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The Day We Bombed Switzerland: Flying with the US Eighth Army Air Force in World War II Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crowood (May 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840371358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840371352
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,380,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Mr. Granholm tells of his trials and tribulations during World War II.
Kimberlee Lynne
The great 458th comes to life in this novel, and in particular Mr. Granholm's vivid recollections of the humorous events during a time of great tragedy.
Joseph Alcorbo
I just finished reading, "The Day We Bombed Switzerland" and it is one of the best books I've EVER read!
Catherine Janese

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Alcorbo on July 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Granholm has hit the spot with this wonderful true life vision of WW2 life in the Eighth Air Force. The great 458th comes to life in this novel, and in particular Mr. Granholm's vivid recollections of the humorous events during a time of great tragedy. He has captured the period in great detail, and his life as a "new recruit" through his position as lead navigator show the intense need for leadership in men who were recently just boys. This book is a clear picture of the affect of war on our nation's youth. The entire events surrounding the Bombing of Switzerland are well told. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kimberlee Lynne on July 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this novel through and through. Clearly, this book was written with heartfelt imagery and recollection of the greatest war experienced by man. Mr. Granholm tells of his trials and tribulations during World War II. My father also spent time in the 8th Air Force, and was also stationed at Horsham St. Faith. Unfortunately, he did not return. Through Mr. Granholm's recollections, I have been able to see what my father accomplished and experienced on foriegn soil. I am certain that he would have appreciated this fine recollection of a time gone by. The book not only recounts history, but is uniquely entertaining as well. His accounts of Max Sokarl are hilarious, and his line that "Mojave is the anus of the universe" is a marvelously correct description. Finally, the trial involving the flyboys who errantly dropped bombs on a neutral country is a gripping tale that is amazingly real. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John R. Granholm on July 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is really two books in one. It's an intimate look at one man's wartime experiences, but it's also an important historical account of an event kept secret by the government for many years after WWII. Mr. Granholm's account of his military training and duty in England is both funny and touching, and contains many examples of the courage and fortitude displayed by so many of our young men during this horrible conflict.
I'd recommend this book for history buffs, airplane fans, even people interested in knowing more about Jimmy Stewart. I think almost anyone would find something interesting in this very readable account. Bravo!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By choose me on June 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This was a great exciting book. I felt as if I were right there while all this was taking place. I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D.W.Stowe on August 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
'The Day We Bombed Switzerland' is a stylish and informative first-person historical memoir about the author's experiences as both a navigator aboard B24 bombers over Germany in the last months of World War 2, and of his participation in the court-martial of two flyers facing charges for bombing Zurich, Switzerland during that period. This is well-written and well-researched, utilizing both personal recollection and information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and I found it quite fascinating.
As the author points out in his closing paragraphs, first hand accounts of these historically momentous events are harder and harder to come by, and they provide a unique clarity of the historical facts which is hard to find in secondary source works. I recommend this highly to historians of the period and to those with an interest in WW2 aviation.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Mayes on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Jackson Granholm has put together a wonderfully compelling narrative, telling about his transformation from a normal American boy enjoying his youth to a skilled Navigator of B-24 Liberator bombers with the 752nd Bomb Squadron, 458th Bomb Group (H), 96th Combat Wing, 2nd Air Division, 8th U. S. Air Force. He gives the reader an insightful look into his attitudes as the nation is being drawn toward the World War, then relates the rather haphazard process of being trained to become an efficient part of a bomber crew. The book is rich with anecdotal stories, leavened with occasional biting humor, making it both appealing and informative. His coverage of the dangers, horrors and vagaries of fighting a war from miles in the sky, flying in an airplane he clearly finds lacking in many ways despite it great capabilities, makes for riveting reading. His down-to-earth honesty as he describes a number of officers and men he serves with is particularly gripping, and sets the stage for the event which resulted in the book?s title, bombing Switzerland. As a newly promoted Captain, author Granholm is selected as Defense Attorney for the pilot and navigator of the lead ship in a squadron of B-24s which mistakenly bomb Zurich. His rich, sometimes funny, and extremely informative discussion of his work with two very unique characters, particularly his primary assistant Lieutenant Max Sokarl, reads like a mystery novel and is just as mysterious as to its outcome until the last instant. The Presiding Officer of the Court Martial is the famous actor, Colonel Jimmy Stewart, and his participation is the trial is most revealing of the man. This book is written for any reader with even the remotest interest in flying, WWII, mystery or human nature, and it is an absolute "must read" for those who enjoy wartime aviation history.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bob Stane on May 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Review By: BOB STANE, President, B-17 Combat Crewmen & Wingmen.
Several times during "the" war American heavy bombers strayed into Swiss air space and dropped their loads on that neutral nation, so says author Jackson Granholm, in his book, "The Day We Bombed Switzerland." Five hundred pound explosives made the chocolates bounce but added little to the war effort. Evidently this happened several times and a chastened Uncle Sam always opened his wallet and paid the bill. In the final days of the war an unfortunate B-24 crew dropped a stick on a small town just adjacent to the German border and the locals threw a snit. It was not a yodeling affront.
A trial was called for and a trial it was. The Americans and British rolled out the big talent and a few of the crew members were roasted slowly on the spit of justice. The court room was packed.
This book is extremely readable. I rolled it around in my mind for several days and nights regretting the time when it would be finished and put on my bookshelf. The history of the crew was examined in appropriate detail along with the author, Jackson Granholm, whose expert rating in navigation and first rate education netted him the job as "defense." This book is from his notes of the trial and the investigation of the crew, the weather, the officialdom in charge and the enemy. It was a scholarly and lively pursuit.
The very lives of a competent and brave crew were at stake as was some of the reputation of The United States Army Air Corps and the U. S. as well.
Enough tension and color? Not yet. The Commanding Judge in the trial was none other that Jimmy Stewart, famed American actor and Squadron Commander.
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