An oral history of WWII, but not in the style of Studs Terkel. The author, Thomas E. Simmons, inserts more of himself in the narrative than Terkel would, without interrupting the flow. These are the stories of ordinary people who overcome fear, the real test of courage, to do small and great deeds that won the war. Not forgotten is the enemy, in the person of a Japanese medical corps man, who risks all in what he is convinced is a good cause. The Japanese corps man did not survive the war, but left behind a diary showing him to be a real human being sent to war by government and propaganda, not the incarnation of evil as portrayed by our propaganda at the time. Bad things happen in war and psychotics can come to the forefront, especially with encouragement from higher ups. Yes, the Axis was cruel and inhuman in pursuing the war, but at the end confronted with the reality of their deeds many (most) were able to see trough the red mist of war and return to a meaningful life. The author finishes with his own childhood memories of the war years, a poignant and patriotic view of the real America under the stress of a real war. As Simmons stress through out the book this is the stories of real people giving all for a cause they truly believed in. The fear and the danger throughout the book are real and the reader becomes truly involved in the history not told in history books. Read it and learn why war must always be last resort.
Forgotten Heroes of World War PB
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About This Item
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
|Number of Pages|
Thomas E Simmons
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
9.15 x 6.05 x 0.80 Inches
What a great anthology...
What a great anthology of first hand accounts regarding World War II. Many branches are represented here, even an excerpt from a Japanese soldier's diary (I won't spoil who that soldier served under). As members of the Greatest Generation are reunited with their Maker, their stories sadly are going with them. Books like this are so important to keep the memory of World War II alive. I work with members of this generation and for many, it is a very difficult topic to talk about, most don't care to as for some, the memories are so painful. Many have not even spoken of these experiences to their own families. I am grateful for those brave men who were not only willing to serve their country, but also those who are willing to share their experiences...God bless those who simply cannot.
An absolutely wonderfu...
An absolutely wonderful book--so well researched and written! Mr. Simmons, a child during WWII, interviewed "ordinary" soldiers who up until now have not told anyone what happened to them overseas. Mr. Simmon sensitively relates their stories, including the horrors, their fears, and their losses. He also shares his memories of growing up during the war years. I learned details I never know about the battles, and have a new level of respect for the men and women who fought in the war.
When you are reading t...
When you are reading the lives of senior military leaders and are frankly appalled at how inept they were at their jobs . Pick up this book and read one or two of the vignettes about ordinary boys and men who did their jobs and went back home. Yes, there were heroes and many of them. Some, a far higher percentage of officers than enlisted, received medals. Pilots got the medals and gunners got the wounds in the air force and it was a rare academy grad who failed to medal during WW2. Heroes maybe, notable certainly, our citizen army, air force and navy got it done. An easy but worthwhile read.
As the ranks of World ...
As the ranks of World War II veterans dwindle, it is important for all of us to reflect on the horrors of that conflict and the heroic accomplishments and sacrifices endured by the soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen who fought for us all. This book captures many of the stories that often had to be dragged out of those brave men. It should be mandatory reading for all and often referred to in order to continually refresh the memories of the price we paid for freedom. For the most part, Simmons has focused on enduring experiences of epic proportions rather than on specific heroic acts. He includes the stories of persons in all branches of the service including the Merchant Marines. He even includes the diary entries of a Japanese medic who died on Saipan to show the obverse side of the story of two other marines whose stories are included. The book is not without fault but the shortcomings are greatly overshadowed by its positive value. Except for the opening account and the last, the stories are not arranged chronologically so a big picture cannot be discerned. But that was also the experience of the participants. Literarily, the author is inconsistent with 'I did', 'he did' and 'you did' often appearing in the same paragraph. But that is how oral accounts often flow and it adds credence and authenticity to the stories. Having recently aided a navy veteran with his own memoirs, I have concluded that there is often a subconscious effort to disassociate from traumatic memories and slip into a more impersonal mode of speaking. Even now, more than sixty years after the events, the memories are too vivid to relive by them but it is important that we be continually reminded of the horror of war. This book helps us do that.
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