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Battlefield Chaplains: Catholic Priests in World War II Hardcover – June, 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A compelling story of courageous men." -- America

"A powerful story that provides a marvelous passage through the Second World War." -- Parameters

From the Back Cover

"A story both authentic and stirring. Under hostile fire, the chaplains risked their lives. They sought the wounded, the dying, and the dead who lay exposed and helpless. They succored them, rescued them, brought them back to medical aid stations, and prayed over them. They buried bodies and wrote to the families of the deceased. . . . Crosby's words will bring lumps to the throat, tears to the eyes, and a sense of wonder and joy for their heroism."--Martin Blumenson, author of The Patton Papers

"Crosby captures the experience of war from the grass roots: the human agony, fearful anticipation, omnipresent danger, and the overwhelming reality of death, and he demonstrates the crucial role played by chaplains. This is a significant contribution to the field of American Catholic and religious history. Scholars and general readers alike will find it fascinating because of the compelling personalities and dramatic anecdotes."--David J. O'Brien, author of Public Catholicism

"Unsentimental and realistic in his approach, painstaking in his research, and stirring in his presentation, Crosby has given us a story never before told. And he has done so in a style characteristic of the finest examples of America's vast World War II literature."--Eric Hammel, author of Guadalcanal: Starvation Island

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas; First Edition edition (June 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700606629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700606627
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,304,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
If you ever wanted to know what it would be like to go into a battlefield without a gun, read this book. If you ever wanted to know how it would feel to provide confort and counsel to men in a seemingly godless world of hate and destruction, read this book. If you are a Catholic and would like to read about some modern day "angels" doing God's work under very difficult curcumstances, read this book. If you enjoy studying the "little stories" in WWII, read this book. Don Crosby spent a great deal of time interviewing these chaplins who are literally dying off as you read this. But their captivating stories live on in this important historical chronicle. The book is an easy read and one you will fondly remember for a long time.
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Too little is written about the work of military chaplains which since the second world war (when chaplains were allowed to go to the Front) has included some courageous episodes. This book focuses on Roman Catholic chaplains of the US forces in WW2. Since Catholic priests were expected to administer the last rites to the dying, they were required to be in the thick of fighting (other denominational chaplains could choose to do so, but did not have the same sacramental obligation). The book divides up into different regions and phases of the war. The style is predominantly anecdotal and always readable. For anyone contemplating military chaplaincy (and it is a long road to get there) this should be on your booklist. It is also a reminder that soldiers in battle are human beings who face the same challenges most people face but in an extraordinarily compressed and sometimes terrifying way, and in the company of trusted friends. Chaplains are thus pressed up against some of the most fundamental questions of life, and must live by their faith if it is to be of any use to themselves or others.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent coverage of Catholic Chaplains during World War II, Covers the Pacific, Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France to Germany. It is written in a very readable and interesting style. It even covers some of the warts. It makes the Priests human and how they were loved by the men they served. Shows they were men of their times.
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