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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Profile of One of the Finest Combat Regiments Ever
By the time the troops of the 101st Airborne of "Band of Brothers" fame jumped into Normandy on D-Day, the men of the 82nd Airborne Division had already made two combat jumps -- leading the invasion of Sicily and saving the beachhead at Salerno, Italy. Arguably the finest and fiercest regiment of the 82nd was the 505th and Phil Nordyke has compiled an excellent profile of...
Published on December 14, 2006 by Rick Rogers

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1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Writing style?
Phil Nordyke's writing style leaves me confused. He uses first person interviews which is GREAT but he doesn't identify who it is that is relating the story. The story teller gives lots of detail and names of people involved but we do not know about the soldier telling it. I have been unable to finish the book because of this. I have purchased a number of books on WW2...
Published on September 18, 2010 by IMBlister


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Profile of One of the Finest Combat Regiments Ever, December 14, 2006
This review is from: Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II (Hardcover)
By the time the troops of the 101st Airborne of "Band of Brothers" fame jumped into Normandy on D-Day, the men of the 82nd Airborne Division had already made two combat jumps -- leading the invasion of Sicily and saving the beachhead at Salerno, Italy. Arguably the finest and fiercest regiment of the 82nd was the 505th and Phil Nordyke has compiled an excellent profile of this group of remarkable warriors whose exploits on the field of battle are second to none but who have not received nearly the attention they deserve. Nordyke's work goes a long way toward correcting that. The author does a wonderful job of setting the stage in each chapter as he tracks the regiment from its formation and training in the states, through its deployment to North Africa, and then on to the battlegrounds in Sicily, Italy, Normandy, Holland, the Bulge, on into Germany, and then home. But after getting you onto the scene, he deftly hands the story of each action over to the veterans who tell the real story, in their own words, of what they experienced and what they accomplished. As a relative of one of the heroes of the 505, I too salute Phil Nordyke for this excellent book and recommend it highly to any serious student of the history of WWII. A word of warning, however: come prepared to spend time with this book. The stories told by the hundreds of veterans mentioned in this book are far too rich and compelling to be scanned. They deserve to be savored, and honored.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent New Book, November 28, 2006
This review is from: Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II (Hardcover)
This book is an authoritative study of the 505th in WWII. The unit's story has been part-told many times before, often patchily, inaccurately and lacking in detail. Expertly weaving veterans' accounts, genuine WWII reports and new analysis, Phil Nordyke provides us with a brilliant account of the exploits of this famed PIR. I suspect it's lack of photos will disappoint some casual readers, but not me. The 82nd Airborne is very adequately covered photographically in other books - including one by Nordyke himself. What has been missing before is a detailed text, which this book more than amply provides. The maps are great and the extensive index makes searching for people and places easy - I hate books without an index, they take an author/publisher a long time to prepare but they seperate average books from excellent ones - well done Phil!

I'm already looking forward to the next volumes on 507th, 508th, 504th, 325th etc etc etc.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World Class Airborne Unit Biography, November 19, 2006
This review is from: Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II (Hardcover)
In this book about the 505 PIR, Phil Nordyke has accomplished what Stephen Ambrose achieved with "Band of Brothers" (506 PIR). He has successfully interviewed over 500 veterans, family and friends to create a masterful piece of storytelling about one of the most important secret weapons of WW II-the US Army's Airborne Soldiers. And he has done it before the members of "The Greatest Generation" pass on. The 505's record 4 combat jumps was at the tip of the spear wherever we needed a victory at a decisive engagement in the European Theater-Sicily, Salerno/Naples, Ste Mere Eglise/Normandy, and Nijmegen/Holland. But perhaps their greatest jump was not from an airplane, but rather the back of a truck in Belgium's Ardennes Forest as the 82&101 Airborne Divisions helped stop Hitler's desperate gamble at The Battle of the Bulge in the bone chilling winter of 1944-45. I have had the privelege to meet many of the veterans quoted in this book during a trip back to the battlefields of Europe for the 60th Anniversary of DDay in June 2004. These WW II airborne veterans were treated like kings wherever they traveled as the Europeans who were liberated by these citizen soldiers ensured that they were celebrated as heroes. It was so impressive to see these Europeans emotionally introduce their children and grandchildren to these veterans who saved their lives from the yoke of Nazi tyranny. I salute Phil Nordyke for giving this unit the lasting history it so greatly deserves. His book also will help the families and friends of those whose members never came home or refused to discuss the war before they died. This book should be mandatory reading for all current active duty Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces soldiers/officers around the world. AIRBORNE All The Way!

Barry O'Shea (former USArmy CPT)

Colorado Springs, CO
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was with the 505th P.I.R. during the Battle of the Bulge !, January 22, 2009
This review is from: Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II (Hardcover)
I will never forget the days of war in December'44 to January'45. Gavin These boys have endured terrible days in the cold and 50 centimeters of snow for us. Forget them would betray them. And this book is a truth beyond reproach. I was there!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Takes Two Hands to Handle a Whopper!, June 7, 2007
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This review is from: Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II (Hardcover)
My eyes about popped out when I first saw this book. The 82nd Airborne had always been my favorite airborne unit of WWII, and the 505th Regiment the premier regiment for personal reasons. What luck finding a book that the 505th didn't have to share with other regiments! This is a whopper of a book. No skinny little rip off. You'll get our money's worth for sure,i.e., text, maps, photographs, all in ample amounts. For some, it may be more information than you want, for others, it will have everything and then some you want to know. In any event, that's why they invented skipping around, isn't it? I've enjoyed it and frequently find myself referring back to it. It is a worthy addition to your library.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Unit Deserves a Great Book......., January 14, 2007
This review is from: Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II (Hardcover)
......And this is it. Fills a much needed research hole in the scholarship and helps focus attention on the deeds and accomplishments of a famed WWII outfit. Exhaustedly researched, liberal in utilizing the extensive records of veteran first person accounts, well written, and coherent, this book really helps you understand the movements and the men behind some of the greatest battles in WWII history, perhaps in all history!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for historians..., July 5, 2007
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This review is from: Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II (Hardcover)
Great book. Very in-depth and a full factual account of the greatest parachute regiment in the history of the US military. Mr. Nordyke took the time to go thru millions of pages of archival documents and photos from both the 82nd AB Museum at Fort Bragg and the Cornelious Ryan Archives at Ohio University and it shows. It tells the story of the only regiment in the US Army to have 4 combat jumps in WWII in a gripping and easy to read way. The most fascinating thing about this book is that all the stories are true, no Hollywood exaggeration needed to tell the tales of these great and heroic men.
A must have, not only for history buffs, but the regular reader alike.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, February 17, 2014
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This review is from: Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II (Hardcover)
Bought this for Christmas for my father who is a WWII veteran and a member of 82nd Airbourne/505 Parachute Infantry Division. He is 94, jumped at Normandy and fought in the Bulge. He LOVES this book. Says it is very accurate and well written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, May 13, 2007
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This review is from: Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II (Hardcover)
I love WWII History items. This is a great book to read about the 82nd Airborne and the accomplishements of the great men who made up the 505th PIR. At times the read can be a little slow, but still a great buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars for Four Stars of Valor, October 31, 2010
With Four Stars of Valor, Phil Nordyke takes his rightful place alongside Stephen Ambrose and Ed Ruggero as a first-rate "first person interview" historian. Along with his earlier work, All American - All The Way, Nordyke has captured the essence of the men in an elite fighting division, the 82nd Airborne.

This book is focused in the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment which served in the 82nd, the only airborne regiment to make 4 combat jumps in World War II. It was arguably the finest parachute regiment ever assembled. Nordyke's journey with the 505th PIR starts with its inception and training and traces its accomplishments through the end of the war. In Nordyke's words, it became an "institution of immortality" as it blazed a path of victories wherever it landed.

The book is liberally footnoted, has a monster bibliography, adequate maps, pictures and is fully indexed. It served as an indispensable reference work for my own historical novel.

John E. Nevola
Author of The Last Jump - A Novel of World War II
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Four Stars of Valor: The Combat History of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II
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