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Parachute infantry : an American paratrooper's memoir of D-Day and the fall of the Third Reich /
David Kenyon Webster ; introduction by Stephen E. Ambrose.
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 1994.
xx, 262 p.
0807119016 (alk. paper)
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Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 1994.
0807119016 (alk. paper)
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A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1994-04-15:
Webster was definitely not your average GI. An English major at Harvard, he could have spent World War II as an officer or in a combat support branch. Instead, he volunteered to serve as a combat infantryman in the new U.S. Army airborne forces. His desire to fight the Nazis was more than fulfilled through combat jumps on D-Day and later behind German lines. Himself wounded, Webster buried more than a few of his close friends. Although all personal narratives of combat possess common themes and follow predictable paths, they invariably draw the reader into their world of common suffering, shared joy, collective terror, and appalling inhumanity. Webster brings this world alive for the reader. A useful supplement to Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers (LJ 5/15/92), which told the story of Webster's parachute unit. For comprehensive World War II collections in academic and public libraries. [See also World War II: 50 Years After D-Day, LJ 4/ 1/94, p. 110-11.]-John R. Vallely, Siena Coll. Lib., Loudonville, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, April 1994
Library Journal, April 1994
Reference & Research Book News, September 1994
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Unpaid Annotation
An English literature major at Harvard with a talent for writing, twenty-one-year-old David Kenyon Webster volunteered for duty in the U.S. Army's parachute infantry in 1943 with the aim of seeing combat firsthand and then describing his experiences. His introduction to warfare came at the invasion of Normandy on D-Day in 1944. Webster went on to see considerable action in the next two years, serving as a combat infantryman in the campaign through northwest Europe, during which he was twice wounded. He wrote Parachute Infantry a short time after the war, relying on his letters home and recollections he penned right after his discharge, making his memoir much closer to the war than most such works. With its abundant dialogue, charged descriptions of places and events, and skillful evocation of emotions, Webster's narrative resonates with the immediacy of a gripping novel. The memoir is divided into several episodes. The first takes place in May and June of 1944 and provides a detailed, suspensefulaccount of,Webster's participation in the events of D-Day. The next covers several days in September, 1944, when Webster parachuted into Holland and then as part of a group of soldiers advanced through small towns, freeing them as the Germans retreated, until he was shot in the leg and forced to leave his unit. The narrative then picks up in February, 1945, after Webster has returned to his unit, and describes several weeks near the end of the war in Europe, when German resistance was still strong but weakening. Then comes the Allied victory in 1945. We see Webster's platoon arriving at Berchtesgaden (Hitler's vacation retreat in the Alps) right before V-E Day and the celebrations and laxdiscipline that followed the final collapse of the Third Reich. In the last section of the book, Webster recalls the monotonous routine of occupation duty, concluding with his return to the States in early 1946 to be discharged. S
Table of Contents
Prologuep. 1
The Jump into Normandyp. 3
The Windmills Were Wonderfulp. 45
Our Home Was Securep. 120
Hitler's Champagnep. 176
After the Fightingp. 205
Winding Downp. 240
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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