Forgotten Heroes of World War II: Personal Accounts of Ordinary Soldiers—Land, Sea, and Air, Edition 2

Rowman & Littlefield
11
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World War II was the defining event of the twentieth century. For everyone it was a time of confusion, fear, destruction, and death on a scale never before seen. Much has been written of the generals, campaigns, and battles of the war, but it was young, ordinary American kids who held our freedom in their hands as they fought for liberty across the globe. Forgotten Heroes of World War II offers a personal understanding of what was demanded of these young heroes through the stories of rank-and-file individuals who served in the navy, marines, army, air corps, and merchant marine in all theaters of the war. Their tales are told without pretense or apology. At the time, each thought himself no different from those around him, for they were all young, scared, and miserable. They were the ordinary, the extraordinary—the forgotten.
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About the author

Thomas E. Simmons is the author of The Brown Condor, Escape from Archangel, and The Man Called Brown Condor. He has served as commercial captain of a seventy-foot sailing vessel, been a pilot since the age of sixteen, flown professionally, and participated in air shows flying aerobatics in open-cockpit bi-planes. In 1960 he served as an artillery officer in Korea. He lives in Gulfport, Mississippi.
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4.8
11 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rowman & Littlefield
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Published on
Nov 6, 2014
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Pages
326
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ISBN
9781589799646
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Veterans
History / Military / World War II
History / United States / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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During World War II, merchant marine tankers in convoys plied the frozen North Atlantic through the flaming wreckage of torpedoed ships. Working to keep sea lanes open, valiant merchant seamen supplied food, fuel, and goods to the Allies in the last pockets of European resistance to the Nazis.

This exciting book acknowledges that the merchant marines, all volunteers, are among the unsung heroes of the war. One of these was Jac Smith, an ordinary seamen on the Cedar Creek, a new civilian tanker lend-leased to the U.S.S.R. and in the merchantman convoy running from Scotland to Murmansk. Smith's riveting adventures at sea and in the frozen taigas and tundra are a story of valor that underlines the essential role of merchant marines in the war against the Axis powers.

This gripping narrative tells of a cruel blow that fate dealt Smith when, after volunteering to serve on the tanker headed for Murmansk, he was arrested and interned in a Soviet work camp near Arkhangelsk.

Escape from Archangel recounts how this American happened to be imprisoned in an Allied country and how he planned and managed his escape. In his arduous 900-mile trek to freedom, he encountered the remarkable Laplanders of the far north and brave Norwegian resistance fighters. While telling this astonishing story of Jac Smith and of the awesome dangers merchant seamen endured while keeping commerce alive on the seascape of war, Escape from Archangel brings long-deserved attention to the role of the merchant marine and their sacrifices during wartime.

DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY
The eighty-four men and women who tell their stories exemplify these words. From the home front to the battlefront and from behind the lines, their words speak of loss, pain, fear, loneliness, selflessness, faith and hope. As one veteran said, “World War II caused me to understand that I served my country for a purpose greater than myself.”

Many of these soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines served in nearly every major battle in Europe and the Pacific including: Pearl Harbor, the invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Their sacrifice for our country is a debt which cannot be repaid. They represent the best of “The Greatest Generation.”

"This book is a fitting tribute to those Hoosiers who gave their all for the cause of freedom during World War II. The personal stories of those who served offer a window into a time that should be remembered."
-Ray Boomhower, Indiana historian and author

“Hodgin and Hardwick have produced an interesting and informative compendium of World War II stories of veterans that should instill a sense of pride in students and adults of all ages. The book has a readable style of a period in our history that we would do well not to forget.”
John Shively, M.D., Author and WW II historian

“A must read for both historians and those desiring to learn more about one of the most decisive periods in our nation’s history. The authors have not only captured the veterans’ stories but also the sights and sounds of what many were thinking when facing death, hardships and struggling to survive.”
J. Stewart Goodwin, Brig. Gen., USAF (Ret), Executive Director, Indiana War Memorials

“This book is an absorbing collection of stories from the men and women of the “Greatest Generation.” Their stories illustrate some of the pain and incredible atrocities they witnessed, and at the same time, the friendships and joys they experienced. A must read for every person who wants to know what it was really like during WW II.”
Charles “Tom” Applegate, Director, Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs

Faithful Warriors is a memoir of World War II in the Pacific by a combat veteran of the 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Written with award-winning author Steven Weingartner, Ladd’s book chronicles his experiences as a junior officer in some of the fiercest fighting of the war in the Pacific. His recollections and descriptions of life--and death--on the far-flung island battlefronts of the Pacific War are vividly rendered, augmented by the recollections of a number of the men with whom he served.

This memoir tells the story of how both Ladd and the Marine Corps came of age during history’s greatest military conflict. His journey through the war is representative of many Marines in World War II: training outside of San Diego just before the war, awaiting the Japanese attack after Pearl Harbor as part of the Marine garrison on Samoa, surviving the savage fighting on Guadalcanal, resting and recuperating afterwards in New Zealand; participating in the bloodbath on Tarawa; recovering in Hawaii after being wounded; and returning to face combat yet again on Saipan and Tinian.

Ladd is at his best when he is describes exactly what he saw, heard, and smelled within the mythical 50-yard circle of his foxhole. From his narrative we learn of the bravery of men who mustered the courage to scramble down the nets for the landing craft, after facing the veteran’s fatalistic fear that one's luck in surviving the next battle would surely run out and knowing the ferocity that would come.
“[Robinson’s] lifelong triumph over adversity belongs to the greatest of American success stories.” —Peter Hannaford, Washington Times

In this gripping, never-before-told tale, biographer Thomas E. Simmons brings to life the true story of John C. Robinson, who rose from fraught and humble beginnings as a black child in segregated Mississippi to outstanding success. He became a pilot and an expert in building and assembling his own working aircraft; he also helped to establish a school of aviation at the Tuskegee Institute (there would have been no Tuskegee Airmen without him), and his courageous wartime service in Ethiopia during the Italian invasion in 1935 won him international fame.

During Robinson’s service to Ethiopia, he took to the air to combat the first Fascist invasion of what would become World War II. This remarkable hero may have been the first American to oppose Fascism in combat. When Ethiopia was freed by British troops during World War II, Haile Selassie asked Robinson to return to Ethiopia to help reestablish the Ethiopian Air Force. For Robinson and the five men he picked to go with him, just getting to Ethiopia in wartime 1944 was an adventure in and of itself.

Featuring thirty-five black-and-white photographs and based on twenty-three years’ worth of original research when very little information on this remarkable American hero was available, The Man Called Brown Condor is more than just a biography of an unfairly forgotten African American pilot; this book provides insight on racial conditions in the first half of the twentieth century and illustrates the political intrigue within a League of Nations afraid to face the rise of Fascism.

Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic New York Times bestseller about the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.

They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak—in Holland and the Ardennes—Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world.

From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments.

They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.

They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them.

This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal—it was a badge of office.
From one of our finest military historians, a monumental work that shows us at once the truly global reach of World War II and its deeply personal consequences.

World War II involved tens of millions of soldiers and cost sixty million lives—an average of twenty-seven thousand a day. For thirty-five years, Max Hastings has researched and written about different aspects of the war. Now, for the first time, he gives us a magnificent, single-volume history of the entire war.

Through his strikingly detailed stories of everyday people—of soldiers, sailors and airmen; British housewives and Indian peasants; SS killers and the citizens of Leningrad, some of whom resorted to cannibalism during the two-year siege; Japanese suicide pilots and American carrier crews—Hastings provides a singularly intimate portrait of the world at war. He simultaneously traces the major developments—Hitler’s refusal to retreat from the Soviet Union until it was too late; Stalin’s ruthlessness in using his greater population to wear down the German army; Churchill’s leadership in the dark days of 1940 and 1941; Roosevelt’s steady hand before and after the United States entered the war—and puts them in real human context.

Hastings also illuminates some of the darker and less explored regions under the war’s penumbra, including the conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland, during which the Finns fiercely and surprisingly resisted Stalin’s invading Red Army; and the Bengal famine in 1943 and 1944, when at least one million people died in what turned out to be, in Nehru’s words, “the final epitaph of British rule” in India.

Remarkably informed and wide-ranging, Inferno is both elegantly written and cogently argued. Above all, it is a new and essential understanding of one of the greatest and bloodiest events of the twentieth century.


From the Hardcover edition.
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