From the Publisher
Foreword: War Stories. Our first thoughts when we hear these words are of battle tales, victories and defeats, and fallen comrades. We expect, perhaps, to encounter recollections of battle scarred veterans eager to recount their adventures or boast their regiment's pivotal role in winning the war. Though these fighting tales are very much a part of the collective war experience, they are a small part; magnified and presented by many as the primary impressions and consciousness of the many men and women who've experienced war and its depravations. The great stories, the outstanding memories are more often the little ways of little things. The brief moments or overall emotions, the chilling fear on a particular night or the humorous incident that seemed surrealistic yet so refreshingly real. A moment of laughter, the taste of butter, the smell of fire and rubber and stagnant water, a child's dirty face and hungry eyes, even the growing indifference to the sound of sirens piercing the black stillness -- night after night after night. These are the things most remembered by those who remember at all. War Stories: 1939-1945 is a small compilation of World War II memories offered by men and women from Europe and North America who wish to share what they witnessed before no one is left to give an account at all. Bits and pieces of impressions stamped upon the minds and hearts of people, both military and civilian, who lived through a horrific time that could never be forgotten or erased. These are the memories of ordinary people who lived through extraordinary times. They saw, they trembled, they reacted, and they cried. Most importantly, they remembered.
Elaine Federici, Editor, Rose International Publishing House, Inc.
From the Author
This book is dedicated to the service personnel and civilians on both sides who lived through the greatest conflict in all of human history, and expecially to they who made the most notable of all sacrifices by giving their lives for the cause they served. In spite of what may have been the nature of that cause, there is no doubting the bravery and sacrifices on both sides. From London to Luebeck, Dieppe to Dresden and Belgrade to Berlin, from the Acropolis to the desert sands of El Alamein and the snow covered steppes of Russia, from the depths of the Atlantic U-boat war to the sea battles on the Mediterranean, and from the prisoner-of-war camps, there are millions of stories that have gone untold. We must never allow such a terrible loss as that witnessed by the twentieth century to be lost to history, It must stand for all time as a lesson all must learn, and learn from. We must not forget them, and neither must the future.
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