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A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World W ar II Paperback – May 6, 2014
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“This book grips you like a movie. It’s part Top Gun, part Valkyrie, and more!”—Marcus Brotherton, author of the New York Times bestseller We Who Are Alive and Remain
“It is often said that ‘war is hell’—and it is—however, this story reveals how the human spirit can shine in the darkest hours. A Higher Call is an eye-opener.”—Colonel Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman, WWII
“Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war?’ The author asks the question and delivers the answer. A powerful, haunting read.”—Chuck Tatum, author of Red Blood, Black Sand
About the Author
Larry Alexander is the author of the New York Times bestselling biography Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers. He is also the author of Shadows in the Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines in World War II and In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company's Battlefields with Sgt. Forrest Guth. Alexander has been a journalist and columnist for the Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for nearly twenty years and has won numerous state-level awards for excellence in journalism.
Top Customer Reviews
I thought I knew the premise of the story before downloading it, but by the end of the first few chapters I realized this was so much more then the brief first encounter of the main characters. It's a story of two young men, on opposites sides of the war, sharing the same experiences- fighting to keep sane and survive the horrors of WWII.
You are introduced to Franz (the German pilot) first and then Charlie's story (the American pilot) is intertwined later on. There is no way to read Franz's portion without being in awe of what he survived-multiple bail outs, crashes, and over 480 missions. Being introduced to Franz first makes his run-in with Charlie's plane all the more remarkable - here was this battle-hardened pilot who showed unbelievable compassion, knowing if he were caught it would mean his own life.
The authors do a fantastic job of seamlessly moving between the characters and you get so attached to them that I found myself hesitating when turning the pages because I wanted the ones I liked to live a bit longer. I finished it hours ago, but I know I'm going to reread my favorite chapters before bed tonight!
How often do you have trouble reading the last page of an action packed war story because of the blur of tears? First time for me, as I finished Adam Makos new book A Higher Call.
After eight years of painstaking research, Makos has produced a singular piece of work: the true and incredible story of two pilots who locked eyes--and I feel locked souls--across a span of deadly sky over Nazi Germany in 1943, changing the fortunes and the futures of all who were there.
Adam Makos provides us a close-up of the American experience, before during and after this incident. But he also, and in marvelously rich detail, gives us a rare look into the machinations of the Luftwaffe, again, before the war and through to the very end.
.... Engines failed, damage was extensive to flight surfaces, yet under the strong hands of their young pilot, Charlie Brown, the ship remained precariously in the air. Back in the plane's fuselage the crew was bravely caring for each other--some with grievous wounds. As they approached the European coastline, Charlie knew that any moment the coastal flak guns would open up and finish them off.
Suddenly, from behind and below them a FW-109 climbed up from the treetops and began its attack run on the helpless Pub. With all guns frozen the crew could only watch with the resignation of pending death. At the controls of the 109, Franz Stigler, an experienced ace saw the target that would raise his "kill" count. But he didn't kill. I will not herein tell you what transpired in the minds of the American airman or the German pilot. It is something you must read for yourself and let it sink in to your soul, as I did.
Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler survived the war.Read more ›
Franz was an excellent pilot, a great man, a humanist, who hated the war and despised the Nazi Party, but loved flying. His Catholic background and his having been exposed to the honorable men he flew with, such as Ludwig Franzisket, Gustav Rodel, Werner Schroer, Johannes Steinhoff, Eduard Neumann, Emil Clade, Friedrich Korner, Adolf Galland, and especially Hans-Joachim Marseille reinforced that sense of chivalry, and code of honor among these airmen that is often overlooked in the post war propaganda and the maelstrom of uneducated bias.
I suggest that this book, which is ironically in competetion with The Star of Africa, written by my wife and I, be read in public schools and by the average American. Even if you are not an aviation or history enthusiast, the human element and drama should be enough to justify your time. What the readers will also learn is that Franz, despite his humanist streak, was not that unusual among the men of the Luftwaffe. His experiences with JG-27 in North Africa, and the exposure he had to the previously mentioned men, especially Marseille, and the impressions left upon him, helped mold his attitude.
I highly recommend this book, and I hope that this work receives all of the positive recognition that it deserves. Franz and Charlie were not unique men, but they were both very fortunate to have crossed paths. Their post war friendship, much like that of Col.Read more ›
Author Adam Makos provides all the descriptions of battle, dog-fighting and heroism you would expect in a book of this nature but he really focuses on the human side, on the losses. Character after character are introduced only to die. The story of one young German flier is heartbreaking. In the last days of the war he told Stigler that he was going to return home, surrender and that he hoped to study engineering. Stigler asked if he wanted to take just one flight in an Me-262, the world's first operational jet fighter. The boy said yes. Since American bombing had stopped two days before, Stigler thought it would be a safe, quick flight, but the jet's engines cut out and the plane went down. Stigler raced to the crash sight and was able to arrive in time for the boy to ask Stigler to say goodbye to his mother and sister for him. The boy died in Stigler's arms. So many wasted lives.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book does not only tell you the story of the incident that happens for the two of them it also tells you about each individuals story and how it affected them. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
This WWII story will touch your heart and life in many ways. It's about the uncommon relationship between a German soldier and a United States soldier during WWII. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Brings a whole new and encouraging perspective of the German pilots of WW II . At a time in history that was ripe with horrible acts of cruelty the story of an ethical man's... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Dr. Craig R. Kouba
I don't like history but I loved this book. This is a fantastic true story for everyone to read.Published 5 days ago by David L Housman
I enjoyed the attention to detail of the lives of these brave airmen and their WWII experiences. The story demonstrates how human relationships can and should ultimately prevail... Read morePublished 5 days ago
This was a great read. A really well written powerful story. I loved it.Published 7 days ago by Antone Valim
A must read for any WWII buff and even for those that love a once in a lifetime story. Very well written and a true page turner!Published 7 days ago by Bob Johnson