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June 6, 1944: Nineteen boys from Bedford, Virginia--population just 3,000 in 1944--died in the first bloody minutes of D-Day. They were part of Company A of the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division, and the first wave of American soldiers to hit the beaches in Normandy. Later in the campaign, three more boys from this small Virginia town died of gunshot wounds. Twenty-two sons of Bedford lost--it is a story one cannot easily forget and one that the families of Bedford will never forget. The Bedford Boysis the true and intimate story of these men and the friends and families they left behind. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and relatives, as well as diaries and letters, Kershaw's book focuses on several remarkable individuals and families to tell one of the most poignant stories of World War II--the story of one small American town that went to war and died on Omaha Beach.
It was the summer of 1940, and World War II had been raging for nearly a year. Buoyed by his successes on the Continent, Hitler was now planning an invasion of England to seal Europe's fate. Though the United States was still a neutral country, a few Americans decided they couldn't remain on the sidelines. They joined Britain's Royal Air Force to defend the country - with the future of civilization hanging in the balance. The Few tells the dramatic and unforgettable story of these Americans who defied their own country's neutrality laws and risked their very citizenship to fight side-by-side with England's finest pilots. Flying the lethal and elegant Spitfire, they became "knights of the air" who, with minimal training but plenty of guts, dueled the skilled and fearsome aces of Germany's Luftwaffe. By October 1940, they had helped England win the greatest air battle in the history of aviation. Some five years later, at war's end, just one of them would be alive. Winston Churchill once said famously of all those who fought in the Battle of Britain, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. " These daring Americans were the few among the "few. "
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.
El extraordinario fotógrafo Robert Capa fue testigo de excepción de los grandes acontecimientos históricos y bélicos del siglo XX: la Guerra Civil española, el desembarco de Normandía o la fundación del Estado de Israel. Incansable viajero, jugador, bebedor y mujeriego, murió a los 41 años al pisar una mina en la guerra de Indochina, después de una vida intensa y apasionante. A partir de entrevistas con personajes que le conocieron bien y de material de archivo, Alex Kershaw ha escrito una biografía absolutamente veraz que puede leerse como una novela histórica de aventuras.
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