• Combat Veterans' Stories of World War II: Volume 1

  • North Africa and Europe, November 1942-May 1945
  • By: Norman Black
  • Narrated by: Capt. Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)
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Combat Veterans' Stories of World War II: Volume 1  By  cover art

Combat Veterans' Stories of World War II: Volume 1

By: Norman Black
Narrated by: Capt. Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret
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Publisher's summary

The stories of 20 combat veterans in this book tell experiences of average Americans that fought enemies of the US in World War II. They relate much previously unavailable information about the military in which they served and the battles they fought, from North Africa to Europe, where the possibility of death and permanent physical and mental injury was their common experience. This book is a "must listen" for those that think they have learned all there is to know about World War II.

©2015 Norman Philip Black (P)2015 Norman Philip Black

What listeners say about Combat Veterans' Stories of World War II: Volume 1

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

True stories from real heroes

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes I would recommend this to anyone with interest in military history. It's basically 20 short biographies of men who have served in the US armed forces in WW2. I learned so much interesting small details which aren't often mentioned in the bigger more wide ranging WW2 histories, this for me made the accounts very personal.

What other book might you compare Combat Veterans' Stories of World War II: Volume 1 to and why?

This is the first book of true military stories I have read like this in mini 'autobiography' fashion, unless of course you want to compare it to World War Z.

Which character – as performed by Capt. Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret – was your favorite?

Hard to choose an overall favourite, as many of the stories were touching and really brought home the incredible bravery of 'ordinary' people who in thuth at least in my eyes are extraordinary. I liked the story of Arnold 'Ray' Lambert, such an honest account of a humble guy. A veterinarian who became a medic in the army.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I would, if it was done right.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book and I must say I was moved by many accounts in it. Capt. Kevin Spalding was brilliant as narrator and his voicing of the various vets. was excellent.This is my honest unbiased review which I give in return for a review copy of the book.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DK
  • 07-19-15

Should Be Required Reading High School History

This is a compilation of 20 combat veterans who served for the US during World War II. They are told from a position that only one who went through it can tell.

This should be required reading for junior high to high school age students.

Each account is a complete recounting; from just before the combat veteran was activated to where he and his family currently stand as of 2015.

Unfortunately, time marches on and we are soon going to lose all of our World War II veterans. I'm glad that Norman Black took the time to interview and write the stories down.

The narration by Capt. Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret was steady and strong. He made for allowances during the more vulnerable times but only as the veteran himself would have told it.

Thank you for reading my review, if you have found it helpful would you please select yes directly below this text.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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Cool stories not boring academia.

If you could sum up Combat Veterans' Stories of World War II: Volume 1 in three words, what would they be?

Real WWII Stories

What other book might you compare Combat Veterans' Stories of World War II: Volume 1 to and why?

Not sure because most books just cover one area. This book is a collection of stories/accounts from various soldiers. I loved listening to the different and often funny accounts.

Have you listened to any of Capt. Kevin F. Spalding USNR-Ret’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Very well read. Great narration that was accurate for each person's story. Kevin has a voice that is easy to listen to and understand, but full of emotion.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wanted to listen to the book in one setting. It's too long to listen to all at once, but I did listen for a lot longer than I should have each time - it was that good!

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review. However, this is a very good book that I loved listening to. I loved the unique perspective of each story and do not hesitate to recommend this story at all. If I did not like the book, I would say so or just not mention the book.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful narrative histories of WWII

For every Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan that gets made, there are 100,000 other stories equally as gripping and heroic. This collection presents a couple dozen of them, collected from veterans living around Georgia.

Listening to the accounts, you can't help but match them up to fictionalized versions from movies and TV. A medic scrambling around Omaha beach, tending to his butchered comrades seems straight out of Saving Private Ryan. Hunkering in a Belgian trench, surviving hunger, winter and German mortar fire recalls the Bastogne episodes of Band of Brothers. And, in the most unique chapter of the book, a classified squad running around Europe broadcasting phony signals and deploying decoy inflatable tanks meant to confuse German intelligence, reminds the listener of the exploits of Bobby Shaftoe and Unit 2702 from Neal Stephenson's book Cryptonomicon.

The narrator has a clear and pleasant voice, and my only criticism is that it remains so pleasant all of the time, regardless of the tragic, horrifying things he is reading. Some passages require a little more gravity.

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

If you are interested in first hand stories...

What did you love best about Combat Veterans' Stories of World War II: Volume 1?

you'll really love this book. Excellent selection of stories from the various theaters and services.

Which scene was your favorite?

I'm not as familiar with the campaigns in North Africa so those were of keen interest.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Too diverse a cast of characters/locations to be made into a film.

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via audioblast dot com.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

War stories in the words of the men who fought

A good book which is definitely going to appeal to people who wish to hear first-hand accounts from Americans who actually fought in World War II.

This is not a novel. It's not a tale of imagined derring do - it's a collection of first-hand accounts drawn directly from interviews either with the actual subjects themselves or from diaries and notes donated by their families. Most of the stories detail events prior to enlistment, through training and deployment right up to the soldier's return home and often afterwards into later life.

The stories are mostly told as they were dictated by non-professional writers frequently in a flow of consciousness style. I think this actually leads to a better book as a result and definitely works a lot better as an audiobook - it's like the veterans are sitting with you telling you the things that they witnessed....

..and what they witnessed - such matter-of-fact descriptions of incarceration in The Bastille, for example, with the poor guy losing over half his bodyweight and reaching a near-death 65 pounds before being liberated. Tales of field hospitals with brave fighters suffering unimaginable hardships to fight one of the greatest threats to the free world of the twentieth century. Really, truly, these people and their families, indeed everyone, went through so much and these reminiscences paint a picture of the shadows as they begin to fade with time.

Great narration by Kevin Spalding read in a deliberately laconic style without any faux dramatic intonation which overall I think does the words great credit.

Note: Audiobook received in exchange for this unbiased and honest review.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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I survived

The collections of stories was
Fantastic and the variety
Of military branches and geographically
Where all the soldiers were from?
Literally covered all over the U.S.
The narrator captured the excitement
And both the danger and humor
Of the veterans.
I am excited to start Volume 2.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love the stories

The stories were excellent! Being the child of a career military man, I have always appreciated and respected those brave men and women who have served this country. The narrator of this piece was easy to listen to and brought life to the stories. It was easy to visualize the scenes and identify with the emotions. This book is simply outstanding!

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Very captavating!

These accounts from the brave men that fought in the European and Pacific campaigns pays honor to those exact men that served. Keeping history and sacrifices alive today.

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Great Listen

I really enjoyed listening to these brave soldiers stories, gives so many different perspectives to times and the struggles they all faced.

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