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A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War IIby Adam Makos
Synopses & Reviews
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. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomberandrsquo;s tailandmdash;a German Messerschmitt fighter. 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 defy imagination and 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 dayandmdash;the Americanandmdash;2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17andmdash;and the Germanandmdash;2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.
A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franzandrsquo;s harrowing missions. Charlie would face takeoffs in English fog over the flaming wreckage of his buddiesandrsquo; planes, flak bursts so close they would light his cockpit, and packs of enemy fighters that would circle his plane like sharks. Franz would face sandstorms in the desert, a crash alone at sea, and the spectacle of 1,000 bombers each with eleven guns, waiting for his attack.
Ultimately, Charlie and Franz would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American 8th Air Force would later classify as andldquo;top secret.andrdquo; It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search for one another, a last mission that could change their lives forever.
For the past decade, Richard Rubin sought every last living American veteran of World War Iand#8212;and uncovered a forgotten great generation, and their war.
From Bill Yenne, author of the military histories Big Week and Aces High, comes the stirring true story of the Eighth Air Force in World War II.
Less than a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army formed its first air force designated to operate overseas, the Eighth. Within four months, they had set up base in England. Three months later, they were bombing German targets in occupied Europe.
The Eighth was the first bomber command on either side to commit to strategic daylight bombing. It was a major change in tactics—and the men of the Eighth paid the price in both lives and blood. But it was that very sacrifice that led the Allies to victory.
Hit the Target introduces readers to those who made the Eighth Air Force the formidable juggernaut it soon became. Men of all ranks, from General Tooey Spaatz, the hard-driving founding commander, to Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, the hero who led the first air raid on Japan, to Maynard Snuffy” Smith, the irascible first airman in Europe to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and Robert Rosie” Rosenthal, who survived his time with the Bloody Hundredth,” which lost airmen at a horrifying rate, and who went on to serve as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials.
The story of the Mighty Eighth is told through these men, whose careers paralleled the early history of aviation and who helped to revolutionize airborne warfare and win World War II.
A tribute to World War II heroism from the national bestselling author of Biggest Brother.
The paratroopers of Easy Company, 101st Airborne Division, have come to symbolize the incredible bravery and heroism shown by the greatest generation in World War II. on the eve of the 65th anniversary of the Allies' victory in Europe, author Larry Alexander crosses an ocean and a continent to discover just what made the Band of Brothers special. Accompanied by his friend Forrest Guth, an easy Company veteran on his final tour in Europe, Alexander explores the living history of the places where American soldiers went into action, and reveals what makes this story so meaningful for us today. Part travelogue, part historical perspective, In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers is an unforgettable memorial to the men who fell in action, and a tribute to the veterans who are still with us.
About the Author
Larry Alexander has been a journalist and columnist for the Intelligencer Journal newspaper in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for more than a decade, winning numerous awards for excellence in journalism. He grew up on the same street in the same town as Major Dick Winters, three decades later.
Table of Contents
Prologue: No Manand#8217;s Landand#8195;ix
1.and#160;and#160; Wolves on the Battlefieldand#8195;1
2.and#160;and#160; Over the Topand#8195;15
3.and#160;and#160; The American Sectorand#8195;35
4.and#160;and#160; Cheer and Laughter and Joyous Shoutand#8195;72
5.and#160;and#160; The People Behind the Battleand#8195;94
6.and#160;and#160; The Forgotten Generationand#8195;111
7.and#160;and#160; Give a Little Credit to the Navyand#8195;123
8.and#160;and#160; A Vast Enterprise in Salesmanshipand#8195;142
9.and#160;and#160; Hell, We Just Got Hereand#8195;165
10.and#160;and#160; We Didnand#8217;t See a Thingand#8195;188
11.and#160;and#160; Loyal, True, Straight and Squareand#8195;216
12.and#160;and#160; Old Dixieland in Franceand#8195;243
14.and#160;and#160; A Wicked Gun, That Machine Gunand#8195;312
15.and#160;and#160; Wasnand#8217;t a Lot of Helpand#8195;346
16.and#160;and#160; The Last Night of the Warand#8195;389
17.and#160;and#160; The Last of the Lastand#8195;424
18.and#160;and#160; We Are All Missing You Very Muchand#8195;465
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