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Bob's Story: Memories of Love and War Paperback – December 26, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (December 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595141501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595141500
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,182,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert E.P. Moranda was drafted into the US Army during World War II from his job with Chevron Oil Company, then later for combat duty in the Korean War. He retired from Chevron as Retail Manager of the Los Angeles area and now lives in Granada Hills, California.George E. Moranda is a retired US Army Colonel, graduate of the Command and Staff College and the Army War College. He holds masters degrees in political science from Hawaii and in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin. He resides in Dinuba, California.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. Johnston on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Bob Moranda was an officer in Task Force Boyer, which defended the eastern approach to St. Vith, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge -- the largest battle in the history of the U.S. Army. The battle at St. Vith was extremely important to the overall failure of the German effort in the Bulge, since St. Vith was the crucial road and rail center through which German supplies were supposed to flow to both of the two German Armies (Sixth and Fifth Panzer) making the main attack. Hitler's own plan called for St. Vith to be in German hands by December 17, 1944, but the defense of Task Force Boyer and the rest of the 7th Armored Division and attached units held the town until December 21 and kept it within artillery range for two more days. This led the Fifth German Army commander to the clear recognition -- proven true by the events that followed -- that the entire Ardennes Offensive was doomed, but Hitler personally denied his request to halt the offensive.
For the crucial days up to and including December 21, 1944, Task Force Boyer was the front of the front lines in the very center of the bulge that the Germans created in the American lines. With only some 150 men, they held off wave after wave of German attacks. Actual counts of dead Germans that they were able to make during the lulls in the battle totaled 604. The defenders held off tanks and massed infantry -- at one time an attack of two battalions, roughly 1,500, came at them but was stopped, thanks to their tenacious defense and to the precision of the supporting artillery. The Germans finally broke through to the south and to the north of them, cutting them off and capturing those who survived, including all but one of the officers of Task Force Boyer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom Reinberger on February 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Just a brief acknowlodgement for a pretty special person. I worked with Bob at Chevron Inc. in Los Angeles during most of the 70's. While I knew Bob had served in the War and Korea, he, like so many of his comrades didn't have much to say about it. They had gone about doing their job and then came home and continued doing their jobs....amazing group of men..truly part of the greatest generation! I was 10 years old when the War ended in 1945 so my impression of war was that of a child. Bob's well written and easy to read memoir is truly an important addition to our nation's history as well as a candid look at a person involved in monumental events. Bob writes in an easy-going, casual cadence that is a pleasure to read. I heartily recommend his book to both the serious collector and to anyone just interested in getting a glimpse of a combat soldier's life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bob was drafted late in 1942, he did so well in training that he was selected for officer training, where again he did very well. He was sent to France in October 1944 and joined the 7th Armoured Division, where he was assigned to the 38th Armoured Infantry Battalion as 2nd Lt of the MG section. While they operated halftracks, they usually dismounted to take up battle positions. This was particularly so when they are tasked with defending St Vith in the face of Germany's Ardennes Offensive.

Aside from a few skirmishes and patrols, Bob's battle is St Vith. One of his (and the editor's) points is that it was a very important action that is virtually unknown. Generally, I think they have a point. Even to me though, the scale of the battle was surprising. Bob's men and a few hundred others hold out for five incredible days against the fiercest of attacks by powerful German forces. The editor has included quite a bit of commentary on the broader context and it is quite an exciting story. Bob's personal actions though consist mainly of running about keeping the men going. The combined US force inflicts thousands of casualties on the attackers and absolutely disrupt their timetable. Eventually weight of numbers prevail and Bob is captured. He spends several months as a prisoner before being freed by Russian troops. He gets a chilling look at how they operated in a captured German town too.

Bob spends a significant part of his book describing his youth, friends and family. He writes of the various jobs he held and particularly of meeting his wife and becoming a father. It gives a good insight into the life of a young man at the tail end of The Depression. There is then quite a bit on training and shipping to the front, where he arrives on Pg 122.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pat the Cat Lover on August 1, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband and I lived next door to George Moranda, in Dinuba, while the draft original manuscript was a work in progress. I had an opportunity to read a portion of that draft manuscript and couldn't wait to read the finished book. As a mother, and now a Grandmother, the fact that ALL of the Moranda children served in the war (including their sister) in various branches makes me have unbounded empathy for what their parents must have felt.
Bob's accounting of what these brave soldiers endured (blistering cold weather, inadequate clothing for the extremes, and the same COLD rations day after day) brought a NEW RESPECT for their suffering and bravery, especially for those of us who were children during the war and whose parents did not serve.
What a privilege it is to follow the story of this young man and to witness as his life is turned upside-down to serve in a war not of his choice. A young man trusting in his faith in God, who identifies in his book the brave acts of several he served with, by name. He also includes the not-so-brave acts of others that remain unnamed in his accounting.
What a wonderful history lesson. His recollections have sparked an interest in WWII that I would not otherwise have had - in fact, I am spurred to read other 'memories' of the War. THANK YOU, BOB (AND GEORGE)!
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