Magazine article National Defense

War from the Inside-Personal Viewpoints

Magazine article National Defense

War from the Inside-Personal Viewpoints

Article excerpt

Occasionally, in the publishing business--at intervals that I have never been able to measure--there is a spate of books written in the "I-was-there" perspective. Perhaps it is the season.

"Beyond Valor: World War II's Ranger and Airborne Veterans," by Patrick K. O'Donnell, published by Free Press, of New York. Cost: $25.50. The voices of America's World War II rangers and airborne troops reveal personal stories that, over the years, have never been told.

With that generation slipping away, the author interviewed more than 600 veterans over a nine-year period, to preserve their experiences and memories. Much of this is also available from an unusual Web site called The Drop Zone (www.thedropzone.org) that leads to a unique oral "e-history" that allows you to expand the boundaries of this book.

Each story has been verified by the author for authenticity. The stories appear as a seamless narrative of the ETO (European Theater of Operations). The book probes the depths of personal emotions--fear, sacrifice, courage and even cruelty. A unique perspective is that of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (Triple Nickel), with the African-- American Experimental Test Platoon and its struggle against racism and segregation.

If you are one of the commuters with time "in travel," BDD Audio has the book in abridged form (four cassettes, six hours, $25.95), narrated by Ron McLarty, #BDDAP 1136.

"The Sky Men: A Parachute Rifle Company's Story of the Battle of the Bulge and the Jump Across the Rhine," by Kirk B. Ross. This book was published by Schiffer Military History, in Atglen, Pa., selling for $35 per copy. The story is a personal view of men of the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division. The 513th was the school regiment of the parachute academy, comprised of select volunteers-- the best of the best.

The unit's first taste of combat was the Battle of the Bulge, west of Bastogne, in Belgium. Throughout the book, you are part and parcel of F Company. The tactical commitments of this elite group during the battle--and the resulting high casualties--are surprising revelations in a battle that was crucial to the final defeat of the enemy in Europe.

Operation Varsity, in March of 1945, sends F Company parachuting over the Rhine for the final battle of the war. This operation seems to have had limited goals and never really supported the amphibious assault of which it was meant to be a part.

This book seems to go hand in hand with stories of "The Greatest Generation Speaks: Letters and Reflections" by Tom Brokaw. Random House Audio Books, of New York, publishes an abridged version, read by the author. It comes in three Cassettes, with four hours of playing time, at a cost of $25.

One recent book tackles a subject that the military services need to address "The Jewish Threat: Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army," by Joseph W. Bendersky. Published by Basic Books, of New York City, at $30 per copy, this book sheds new, well-documented light on the attitudes of America's military officers toward Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the Holocaust and Jewish refugees.

Broad archival research has revealed a long shadow cast throughout the highest levels of U.S. military leadership by the association of Jews with communism. Letters, diary entries and transcripts of actual dialogue reveal that many key military leaders were convinced of the racial, physical, intellectual and moral inferiority of Jews.

Officers of the U.S. military "warned" of the Jewish conspiracy from Jewish world finance, Zionism and Jewish-supported communism that they said threatened American culture, the gene pool, government and military interests. …

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