this crazy repetitve cadence for the sentences.

    Skip this one, it was like paying to listen to finger nails on a chalk board.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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