Citizen Soldiers
From Stephen E. Ambrose, bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day, the inspiring story of the ordinary men of the U.S. army in northwest Europe from the day after D-Day until the end of the bitterest days of World War II.In this riveting account, historian Stephen E. Ambrose continues where he left off in his #1 bestseller D-Day. Citizen Soldiers opens at 0001 hours, June 7, 1944, on the Normandy beaches, and ends at 0245 hours, May 7, 1945, with the allied victory. It is biography of the US Army in the European Theater of Operations, and Ambrose again follows the individual characters of this noble, brutal, and tragic war. From the high command down to the ordinary soldier, Ambrose draws on hundreds of interviews to re-create the war experience with startling clarity and immediacy. From the hedgerows of Normandy to the overrunning of Germany, Ambrose tells the real story of World War II from the perspective of the men and women who fought it.

Citizen Soldiers Details

TitleCitizen Soldiers
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 24th, 1998
PublisherSimon Schuster
ISBN-139780684848013
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, Military Fiction, World War II, Military, Military History, North American Hi..., American History, Historical, Biography, Earth, The World

Citizen Soldiers Review

  • A.L. Sowards
    January 1, 1970
    I've been thinking a lot about story structure lately. How many wonderful stories (books or movies) have a structure something like this: Hero reluctantly gets involved in a struggle. Hero faces setbacks, makes mistakes, takes a few steps forward and then a few steps back. Hero learns, grows, and changes on way to achieving goal. Hero has to make some sacrifices, but comes out on top.I love Stephen Ambrose. He makes history read like a good novel. Citizen Soldiers was packed with information. It I've been thinking a lot about story structure lately. How many wonderful stories (books or movies) have a structure something like this: Hero reluctantly gets involved in a struggle. Hero faces setbacks, makes mistakes, takes a few steps forward and then a few steps back. Hero learns, grows, and changes on way to achieving goal. Hero has to make some sacrifices, but comes out on top.I love Stephen Ambrose. He makes history read like a good novel. Citizen Soldiers was packed with information. It was interesting to read. The way Ambrose told it, the US Army was the hero—learning how to fight in hedgerow country, learning how to fight in a city, getting surprised in the Ardennes, making some mistakes with the Repple Depples and Market Garden, but ultimately pushing through and triumphing. Maybe that is why World War Two is still something so many people love to study.Ambrose does a good job of giving the reader a broad picture of what was happening with the US Army in Northern Europe. He doesn't cover the Pacific Theater or what was happening in Italy. He does give praise where it is due and criticism where it is deserved. Great read, even if I did laugh when he talked about the Red Army liberating the Baltic states and Eastern Europe. I doubt they felt like they were being liberated—more like being conquered by a different army.
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  • nanto
    January 1, 1970
    Saya sudah dua kali membaca buku ini. Pertama kali saya begitu menggebu-gebu. Pun yang kedua kali.Namun kemaren ketika saya akan membacanya untuk ketiga kalinya, saya berniat membuat review yang utuh dari awal hingga akhir buku ini. Namun ternyata buku itu masih belum tamat saya baca untuk ketiga kali dan catatan saya masih belum tuntas.Buku ini menarik untuk diulas karena cakupan cerita yang tidak hanya menggambarkan suasana kompetisi di antara para Jenderal. Sejak D Day. Komando pasukan sekutu Saya sudah dua kali membaca buku ini. Pertama kali saya begitu menggebu-gebu. Pun yang kedua kali.Namun kemaren ketika saya akan membacanya untuk ketiga kalinya, saya berniat membuat review yang utuh dari awal hingga akhir buku ini. Namun ternyata buku itu masih belum tamat saya baca untuk ketiga kali dan catatan saya masih belum tuntas.Buku ini menarik untuk diulas karena cakupan cerita yang tidak hanya menggambarkan suasana kompetisi di antara para Jenderal. Sejak D Day. Komando pasukan sekutu terbagi dua antara Amerika dan Inggris Raya. Ketika Montgomery terlambat menguasai Cannes, maka banyak pasukan Amerika menganggur dan tidak bisa meneruskan operasi. Kebuntuan itu salah satunya yang membuat Eisenhower memanggil Jenderal Patton yang pemberang untuk melakukan terobosan guna keluar dari kebuntuan karena terlalu berhati-hatinya Monty. Patton yang semula dijadikan jenderal non-pasukan karena kasus penamparan ketika Operasi di Italia kembali aktif memimpin Pasukan Angkatan Darat Ketiga.Diceritakan pula pertempuran Ardenes, yang merupakan bagian dari "the last offensive" pasukan Jerman. Dengan memanfaatkan kekuatan sisa, dan juga sasaran depo bahan bakar sekutu, pasuka Jerman bergerak. Pasukan pertama yang dikirim adalah pasukan SS yang berseragam pasukan Amerika. Namun, kelalaian kecil membuat gerakan pasukan penyusul itu terbuka ketika mereka ingin mengisi bahan bakar di stasiun pengisian, "petrol please!" He he he Kekhawatiran keselamatan Eisenhower membuat ia dipindahkan ke sebuah markas lapangan yang dirahasiakan.Buku ini tidak hanya bercerita mengenai kompetisi para jenderal. Buku ini juga bercerita bagaimana prajurit di lapangan menghadapi situasi sulit medan pertempuran. Ketika baru saja mendarat di Normandi, pasukan sekutu berhadapan dengan pasukan Jerman yang terlindung baik dibalik pagar tanaman. Kondisi pertempuran ini juga mempengaruhi perbandingan mesin perang kedua pihak. Tank Jerman memiliki daya jangkau peluru dan ketahanan baja yang lebih baik dibandingkan Sherman Amerika. Namun di sisi lain, Sherman Amerika yang bajanya dibuat lebih tipis demi memudahkan pengangkutan di kapal, memiliki keunggulan dalam kegesitan bermanuver. Di medan tempur Eropa Barat ini juga, Sherman mengalami modifikasi yang merupakan kreatifitas mekanik lapangan Amerika. Mulai dari penempatan semacam gerinda penyapu ranjau di muka tank. Atau modifikasi lainnya. Hal serupa tidak terjadi di pihak Jerman yang peranan mekaniknya tidak dapat memberikan input langsung di lapangan.Keunggulan Sekutu yang paling utama pasca keberhasilan pendaratan Normandi adalah terbangunnya komunikasi antara pasukan di darat (kaveleri dan infanteri) dengan pasukan udara. Jalur komunkasi yang memungkinkan infanteri mendapat perlindungan yang cukup, terutama dari udara, membuat mental pasukan sekutu jauh di atas mental pasukan Jerman. Terutama ketika udara cerah. Deru pesawat sekutu yang mengangkasa tanpa perlawanan dari angkatan udara Jerman (luftwaffe) merupakan teror besar bagi pasukan darat Jerman.Selain itu dicatat peran dari para perawat dan pelanggaran konvensi perang. Perawat merupakan pihak yang harus dihormati. Ada cerita dimana perawat dari satu pihak harus menolong korban lawannya. Selain juga ada catatan pelanggaran penembakan tawanan perang yang dilakukan oleh kedua belah pihak. Seperti tindakan pasukan Amerika yang menyuruh tawanan Jermannya berjalan dengan lutut di jalan aspal bersalju sebelum menembaknya. Hal itu dilakukan setelah mereka melihat mayat rekannya korban penembakan massal ketika Sekutu terdesak saat penyerbuan Ardenes. Cerita pembangkangan juga terjadi. Bukan sekedar pembangkangan yang tidak perlu. Ada cerita seorang kapten (komandan kompie) yang menolak perintah dari seorang Kolonel (komandan brigade) dengan alasan senapanya beku dan tidak bisa menembak. Kesulitan dalam menjalankan rantai komando demikian bisa saja terjadi karena pihak perencana di belakang meja tidak cukup menerima masukan yang sepantasnya dari rekan mereka di lapangan. Seorang Jenderal di markas komandonya boleh berencana melakukan serangan dan memerintahkan untuk maju sekian mil per-hari. Namun kondisi di lapangan kadang tidak masuk sesuai dengan rencanya. Di sini Ambrose menceritakan bagaimana Sekutu (AS) membangun solusi dari kesulitan di lapangan itu.Singkatnya, buku ini bukan cuma cerita para jenderal, tapi geliat perjuangan prajurit karena sumbernya yang kaya dari catatan pribadi prajurit dan perwira yang mengalami. Lain itu, buku ini juga bukan cuma buku perang, karena di dalamnya ada cerita bagaimana organisasi yang baik dan inovatif akan lebih mampu menghadapi situasi dan perubahan di lapangan. Masukan dari bawah tetap penting, meskipun organisasi itu bernama militer yang ciri utamanya adalah komando top-down.
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  • Eric_W
    January 1, 1970
    Ambrose, an incredibly prolific and readable historian, focuses in this book on the soldiers who made up the ETO (European Theater of Operations). It’s at first somewhat difficult to categorize. His analysis of the men who made up the army could almost be called cheer-leading of the most nauseating kind. But after he settles in, the reality becomes more apparent. They weren’t all great guys and upstanding citizens. He points out that some thirty percent of supplies coming into ports after the in Ambrose, an incredibly prolific and readable historian, focuses in this book on the soldiers who made up the ETO (European Theater of Operations). It’s at first somewhat difficult to categorize. His analysis of the men who made up the army could almost be called cheer-leading of the most nauseating kind. But after he settles in, the reality becomes more apparent. They weren’t all great guys and upstanding citizens. He points out that some thirty percent of supplies coming into ports after the invasion of Europe were stolen for resale on the black market. The picture of Milo in Catch-22 is not the grossest exaggeration. Racial problems were endemic at all levels, but Ambrose reserves his harshest judgment for the upper echelon commanders who remained clean, dry, and well-fed in the rear while front-line troops were asked to take objectives that often made little sense at great cost. Thousands of GI’s were lost to trench foot and frostbite during the winter because the boots they were issued were inadequate. Those in the rear got the good rubber-covered boots. The response of the brass was to insist that soldiers change their socks regularly, and threatened to court-martial anyone diagnosed with trench foot. The replacement system designed by Eisenhower’s staff sent inadequately trained men to the front where they often died needlessly. Had they been trained as units, with experienced sergeants and sent into battle as units fewer would have died, suggests Ambrose. British general Montgomery was clearly more interested in self-promotion than in becoming part of the team,, and Ambrose cites one example where Montgomery’s demands for more overall command had to be personally put down by Eisenhower. George Patton was obsessed with spit-and-polish. In one instance some officers just coming from the muddy front had been ordered to Third Army headquarters to get some badly needed maps. They were held up at the entrance to Third Army territory because Patton had issued orders to his MP’s that anyone entering had to maintain proper uniform standards of cleanliness, etc. It took the officers hours to get cleared and cleaned-up before they could get what they needed, holding up the offensive. Soldiers soon learned that war was not all they expected. As others, like Paul Fussell and Gerald Lindeman (who explored the role of the American fighting man) have noted, war has been seriously overglamorized. Soldiers were psychologically unprepared for battle and the stress broke many of them down. Often they refused to take prisoners, shooting all Germans in the way whether under white flag or not. The war fundamentally altered the lives of those who survived the front lines. Americans, having never been bombed, cannot appreciate the horror of interminable artillery shelling and constant fear and deprivation. Ambrose clearly admires what these soldiers for what they endured. In the end, the reason for fighting the war is exemplified by the tragic comments of a severely wounded German lieutenant who desperately needed a blood transfusion. Just as it was to be administered, the German insisted the medic certify there was no Jewish blood mixed in with the blood he was about to receive. The medic obviously could not, but pointed out that without the plasma he would die. The German died refusing to be transfused. They should have given it to him anyway.
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  • David Bird
    January 1, 1970
    When people know you like history, especially military history, you are probably doomed to get Ambrose books. And so I did, and dutifully read it. The fault of Ambrose is not bad prose (he can write a passable sentence), but in his perspective. I forget the exact line, but the effect is definitely that of "There is much that is good, and much that is original. But that which is original is not good, and that which is good is not original." The fault of plagiarism leveled against Ambrose I mind l When people know you like history, especially military history, you are probably doomed to get Ambrose books. And so I did, and dutifully read it. The fault of Ambrose is not bad prose (he can write a passable sentence), but in his perspective. I forget the exact line, but the effect is definitely that of "There is much that is good, and much that is original. But that which is original is not good, and that which is good is not original." The fault of plagiarism leveled against Ambrose I mind less than his original idea, which is basically that Americans won against the Germans because they showed that virtuous citizen soldiers were more effective than the minions of the dictatorships. This manages to combine two of the major pitfalls of military history: aping sportswriters, and ignoring essentials. I don't mean to dishonor the US vets of the war on Germany, but Wehrmacht of 1943 was not the army that had conquered western Europe in 1939-41, and nearly taken out the Soviets in 1942. The Soviets had seen to that, with some help from the UK. And, as Norman Davies shows effectively in No Simple Victory (which I highly recommend), the western front was not where the defeat of Hitler really happened. In short, Ambrose is not writing for those who want to know what really happened; he writes for those who want to feel complacently proud of the U.S. I would rather base my pride on facts. That I remember it in so much detail 15 years later is mostly due to the strength of my reaction.
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  • Ensiform
    January 1, 1970
    A history of the U.S. Army in World war II, specifically the European Theater, from D-Day to VE-Day. Very readable, with lots of awe-inspiring anecdotal reminisces from both American and German infantry and pilots; it’s also clear and informative on the types and abilities of weaponry both sides utilized.Ambrose is, of course, a patriot, almost a jingoist. While the book is very critical of the egotistical and apparently unreasonable Montgomery, it could do with a bit more critique of Patton, wh A history of the U.S. Army in World war II, specifically the European Theater, from D-Day to VE-Day. Very readable, with lots of awe-inspiring anecdotal reminisces from both American and German infantry and pilots; it’s also clear and informative on the types and abilities of weaponry both sides utilized.Ambrose is, of course, a patriot, almost a jingoist. While the book is very critical of the egotistical and apparently unreasonable Montgomery, it could do with a bit more critique of Patton, who seems just as bull-headed and irrational as the Brit does. Patton’s memoirs are cited without comment, though some of his claims as to his intentions, for example, might be questioned. Ambrose’s prose nears hagiography when he talks about his hero, Eisenhower, which isn’t very helpful as assessment of strategy. But the meat of this book is the interview and material from the front-line soldiers, and here it’s fascinating. On almost every page there’s an amazing battle or instance of bravery that boggles the modern mind. So in that respect, Ambrose accomplishes the book’s purpose with skill. Indeed, perhaps this strength is also a weakness: because the book celebrates feats of heroism, it doesn’t linger on the tragedy of mass casualties: the slaughter of wave after wave of unprepared young men is tallied in statistics (Company XYZ took 185 percent casualties, etc), but not discussed as human loss, and that’s a shame.
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  • Jimmie Aaron Kepler
    January 1, 1970
    I read Citizen Soldiers by Stephen E. Ambrose in the late 1990's shortly after reading Band of Brothers and D-Day, both also by Ambrose. I reread this book in 2005. I listened to the audio book version in 2006. The book describes how these "citizen soldiers" came to be soldiers, and what they did once they were. There is some overlap with his other titles about World War II. The book follows the battles right after the allies left the beaches of Normandy, all the way through France into German t I read Citizen Soldiers by Stephen E. Ambrose in the late 1990's shortly after reading Band of Brothers and D-Day, both also by Ambrose. I reread this book in 2005. I listened to the audio book version in 2006. The book describes how these "citizen soldiers" came to be soldiers, and what they did once they were. There is some overlap with his other titles about World War II. The book follows the battles right after the allies left the beaches of Normandy, all the way through France into German territory.This lengthy volume details the war in Europe. It tells how Americans were critical to that victory. It gives the story through the eyes of those who participated in the various units. I enjoy this tile and the stories the former GI's share. “Citizen Soldiers“ is the name for the draftees, national guard, and army reserve soldiers, the non-regular army soldiers, which were so necessary to field an army of the size that was needed in World War II. Read and reviewed by Jimmie A. Kepler.
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  • Matt Hartzell
    January 1, 1970
    This was my second Ambrose read after Band of Brothers, and it was exceptional. In Citizen Soldiers, Ambrose primarily uses the first-hand accounts of a select number of American infantry and non-commissioned officers as a cross-section of the US Army that liberated Nazi Europe. The accounts given by the men Ambrose interviewed are moving, humorous, heart-wrenching and ultimately inspiring. There is no comparable civilian experience to total war, but Ambrose does his best to draw the reader into This was my second Ambrose read after Band of Brothers, and it was exceptional. In Citizen Soldiers, Ambrose primarily uses the first-hand accounts of a select number of American infantry and non-commissioned officers as a cross-section of the US Army that liberated Nazi Europe. The accounts given by the men Ambrose interviewed are moving, humorous, heart-wrenching and ultimately inspiring. There is no comparable civilian experience to total war, but Ambrose does his best to draw the reader into the battlefield of World War II, and does much to explain why those soldiers are commonly referred to as The Greatest Generation.The book is a fairly easy read. There are not a lot of sections of long text, as the chapters are broken into short sections that highlight an event or individual. While the soldier at the front line is the focus of the book, Ambrose does spend a significant amount of time detailing the drama at the command level, especially with people like Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and Montgomery.This has been an essential read in my latest foray into World War II history. While movies like Saving Private Ryan provide a glimpse of the sacrifices made by America's young men and women in World War II, such works fall short of the words and emotions of the people who were actually there. At several points, I was gripped by deep emotion at the stories of the citizen soldier. I think there is an immense amount of room for debate between pacifism and just war, but in my mind World War II is one of the highest points in American history. The American GI traveled to a foreign land to liberate a foreign people and went back home when peace was achieved, and did so in such a way that in many cases American and German veterans became friends in the years that followed. I highly recommend the book.
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  • John
    January 1, 1970
    I'm on a little world war II kick right now and I realized that this book would basically tell me what my grandfather and Kate's grandfather were doing in 1944. Turns out, things were not that fun for them. Although, thank god my grandfather was in the anti-aircraft part of the army, because if he had been in the front line infantry, according to this book, chances are I would not be around. There are lots of great first-person stories of the war here, although it is a little jumpy all around be I'm on a little world war II kick right now and I realized that this book would basically tell me what my grandfather and Kate's grandfather were doing in 1944. Turns out, things were not that fun for them. Although, thank god my grandfather was in the anti-aircraft part of the army, because if he had been in the front line infantry, according to this book, chances are I would not be around. There are lots of great first-person stories of the war here, although it is a little jumpy all around between armies and corps and divisions and stuff. I would make one suggestion to readers of this book. If you're like me, you'll keep saying to yourself, "wait, ok, division 30 of the 1st Army, when did he talk about them before? Where were they? Wait, what town are they at again? Were they the ones from that story with the river and the big battle?..." When these questions come up, you just have to ignore them. Maybe if you are a vet yourself, you can keep track of all these groups, but I just can't do it. It's impossible to keep flipping back to the text and maps and find everybody. I would just ignore the numbers and read it for the stories. The other thing you get out of this book is, if ONLY that eyepatch tom cruise guy had managed to kill Hitler like he wanted to. That was July of 44. The war went on another year almost, even though everyone with a brain in Germany knew they were going to lose. But if they gave up, Hitler would have them shot for treason. So they had to keep fighting. So they wasted hundreds of thousands of German and Allied lives for absolutely no reason at all. It just makes you sick.
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  • John
    January 1, 1970
    Whatever else Ambrose does, he does his homework. There's enough primary material in this book to make it worthwhile just for that, for telling the story of the men and women who were there. It's hung together with enough filler material to make it interesting and coherent, and enough background to make it accessible to those without a solid grounding in WWII history. It stands out as perhaps his best book about the period, simply because it focuses on the people, not the action, which is enough Whatever else Ambrose does, he does his homework. There's enough primary material in this book to make it worthwhile just for that, for telling the story of the men and women who were there. It's hung together with enough filler material to make it interesting and coherent, and enough background to make it accessible to those without a solid grounding in WWII history. It stands out as perhaps his best book about the period, simply because it focuses on the people, not the action, which is enough for me to think it an Important Book.
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  • John Nellis
    January 1, 1970
    A very good book on the American campaign in Europe. It has many first-hand accounts from the common GI, all woven in with the big picture of the war. Ambrose also has chapters on the Air war, battlefield medicine, military justice, morale and many other aspects of the American war effort in ETO. The only drawback to this book for me was a little to much rah, rah cheerleading , from the author. Otherwise I really enjoyed the book.
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  • Jonathan
    January 1, 1970
    Was a good book and very informative, seemed to drag in a few places, but other than that a good read.
  • Margaret Elder
    January 1, 1970
    If I could give this book a rating above five stars, I would. I was fascinated by it, especially the anecdotes of the front line soldiers that make up much of its content. My father was an infantry soldier during World War II, who landed on D Day, fought in the Battles of Normandy, Hurtgen Forest, the Bulge, helped to liberate concentration camps, and suffered emotionally as all combat soldiers must. Through this book I came to understand more of what my father went through than I ever have befo If I could give this book a rating above five stars, I would. I was fascinated by it, especially the anecdotes of the front line soldiers that make up much of its content. My father was an infantry soldier during World War II, who landed on D Day, fought in the Battles of Normandy, Hurtgen Forest, the Bulge, helped to liberate concentration camps, and suffered emotionally as all combat soldiers must. Through this book I came to understand more of what my father went through than I ever have before. For much of my adult life, I have been a reader of books about World War II. This is the best one I have read and one I want both of my adult children to read. Like many of the soldiers who were in combat, my father would rarely would talk about the war, but the snippets about it I did learn from him were echoed in the voices of other soldiers whose words appear in the book. If any person had a father or grandfather who fought in Europe during World War II or has an interest in U. S. history, he or she should read this book. In doing so, one will follow the front line soldier from D Day until May 8, 1945. Also, unlike many other books about World War II I have read, Ambrose doesn't mince words about times when the commanders made tragic mistakes that resulted in senseless casualties. The author also included personal memories of German officers and soldiers, and they were so interesting too. I appreciate so much the research and effort that went into gathering material and Ambrose's excellent writing.
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  • Ian
    January 1, 1970
    I probably would give this four stars if I was not already such an avid reader of WWII history. The book is great, but with all the hype around Ambrose (i.e. Band-of-Brothers), I suppose I expected something more earth shattering. He certainly does have a great knack at taking the oral histories of veterans and stringing them together in a compelling, easy-to-read format, drawing in readers who perhaps would not read about WWII history. I think the following quote of veteran, Bruce Egger of the I probably would give this four stars if I was not already such an avid reader of WWII history. The book is great, but with all the hype around Ambrose (i.e. Band-of-Brothers), I suppose I expected something more earth shattering. He certainly does have a great knack at taking the oral histories of veterans and stringing them together in a compelling, easy-to-read format, drawing in readers who perhaps would not read about WWII history. I think the following quote of veteran, Bruce Egger of the 26th Div, near the end of the book summarizes the theme of Citizen Soldiers quite nicely:More than four decades have passed since those terrible months when we endured the mud of Lorraine, the bitter cold of the Ardennes, the dank cellars of Saarlutern...We were miserable and cold and exhausted most of the time, we were all scared to death...But we were young and strong then, possessed of the marvelous resilience of youth, and for all the misery and fear and hating every moment of it the war was a great, if always terrifying, adventure. Not a man among us would want to go through it again, but we are proud of having been so severely tested and found adequate. The only regret is for those of our friends who never returned.
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  • Sangria
    January 1, 1970
    A must read for any of our military holidays. I finished it last night, gripping and heartwarming & heartbreaking. These men, these ordinary few, is there really anything more to say? I miss these brave men......Stephen Ambrose is a National Treasure. One day I’ll get thru all his books. On a side note: I read this with my sons. Over the course of the week of Memorial Weekend thru DDay the other day. I’m not impressed with their history curriculum, so most of the books I read in Autobiograph A must read for any of our military holidays. I finished it last night, gripping and heartwarming & heartbreaking. These men, these ordinary few, is there really anything more to say? I miss these brave men......Stephen Ambrose is a National Treasure. One day I’ll get thru all his books. On a side note: I read this with my sons. Over the course of the week of Memorial Weekend thru DDay the other day. I’m not impressed with their history curriculum, so most of the books I read in Autobiography are pretty much all read by the family. I encourage you all if you’re a parent, to do the same. It’s a joyous experience.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Telling the history of the United States Army from the perspective of the individuals who served in Europe during World War II instead of from the perspective of battles and troop movements makes that conflict even more devastating.
  • Tyler Cowart
    January 1, 1970
    I just couldn't finish it. It was neither very informtive or interesting for me personally.
  • Terrol Williams
    January 1, 1970
    First book I've added in a long time to my "required reading for the human race" list. Be aware that there is some soldier language in the book.
  • Peter Schmeltzer
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent!!!
  • Don
    January 1, 1970
    I have been having a rather unexpected experience over the past few years. There are certain topics which interest me, but on which I've read so much that I immediately tune out when they are discussed. World War II falls into that category, or at least details about the specific battles, etc. do. But since a friend gave this book such a glowing review, I figured I'd give it a try. The blurb from the catalog of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped reads:"An eleve I have been having a rather unexpected experience over the past few years. There are certain topics which interest me, but on which I've read so much that I immediately tune out when they are discussed. World War II falls into that category, or at least details about the specific battles, etc. do. But since a friend gave this book such a glowing review, I figured I'd give it a try. The blurb from the catalog of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped reads:"An eleven-month World War II chronicle spanning the period from D-Day to Germany's surrender on May 7, 1945. Using first-hand accounts of combat soldiers, the author depicts the valor and determination of Allied forces who advanced and prevailed in the face of harsh adversities."Even if you are sick and tired of the topic, this book is worthy of your consideration. Hearing the stories of the war in the voices of average soldiers is a powerful experience indeed. It will cause you to stand in awe of the great men and women who put their lives on the line to fight for their country. As I read, I kept thinking of my father who proudly flew the B24 in World War II.I will admit that my mind frequently wandered as I read, but that had nothing to do with Ambrose's writing which is exceptionally powerful. While I think I would have been better served had I read this at a different time, I don't regret the hours I spent on it.
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  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great book, either read on its own or as a sequel to D-Day, Ambrose's book about June 6, 1944. There are lots of anecdotes about events and conditions of the war, mainly on the front lines but also elsewhere in Europe. You really come away with a sense of what it was like for the men who fought WWII.My only complaint about the book is that Ambrose's outline of operations in Europe is so barebone that you don't already have a good understanding of the campaign. I had to do a little supp This is a great book, either read on its own or as a sequel to D-Day, Ambrose's book about June 6, 1944. There are lots of anecdotes about events and conditions of the war, mainly on the front lines but also elsewhere in Europe. You really come away with a sense of what it was like for the men who fought WWII.My only complaint about the book is that Ambrose's outline of operations in Europe is so barebone that you don't already have a good understanding of the campaign. I had to do a little supplemental reading (Wikipedia) to get a good overview of the campaign; once I did that, I was able to follow along with the overall plot of the book.Definitely worth a read for any military history buff.
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  • Jon Swart
    January 1, 1970
    Such an awesome way to tell the story of WWII. He sets up the overall historical events but fills around the time line with stories of individuals to give us a sense of what was really going on at that time and place. These guys and their support system back home definitely earned the title of the greatest generation.
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  • Dwain
    January 1, 1970
    I gave this book four stars because it is one of the best histories of World War II I have ever read despite occasional episodes of fierce language. There wasn't a lot of bad language but it was intense when it was present. Ambrose brings richness, life, and new perspectives to a subject that has been written to exhaustion. He relates all of the expected events and gives enough detail to understand the strategic and tactical situation. He helps the reader to understand the causes and effects of I gave this book four stars because it is one of the best histories of World War II I have ever read despite occasional episodes of fierce language. There wasn't a lot of bad language but it was intense when it was present. Ambrose brings richness, life, and new perspectives to a subject that has been written to exhaustion. He relates all of the expected events and gives enough detail to understand the strategic and tactical situation. He helps the reader to understand the causes and effects of the different happenings, but he also brings the human experience into each event. Ambrose relates several experiences, usually told in the person's own words, for each major event that helped me understand not just the historical significance, but what it was like for the men and women who went through the experiences. For example, while telling about the first days of the Battle of the Bulge, Ambrose includes diary entries of both German and American soldiers that explained how they each felt about the quick change of direction in the campaign. Citizen Soldiers also includes sections about the airmen of the European theater, the medics and nurses, black soldiers, and the American casualty replacement system. These sections added perspectives that I do not usually encounter in military history. As an example of this, Ambrose includes a letter from a nurse in the theater that was published in "Stars and Stripes." The letter is the nurses expression of her admiration for the soldiers she treated. Ambrose also includes the reactions of some of the German civilians who lived in cities when some of our bomber crews landed among them. As you can imagine, they were not very friendly to those who were destroying their homes and killing their families.As a final note, Ambrose does a wonderful job showing that there were good and bad among both sides. He talks about kindness showed by German soldiers and civilians, as well as their atrocities. He also talks about atrocities committed by GIs, as well as the kindness the showed. He forcefully drives home the point that there was good and bad among both sides.Overall, strongly deserving of high praise.
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  • Heather Harris
    January 1, 1970
    WW II has always been interesting to me anyway, and this book was an excellent way to understand (from personal experiences) what happened on the European front of it. I really, really loved Ambrose's way of combining very personal accounts of the soldiers on the front lines up through the ranks to those making the big decisions. I also really enjoyed his writing style; though he goes into great detail, he is still easy to read and understand. It's easy to get the generalities of the war and how WW II has always been interesting to me anyway, and this book was an excellent way to understand (from personal experiences) what happened on the European front of it. I really, really loved Ambrose's way of combining very personal accounts of the soldiers on the front lines up through the ranks to those making the big decisions. I also really enjoyed his writing style; though he goes into great detail, he is still easy to read and understand. It's easy to get the generalities of the war and how it was fought, but it was fascinating and horrifying to get a much more personal understanding of individuals' experiences and what they had to endure. I had no idea how bad and difficult the conditions of the men on the front lines were, especially in areas that the Army should have better prepared them. From having to figure out by trial and error the ways to fight in completely new and unfamiliar terrain (like the hedgerows) to the woefully inadequate gear they had for the brutal winter of '44-'45. Particularly in the face of these and other extreme difficulties, it's all the more amazing what the military as a whole accomplished. It's one thing to read about the decisions at the top for what they wanted accomplished and the divisions and units they sent to do so, but it makes it so much more agonizing and amazing to have the accounts of what the actual people in those divisions and units had to do to to meet those objectives. What they had to do was hugely important, and it came at such heartbreaking costs, due to both justifiable and bad decisions. I can see and understand much more of why that generation has been called the Greatest Generation.
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  • Brien
    January 1, 1970
    This book took me forever to read...almost a month! It's not that it's very long (just under 500 pages), but that it's dense. It probably wasn't the best choice for a 'summer read' - but it was still a pretty good book.Ambrose (who wrote the awesome book "Band of Brothers") is a military historian for military historians. If you're out of the look (like I am), some of the details in his book can get heavy and difficult to handle. Once I decided to read this book as a collection of thousands of s This book took me forever to read...almost a month! It's not that it's very long (just under 500 pages), but that it's dense. It probably wasn't the best choice for a 'summer read' - but it was still a pretty good book.Ambrose (who wrote the awesome book "Band of Brothers") is a military historian for military historians. If you're out of the look (like I am), some of the details in his book can get heavy and difficult to handle. Once I decided to read this book as a collection of thousands of short stories about WWII in Europe post D-Day, it became a lot easier to read. If you're gonna try to keep track of all the divisions, corps, companies, sergeants, captains, lieutenants and privates that he writes about...good luck!I've always been a bit of a history buff, and WWII has had special interest for me. Ambrose does a great job of exploring post D-Day Europe from the perspective of the junior officers and NCOs on the front line. And in traditional Ambrose style, he lets most of the men and women talk for themselves by heavily quoting from memoirs (mostly unpublished), oral histories, interviews, letters, etc. Don't expect a plot...there isn't one. In fact, the chronological time line can get convoluted and shaky at times. But if you're interested in interesting and new tidbits of information about the war, I think this is a great place to start.
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  • Ola
    January 1, 1970
    As much as I expected that a book about the US Army would be patriotic, at some points I found it so pro-American it was getting pompous. Sure, it's supposed to describe American soldiers fighting in Europe, but the book leaves the impression that they were the only good guys there and it was them who single-handedly defeated the Nazis.But that's pretty much the only fault I could find in the book, and it can be justified (after all, it is written by an American, about Americans, for Americans). As much as I expected that a book about the US Army would be patriotic, at some points I found it so pro-American it was getting pompous. Sure, it's supposed to describe American soldiers fighting in Europe, but the book leaves the impression that they were the only good guys there and it was them who single-handedly defeated the Nazis.But that's pretty much the only fault I could find in the book, and it can be justified (after all, it is written by an American, about Americans, for Americans).Very interesting and detailed, helps you try to imagine how life in a trench looked like - with all the sometimes dull, uncomfortable and boring aspects, sometimes terrible and sad, but also happy and glorious ones. Quoting countless witnesses makes the narration fast-paced and fascinating, as you can often see the same event from the point of view of a few people, sometimes even from both sides of the conflict. Stephen E. Ambrose was absolutely fascinated with the World War II and it shows.
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  • Hippo dari Hongkong
    January 1, 1970
    Patton woke on Christmas morning, looked at the sky and said to himself, "Lovely weather for killing Germans." .. Hohohoho...Selesai bagian 2 (Battle od the Bulge), masuk Bagian 3------------------------------------------------Beres dah bagian satunya, masuk bagian duaSo Patton said to Eisenhower. Stop Monty where he is, give me all the fuel coming to the Continent, and I'll be in Berlin before Thanksgiving. Monty said to Einsenhower. Stop Patton where he is, give me all the fuel coming to the C Patton woke on Christmas morning, looked at the sky and said to himself, "Lovely weather for killing Germans." .. Hohohoho...Selesai bagian 2 (Battle od the Bulge), masuk Bagian 3------------------------------------------------Beres dah bagian satunya, masuk bagian duaSo Patton said to Eisenhower. Stop Monty where he is, give me all the fuel coming to the Continent, and I'll be in Berlin before Thanksgiving. Monty said to Einsenhower. Stop Patton where he is, give me all the fuel coming to the Continent, and I'll be in Berlin before the end of October.Dan Eisenhower pun pusing tujuh keliling :DDooh, ini dua Jenderal ini brantem mulu. Dah adu panco ajah, yang menang ambil tuh semua pasokan bahan bakarnya.
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  • John Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    Possibly one of the best books I have ever read. The first hand accounts of every day soldiers from both sides of the war gives a unique history of World War II that at times had my heart lifted in pride for what these people accomplished and moved me to tears by thier sacrifice. This book should be required reading for every High School history class if for no other reason that maybe if teenagers today realized that 80 years ago people not much older than them were will to fight and die to stop Possibly one of the best books I have ever read. The first hand accounts of every day soldiers from both sides of the war gives a unique history of World War II that at times had my heart lifted in pride for what these people accomplished and moved me to tears by thier sacrifice. This book should be required reading for every High School history class if for no other reason that maybe if teenagers today realized that 80 years ago people not much older than them were will to fight and die to stop tyranny than maybe they would stop whining about how the world isn't being handed to them and do something.
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  • Peter
    January 1, 1970
    This book gives a graphic picture of the major impact the American GIs had on the war in Europe. Without their numerical and arms superiority it would have been unlikely that Hitler would have been defeated. The various campaigns are covered but the difference being it is told through the accounts of the soldiers who were taking part and from both sides. It is remarkable how ordinary guys became hardened to the death and destruction on the battlefield and the ones who were not able to take any m This book gives a graphic picture of the major impact the American GIs had on the war in Europe. Without their numerical and arms superiority it would have been unlikely that Hitler would have been defeated. The various campaigns are covered but the difference being it is told through the accounts of the soldiers who were taking part and from both sides. It is remarkable how ordinary guys became hardened to the death and destruction on the battlefield and the ones who were not able to take any more. There were atrocities were prisoners were shot and moments when humanity surfaced as in the Easter church service with GIs and German civilians participating. All in all an excellent book.
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  • Jack
    January 1, 1970
    Ground-level narratives lend an authenticity and immediacy that gets lost in other media: Digging trenches into frozen ground to spend the winter night in the Black Forest? Sick, cold, tired, hungry and scared...and you can hear your enemies scant feet away in the pitch black, doing the same thing? Kind of makes me rethink just how tough my toughest winter Boy Scout trips really were. :) Cutting through ancient hedgerows, set up with cross-fire machine gun killing fields also gives you pause. Th Ground-level narratives lend an authenticity and immediacy that gets lost in other media: Digging trenches into frozen ground to spend the winter night in the Black Forest? Sick, cold, tired, hungry and scared...and you can hear your enemies scant feet away in the pitch black, doing the same thing? Kind of makes me rethink just how tough my toughest winter Boy Scout trips really were. :) Cutting through ancient hedgerows, set up with cross-fire machine gun killing fields also gives you pause. This is powerful stuff, when taken at the boot-level point of view.I like it, quite a bit. And as always: thank you to those who went through it for us!
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  • Zohar - ManOfLaBook.com
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating book about Europe W.W.II as told by the men on the front lines, not a media hugging officer or a dry historian. Ambrose captures the sense of history from both sides of the fence, sticks to the facts as we know them and keeps his comments to a minimum. The best part is a large portion of the book is actual quotes and personal stories taken from the men and women who were actually there. The book starts off a bit slow, but picks up momentum as one gets going, and than it's hard to p A fascinating book about Europe W.W.II as told by the men on the front lines, not a media hugging officer or a dry historian. Ambrose captures the sense of history from both sides of the fence, sticks to the facts as we know them and keeps his comments to a minimum. The best part is a large portion of the book is actual quotes and personal stories taken from the men and women who were actually there. The book starts off a bit slow, but picks up momentum as one gets going, and than it's hard to put it down.
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