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“Powerful and often startling The Deserters offers a provokingly fresh angle on this most studied of conflicts” The Boston Globe A groundbreaking history of ordinary soldiers struggling on the front lines The Deserters offers a completely new perspective on the Second World War Charles Glass renowned journalist and author of the critically acclaimed Americans in Paris Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation delves deep into army archives personal diaries court martial records and self published memoirs to produce this dramatic and heartbreaking portrait of men overlooked by their commanders and ignored by history Surveying the 150000 American and British soldiers known to have deserted in the European Theater The Deserters A Hidden History of World War II tells the life stories of three soldiers who abandoned their posts in France Italy and Africa. Didn t really live up to the title More like stories about deserters designed to make you feel sorry for them The last thing I felt was sympathy

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The Deserters A Hidden History of World War II

Their deeds form the backbone of Glass’s arresting portrait of soldiers pushed to the breaking point a sweeping reexamination of the conditions for ordinary soldiers With the grace and pace of a novel The Deserters moves beyond the false extremes of courage and cowardice to reveal the true experience of the frontline soldier Glass shares the story of men like Private Alfred Whitehead a Tennessee farm boy who earned Silver and Bronze Stars for bravery in Normandy yet became a gangster in liberated Paris robbing Allied supply depots along with ordinary citizens Here also is the story of British men like Private John Bain who deserted three times but never fled from combat and who endured battles in North Africa and northern France before German machine guns cut his legs from under him The heart of The Deserters resides with men like Private Steve. The Greatest Generation Well not exactly Before reading this book I was not aware that 150000 American and British soldiers deserted in the Eur

Charles Glass Á 6 characters

Weiss an idealistic teenage volunteer from Brooklyn who forced his father a disillusioned First World War veteran to sign his enlistment papers because he was not yet eighteen On the Anzio beachhead and in the Ardennes forest as an infantryman with the 36th Division and as an accidental partisan in the French Resistance Weiss lost his illusions about the nobility of conflict and the infallibility of American commanders Far from the bright picture found in propaganda and nostalgia the Second World War was a grim and brutal affair a long and lonely effort that has never been fully reported to the detriment of those who served and the danger of those nurtured on false tales today Revealing the true costs of conflict on those forced to fight The Deserters is an elegant and unforgettable story of ordinary men desperately struggling in extraordinary time. I found this book difficult to read till about half way through when it got a bit better The book is very interesting and shines light on the iss


10 thoughts on “The Deserters A Hidden History of World War II

  1. says:

    I've always heard World War II vets referred to as gung ho dedicated soldiers This look at WWII shatters some of those myth

  2. says:

    Didn't really live up to the title More like stories about deserters designed to make you feel sorry for them The last thing I felt was sympathy for them Just not uite all that for me

  3. says:

    I could have sworn William S Burroughs was dead but evidently the publishing industry has revived him pumped him up with electricity and narcotics and somewhere along the line decided that they loved his cut up techniue hired him as their master editor and let him have at every historical book being published today because here he is again playing pick up sticks with a narrative and reassembling it all into a random order At first it looks

  4. says:

    There is a uote in this book that is worth thinking about Each man no matter how strong mentally and physically has his limits beyond which the strongest will cannot drive him That's from Psychology for the Fighting Man uoted in this book This story is about the hidden side of World War II the side that was not shown in the movies or comics or many books It's about the 150000 British and American soldiers who deserted

  5. says:

    Much has been written about the deserters of the First World War the lack of understanding of shell shock the executions at dawn and the campaigns for posthumous recognition and pardons; but far far less has been written about the deserters of the Second World War Perhaps because we think of the trenches of Flanders as a particularly uniue and horrifying form of warfare the life of the fighting man in World War Two is somehow seen in compar

  6. says:

    The Greatest Generation? Well not exactly Before reading this book I was not aware that 150000 American and British soldiers deserted in the European Theater Or that 38000 American officers and men were court martialed for s

  7. says:

    Well this was one of those books for me where 3 stars seems too low but 4 stars is too high I found the title to be somewhat misleading it was one of those books I just grabbed off the library shelf on the way out the door without knowing an

  8. says:

    excellent journalism Important subject that has been neglected WWII the Good War 50000000 Dead; good war is an oxymoron At the end of the book Glass makes the statement to write of desertion by the greatest generation was a taboo Of course it's not that simple Until you walk in a man's combat boots best not to judge The

  9. says:

    I found this book difficult to read till about half way through when it got a bit better The book is very interesting and shines light on the issue of desertion in World War 2 on the Western Allied side but it is not my kinda book gl

  10. says:

    A look at the reality of what it cost to win the Second World War This book uses the stories of three soldiers one British and two American who ran afoul of the system's treatment of those soldiers who deserted as a reaction to battle fatigue PTSD Along the way you will learn about the incompetence of the medical evaluation of these men and the cruelty of the military justice system If you wish to have a well informed well rounded

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