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on October 17, 2015
Excellent book. God was definitely watching over this one. I'd say he had more lives than a cat especially considering his captivities, tortures, escapes, and re-captures. Really helps for those to understand the sacrifices some make for us.

Book is well written. Definitely a must read for any WWII history buff.
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on September 2, 2013
This review presents a dichotomy of problems as to how to treat the review process. The inherent story is very good. It is a true story about a remarkable man by the name of Joe Beyrle who was a member of the 506th infantry regiment of the famed 101st Airborne Division. In fact Beyrle was in the same regiment as the famed Band of Brothers who fought the war in Europe from D Day all the way through to the end in 1945.

For Joe Beyrle his was a different story altogether as he did jump on D Day with I Company but was separated from his unit and subsequently captured by the Germans. From that time forward we follow Joe from one Stalag to another as the Allies advanced further east the POW's were transported further east. We learn of the prisoner of war culture and what it took to survive in this rather meager existence.

We follow Joe in his multiple attempts at escape and see him captured in Berlin by the Gestapo where lucky for him he was actually rescued by the Wehrmacht and taken back to the Stalag where they escaped.
Toward the end of the war we see Joe connecting up with Russian units after his third and successful escape in Poland. Joe incredibly asks to join this Russian infantry unit and fights with them against the Nazis as they drive westward to defeat the Germans. The story is a good one, one that is both unusual and is actually true. A writer of fiction could not ask for a better story.

However Mr. Beyrle picked the wrong author to tell the story. Mr. Taylor's work is confusing and highly unorganized. His descriptions of the economy of the POW camp was confusing and at times gave us new terms in which he did not define. His transitioning from one story to the other leaves the reader confused and scratching one's head. He brings forth new characters that just show up with no background or purpose. In fact in the middle of the book I was ready to give up on it but I continued.

To make matters worse there were numerous grammatical and spelling mistakes as well a many jumbled downloads onto the kindle edition. This book needed a good editing before going live.

However I did continue only to see what would happen to Joe. The author's effort at times was confusing and frustrating. The basic story is great but the author was a struggle for me. Thus the 3 star rating for a book with a 5 star story.
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on February 6, 2018
Wow, don't know what to say. I am an amateur historian and have read WWII accounts and official historical documents for over 40 years now and I had no knowledge of this incredible saga. Thanks for opening my eyes. A must read.
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on March 13, 2018
The story of Joe Beyrle's survival in World War II is remarkable. As a jumper with the 101st Airborne he was behind enemy lines for over three years, surviving imprisonment, torture, and deprivation. His story chronicles his escapes from the Nazis, and how he fought with Russian troops until he was delivered into the arms of the U.S. and finally his family in Michigan.
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on July 9, 2013
I must say I have enjoyed reading many WWII true storys. What separates this one is the totally unique experience this soldier had. Joseph Beyele has the distinction as the only American paratrooper to land in Normandy and the only soldier to fight for the United States and the Soviet Union against the Germans! How all this came about is truly fascinating. He came close to being executed by the Gestapo and in the end saved by Polish nuns! Truly a book that was hard to put down.
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on July 5, 2014
Taylor has laid out quite a story and written a wonderful book.In it,his reflections on war,life,death,pain,joy,and even the afterlife are explored in a new and different perspective.I have read quite a few books on WWII but this book was quite different from all the rest.
Taylor had a terrific subject in Joe and his war stories-adventure within adventurers.Joe is one helluva interesting person.One helluva man!
Thomas,the past tense of lay is laid.Other than that,you wrote one helluva book.Price was right also!
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on March 25, 2012
"Behind Hitler's Lines" tells the incredible journey of one of the 101st's parachuters: his training, buddies, his youthful gung-ho attitude leading up to his drop behind the lines of Normandy beach, only to be immediately captured. The reviews on the book jacket, though provoking, nonetheless, failed to prepare me for the harrowing experiences Joe went through: his defiance and determination that supported him through wounds and excessive torture; the mental and emotional wreckage which could have ended his usefulness in the war against inhumanity.
I liked how the author intersperced Joe's on-going tale of horrible bad luck and imprisonment (in Stalag) with the actual fighting war his fellow 101st pals were battling out in Bastonge.
Not for the faint of heart: torture, humans-as-pig-fodder. However, this story digs deep:, a true soldier climbs out of a pit of physical agony and despair, endures, turns his personal demons into constructive vengeance; lives to return home and live in freedom.
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on July 5, 2015
One of the more unbelievable true stories you'll read about WWII. The writing style is difficult at times, but was entertaining. Text is littered with hyphenated words that shouldn't be, which was distracting. Just about any com-pound word reads like this. Anyway, Joe Byerle had some truly incredible experiences- some good and many bad, during the war. A true survivor. Glad I bought it.
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on April 16, 2014
This is excellant book which I recommend to anyone interested in WW2. It is a true story. I don't usually read non-fiction books but this one reads like a novel.It is the story of one soliders survival of a failed mission behind enemy lines in Norway. This man must be part super hero because a normal man could not have otherwise survived. Even those that are not war book fans would like this. Its not full of battles just this one mans attemt to stay alive.
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on March 11, 2015
I thought that this was an amazing true story of a soldier who experienced the very worst of war but never gave up even to the Gestapo torturers.
He got his revenge by not only escaping from a German Stalag twice but joined the Russian army to help destroy the "Hitlerites".
He somehow survived the war despite being severely wounded on several occasions. This man in my view well deserved his recognition and respect by both the American and Russian armies. A real hero who was credit to the 101st Airborne's "never say die" spirit.
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