The greatest war : Americans in combat, 1941-1945 /
Gerald Astor.
Novato, Calif. : Presidio Press, c1999.
ix, 1033 p., [12] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
More Details
Novato, Calif. : Presidio Press, c1999.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 1007-1013) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1999-11-22:
After years of lying in wait, the WWII story sprang back into action last year, with movies like Saving Private Ryan and books like Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation. But as many stories as have been told so far, there are an almost infinite number more to tell, which Astor's book seeks to do. Astor, author of The Right to Fight and numerous other works of military and social history, has patched together countless firsthand accounts of many of the battles in which Americans fought during WWII. Thus, one is introduced to Pearl Harbor through the account of one soldier whose first thought was that the Japanese planes were actually American and that the pilots were going to get into a lot of trouble for bombing a hangar; another account quite convincingly conveys another man's experience surviving the downing of his plane and interrogation in a German prison camp. But at a broader level, the book suffers from a fundamental lack of focus. On battles that remain less in the public eye, Astor's results are fascinating--his account of the attack on Salerno, in particular--but the reports are too brief to do anything but tantalize. And as interesting as the first-person accounts are, their broad outlines are likely to be familiar to WWII buffs. Astor's deep knowledge and the amazing experiences of his subjects come through clearly, however, as he drives home that this was a time when particularly remarkable people had particularly remarkable experiences. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-12-01:
In his introduction, Astor (The Mighty Eight, Right To Fight) states: "I hope to present a sense of what the American fighting man experienced in terms of what he thought, felt, saw, heard and tried to do." He succeeds admirably, creating the finest one-volume oral history available of the American soldier in World War II. Beginning with Pearl Harbor and proceeding chronologically to the dropping of the atomic bomb, this book describes army, navy, and marine corps actions through the eyes of the participants. The entries are well chosen, and Astor has arranged them in a fast-paced, smoothly flowing narrative. In his conclusion, he considers the war philosophically. Especially interesting is his tweaking of Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation; comparing generations and their wars, he says, is not valid. Ambrose remains the master oral historian of the European Theater, but Astor has written the first oral history to include all of the services and theaters of the war. Highly recommended.--Richard S. Nowicki, Emerson Vocational H.S., Buffalo, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, November 1999
Publishers Weekly, November 1999
Library Journal, December 1999
Reference & Research Book News, February 2000
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Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
This is Not a Drill!""""p. 1
Preattak Maneuversp. 18
The Philippine Defensesp. 27
Still Asleepp. 45
Early Engagementsp. 64
Retreatp. 78
The East Indiesp. 97
The Fall of Bataanp. 118
The Death March and Morale Missionsp. 142
Final Defeat in the Philippinesp. 164
At Sed and in the Airp. 176
American Airpower Conceptsp. 199
Opening Offensivesp. 210
Paratroopers, Raiders, Rangers, Marauders, Alamo Scoutsp. 230
Torchp. 244
Grim Glimmersp. 264
Defedtp. 281
Tunisiap. 304
Huskyp. 318
Island Venturesp. 338
Pointblank, Blitz Week, and Ploestip. 353
Avalanche, Shingle, and Defeatsp. 379
Solomon Finales, Galvanic, and Flintlockp. 401
Burmese Days and Skip Bombingp. 415
Big Week, Berlin, and Assaults and Batterings in Italyp. 429
Galahad's Joust, New Ventures, Minor Gains, and Overloadp. 450
Overlord Overturesp. 466
Daylight at Omaha Beachp. 494
Getting off Omahap. 518
Utah Beachp. 534
Hanging Onp. 551
The Normandy Campaign Beginsp. 569
Superforts and the Marianasp. 593
Breakoutp. 612
Dragoonp. 633
Silent Service, Peleliu, Marsp. 650
Paris, Brest, and Market Gardenp. 668
Winter Comes to Europep. 690
""""I Have Returned.""""p. 707
The Battle of Leyte Gulf and the Kamikazesp. 724
The Ardennesp. 748
Chaosp. 767
End of Seigep. 789
Causualties and Powsp. 803
The Battle for Manilap. 819
Firestormsp. 835
Over the Rhinep. 849
Operation Icebergp. 866
Tennozanp. 879
Ie Shima and Beyondp. 894
Liberations and Victoryp. 907
Penultimate Actionsp. 923
Endgame in the Philippinesp. 943
The Bomb and the Endp. 956
After Action Reportsp. 972
Roll Callp. 991
Bibliographyp. 1007
Indexp. 1015
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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