Top positive review
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One man's marathon survival of ground combat in WW II.
on July 17, 2017
I found "The Liberator" by Alex Kershaw to be a unique and excellent vehicle to learn about World War II. Kershaw follows one soldier, Felix Sparks from landing on Sicily, fighting through Sicily, then up the 'boot' of Italy, another landing in southern France, north through eastern France, crossing the Rhine River into Germany, fighting through Germany to Bavaria, and, most significantly, liberating the Dachau Concentration Camp. The most amazing fact to me is that Felix Sparks actually survived this ordeal. His unit took some of the worst casualties of any American army unit in the European Theater.
The book details the horrors infantry troops endured in Europe and the amazing courage it took just to pick up the weapon each day and continue the fight. PTSD (post traumatic stress disease , known by various other terms (shell shock, etc.) in those days), took a tremendous tole. Despite it all, Sparks continued to show leadership and good judgment. He first landed in Sicily as a Lieutenant and company commander. At the end, he was a Lt. Colonel and Battalion commander. His men loved and trusted him and he returned the feelings. The section of the book dealing with the liberation of Dachau was particularly riveting and wrenching.
I recommend this book.