Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Bootprints Hardcover – February, 2005
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"A truly moving tribute, 'BOOTPRINTS' speaks for not only one, but for all GI's!" -- Ralph M. Knox, author of "The Emperor's Angry Guest"
"BOOTPRINTS marches you into battle with the true heroes of the war, those who won the victory." -- William M. McConahey, M.D., author of "Battalion Surgeon"
"I couldn't put 'BOOTPRINTS' down, finishing it the day I started! ... It's a vivid, engrossing account!" -- Neil Case, syndicated newspaper columnist
"In what promises to be one of our country's final WWII memoirs, 'BOOTPRINTS' has saved the best for last!" -- Rick Bartholomew, "Nam Magazine"
About the Author
Hobert Winebrenner served in World War II as a young sergeant with the 358th Regiment, 90th Infantry Division. After war, he returned home, to rural Indiana, where he married, raised a family, and got on with life. Yet, as with most combat veterans, the war has always been, and will forever be, a part of him.
Michael McCoy is a freelance writer, with over one hundred published articles to his credit. He and his family reside in Indiana.
Top customer reviews
I found BOOTPRINT’S different from most personal accounts of combat I’ve previously read. First of all, Winebrenner’s war experiences seem more diverse (and interesting) than most others. Second, rather than a designated photo insert in the middle, the book is thoroughly illustrated throughout. Third, this book appears to be written with a purpose other than simply telling one man’s account of war. BOOTPRINTS reads much like a personal unit history for the families of those who served with Winebrenner. A substantive memorial for the families of his fellow soldiers who did not survive the war and a way to share the experiences for the families of those who made it through. The author’s sincere desire to pay tribute to the buddies he lost weighs heavy from beginning to end.
Winebrenner served in the 358th Regiment of the 90th Infantry Division (part of Patton’s 3rd Army). While his regiment landed on Normandy several days after the invasion, it saw considerable action in some of the Western Front’s most significant operations. Winebrenner’s experiences included clearing the Normandy hedgerows, closing the Falaise Gap, the siege on the fortress of Metz, multiple river crossings (including the Saar, Moselle and Rhine), the Battle of the Bulge, pushing through the Siegfried Line, Germany and eventually into Czechoslovakia, where it liberated the Flossenburg concentration camp. As eventful as Winebrenner’s journey through Europe truly was, BOOTPRINTS is not a chest-thumper, but a personal memoir that not only explains the misery of combat, but the deep bonds experienced by those sharing such misery.
Humbly written, the author downplays his extensive personal experiences (which included a temporary stint as a POW, as well as earning 5 Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and a Silver Star). Instead, Winebrenner prefers to honor those he served with and takes great care to let readers know who these men were, especially those who were killed. His attention to the personal details of these men reminded me of how Ernie Pyle wrote “Brave Men” … no mere listing of names, we actually get to know who these men were before their lives ended. The author takes great strides to honor them so they are not forgotten. Furthermore, most every KIA soldier introduced in the book is accompanied by a photo insert. The abundance of personal wartime photos that pepper each chapter is another detail that separates this war memoir from others.
The experiences Winebrenner recalls are quite interesting. Made a POW within days after arriving at the front, the author details a fortuitous moment in which a German sergeant mercifully stops another Nazi from murdering Winebrenner and his fellow POWs … an event that would repeat itself (from the opposite perspective) later in the war. I found the daily activities (miseries) that occupied the soldiers between combat to be particularly insightful. From receiving cotton ankle socks instead of the needed heavy wool socks during the Battle of the Bulge to seeing General Patton up-close and personal. The accumulation of filth from not bathing for a month. The miserable and dangerous river crossings that seemed to happen one-after-another. The stories are told from an enlisted man’s perspective, which means we get a clear picture that winning the war was not necessarily the result of brilliant strategy as it was the resolve and ingenuity of the common foot soldier. The story of linking up with the Red Army to put a halt on the Soviet Union’s attempt to consume all of Germany was one of the more insightful stories in the book as the meeting between the Russians and the Americans was not as rosy as all the pictures seem to indicate.
Closing the book, the author graciously details the after-war lives of his buddies who survived. I always enjoy these type of chapters as they illustrate how diverse military units truly are. Sadly, most of the men who survived the war had passed before BOOTPRINTS was penned … Sgt. Winebrenner, himself, passed in 2009.
BOOTPRINTS is an excellent account of an American Army unit’s exploits from Normandy to the war’s end. The meticulous details provided by the author offer a unique perspective of how GI’s lived, fought and died to defeat Nazi Germany. One of the better World War II memoirs in my personal library.
Bootprints is Hobert Winebrenner's story (Michael McCoy wrote for him) of his experience in WWII. In telling his tale, Mr. Winebrenner opens before the war and tells about being drafted into the army. Interestingly, once he'd completed training he was asked to train the next batch with the promise that he'd go to officer training school. Fortunately (or not), Mr. Winebrenner was given the option to become a sergeant at Ft. Sill working with forward observers and training them on basic infantry weapons. After doing this for awhile, Mr. Winebrenner was assigned to the M Company (the heavy weapons company), 358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division and sent to Europe.
After spending short period of time training in England, the 90th ID was to fight in the hedgerows of Normandy. It is in this time period that Mr. Winebrenner's tale picks the pace that he follows throughout the book, chapters about a series of battles, with sub-chapter that tell of particular parts of the battle (interestingly, more often than not Mr.Winebrenner tells the exploits of others). Chapters include the battles thru the hedgerows of Normandy, recovering from wounds, Operation Cobra and the race across France, breaking into Germany, the Battle of the Bulge, and the battle for Germany. To close things out, Mr. Winebrenner closed out by telling us about the men he served with and what happened to them after the war.
Reading this book I was torn many times between four and five stars. By the end of the book it had become a strong 4.5 star book. If there are weakness's in it, they're very few and far between. The strengths are many; Mr. Winebrenner paying tribute to his mates, many of the stories are exciting, and the details are exact. Because the strength's, I have to give this book the nod to 5 stars! Mr. Winebrenner, thank you for your service!