Citizen Soldiers

Citizen Soldiers : From the Normandy Beaches to the Surrender of Germany

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This sequel to D-DAY opens at 00:01 hours, June 7, 1944 on the Normandy Beaches and ends at 02:45 hours, May 7, 1945. In between comes the battles in the hedgerows of Normandy, the breakout of Saint-Lo, the Falaise gap, Patton tearing through France, the liberation of Paris, the attempt to leap the Rhine in operation Market-Garden, the near-miraculous German recovery, the battles around Metz and in the Huertgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge, the capture of the bridge at Remagen and, finally, the overunning of Germany. From the enlisted men and junior officers, Ambrose draws on hundreds of interviews and oral histories from those on both sides of the war. The experience of these citizen soldiers reveals the ordinary sufferings and hardships of war. They overcame their fear and inexperience, the mistakes of their high command and their enemy to win the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 528 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 40mm | 439.99g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New ed.
  • 30-page b-w photo insert, maps
  • 0743450159
  • 9780743450157
  • 114,278

Review Text

Hot on the heels of Spielberg and Hanks's resounding success adapting Stephen E Ambrose's Band of Brothers for television comes the re-issue of a further book from this excellent author about the part played by America in the Battle of Normandy. As he did with E Company, Ambrose rejects the historian's voice in favour of relying on the accounts of the actual individuals who took part in the campaign, lending this work a gripping and highly personal immediacy. Tracking the invasion from D-Day up to the German surrender, this is very much a soldiers' story, soldiers who were American citizens in the vast majority of cases with minimal training and even less experience of warfare. The difficulties they encountered in their bid to liberate French soil seemed at times to be insuperable, even the very Norman countryside presenting an extreme hazard. With an average of 14 hedgerows to the kilometre, it was like fighting in a maze on terrain that could not have been better suited to defensive action. Entire platoons found themselves lost within minutes of launching an attack. From June 7 on, GIs heaved, pushed, punched and died for two hedgerows a day. The threat of stalemate looked like becoming a reality. And it didn't get any easier. 'We were helpless and all alone and there was nothing we could do, so I prayed to God,' recalled one Corporal Stanley Kalberer, a college student at the beginning of 1944, by that winter a replacement in the 84th Division. 'Maybe this is the end of the world, I thought.' 11 months later brought victory. The Reich had fallen, Europe was at peace. But at what a sacrifice. Cool, laconic and unemotional, Ambrose writes of some of the most heroic battles known to history, and the price paid by the men who fought them. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose, leading World War II historian, was the author of numerous books on history including the Number 1 bestselling BAND OF BROTHERS, D-DAY (on which SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was based) PEGASUS BRIDGE and WILD BLUE. He is founder of the Eisenhower Center and the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. He died in more