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All American, All the Way: The Combat History of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II Hardcover – May 19, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Phil Nordyke has written a remarkable book about the 82d Airborne Division that captures the experience of the men who did the fighting. The author does an excellent job of piecing together the various personal accounts into a coherent, readable story. The author's research is well documented, with much of it from primary sources. - On Point

Military Trader Magazine, November 2006
“’I can’t believe I read the whole thing!’ That was the second thought that crossed this reviewer’s mind as he closed the cover on the 2 ½”-volume. The first was, ‘This is the best-researched, most engagingly written, and beautifully edited book I have read about the 82nd.’ The author has skillfully woven after-action reports and unit histories with various veteran interviews to tell the entire story of the 82nd Airborne in WWII. Thankfully, a complete bibliography and detailed index have been included, thereby insuring that this book will become a standard history of the 82nd. At $35, it is a bargain for all the well-organized information it contains. The engaging writing is simply an added bonus. Nordyke has told the story in such a way that honors vets of the 82nd and will keep WWII aficionados glued to each of the 700+ pages of narrative.”


Leicester Mercury, Dec. 17, 2005
“This definitive work tells in a breathtaking 776 pages the complete history of the US 82nd paratroop division during the war years. Obviously a labor of love, the book is a fitting tribute to the brave, young American troops. The author’s in-depth research also makes fascinating and revealing reading.”

About the Author

Phil Nordyke was elected official historian of the 505th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) at the association’s annual reunion, held in Colorado Springs in 2003. He is the author of All American, All the Way: The Combat History of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II and The All Americans in World War II: A Photographic History of the 82nd Airborne Division at War. He lives in McKinney, Texas, with his wife Nancy.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press; 1st edition (May 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760322015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760322017
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.6 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrence E. Carlson on November 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you were an American or British soldier, this is the infantry division you wanted in front of you and on your flank (that's right, after airborne troops land, they're infantry). After moving the front lines in Normandy for 33 days Gen. Gavin said of his men "The troopers had been splendid; resourceful and courageous in the attack, resolute in the defense, they fought superbly".

Phil Nordyke, in what was obviously a labor of love, painstakingly collected and corroborated oral histories and consolidated and interwove them with many existing written sources to be presented in this SUPERBLY organized and highly engrossing book. The situation maps in particular are better than any I've seen,including official U.S. Army maps (you can thank modern printing techniques for the subtle shadings).

I've walked through the woods, fields and towns of Cheneux, Trois Ponts, Baraque-de-Fraiture, Reharmont, Fosse, Goronne and Thier-du-Mont, Belgium. In Holland: Grave, Groesbeek, Beek, Mook, Plasmolen/Riethorst, Hunner Park, the Waaldyke and Oosterhout. Normandy contributed such towns as St.-Mere-Eglise, Chef-du-Pont, La Fiere Manoir, Cauquigny, Amfreville, Pont l'Abbe, Les Rosiers and St.-Sauveur-le-Vicomte. These places will live forever in the annals of WWII warfare and are a testament to the bravery and resolve of the men from this legendary airborne division who contributed so much to the final Allied victory in Europe.

Finally, we can thank recent movies and a TV miniseries for giving us a realistic visual glimpse of close quarters-no quarter airborne infantry combat in the towns and woods of Europe during WWII. Nordyke's book brings alive the voices, thoughts and experiences (some humerous) of those men. Every front line infantry division of WWII wishes they had a permanent document of their exploits as exceptional as this.
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Format: Hardcover
As the fortieth and fiftieth anniversaries of the climatic D-Day invasion graced our television screens with dedications, speeches by honored dignitaries, and surviving veterans gathered on once blood soaked battlefields, serious efforts were already being undertaken to tell their stories, in their own words. Teams of academic historians and their assistants embarked upon immense oral history projects, combed the nation, for World War II veterans, conducted extensive interviews, recorded and transcribed their testimonies, and housed them in various university archival depositories. Soon places like the National D-Day Museum and Eisenhower Center in New Orleans, U.S. Army Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Ohio State University, and Rutgers University in New Jersey, just to name a few, were stacked with thousands of oral histories of members of the "greatest generation" who fought and survived in the bloodiest war of the twentieth century.

And there they sit. Ordinary readers are not usually apt to travel to one of these great archival houses to delve into these oral histories. It takes the diligent and time consuming work of historians to compile and assimilate this vast storehouse of individual experiences into a readable format, and pass it on to the general reader. This is exactly what Phil Nordyke has done in _All American All the Way: The Combat History of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II_.

At first sight, this massive book, 776 pages of written narrative, with over sixty pages of notes is impressive. An unknown author, and publishing house, for this reviewer, usually sends red flags flying as to the quality of its content, however. Not so in the case of this masterfully written chronicle.
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Format: Hardcover
For his first book Phil Nordyke has written a masterpiece!

ALL AMERICAN ALL THE WAY is the WWII Combat History of the 82nd Airborne Division and it reads like a novel. With hundreds of fresh first person accounts woven with crisp prose, meaningful maps, and photographs this nearly 900 page work is a true page turner.

Having read everything in print on the history of the 82nd I was truely surprised at the numerous first hand accounts many of which are clearly their first "re-telling." Phil's engaging style overcomes the all-to-often familiar routine of facts, figures and after action reports found in far too many unit histories and takes the reader into the heart and soul of the individual private soldiers, non-commisioned officers and line offices who fought and won the largest conflict this nation has ever faced.

Thus this book will take its place alongside, if not replace, the many books on the EIGHTY-DEUCE. Both the professional historian and the armchair general will benefit from this wonderful read.

"Stand up and hook up," with your copy of ALL AMERICAN ALL THE WAY, you'll be glad you did.
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Format: Hardcover
I met Phil Nordyke in Reading, PA, in early June 2005 at a book signing with 82nd Airborne Vets. I looked at the thick, 800 + page book and thought, like I always do with books this big, "It has to be filled with a lot of B.S." When I had the chance, I asked 2 of the vets what they thought of the book. One said "someone finally got it right", the other said "it's our complete story and it's all true". I bought the book and was not disappointed. In fact, it's better than any book I've read on WW2, Stephen Ambrose books included. Phil obviously spent an enormous amount of time collecting the facts, double checking the facts, and having the vets re-check what he had written before releasing this book. It full of facts and stories from vets like no other WW2 book I've read.

Phil told me in Reading, "it's their story, I just wrote it down". He did more than write it down, he organized it and put it down in a fashion so that the events flow perfectly and the book reads easily. When you are done, you'll swear it was only 200 pages. It's how a book like this should be written.

If you are a WW2 buff, get this book. You'll fall in love with the 82nd Airborne, which is tough for me to say since I'm a 101st re-enactor.
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