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Rifleman: A Front-Line Life Paperback – January 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408822083
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408822081
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Completely fascinating. This feels like one of the last voices of a vital generation. For the first-hand account of the Dresden fire-bombing alone, this is gripping reading. It has an immediate power throughout that makes war fiction a pale shadow of the real thing' Conn Iggulden 'Second World War memoirs are commonplace, but very few soldiers had Victor Gregg's breadth and depth of experience. Rifleman is a thrilling story of a young man in extraordinary circumstances. Yet what makes Gregg's story so enthralling is how he was shaped by his wartime experiences and primed an eventful - and dangerous - life behind the Iron Curtain. Rifleman is an outstanding book that deserves to become a classic' Lloyd Clark, author of Arnhem 'Many people performed extraordinary feats of bravery and lived through an astonishing array of campaigns during the long years of the Second World War, yet few can have seen more action than Rifleman Victor Gregg. His hugely entertaining and often moving memoir is as action-packed as any fiction, and yet this is no novel - Gregg's adventures were real. His is truly an astonishing story' James Holland, author of The Battle of Britain and Fortress Malta 'Gregg's description of the bombing of Dresden is possibly one of the most shocking accounts of warfare you will ever read ...his memoir is a gripping life-story: an incident-packed account of heartache, violence and cunning by a man whose will to survive and unbreakable optimism are a true inspiration' Independent

About the Author

Victor Gregg was born in London in 1919 and joined the army in 1937, serving first in the Rifle Brigade in Palestine and the Battle of Alamein, and then in the Parachute Regiment at the Battle of Arnhem. He was repatriated in 1946 and now lives in Winchester. Rick Stroud is a film, television director and author. He lives on a houseboat in London.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
If you are a history buff I would definitely give this book a try!
Amazon Customer
This man is a great example of how one can over come incredible challenges and still do the correct things in life.
OldMan
Writing could have been better, but you can definitely feel the passion in the story.
Great read to pass time

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carole H on December 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My father followed a similar "route" through the war as Vic Gregg. He never talked about it. In a calm, rational way Vic decribes the horrors of Arnham, El Alamein and in particular the bombing of Dresden. It is a gripping testimony that everyone should read, realistic and unsensationalised, but not without humour. Vic's expoits after the war are also interesting. It opened my eyes to rhe reality of war, so much of which has been "sterilised" by Hollywood,.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John E. Larsen on December 31, 2013
Format: Paperback
Greg grew up in difficult circumstances in London. His father walked out, money was very tight and the streets were tough places. He developed self-reliance and luck but was still all but tricked into joining the Rifle Brigade. He served with its 2nd Battalion in pre-war India and Palestine before extensive combat in the Western Desert. After some unusual adventures he then joined 10th Parachute Bn and fought in Italy and Holland, where with the bulk of 1st Airborne Division he was captured. He was then very lucky to survive as a POW, being in Dresden during the infamous Fire-bombing. Then he became a spy!

Greg’s childhood was fascinating. Things were difficult and he often had to fend for himself. These were good life lessons though for the years ahead and he was a suitably tough regular soldier by the time the war started. His earlier postings to India and Palestine were very interesting and very dangerous respectively. His battalion was one of the first to be mechanised and accordingly they were involved in many actions, including Beda Fromm and the truly epic stand at position Snipe at Second Alamein. In between he found himself as a driver for behind the lines outfits like the Long Range Desert Patrol. He joined the paratroops for a bit of a change but still found battle in Italy and of course too much of it at Arnhem. The POW days were very tough and he was very lucky to survive. Ironically the Dresden bombing was a blessing for him, though it otherwise embittered and haunted him.

Following the war, there was marriage and children and a large variety of jobs. Greg found adjusting from the war difficult and he frequently got bored with his lot and rolled the dice for a new challenge.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AWHiatt on April 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. A unique perspective on WW2, the Dresden raids and the Cold War. I also recommend his follow up book detailing his surviving the Dresden bombing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann on September 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anyone with an interest in ww2 will love the books of victor Gregg I've read them all and he tells a real story while sticking as far as he can to facts and will admit when hindsight colours his views. I found him honest
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clover on September 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have now read all three stories about Victor Gregg. I enjoyed it very much. I will miss him now that I am finished reading them. The book is informative and entertaining. I see a movie in all three books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P.Boschetti on August 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
what an exciting and difficult time he went through wow, excellent book, amazing life he led. recommend it to anyone
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 20 Paws Mom on July 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rick Stroud wove a wonderful story about an incredible man. Some of the adventures of the Rifleman reveal little known events of WWII. However it drags in a few places.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read a story about this in a newspaper review and it caught my eye. If you are a history buff I would definitely give this book a try!
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