The Wild Blue

The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45
Narrated by: Jeffrey DeMunn
Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
Categories: History, American
3.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The very young men who flew the B24s over Germany in World War II against terrible odds were an exemplary band of brothers. In The Wild Blue, Stephen Ambrose recounts their extraordinary brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship.

Stephen Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and chose those few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war. These are the boys -- turned pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners of the B24s -- who suffered over 50 percent casualties.

Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B24s as their crews fought to the death through thick, black, deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine or else went down in flames. Twenty-two-year-old George McGovern who was to become a United States senator and a presidential candidate, flew thirty-five combat missions (all the Army would allow) and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. We meet him and his mates, his co-pilot killed in action, and crews of other planes -- many of whom did not come back.

As Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers portrayed the bravery and ultimate victory of the American soldier from Normandy on to Germany, The Wild Blue makes clear the contribution these young men of the Army Air Forces stationed in Italy made to the Allied victory.

©2001 Stephen Ambrose (P)2001 Simon & Schuster

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    1 out of 5 stars

Ambrose Fan Disappointed

This was the last of Ambrose WW2 books I purcahsed, owning all the others. Every other book was engaging and increased my thanks, empathy and understanding of the soldiers who gave their all for our nation and our allies. This book is lacking in every aspect that makes the other Ambrose WW2 books so important and engaging. The entire first half of this book is devoid of anything relevant to B24 combat and presents no specifics about the plane, mission, tactics and strategies that made the B24 so important to Allies success. This is more than 4 hours of relationships and character studies of the crews. That's terrific to know but not at all what I have come to expect from Ambrose WW2 histories. If you want deep character development of pre combat airmen, you will not be disappointed. If you are expecting an Army Air Force Band of Brothers, you will be very disappointed.