- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 24, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684848015
- ISBN-13: 978-0684848013
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 510 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Citizen Soldiers: The U. S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany
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Stephen E. Ambrose combines history and journalism to describe how American GIs battled their way to the Rhineland. He focuses on the combat experiences of ordinary soldiers, as opposed to the generals who led them, and offers a series of compelling vignettes that read like an enterprising reporter's dispatches from the front lines. The book presents just enough contextual material to help readers understand the big picture, and includes memorable accounts of the Battle of the Bulge and other events as seen through the weary eyes of the men who fought in the foxholes. Highly recommended for fans of Ambrose, as well as all readers interested in understanding the life of a 1940s army grunt. A sort of sequel to Ambrose's bestselling 1994 book D-Day, Citizen Soldiers is more than capable of standing on its own. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Military historian and author Ambrose offers a sequel to his best seller, D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II (LJ 5/1/94). A skillful blending of eyewitness accounts (gathered mostly from the oral history collection at the Univ. of New Orleans's Eisenhower Center and from personal interviews) gives the reader an intimate feel of what war was like for infantrymen in the European theater of operations?from the beaches of France to victory at the Elbe River. Additional chapters on the air war, medics, and prisoners of war offer firsthand accounts on topics rarely described in traditional histories. The book complements Paul Fussell's Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic (LJ 8/96) and Michael Daubler's Closing with the Enemy: How G.I.'s Fought the War in Europe, 1944-45 (Univ. of Kansas, 1994). This well-written oral history would also make an excellent general text. Highly recommended for all library collections.?Richard S. Nowicki, Emerson Vocational H.S., Buffalo, N.Y.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The US POPULATION has not personally witnessed nor felt the impacts of war since the Civil War. This book provides as real a picture into horror of war on a personal level without being over dramatic or overly gory. The simple, straightforward, story telling style provides all the power of what is important.
Read this book more than once. Reread it in five years. Let us never forget what war is, does, and destroys. Let us never forget the supreme sacrifice war requires. Let us not forget the concept of duty as it relates to war: nothing in civilian life compares. Let us always remember and cherish the lasting freedom provided by the prior generation.
This is, in my opinion, what the book achieves. I think it is what veterans want us to remember.
The most important subject is the emphasis on the "Citizen Soldier", who may have been a high school or college student in '43 or even early '44 and then ended up that winter in the Ardennes or Hurtgen forest fighting his way into Germany. His comparison of the "children of Democracy vs Dictatorships" or "Boy Scouts vs Hitler Youth" is illuminating, and although the Generals are referred to, (Eisenhower, Montgomery, Bradley, Patton) Ambrose concentrates on the incredible sacrifices and leadership of the junior Officers, NCO's, Corporals and "lowly" Privates who, in his estimation, won that war.
One of the best aspects of the work is the incredible amount of research and the years of interviews of both Allied and German veterans giving us an insight as to how we were perceived by our enemy. The Afterword relating the response by veterans to the first publication of the account is very touching.
My father was an 18 year-old farm boy who enlisted in the Fall of '43 and ended up with Patton's 3rd Army fighting across France, into the "Bulge" and across Germany where he witnessed the liberation of several POW and Concentration camps. Like most WW II vets, he never talked much about his experiences, but the few stories he did relate reverberated throughout this book. It was an honor to witness his sacrifice through Dr. Ambrose's work.