Before the famed Nuremberg Tribunal, there was Rüsselsheim, a small German town, where ordinary civilians were tried in the first War Crimes Trial of World War II.

As the tide of World War II turned, a hitherto unknown incident set a precedent for how we would bring wartime crimes to justice: In August 1944, the 9- man crew of an American bomber was forced to bail out over Germany. As their captors marched them into Rüsselsheim, a small town recently bombed to smithereens by Allies, they were attacked by an angry mob of civilians -- farmers, shopkeepers, railroad workers, women, and children. With a local Nazi chief at the helm, they assaulted the young Americans with stones, bricks, and wooden clubs. They beat them viciously and left them for dead at the nearby cemetery.

It could have been another forgotten tragedy of the war. But when the lynching was briefly mentioned in a London paper a few months later, it caught the eye of two Army majors, Luke Rogers and Leon Jaworski. Their investigation uncovered the real human cost of the war: the parents and a newlywed wife who agonized over the fate of the men, and the devastating effect of modern warfare on civilian populations. Rogers and Jaworski put the city of Rüsselsheim on trial, insisting on the rule of law even amidst the horrors of war.

Drawing from trial records, government archives, interviews with family members, and personal letters, highly-acclaimed military historian Gregory A. Freeman brings to life for the first time the dramatic story. Taking the reader to the scene of the crime and into the homes of the crew, he exposes the stark realities of war to show how ordinary citizens could be drawn to commit horrific acts of wartime atrocities, and the far-reaching effects on generations.

In October 2012, a replica of the famous HMS Bounty, an eighteenth-century tall sailing ship, was on a collision course with a storm that would become the largest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic-a clash that would prove dramatic, tragic, perplexing, and ultimately one of the most unforgettable stories of Superstorm Sandy. Crewed by an eclectic team of seafarers, the Bounty was led by Robin Walbridge, their highly respected captain with decades at the helm, whose actions-sometimes questionable-decided the fate of his ship and crew. Departing from Connecticut as the storm raced northward from the Caribbean, Walbridge attempted to outmaneuver Sandy, heading the Bounty southeast. As violent gusts tossed the wooden ship, the crew fought to save their beloved Bounty-and finally to save themselves. When waves, wind, and encroaching water finally overtook the ship in an area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, the crew was suddenly tossed into the churning sea. The Bounty was gone, but their fate was still to be determined. The men and women of a Coast Guard station in North Carolina summoned the courage to fly into hundred-mile-per-hour winds while the residents of the Eastern Seaboard were fleeing or bracing for the hurricane's impact. Through hours of white-knuckle flying, with crew members thrown about their aircraft and rescue swimmers jumping into thirty-foot seas, the Coast Guard accomplished one of its most memorable rescues ever. Based on interviews with Bounty survivors and unfettered access to Coast Guard rescue team members, The Gathering Wind offers not only the first but the most complete account of this heartbreaking, thrilling, and inspirational story.
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