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Between 40 & 50

The ramblings of a middle-aged man

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Book Review

Another Good Book

Recently I wrote about how much I enjoyed The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara. I highly recommend it if you’re interested in learning more about World War II, focusing on the Normandy Invasion up to the Battle of the Bulge.

Following that book, I picked up a copy of Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly, which was also spectacular in a similar, but different way. Killing Patton explores the final months of World War II and the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of one of America’s greatest Generals, George S. Patton, Jr.

During the course of World War II, General Patton made a plethora of enemies on both sides of the lines. The Germans were absolutely terrified of his tactical brilliance and knew that his was likely the one army they couldn’t defeat. Hitler actively sought ways to eliminate Patton from command. On the Allied side, he pissed off all of the High Command, most of the other General Staff, Senators, the President, and just about everyone he interacted with. If he didn’t have the rousing success in battle that his army did, it’s highly likely that he would have been relieved of duty for any one of his numerous PR blunders, such as slapping a soldier who was in the medical tent for “battle fatigue.”

general-george-s-patton-jr-u-s-army-general-1940s
General George S. Patton, Jr.

Patton’s death is highly suspicious and the details are extremely shady. Continue reading “Another Good Book”

A Good Book

I don’t read nearly enough. Instead, I end up wasting precious hours watching TV or surfing the web looking at porn. However, when I do find a good book, I can’t put it down. Finishing the book becomes my solitary focus. My dad passed along a copy of Jeff Shaara’s The Steel Wave, and I can’t put the thing down!

The book is historical fiction about World War II, examining the build up to Operation Overload, the Allied invasion at Normandy, all the way through to the removal of Germany’s forces from France. Jeff takes his readers through the intensity of war. There are times where I literally could not put the book down because I needed to learn the outcome of a particular situation, or read about how a massive hurdle was overcome. The book is at times gripping, funny, intense, and thoroughly enjoyable.

What sets this book apart from others I’ve read is the masterful job Jeff does providing the reader with multiple points of view, typical of a Jeff Shaara book. Instead of one main character, Jeff puts you in the shoes of all sorts of characters. In one chapter you’re embodying Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower, learning about the amazing tentacles involved with Operation Overload. The next chapter might be from the perspective of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel as he fights Germany’s High Command seeking additional resources to shore up defenses for an invasion the Command is certain will arrive at Calais, not Normandy. Many of the chapters focus on a who’s who list of World War II luminaries, including General George Patton, British Prime Minster Winston Churchill, the aforementioned Eisenhower and Rommel, as well as others who played major roles in the defining moments of the war.

But wait, there’s more! The story isn’t told from just the top echelon. No! Continue reading “A Good Book”

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