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Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI's Story of Courage and Faith Hardcover – April 1, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

When young Ira 'Teen' Palm goes off to fight against Hitler and the invading German armies, he has little to shore up his courage apart from his faith in God and his intense patriotism. Both would play an enormous role in his lengthy career in the armed forces, but they would particularly direct his actions as he fights in a foreign land against a brutal and determined dictator. After the war, Palm's mentor, the Rev. Charles Woodbridge, is the recipient of an unusual gift -- a 'golden pistol given to Hitler by the Walther family' -- taken by Palm as a grisly souvenir of the Fuehrer's armory. John Woodbridge, son of Charles, knows there's a fascinating story to be told. He and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Possley (The Brown's Chicken Massacre) lead readers through a tale brimming with exciting accounts of people risking all in the name of God and freedom. Taking us through the wartime challenges Palm and his wife, Helen, face, this fast-paced story reminds us that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, even under great pressure, when fueled by God's amazing grace. (Publishers Weekly)

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As someone who has written a novel that crossed some of the same ground, I found this to be an extraordinary and compelling account of the imagination and bravery that history’s greatest monster, Adolf Hitler, inspired. -- Scott Turow, , Author

“Here’s a captivating tale of valor and devotion---to God, to spouse, to country---woven with newly disclosed details of an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler and the circuitous journey of Hitler’s personal pistol. A masterful piece of historical detective work!” -- Lee Strobel, , Author

“Readers of Hitler in the Crosshairs will not be able to put down this page-turning and remarkable story. From the initial chapter until the book’s concluding words, this fascinating account of courage, faith, and heroism is as gripping as it is deeply satisfying. The authors of this marvelous book are to be highly commended.” -- David S.Dockery, , President
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; First Edition edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310325870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310325871
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hitler in the Crosshairs is an excellent work both historically and in telling the story of Ira 'Teen' Palm. This work chronicles both the life of Teen Palm, a man sent over to Europe as a second lieutenant fighting the Germans, and who on an assaination attempt upon Hitler finds a golden gun engraved with Hitler's initials. Upon finding this gun, he puts in his shirt and brings it back with him to the States when the war concludes. Yet, to say this book is about a lieutenant in the war fighting Hitler's rule is too simplisitic a statement, for in this work Woodbridge and Possley capture the genius of faith of Teen Palm and the growing relationship Teen had for his sweetheart Helen and their pastor Charles Woodbridge.

The personal side of Teen's letter throughout the work are a monument to the brutality of war but the connection that Teen had for Helen. Teen writes speaking of the French towns he passed, "The towns are all in rubble with few houses left standing. The people are worse off than the British and this makes all the British ruins look like child's play" (102). Teen was not afraid to voice the reality of the harsh situation that came about through the bombing of many cities by the Germans led by Hitler. You get to hear and see the details of the embattled soldiers trying to escape harms way in this work. The authors chronicle the escape after trying to find Hitler in his Munich apartment, "After several minutes of silence, Palm began calling to his men to regroup and get ready to move out. Some of them did not-could not-reply. They were dead" (165). Although Palm was injured in the war, it was not a fatal blow.

Although not an academic work on military history or a monograph of sorts, this work gets into the history behind Hitler and his racist ideas.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The details of the story are the interesting part of this. The writing is basic. I think the true suspense and size of this story could have been captured so much better. But that is not to take away from those that lived it. It's still an amazing story.
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Format: Hardcover
It's summer here in North America--so I'm always looking for "lighter" reading, hopefully with some redeeming leadership and management insights.

I found one! Maurice Possley, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, has taken co-author John Woodbridge's story and fashioned a fascinating true story line about Hitler, a young singer/sax player/solder, an influential pastor, in-the-trenches WWII battles (the kind that create legends and heroes), new information on the German resistance movement, and a gold-plated pistol with links to the Fuehrer himself.

I could be biased because I've met Possley multiple times and thoroughly enjoyed his 2001 book, a true account, Everybody Pays, with co-author Rick Kogan.

Possley won a Pulitzer in 2008 for Investigative Reporting at the Chicago Tribune. He has now applied those same instincts and street smarts to this remarkable true story, "Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI's Story of Courage and Faith." Blend Possley with co-author John Woodbridge's experience as Research Professor of Church History and Christian Thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, visiting prof at Northwestern University and the University of Paris, France, and you have the makings of a historically accurate, WWII page-turner.

I was struck with the story line--and the creativity of it. The authors threaded this true account around every twist and turn with both skill and drama. Some organizations, I've noticed, take an absolutely amazing story line of God at work and then dumb it down to unimaginable nothingness. Boring. Bored. Clunk!

Not this story! It's historical--with new stuff. Inspirational--with disappointment and death.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Hitler in the Crosshairs, authors John Woodbridge and Maurice Possley tell the remarkable story of the transformation of a fun-loving young man — uncertain of his career and life direction — to an accomplished and decorated WWII soldier and leader. History called upon Ira Henry “Teen” Palm as it did so many of his generation. His military training was honed by the horrors of war. He stepped up to command when his revered commanders fell.

First Lieutenant Teen’s wartime experiences (fueled by his abiding love, his aspirations to complete his service mission, and his empowering faith) were recorded in countless letters to his family and especially to his beloved bride, Helen. But he spared them the difficult details. Stepping off a landing craft and wading onto Omaha Beach in September of 1944, he did not mention the destruction that had occurred there.

Assigned to Company B of 179th Infantry, he would join the troops who pushed across France toward Munich. Unlike many, Palm survived. Remarkably, he was assigned the mission of leading a small team of men into Hitler’s Munich apartment at 16 Prinz-regenten Platz.

Hitler in the Crosshairs is the story of World War II from the ground and foxhole, but it is even more. It is a love story and a witness to the power of faith in all circumstances. The authors reveal the full life of a man who would make his career in the military, while always generously revealing his Christian faith, which provided him peace and assurance through battle, injury, and terminal illness. His focus throughout his life was on his God-given blessings: faith, family, the love of his life, and children who followed in his legacy of service to beloved country.

This well-written book is an inspiring and enjoyable read for anyone interested in World War II, the sustaining power of Christian faith, and the lessons of a life well-lived.
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