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Behind Hitler's Lines: The True Story of the Only Soldier to Fight for both America and the Soviet Union in World War II Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... the riveting story of Joe Beyrle's amazing World WAr II odyssey... This book belongs in all World War II collections." - Library Journal (Simple Sounds of Freedom)"

About the Author

Thomas H. Taylor, a veteran of the 101st Airborne Division, was awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars for valor, the Purple Heart, and five other decorations for his service in Vietnam.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891418458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891418450
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

No wonder they are called the greatest generation !!
David Black
It is one book that I found hard to put down and sad that I finished it.
Mike P
This is excellant book which I recommend to anyone interested in WW2.
Mel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Ronniet102 on July 31, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am very suprised this book is not as popular as others. It reads like a movie. The things this man went through were unthinkable. I was on the edge of my seat anxious to get to the next page the whole time.
I am not very good at giving reviews as others but I have read many other war memoirs. Its very hard for me to find a World war 2 one that I have not read and this one ranks towards the top. If your reading this review and considering the book- please get it. You will not be sorry. Its an easy read, the chapters are not that long and the story is just simply amazing.

This guy did not recieve the commeroation he deserves for what he went through.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Liz dede on May 27, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read a lot of WWII books and I'm pretty familiar with a lot of things that went on during the war. (even though there are probably a million stories that haven't been told.) But this book gave me a whole new perspective.

Joe Beyrle was a paratrooper with the Screaming Eagles and dropped behind enemy lines. After a few days lost and alone, he was unfortunately captured by the Germans. Wounded, beaten & tortured he was moved from one prison to another. Wow, what this guy went through!
But he never gave up on trying to escape. Except that he had the worst luck where that was concerned. Talk about jumping from the fire into the frying pan!!!

He finally did escape and hooked up to fight with the Russian army. This is where the new insights come in because I learned more about the Russian losses in WWII than I ever realized.
Americans can't even begin to imagine how many Russian soldiers and civilians were killed in the war. No wonder they hated the Germans. And fighting along with them, Beyrle grew to respect his new friends (though definitely not Stalin, the country's leader, who didn't seem to care how many of his people died, as long as the Germans were pushed back.)

This book was so interesting, I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. It is written very well, and Thomas Taylor explained the battles and progress of the European theater of war so that it was easy to understand. He would tell the story from Joe's point of view, then in the next chapter, let you know what was going on with the rest of the war at this time. There was so much suspense, I could totally see this made into a movie. I definitely recommend it.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Richard C. Geschke VINE VOICE on September 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review presents a dichotomy of problems as to how to treat the review process. The inherent story is very good. It is a true story about a remarkable man by the name of Joe Beyrle who was a member of the 506th infantry regiment of the famed 101st Airborne Division. In fact Beyrle was in the same regiment as the famed Band of Brothers who fought the war in Europe from D Day all the way through to the end in 1945.

For Joe Beyrle his was a different story altogether as he did jump on D Day with I Company but was separated from his unit and subsequently captured by the Germans. From that time forward we follow Joe from one Stalag to another as the Allies advanced further east the POW's were transported further east. We learn of the prisoner of war culture and what it took to survive in this rather meager existence.

We follow Joe in his multiple attempts at escape and see him captured in Berlin by the Gestapo where lucky for him he was actually rescued by the Wehrmacht and taken back to the Stalag where they escaped.
Toward the end of the war we see Joe connecting up with Russian units after his third and successful escape in Poland. Joe incredibly asks to join this Russian infantry unit and fights with them against the Nazis as they drive westward to defeat the Germans. The story is a good one, one that is both unusual and is actually true. A writer of fiction could not ask for a better story.

However Mr. Beyrle picked the wrong author to tell the story. Mr. Taylor's work is confusing and highly unorganized. His descriptions of the economy of the POW camp was confusing and at times gave us new terms in which he did not define. His transitioning from one story to the other leaves the reader confused and scratching one's head.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story was truly incredible and would make for a great film. The flow of the book was a bit disjointed at times with the author's attempt to provide not only the base story about Joe Beyerle, but also to give context and timing of events of his story within the rest of the War. Overall, I thought it was a good read. Joe's story is very inspiring.

From a Kindle standpoint, there were many errors in the text with repect to phrases being cut up and poor use of hyphening.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ztab-e on October 31, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a great book. this is a story about joe from the 101st airbourne. it shows his triumphs and let downs through world war two. from his first mission to his last. i am a junior in high school and am not that big of a reader. this was honestly the first book i couldnt put down. every page interested me more than i thought a book ever could. a very good bokk for someone my age or above. his intelligance and will to survive made this story one of the best.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. E. W. Turner on October 31, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A very well-written account of one gentleman who served with the 101st Airborne. His adventures are so twisting and turning, it must be a true account! If it were fiction, the reader would say -- couldn't be done! The book reads like fiction, i.e., it is easy to read. Recommended by this reader.
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