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Liberator One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau

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ISBN-10: 0307887995

ISBN-13: 9780307887993

Edition: N/A

Authors: Alex Kershaw

List price: $34.00
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Description:

The true story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War: the battlefield odyssey of a maverick U.S. Army officer and his infantry unit as they fought for over five hundred days to liberate Europe - from the invasion of Italy to the gates of Dachau.   From July 10, 1943, the date of the Allied landing in Sicily, to May 8, 1945, when victory in Europe was declared – the entire time it took to liberate Europe – no regiment saw more action, and no single platoon, company, or battalion endured worse, than the ones commanded by Felix Sparks, who had entered the war as a greenhorn second lieutenant of the 157th “Eager for Duty” Infantry Regiment of the 45th “Thunderbird” Division.  Sparks and his fellow Thunderbirds fought longest and hardest to defeat Hitler, often against his most fanatical troops, when the odds on the battlefield were even and the fortunes of the Allies hung in the balance – and when the difference between defeat and victory was a matter of character, not tactics or armor.   Drawing on extensive interviews with Sparks and dozens of his men, as well as over five years of research in Europe and in archives across the US, historian Alex Kershaw masterfully recounts one of the most inspiring and heroic journeys in military history.  Over the course of four amphibious invasions, Sparks rose from captain to colonel as he battled from the beaches of Sicily through the mountains of Italy and France, ultimately enduring bitter and desperate winter combat against the diehard SS on the Fatherland’s borders.  Though he lost all of his company to save the Allied beach-head at Anzio and an entire battalion in the dark forests of the Vosges, Sparks miraculously survived the long bloody march across Europe and was selected to lead a final charge to Bavaria to hunt down Adolf Hitler.   In the dying days of the Third Reich, Sparks and his men crossed the last great barrier in the West, the Rhine, only to experience some of the most intense street fighting and close combat suffered by Americans in WWII.  When they finally arrived at the gates of Dachau, Hitler’s first and most notorious concentration camp, the Thunderbirds confronted scenes that robbed the mind of reason.  With victory within grasp, Sparks confronted the ultimate test of his humanity: after all he had faced, could he resist the urge to wreak vengeance on the men who had caused untold suffering and misery?   Written with the narrative drive and vivid immediacy of Kershaw’s previous bestselling books about American infantrymen in WWII, The Liberator is a story for the ages, an intensely human and dramatic account of one of history’s greatest warriors and his unheralded role in America’s finest achievement – the defeat of Nazi Germany.
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Book details

List price: $34.00
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 10/30/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 448
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.75" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.628
Language: English

Prologue: The Graves
The Dust Bowl
The West
Off to War
Italy
Sicily
The Race for Messina
Mountain Country
Anzio
Danger Ahead
Hell Broke Loose
A Blood-Dimmed Tide
The Battle of the Caves
Crossing the Line
The Bitch-Head
The Breakout
Rome
France
Day 401
The Champagne Campaign
The Vosges
Germany
Black December
The Breaking Point
Defeat
The River
The Siegfried Line
Cassino on the Main
Downfall
The Heart of Darkness
The Day of the Americans
The Hounds of Hell
The Coal Yard
The Linden Incident
The Long Day Closes
Last Battles
The Last Days
Victory in Europe
Peace Breaks out
The Last Battle
Acknowledgments
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index