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21. Panzer Divisions: The Eastern
22. Division Facts Practice Book:
23. 4th Armored Division in World
24. Division War (Flash Kids Flash
25. Joy Division: Piece by Piece
26. From Beachhead to Brittany: The
27. With the 41st Division in the
28. 10th Mountain Division (Military
29. Victory Was Beyond Their Grasp:
30. Fair Division: From Cake-Cutting
31. None Left Behind: The 10th Mountain
32. The Division Street Princess:
33. Division (Question of Math)
34. US Armored Divisions: "The European
35. The Angels: A History of the 11th
36. The Jungleers: A History Of The
37. Panzer Divisions: The Blitzkrieg
38. Climb to Conquer: The Untold Story
39. From Brittany to the Reich: The
40. Patton's Vanguard: The United

21. Panzer Divisions: The Eastern Front 1941-43 (Battle Orders)
by Pier Battistelli
Paperback: 96 Pages (2008-10-21)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1846033381
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
On June 22, 1941 when Germany attacked the Soviet Union, her Panzer divisions were to play a major role in this titanic struggle. At its peak, 19 out of the 21 existing Panzer Divisions were deployed against the Soviets. Although overwhelmed by Soviet numbers, the superior skill and capability of the German Panzer divisions meant that in three months the Germans, with the Panzers as their spearhead had advanced deep into Soviet territory, inflicting terrible losses on the Soviets. However, after these initial successes the German offensive began to falter, culminating in the disastrous defeat at Kursk.

In this book, the organizational history of the Panzer divisions is covered, from the early successes of 1941 through to the dramatic re-organization of the Panzer Divisions and the introduction of revised Blitzkrieg tactics as the war began to turn and the Panzer divisions experienced their first taste of defeat. Pier Paolo Battistellii examines the impact of the introduction of the Panther tank shortly before the final failure at Kursk, and goes on to explain the evolution of German armored doctrine, tactics and the command system, providing a detailed overview of the major combat actions of the Panzer Divisions on the Eastern Front. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Panzer Divisions: The Eastern Front 1941-43 (Battle Orders)
Osprey BATTLE ORDERS tend to be one of their better series and this book; and the follow-on 44-45 book are both in the better class.Provides information on the formations, actual strengths of panzers, and the changes in the orders of battle of the Panzer Divisions as the Germans went from victory to defeat.Changes are pointed out in each component of the Panzer Division, both on paper and as well as could be expected actual strengths.Also covers some combat actions and discusses how and why the changes were made.Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jammed Packed with Information
This is the second of Dr. Pier Paolo Battistelli's volumes about German Panzer Divisions in Osprey's Battle Order series. In this one, the author focuses on the panzer divisions from Operation Barbarossa in June 1941 through the battles around the Dnepr River and Kiev in late 1943. Overall, this volume has a very high graphic quality with excellent maps and charts, but it is written with a level of detail that will please East Front specialists but which likely will be difficult for general readers to absorb. This is very much a nuts and bolts account. Nevertheless, this volume packages a great deal of useful data and the author's insight into the reasons for the decline of Germany's preeminent combat formations in the Second World War is lucid and makes a valuable contribution to the study of this subject.

Panzer Divisions: The Eastern Front 1941-43 begins with some brief sections on the combat mission of these units and their doctrine and training. Continuing for his earlier volume, Dr. Battistelli explains how the panzer divisions were designed to conduct fast-moving operations that penetrated enemy and then enveloped enemy defenses, leading to operational-level victories. Doctrinally, the Germans learned some lessons from the 1940 French campaign and began to use more mixed kampfgruppen (battlegroups), rather than the previous preference for armor-heavy spearheads. However, the author notes that German panzer doctrine was geared toward Western European terrain/weather conditions and proved unrealistic on the Eastern Front. One of the first victims was the kradschutzen (motorcycle) battalions, which could not function well on the muddy roads of Russia. The 31-page section on unit organization covers the reorganization of panzer divisions in 1942-43, as well as detailing each of the division's main components (armor, infantry, artillery, engineers, reconnaissance, anti-tank, support services). This section may seem very dense and technical for some readers, but it has some invaluable charts, such as those listing the sub-units of each panzer division. Perhaps the best chart is one on page 26, that lists that part of the infantry in each division that was mounted on SPW halftracks in 1941, 1942 and 1943.

The next main section of the volume is a 21-page discussion of division tactics.Dr. Battistelli observes that the terrain and weather conditions in Russia, combined with the losses from the 1941 campaign, forced the panzer divisions to change their style in 1942-43. Unlike the heady days of Blitzkrieg in 1940-41, the panzer divisions of 1942-43 were forced to fight more on the defensive and even when they did attack, they were no longer able to make the kind of spectacular advances that they once made. The author then provides a series of tactical vignettes, each with its own map, that outline the changing tactical methods used in this period. These ten vignettes are: 11th Panzer Division drive to Dubno, June 1941; 20th Panzer Division's Dvina River crossing, July 1941; 3rd Panzer Division's raid across the Susha River, October 1941; the counterattack at Klin, December 1941; the Battle for Kharkov, May 1942; 1st Panzer Division's defense of Belyj, November 1942; the LVII Panzer Korps drive on Stalingrad, December 1942; the last Battle of Rostov, February 1943; the III Panzer Korps attack at Kursk, July 1943 and the 2nd Panzer Army defense at Orel, July 1943. The maps for these vignettes are very nice but unfortunately, do not have the kind of captions used in the campaign series (this has been a recurring defect in the BO series).

The author then provides a 12-page section on weapons and equipment, which provides breakdowns on the types of tanks in each of the panzer divisions during this period. It also describes the production of major weapons, ranging from tanks to infantry weapons and describes Germany's inability to equip the panzer divisions with either the quantity or quality of weaponry needed to restore their waning offensive capabilities. This section also describes how German armored capabilities were beginning to spread out, with independent Tiger tank and assault gun battalions, meaning that panzer divisions were no longer the `mailed fist' that they had been in 1940-41. For those readers who just focus on tanks, the author's discussion of the shortage of halftracks, armored cars and trucks will reveal just how weak the panzer divisions had become by mid-war.

The last sections cover C3I (auftragstaktik and `leap forward' concepts) and unit status. Flexibility, mobility and mission-orders were at the root of panzer successes in 1940-41, but the losses suffered during the first year in Russia began to sharply chip away at these advantages. When confronted by the superior Soviet T-34 and KV-1 tanks, the Germans opted to shift from a maneuver-based doctrine to a firepower-based doctrine which ultimately undermined their own offensive capabilities. Instead of using armored mobility to strike an enemy where he was weakest (e.g. through the Ardennes), the Germans began to use their armor as a battering ram (e.g. in the streets of Stalingrad and at Kursk), attacking the enemy where he was strongest. Despite the tactical advantages that the panzer divisions enjoyed over their opponents until late in the war, they were not configured to win a war of attrition and the changes in how these units were used ultimately led to German defeat.
... Read more

22. Division Facts Practice Book: Improve Your Math Fluency Series (Volume 4)
by Chris McMullen Ph.D.
Paperback: 120 Pages (2009-06-17)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$6.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1448609755
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This practice book is designed to help students first memorize and then develop fluency with their basic division facts - i.e. dividing numbers where divisor and quotient are between 0 and 10.This book is conveniently divided up into four parts:Part 1 features a single number so that students can master one number's division facts at a time; each problem in Part 2 has either a divisor or quotient no larger than 5, allowing students to concentrate on smaller numbers first; similarly, the problems of Part 3 have a divisor or quotient greater than 5; and Part 4 is a mixture of Parts 2 and 3.An introduction describes how parents and teachers can help students make the most of this workbook.Kids are encouraged to time and score each page.In this way, they can try to have fun improving on their records, which can help lend them confidence in their math skills.A multiplication table is provided to help students who are just learning their division facts. ... Read more

23. 4th Armored Division in World War II (Spearhead)
by George Forty
Paperback: 128 Pages (2009-01-23)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$14.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076033160X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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          Like other volumes in the Spearhead series, this book takes readers to the cutting edge of warfare–for a close look at the make-up, operations, and performance of a military unit operating independently and forcefully at the forefront of battle. With a focus on aspects of war that most narrative histories omit–logistics and supply lines, communications, battlefield terrain, and command and control–this book offers an unparalleled view of the experience of the 4th Armored Division in World War II. Included are a brief history of the unit, its theater of operations, and the combat situations it faced first spearheading Patton’s Third Army in its race across France, then leading the attack to relieve the embatttled Screaming Eagles ofthe101st Airborne Division at Bastogne, and finally into the heart of the Reich itself, crossing into Czechoslovakia by VE Day. Copiously illustrated with photographs, organizational diagrams, tables, and unit markings (both tactical and individual), the book covers every aspect of this unit’s role in the war, from training and strategic planning to engineering and execution. It is an unusually detailed account of the true nuts and bolts behind the drama of the 4th Armored Division in World War II.

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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars 4th Armored Division
Excellent book!Covers the 4th AD drive in Europe, including "order of battle" diagrams.I hope the Spearhead series published abook on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions in the same format as well.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but lacking
The US Army's 4th Armored Division landed in France in 1944.The unit first saw action in the breakout from Nomandy and was in almost continuous action until the end of the war.They were the cutting edge of General George Patton's Third Army through Europe. 4th Armored was one of the most successful and most aggressive divisions and produced a number of notable US armored commanders.There have been a number of books that provide the history and insight into this famous organization.Unfortunately this book does not bring much new to the table.It DOES provide a decent history of the 4th Armored Division.Unfortunately the photo material for the book is generally either "generic" or has been published previously (and often commmonly).One thinks that the 4th Armored deserved a bit better effort - this book is good, but not evidently a "labor of love".Within the size and price for the book it is a good value for someone who is not familiar with the 4th Armored and may serve to tell more Americans about this division. ... Read more

24. Division War (Flash Kids Flash Cards)
by Flash Kids Editors
Cards: 86 Pages (2010-10-05)
list price: US$3.95 -- used & new: US$2.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1411434870
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Flash Kids Flash Cards offer essential practice in key concepts such multiplication, division, the alphabet, sights words, and state capitals. Containing 88 cards in each package, these cards are sturdier than others on the market.
... Read more

25. Joy Division: Piece by Piece
by Paul Morley
Paperback: 384 Pages (2008-01-28)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0859654044
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Paul Morley knew Joy Division intimately. He not only wrote extensively and evocatively of the “mood, atmosphere and ephemeral terror” that enveloped the group and their doomed front man, Ian Curtis, but he was present when Curtis suffered his life-changing epileptic seizure following a London concert in April 1980 and was the only journalist permitted to view Curtis’ corpse. Joy Division: Piece By Piece encompasses his complete writings on the group, both contemporary and retrospective. In addition to collecting all of Morley’s classic works about the band, the book includes his eloquent Ian Curtis obituary and hindsight pieces on the group’s significance, framed by an extensive retrospective essay, as well as his reviews of the films 24 Hour Party People and Control. Morley, who emerged from Manchester at the same time as Joy Division, effortlessly evokes that city’s zeitgeist and psycho-geography to tell the story of this uniquely intense group.
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Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Joy Division
I got this book because I am still a bit obsessed with Joy Division after all these years - after what seems like a commonly experienced 15 years of avoiding them.And so of course I bought a book with this title.I even enjoyed quite a bit of it.Be warned - it is not easy reading.Morley makes a point of not wanting to write a standard book, e.g. who did what, where and when, arguing that others have and will, and that the subject matter requires a different approach.It is deliberately disjointed.This can be understood and accepted.There is also a lot of word-for-word repetition (is this deliberate?).My main disappointment is the fact that a lot of the book is about other things.Some of this is interesting, particularly his attempt to come to terms with his father's suicide (note: a suicide in the family does not seem to be a prerequisite for obsession with this band, but it probably helps).But there's a lot of other stuff, like on the general music scene at the time.The final straw for me was when I reached a very lengthy "interview" with Cab Voltaire.One could argue that this puts things in context but I reckon not.Like another reviewer, after I had established what the real title of the book should have been, I ended up skimming through looking for words like "Joy" and "Division" where I would pause and read for a bit. On the main subject matter of the book: when all's said and done, no one will ever "understand" Joy Division, not the members themselves, not those close to them and not those interested from afar.Certainly, Morley doesn't in the slightest seem (or claim?) to have come to an understanding of them and what happened and why it happened and why their music affects us still.

3-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps too many pieces?
For any fan of Joy Division (of which I am one) I recommend this book with some reservations. This collection of articles (by the same writer) on the band are of varying interest. I found however that as the collection progressed the articles become less about the band and more about the writer. They also tended to repeat themselves and by the final third of the book I was merely scanning the text and flipping through pages searching for anything of interest.

4-0 out of 5 stars "the past is now part of my future, the present is well out of hand."
A cerebral, spectacular look inside the Manchester scene from one of the best writers in rock history. The book takes you back to the post punk era then to the present for Morley's feelings, and inspirations for his writings, which are very poignant, especially his revealing how his fathers death boookends the journey of Joy Division, and how it may have subconciously influenced him.

This is the best book I have read on the enigmatic Manchester scene, which I have always been fascinated with. If you are the same, this is a must have.

If you have read or own the 1984 book "An Ideal For Living" which chronicled every gig of Joy Division with the writings of Paul Morley, you will be reading things that you have in the past, but "Piece By Piece" is presented in such a more organized and engrossing fashion that it is worth purchasing.

I would give 5 stars, but would like to have seen more rare or unseen illustrations.

Title quote is from the song "Heart and Soul" by Joy Division ... Read more

26. From Beachhead to Brittany: The 29th Infantry Division at Brest, August-September 1944
by Joseph Balkoski
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2008-03-10)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$16.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811703258
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In this highly anticipated sequel to his acclaimed Beyond the Beachhead, World War II historian Joseph Balkoski follows the U.S. 29th Infantry Division out of Normandy and into Brittany in the northwest corner of France, where the division was tasked with seizing the port of Brest. The Germans, including elite paratroopers, fought fiercely for every inch of ground and inflicted heavy casualties on the Americans during bloody house-to-house fighting. By the time the German defenders surrendered, the Allies had taken other ports, thus rendering Brest nearly useless and casting controversy on the decision to capture it in the first place. Balkoski tells the story of the battle, from the generals who ordered the attack to the infantrymen who slogged through the streets of Brest. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I have read 4 of Joe Balkowski's books and I highly recommend all of them.This book like his others has great detail, contains new material, is well documented and written in a style that flows and is easy to read.His conclusions are well founded and explains the actions of the military leaders by giving the reader thier thought process behind the decisions.

Refreshing in it's thoroughness.

3-0 out of 5 stars "In truth" if I have to read about one more "outfit" I may scream!
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I've read BtB, OMAHA, and UTAH, and enjoyed all of them. However, when moving out of Normandy Balkoski seems to have stumbled.

The prose is stilted, disjointed, and repetitive. The same phrases keep appearing over and over, and the same action keeps being described on multiple pages. Balkoski really seems to have struggled with how to build a coherent narrative for the semi-complex situation that 29ID found itself in in Brittany. This is odd, since he handled the far more complex UTAH landings admirably.

The book is populated by cardboard cut-outs, rather than real humans. All the Americans are stern, proud, muscular and tactical geniuses. The Germans are ... totally absent. Only a few senior German commanders are described in any detail, and even those share a homogenous sameness of stereotypical Hollywood Nazi-ness. Only a very few of the German units 29ID encountered are named, otherwise they are bland "heinies". Similarly, the German fighting men that 29ID came up against are little more than faceless fanatical robotic automatons (FJs), or equally faceless but cowering gibbering idiots (navy, airforce, etc).

The sources used appear to have been shallow - it appears primarly what was available in the 29ID museum - and a great deal of use is made of the Divisional newsletter "29 Lets Go" to describe tactical actions. The newsletter is/was little more than a propaganda puff piece - useful for social commentary, but worthless for in depth analysis or for eyewitness reporting. Other commentators we hear from again and again - Cooper of the 110th, for example. While Cooper's commentary is interesting, a greater variety and depth of sources would have made for a more nuanced and credible story. As a result Balkoski makes some grandiose claims that are wholly unsupported.

As a campaign history of Brittany, this book is very nearly useless. There is virtually no mention of the initial clearance of the bulk of the Brittany Peninsular or the other ports, and virtually none on the actions of the other two infantry divisions involved in the clearance of Brest itself. This is a very narrow history of just the 29ID and what it did.

As is usual for Balkoski's books, there are plenty of maps included, but unfortunately these ones are very amateurish. Significant terrain is barely noted, units and movements are very sketchy and imprecise, frontlines are non-existent, and the enemy is notable only by their total absence. There is also no overall map that puts the small scale maps into context - an omission made worse by the lack of topographical detail on those maps.

The photos are little better. Not a lot of thought seems to have gone into them, and they order they are presented seems ... random. The sequence starts with the post-battle celebrations, and finishes with a (very interesting, it must be said) pencil sketch of terrain the Division fought over in the mid part of the battle. In between there are three photos of Ramcke, about six of the U-boat pens, and three or four of the Naval Academy, but none of most of the key US commanders, and very few of key locations. Captioning is generally ok, but the aerial photos could all have used an indication of orientation (ie, "photo taken looking north-east") to assist with understanding what is being shown, and how it relates to the main narrative.

In the end, this is a uninspiring paean to a single division, covering a small part of a large campaign. I realise that this *is* a divisional history rather than a general or campaign history, but for my tastes Balkoski has set his sights too narrowly with this book. Even within that narrow focus, the book is well below Balkoski's usual standards

4-0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Campaign by Command Unit Historian
No recent historian is more qualified to document the combat history of the 29th Infantry Division in World War II than Joseph Balkoski. As Command Historian of the Maryland National Guard, his prior effort, _Beyond The Beachhead: The 29th Infantry Division in Normandy_ (1989) is considered by many as a classic account of that division's actions on D-Day through the bitter struggle for St. Lo. His office, the Fifth Regiment Armory Building in Baltimore, Maryland houses every conceivable primary source relating to the 29th Division in World War II. His recent D-Day contributions: _Utah Beach:_ and _Omaha Beach:_ which rely heavily upon oral history testimonies of veterans of all ranks have been well received. His latest release, _Beachhead to Brittany_ by Stackpole Books follows many of the same stylistic formats as his previous books, which tends to dull the historical labors of its author, a point that will be explained further.

Anyone interested in the post D-Day campaigns in Northwest Europe during World War II cannot ignore this work. Only one other author in recent memory, Jonathan Gawne, has tackled the Brittany Campaign (see my review of _1944 Americans in Brittany: The Battle of Brest_). Anyone interested in the 29th Division or who had a relative serve in this outstanding unit also cannot ignore this book. The significance of this book cannot be over stressed.

In his Preface, Balkoski admits this narrative tells of the liberation of the French port of Brest "from the perspective of the 29th Infantry Division." At times, the author unwittingly places the 29ers in a vacuum, and gives the sense that the 29th Division faced not only the brunt of the forty-four day struggle, but that its commander, Major General Charles H. Gerhardt was instrumental in many of the major command decisions of the entire campaign. Balkoski handles the cooperation of the 29ers with attached units such as the 5th and 2d Ranger Battalions, and even a British Tank regiment of Crocodile flame thrower tanksadmirably, but bogs down a bit conveying how Gerhardt, and his division fits into the overall scheme of this complex campaign. Likewise, some of his concluding analysis of the overall controversy of why Brest was ultimately abandoned after capture could have been placed in a more detailed Introduction to better prepare his readers.These minor flaws pale in comparison to Balkoski's masterful compelling combat narrative that flows evenly from the division War Room tent to the squad's foxhole. It's obvious the author's heart is close to this division, and as with _Beyond the Beachhead_, does his subject justice.

This reviewer firmly believes that an historian/author and his/her publisher should work together as a team. Either the publishing house Balkoski has loyally chosen for the past two decades is not holding up its end, or Balkoski has simply outgrown them. Twenty years ago when I first read _Beyond the Beachhead_, I was not very concerned with historical methods. Thumbing through footnoted sources to see where an historian culled his facts and information did not interest me as much as a compelling read. That has changed. Balkoski surely can deliver a compelling read, but his methods need a major overhaul. Choosing to incorporate a confusing citation format of bold print and half italicized fragments in all his published works rather than the numbered Chicago style only lessens the author's credibility as a serious military historian. Known for his use of simplified maps since _Beachhead:_, recent computer generated maps have become dumbed down to a fault. Even something as petty as numbered sub-headings (eliminated in _Utah:_ and _Omaha:_ but back again in _Brittany_) should be red-penned out by an alert editor. If a publisher does not take history seriously enough to insist upon some basic house-cleaning it's time Balkoski dumps this publisher. Encouraged to utilize more stringent academic historical methods, Balkoski will undoubtedly take his well deserved place among today's best military historians.

The significance of _Beachhead to Brittany_ far outweighs its stylistic flaws, and warrants a strong recommendation with four-stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good divisional history, if a bit stilted
Joe Balkoski is famous in wargaming circles as one of the more successful designers of the last 20 or so years. As a sideline to that, he's been writing books on the Second World War. I assume that he became interested in the 29th Infantry Division because it was a National Guard formation drawn from units from the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. National Guards, but I don't really know. His first book in this series, Beyond the Beachhead, is a very good, very detailed history of that division during the Normandy campaign. This latest book covers the division as it fights in the siege of Brest, the Brittany port which was originally thought to be crucial to the supply of the Allied troops in France. Eventually, after its capture, the SHAEF decided the port was too far from the front and pretty well wrecked by the Germans, and wound up instead relying on other ports, less damaged by the enemy or closer to the front.

Balkoski is best at discussing the tactical operations of a division in close contact with the enemy. He gives you little context for what's going on with the division. There were three divisions involved in the siege of Brest (the other two being the 2nd and 8th Divisions) and he spends almost no time with them until the end of the book. The larger course of the war in France is touched on only very briefly. Instead, the whole of the book is focused, for the most part, on the fighting men of the 29th Division: companies, and sometimes even platoons, are discussed, with fighting in hedgerows depressingly similar to those in Normandy discussed in careful detail. That part of the book is very well-done.

Balkoski is also rather unsparing with the commander of the division, General Charles Gerhardt. He comes across as a martinet, annoyingly obsessed with details and sometimes a bit of a blowhard. I found this section of the book somewhat interesting, as usually books of this sort only have good things to say about the division commanders they profile.

Balkoski's prose is pretty stilted and over-descriptive. Cornelius Ryan he is not. That being said, this is still an interesting, informative book, and I enjoyed it.

5-0 out of 5 stars For WWII Vets and Their Offspring--Learn About Brest
I gave this as a birthday present to my friend, Spero,84,a D-Day veteran who landed on Omaha Beach with the 29th Division and was also in the battles in Brest. He came back to NJ in 1945 without his buddy Francis and without his hearing.He told me about how severe the fighting was in Brest and that no one had really told the story in detail--the attention was on D-Day.Well, now there's a good book about Brest, Spero. And for our Band of Brothers be they with us or gone, here is another documentation of the soldiers of the 29th at Brest. ... Read more

27. With the 41st Division in the Southwest Pacific: A Foot Soldier's Story
by Francis B. Catanzaro
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2002-10-03)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0253341426
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"[W]e began our advance toward the Mokmer Airstrip.... The road climbed a ridge 15 or 20 feet high and we found ourselves on a flat coral plateau sparsely covered by small trees and scrub growth.... As we moved westward along the road, two of our destroyers were sailing abreast of the lead elements of the advancing column. The first indication of trouble was the roar of heavy artillery shells sailing over our heads... aimed at our destroyers.... Shortly after that our forward movement stopped, and we heard heavy firing from the head of the column.... As we waited, we began to hear heavy fire from the rear.... We were cut off and surrounded!"

In the enormous literature of the Second World War, there are surprisingly few accounts of fighting in the southwest Pacific, fewer still by common infantrymen. This memoir, written with a simple and direct honesty that is rare indeed, follows a foot soldier's career from basic training to mustering out. It takes the reader into the jungles and caves of New Guinea and the Philippines during the long campaign to win the war against Japan. From basic training at Camp Roberts through combat, occupation, and the long journey home, Francis Catanzaro's account tells of the excitement, misery, cruelty, and terror of combat, and of the uneasy boredom of jungle camp life. A member of the famed 41st Infantry Brigade, the "Jungleers," Catanzaro saw combat at Hollandia, Biak, Zamboanga, and Mindanao. He was a part of the Japanese occupation force and writes with feeling about living among his former enemies and of the decision to drop the atom bomb. With the 41st Division in the Southwest Pacific is a powerful, gritty, and moving narrative of the life of a soldier during some of the most difficult fighting of World War II.

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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish my Dad could have read this
I wish my Dad could have read this, you see he commanded the 41st Div Reconniance Troop at Hollindia and at Biak. The authors description of the destruction of their ration dump on Biak rings home. After his return from the SW Pacific it was many years before Dad would allow rice at the table, all he would say was he had to eat captured rice for too long, now I really know why. The other point I find very interesting as a military historian is the fact the author is one of the very few that have ever addressed intentional malingering by troops and his feelings about it. I think his point about mail from home is very valid. I did two tours in Vietnam and I know just how he felt. Overall I think this is a excellent book written from the point of view of a man on the sharp end,

2-0 out of 5 stars Boring, boring, boring
Well intentioned, but nothing of interest.Written for his grandchildren, the story is sanitized.Even worse, the author had the fortune, or misfortune, to participate in some of the lowest cost assaults of the war.Joining after Buna as an infantry replacement, the author lands at Hollandia.Biak was ugly but nothing seems to happen.The division misses Leyte and Luzon, landing instead to clean out the southern Philippines.As far as the wave of personal war memoirs goes this isn't the worst, but compared to With The Old Breed, it is for your Fifth Grader.

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable account of action in obscure Pacific battles.
Catanzaro was sent as a replacement to `I' Co of the 162nd Regt, 41st Infantry Division in early 1944. He is welcomed by the veterans who give him lots of advice on how to prepare for the next operation - Biak, in Dutch New Guinea. Following this campaign, he fights on Mindanao in the Philippines before concluding his service with some occupation duty in Japan.

Regarding Biak, as the blurb says, there are few accounts of combat in this region of the South Pacific, so this was an interesting start. While the landings went well enough, there were some significant reverses and Catanzaro's battalion suffers quite a bit. In several respects the opposing forces at this time were a little more evenly matched and Catanzaro conveys well a sense of uncertainty as to how things would turn out. There are Japanese air and tank attacks but worse was the assaulting of their strongly prepared positions. Catanzaro isn't involved in so much of this but he becomes 2nd scout and does patrols. It is more of the same in the Philippines. Even though he doesn't say it himself, the difference of army and marine procedures were quite evident. The kill ratios he quotes though are in stark contrast to some of those relating to marine actions.

As with others, Catanzaro was enormously frustrated with the inequities of the `points' system and found it hard to believe that the infantry were serviced so poorly while being asked to undertake the biggest risks. Catanzaro was also a religious man and he attended worship whenever he could and greatly appreciated the prayers his family said on his behalf.

This is quite an enjoyable book. Catanzaro intentionally wrote it so it could be read by his grandchildren, so there are no obscenities or excessive gore. He still wanted to convey the awfulness of combat and I think he has struck the right balance, in that it is still quite an interesting read for adults. He is not personally deadly with his rifle but he writes of the times he was responsible for Japanese deaths and his feelings about this. He shared the negative attitudes towards the Japanese of the time and indeed was happy that his war was against them. He was also very proud to have been in the infantry and to have been in the 41st Division. While perfectly adequate and interesting for adult readers, this particular memoir, being not too long or too bloody, would be very apt for younger readers. See my list for my thoughts on many other Pacific war memoirs.

4-0 out of 5 stars With The 41st
I wish this book had given more details. It was good but not as spellbinding as I like. I guess you could say it was like they describe combat---a good bit of boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror. Still, I would recommend it as a good read to anyone interested in World War Two in the Pacific.

5-0 out of 5 stars 41st Div; A Soldiers Story
This book was a gift for my Father. He was in the 41st Infantry Division during WWII. He enjoyed it thoroughly. ... Read more

28. 10th Mountain Division (Military Power)
by Fred J. Pushies
Paperback: 128 Pages (2009-01-18)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$12.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0760333491
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First activated as the 10th Light Division (Alpine) in 1943 and most recently deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 10th Mountain Division has more than half-a-century’s service as an elite force fighting for its country.  10th Mountain Division takes us through this military combat unit’s history and its most recent missions, personnel, and equipment.  Military historian and journalist Fred J. Pushies follows the 10th Mountain Division from its first action in Italy in late 1944 (when Bob Dole served in its ranks) to its return to service training soldiers for the Korean War and work on NATO defense bases throughout Germany; from its reactivation during the Reagan military build-up of the 1980s to its deployment for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm; from its role in disaster relief in Florida after Hurricane Andrew and during the famine in Somalia to its current service in Afghanistan and Iraq.  More than any ever written, his book provides a true sense of what it means to be a part of this elite division.

... Read more

29. Victory Was Beyond Their Grasp: With the 272nd Volks-Grenadier Division from the Huertgen Forest to the Heart of the Reich
by Douglas E. Nash
Paperback: 416 Pages (2008-02-08)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0977756327
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Nominated for the Pulitizer Prize for non-fiction

As the Allies arrived at the frontiers of Germany itself in the last autumn of WWII, the Germans responded with a variety of initiatives designed to regain the strategic initiative. While the Wonder Weapons such as the V-2 missile are widely recognized, the Volks-Grenadier Divisions (VGDs) are practically unknown. Often confused with the Volkssturm, the Home Guard militia, VGDs have suffered the undeserved reputation as second-rate formations, filled with young boys and old men suited to serve only as cannon fodder. This ground-breaking book shows that VGDs were actually conceived as a new, elite corps loyal to the National Socialist Party and equipped with the finest weapons available. Come follow along with the soldiers of the 272nd VGD's Füsilier Company from their first battles in the Huertgen Forest to their final defeat in the Harz Mountains . . . learn the enormous potential of VGDs . . . and feel their soldiers' heartbreak at their failure. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book For Serious Reseachers!!
Of the many 100's of books I have read over my 60 years, Mr. Nash's book "Victory Was Beyond Their Grasp" has fascinated me to the point where I have read three times.And, each time, have become more engrossed in the tale that it tells.
Many books pertaining to the Germans in WWII paint a "big picture" of the Heeresgruppen (Army Groups), Heeres (Armies), various types of Korps (Corps) which, in the end, leave you wondering where? why? how? these units functioned, and how that pertained to the battles that they were engaged in.
Mr. Nash's book simplifies these "big picture" narratives by telling a simple story about one Volks-Grenadier Division (the 272nd), and further it's "Fusilier Battalion" through it's travails, just before the commencement of the "Battle of the Bulge", right up to its end in the Hartz Mountains of central Germany.
The story, that Mr. Nash tells, is so simple, in its telling, that one must take into account that his primary source is from the units own"company clerk", whose documents came into Mr. Nash's possession in 1993.
From this simple "clerks" notes Mr. Nash has been able to construct a story that has left this reader wondering such thoughts as: "Why did the Americans not appreciate the coming of "Die Wacht am Rhein"? Clearly, in Mr. Nash's narrative, there was ample notice given in the battles being fought just north of the area in which the "Bulge" was to be fought through, on the northern flank, that should have given the Americans ample notice as to what the German Army was attempting at this time.
All in all, I've found this book a "jolly good read" !!
And plan on reading it again !!
John Mulholland

5-0 out of 5 stars just good stuff
Most books about the WW2 German Army are rehashed junk. This is one of those rare works that is really important to the study of the "war from the other side."In terms of the history of the German military in WW2 this is an important book, and oh so much more intersting and useful than the dreck most people crank out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Victory was beyond their grasp
Using primary documents of the 272nd that has recently come to light plus other research, Mr Nash has recontructed the daily events of the last months of the war for the 272nd VGD in general and the 272nd Fussilier Company more specifically. The author begins his book by describing how this new material became public and the amount of effort necessary to turn this raw data into a book. It was quite intrguing. The author then tells the origins and purpose of this new division and how it was to relieve the 89th ID in place. A description of strengths and weaknesses of the VGD's of late 1944 is given as well as some comparisons of advantages and disadvantages they had against the advancing Americans.

The front line had been quiet and undemanding, a perfect scenario for a new outfit while war was waging all around them as the Americans were striving to reach the Roer and Rhine Rivers. The story tells how the violence soon escalated with the 272nd getting involved in the fight for Bergstein, nearby Castle Hill, the Brandenberg-Bergstein Ridge, in front of Duren as well as the siege for Kesternich in mid December. The story continues with the 272nd falling back to Honningen by mid March then eventually fallen back in the Ruhr Pocket where the remnants of the 272nd VGD surrendered on April 18th, 1945.

Once again, Mr Nash has written an informed, engaging story about a critical time for both sides. The Allies were trying to break into Germany and the Germans were doing everything to stop that advance. This book, though German-centric, also covers key actions of the American 78th, as well as the 2nd, 4th, 8th IDs as they try to breach the Hurtgen Forest, Roer River and finally across the Rhine River against the 272nd ID and its neighboring outfits in some of the bloodiest fighting on the western front. The author delivers the operational aspects as well as telling the human side of the 272nd Fussiliers. There are key people that are closely followed. This is an excellent stand alone volume but when read with other books from Charles MacDonald, Hugh Cole, John Eisenhower, Robert Rush and others, that provide different perspectives, one can have an even greater understanding of this terrible period for both sides.

The author provides 22 excellent maps that help the reader follow the story. They're good enough to help you following the text in other books as well. There is also an extensive Notes, Appendix, Bibliography and Index. This volume is very professional, well balanced and is recommended to anybody interested in the events of Dec, 44 to April 45 period on the western border of Germany.

5-0 out of 5 stars The life and death of a Volk-Grenadier Division
A section of WWII history I've enjoyed reading about over the years is the struggle in the Hurtgen Forest.For these struggles losses were approximately equal since both parties were aggressive (the Germans fighting to hold the northern flank for where the Battle of the Bulge would be fought, the Americans to secure their southern flank for a breakthrough from Aachen), the terrain didn't favor mobile operations, and the weather made conditions terrible.From the battles for the Hurtgen Forest (and the Heartland of the Reich) Mr. Nash brings us the history of the 272nd Volks-Grenadier Division.A unit raised to defend the Reich in it's final days.

Mr. Nash opens with the inception of the 272nd, describing the units formation, training, and commanders.Focusing mainly on the Fusilier battalion (a Volks-Grenadier Division's fusilier battalion was the divisions "mobile" reserve and often treated as an elite unit) Mr. Nash rapidly swings us into the units introduction to combat in the Hurtgen Forest (also known as the Green Hell or the Death Factory by the Americans) providing good details on the blooding of the 272nd using a mixture of official documents (German and American) and interviews with survivors.Mr. Nash continues the units history as it leaves the Hurtgen Forest and slowly retires into the heartland of the Reich, describing how the unit slowly gets ground down as casualties mount and the replacements haven't received the training former member had.A nice addition is how Mr. Nash follows up on casualties who either leave the 272nd or return after their wounds had recovered.

Because of the unique topic (how many books are there out there on Volks-Grenadier Divisions?), the details provided, the situational maps (some are rather on the big side for what's discussed, others provide good information on specific battles), and unique photos I was won by this book.This is a solid 5 star history of a unit that most people know nothing about.I highly recommend this one for people interested in the battles for the Hurtgen Forest or in German units during WWII (after all, how many books are there on Volks-Grenadier divisions?).

5-0 out of 5 stars Victory Was Beyond Their Grasp
Douglas Nash has done it again with another great World War II book. Victory Was Beyound Their Grasp is another of Nash's books that once you start to read it, you don't want to put it down until you have read the entire book. Just like his book "Hell's Gate/The Battle of the Cherkassy Pocket, Nash draws you into the battle and wouldn't let you go. This book is a most read for World War II buffs. ... Read more

30. Fair Division: From Cake-Cutting to Dispute Resolution
by Steven J. Brams, Alan D. Taylor
Paperback: 288 Pages (1996-02-23)
list price: US$32.99 -- used & new: US$15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521556449
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Fair Division, unlike most research on fairness in the social sciences and mathematics, is devoted solely to the analysis of constructive procedures for actually dividing things up and resolving disputes, including indivisible items or issues, such as the marital property in a divorce or sovereignty in an international dispute.Amazon.com Review
In a democracy, the problem of fair division of goods isfundamental. It is, for example, what's lurking behind contemporarydiscussions of affirmative action, divorce law, and even of Medicareand Social Security.Its flip-side problem--burden-sharing--which isimplicated in such issues as taxation and the draft, is likewisecentral.The authors, one a political scientist, the other amathematician, start with an analysis of the well-known cake-cuttingparadigm of "I cut, you choose" and gradually soup it upinto a model capable of accommodating situations in which there aremore than two parties, or more than one good. They emphasize divisionprocedures that are not only proportional (that give each ofn claimants a 1/n share of the good), but that also have thepsychological property of being "envy-free"; that is,producing allocations in which each participant thinks (often wrongly,obviously) that he received the largest portion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars on time, nice book
Voting systems are quirkier than we generally knew. Good insight into what works and what the problems are.

5-0 out of 5 stars Something Worderful is Going to Happen
Steven Brams and Alan Taylor accomplish something quite interesting and worth paying attention to. They move concepts traditionally treated inpolicy debate and law with simple hit-or-miss human judgment and discretioninto concrete analyzable mathematical processes. In the more than ten yearsthat I've worked on the mathematics of child support, I have not yet beenso convincing that such a transformation from subjective into objective ispossible. Let the games continue!

Roger F. Gay, Project Leader Projectfor the Improvement of Child Support Litigation Technologyhttp://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5910/index.html

5-0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive resource, easily read
This was easily the book I referred to most in my Master's paper on fair division.It covers a lot of topics, including envy-free and equitable division, fair division by auctions, and fair division by elections.Theauthors devote a chapter to their favorite method, the so-called"combined procedure" that is equitable, envy-free, andPareto-optimal for two players and would be invaluable to any divorcelawyer.

For those accustomed to reading mathematics or economics, thisbook is readable.For the layperson, it might be a little bit tootechnical in spots.While it has many practical examples, it isn't reallya fair division manual for the do-it-yourselfer.But it's as close asyou're going to get, for now. ... Read more

31. None Left Behind: The 10th Mountain Division and the Triangle of Death
by Charles W. Sasser
Paperback: 336 Pages (2010-10-26)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312610939
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

A devastating ambush in Iraq, kidnapped soldiers, and the men who wouldn’t leave their comrades behind

The 10th Mountain Division is known as the most deployed unit in the U.S. Army. Today, the War on Terror has drawn it to Afghanistan and Iraq. To Lieutenant Colonel Mike Infanti’s unit fell the pacification of a hellish hotbed of terrorism south of Baghdad dubbed “The Triangle of Death.” Of the more than three thousand Americans killed since the start of the war, more than one thousand were in this region.

Colonel Infanti assigned Delta Company to the most dangerous sector of the Triangle. Delta knew they were virtually assured of getting hit on a daily basis. Each day and night became something to be dreaded and feared.

In the predawn of May 12, 2007, two humvees occupied by seven soldiers and an Iraqi translator were ambushed by insurgents. When the smoke cleared, four soldiers and the translator were dead and three were missing, presumably seized by the enemy. For more than a year, Delta searched for their missing comrades, never giving up hope. Their creed of battle: None Left Behind.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gelati's Scoop
Happy Monday to all!I hope the weekend was an enjoyable one for you. To start the week off right, I decided to go with a little different flavor. A bit of non-fiction, but something I found that was thought provoking, amazing, uplifting and patriotic:
None Left Behindby Charles W. Sasser .
It is the story of the 10th Mountain Division, known as the most deployed unit in the United States Army. The book details the assignment of Delta Company as it patrols the most dangerous sector of Iraq during the war around 2007. The sector was a five mile stretch of road in the "Triangle of Death". Sasser writes as one soldier put it, "We don't commute to work; it commutes to us." Sasser's book is a good history of the 10th and Fort Drum in general. His patriotism is evident in every page he writes.
I want to share with you one paragraph from his introduction: "I am an old Army veteran having served twenty-nine years (active and reserve), including a deployment as a Military Police First Sergeant during the 1991 Iraqi War and Operation Desert Storm. I thought I knew American soldiers, beginning with the Vietnam War era. What I encountered in the officers ands soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division reinforced my faith in America. If we can field such magnificent men as these in times of peril, then all is still well with the nation."
None Left Behindis an amazing recounting of events that I am glad Sasser chose to tell. He goes about chronicling the life, times, struggles and victories of the 10th and Delta with a great deal of respect and honesty. As much respect and admiration I have for those I know that are serving or have served, this book has helped me take that to a new level. Non-Fiction not being my game, I am glad I gave this book a try. It is simply amazing. Try reading something different today. If you cannot get a hold of this book, try one of Sasser's 37 other books, I don't think you can miss.
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4-0 out of 5 stars I Liked This Book
First of all, this book is a GREAT companion piece to Jim Frederickson's Black Hearts, which is about the unit of the 101st Air Assault that preceded the 10th Mountain Division in the Triangle of Death.

This book is not as good as Black Hearts, but it's quite good on its own, and, as already written, it fleshes out the story of the fight in the Sunni Triangle.No One Left Behind is about the surge and how things in the Triangle of Death improved.

It's quite good, so don't be put off by any negative reviews.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping Account!
Author Charles W. Sasser has written many truly great books over the past decade including his award winning book "God in the Foxhole". However, his newest book "None Left Behind: The 10th Mountain Division And The Triangle Of Death" has all of them beat. It offers readers all of the emotions, action, death, fear, and courage, that one would get from any great thriller novel - but what hits you is that this is a true story of real people involved in a real war.The author delivers it in a package of prose and words that is readable, inspiring and entertaining. Well written and authentic by someone who has obviously worn the uniform proudly himself.

You will find yourself fully engrossed in the storyline as he follows the action through the experiences of the real life warriors who were there. The bottom line is that he truly loves and respects all these soldiers and it shows. His book honors all those of the 10th Mountain Division as well as those fighting the current war on terrorism.

This book has my fullest endorsement and recommendation.

W.H. McDonald jr.
Founder of the Military Writer's Society of America
Author, Minister and Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran

3-0 out of 5 stars good and bad news
Good news is this very accurately details life for infantry soldiers beyond the wire.Most people don't know this and the news doesn't portray it at all.Bad news, the title is misleading. It is not about the 10th Mountain, 2d Brigade, or the 4th Battalion.Its really Delta Co. Since I had a relative in another company, I was disappointed.Maps and an outline of the overall picture would also be helpful.

1-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Work of Fiction
My previous review of "None Left Behind" was apparently disliked by one or two people whose nom de plume is "X", "Malibu" or "Yusifiyah". I received several responses to my review of the book, none of them on point or involving a review of the book. Usually the comments were just pointless comments that had nothing to do with the book, the contents of the book, or the author or personal attacks. But always nothing on the book. I received several compliments about my review from friends that read the book and that were deployed with 4-31. Most people added things that I had forgotten. But this one or two people complained enough to Amazon and even though my review is compliant with their policy for reviewing books, it's been asked to revise the review.

First, the book is not titled correctly. "None Left Behind: The 10th Mountain Division and the Triangle of Death" is a misrepresentation of the book and the content. It's true that the book talks about elements of the 10th Mountain Division during deployment, but a more accurate title would have been "LTC Michael Infanti and Delta Company in Iraq" or something like that.

I shouldn't have read this book. That's a sentiment shared by most of the people that I remain close with after the deployment and after everybody going their separate ways.I hoped against reason that the book would be accurate or at a minimum, less embellished. My common sense told me that if the Command Group had anything to do with it only the monumental success that the battalion enjoyed of the backs of the soldiers would be described and not the tragic failures that would have made the book a significantly better read and a more accurate account on what actually happened. As soon as I read the part about the BC and the XO and the CSM all living in separate shipment containers, I knew that I was reading fiction. As a litmus test, I had a non military person specifically read those passages in the book and then tell me what image they could conjure up in their mind about their specific living conditions. What I got sounded like something out of a movie. They imagined a box, huge holes blown through them with rusted and charred metal all over the place, no electricity, scorching heat, and a single cot or sleeping roll on the dirt. Everybody there knows that simply wasn't the case. This book is definitely not intended for anybody that was deployed, but more for the person looking to read a good military story. That's the only way that things like the description of living quarters for the top three can fly. Don't get me wrong, it's a great military story, but it was a great story without the dramatization of the details and the flat out embellishment of the facts.

It's true that the author does inform the reader that the book has been fleshed out to make it readable and in no way did he intend to leave out or offend other members of the battalion. Immediately after this warning, certain members of the battalion are glorified, sensationalized and made to seem like venerable supermen.

More accurately, the book should be listed under "Historical Fiction". Titanic, Saving Private Ryan and most recently, Valkyrie are all recent examples of historical fiction.Historical fiction is a sub-genre of fiction that often portrays fictional accounts or dramatization of historical figures or events. Dramatization being the most important word there. Honestly, with the exception of the guy that drank motor oil, the guy that swallowed a hand full of nails, or the NCOs that were made to guard the gym or the porta potties (all interesting historical events that don't need embellishment to make them readable and relevant) most of us can agree that 15 months with 4-31 in that area required no dramatization. There was plenty of real life drama, life and death, and for some, the entire tumult of the human emotional experience to fill several volumes of very interesting and educational reading.

At best, the book is filled with half-truths that center around significantly historic events that were experienced by the entire battalion. There are major liberties taken with dialogue. Some conversations are simply an amalgamation of every single one of your favorite movies and their most memorable quotes. Very non original material.

Most of the reviews here are lockstep with my view on this book. I simply chose to call out the central character actors that are trumped up in the book. Although my language is inflammatory, nobody has ever questions or refuted my claims that with the good, there was some significant bad, and I'm not talking about the bad based simply off the predicament of being in the most dangerous region of the most dangerous place in the world. The bad brought about by the Chain of Command, like the ridiculousness of the incident at the power plant with 2-14, would have been good to have in the book as well. And other battalions and units in the task force had their issues to deal with as well. Things that most commanders and most senior NCOs would rather not divulge to the world. Like I'm sure that LTC Infanti or the CSM don't sit around telling war stories and bring up SGM McCormick and his extra marital affair with a lower enlisted soldier. Most people would like to forget about that happening, but if you're going to disclose the events and the morale of the battalion, which for the purposes of this book simply means the BC, XO, CSM and D Co., FULL DISCLOSURE should be paramount. No selective disclosure as depicted in this book.

At least three other people that took the time to review this book share my point of view. One of them wasn't there (Wife) but she hits the nail right on the head. The book serves as more of a publicity vehicle for certain members of the battalion, for whom the world apparently spins around.

The reader should be made aware of the fact that when the interviews were performed, which was the foundation of the book,that a significant number of the people in the battalion had transitioned to civilian life, re-enlisted to get out of the battalion, were released from a stop-loss, or simply moved on to better assignments. That being said, I'm sure that nobody that remained that was interviewed would give a derogatory account of what they did or what their interpretation was of what was going on to a journalist. Without fact checking or anybody there to refute tales of things that either didn't happen or are being distorted, human nature would bring out the story teller and where the author didn't have facts, he plugged in what he thought would be the logical thing. Unfortunately the logical thing to him is some cliché line or some contrived scenario.

Over time, I believe that members of the battalion will experience a morphing of their memories of how things happened with what was written down until the book becomes their memories. It's a phenomenon that happens quite frequently. That's why I'm glad I journalized everything that I experienced and heard, recorded still images, times places, saved emails etc. That way my memory of what happened and when and who was involved won't be degraded or distorted over time.

I would be remiss if I did not say that most Polar Bears performed their duties during that deployment in a fashion that they can be proud of, that their families can be proud of, and a way that will enrich the Polar Bear heritage for all time. I don't think that this book does them justice with the creative broad strokes of a favorable paint brush that has been applied to this sometimes fantastical work of historical fiction.

Bottom line, if you weren't deployed or service connected, this is a light, non-challenging read that will most likely conjure images of your favorite war movie.

If you were deployed, are service connected, or were with the battalion, you probably will spend a lot of time saying to yourself "This never happened" or "He never said that"

I welcome any rebuttal, any clear and concise evidence to the contrary would be appreciated. If like the last time, you want to name call, get involved in personal attacks or whatever, take it someplace else or give us your take on the book and how factual it is and what roll you played in the crafting of it. If you want to compare brain pans, education, or engage me in a progressive theological debate,compare merits or pedigree, when I get done laughing, I'll respond.
... Read more

32. The Division Street Princess: A Memoir
by Elaine Soloway
Paperback: 240 Pages (2006-05-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0929636635
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Set in the 1940s, Elaine Soloway’s memoir takes its title from the street that Studs Terkel exalts in his classic book, Division Street: America, and from the pet name her father gave her. Soloway lived in a three-room flat above her family’s grocery store. In her tale of bookies, poolrooms, sidewalk playgrounds, and relatives who lived down the block, we learn about her loving but embattled parents, her adored older brother, and neighborhood kibitzers. Along with her recollections of a lively, unique community, she also shows the underside of childhood and urban life. Although far from the Holocaust and the war overseas, Soloway faced dangers close to home when a child her age was horribly murdered, and when predators preyed on voiceless little girls. As Soloway struggled to find her own identity, the family store and Division Street waged battles too: for post-war prosperity, television, supermarkets, and suburbia threatened an end to corner stores—and to old neighborhoods everywhere. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior Memoir
The Division Street Princess breathes emotion from its pages. A sweet and often bittersweet story set in the 1940s and early 1950s that follows the childhood of its author as she recounts life in a prominently Jewish neighborhood in Chicago. Not sugar-coated like many memoirs, not deathly depressing like Angela's Ashes, The Division Street Princess strikes a balance that rings true. Her parents' imperfect marriage, the imperfect truth of life and failings of men, women, and ideals, and an undying devotion to family and love - we see all of this and how they impact the life of a child steeped in her own self-doubt, naive views, dreams and hopes. The writing made this reader connect with her, and feel the real and historic events that are part of this tale (with fascinting photos provided) that intersected with her life. Without a soapbox, The Division Street Princess gently coaxes us to understand what love and devotion are all about, even when we realize that the people we love fall far short of what our childhood eyes had once envisioned. In bits and pieces, naivete falls away, and we learn the real reasons why we love the people around us. A beautiful, lasting tale crafted by talented hands.

5-0 out of 5 stars Left me full of emotion
Elaine Soloway completely overwhelmed me with emotion with The Division Street Princess.This book is timeless and touched on every aspect of life with which people are faced, including marriage, mother-daughter relationships, father-daughter relationships, friendships, immigrant issues, brother-sister relationships, extended family dynamics, and more difficult issues like sexual abuse.This book has it all and forced me to think about my own life and how I want to move forward as a wife, mother, daughter and friend.This book will forever have an imprint on my heart and in my mind.Thank you, Elaine Soloway, for sharing your story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful and moving
I have to echo all the other five star reviews here, added by Soloways or not.This is a well-written, engaging, moving story of a child's life growing up in Chicago.I read it in one gulp.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book would make a great movie!
I read Divison Street Princess and loved every page. SOloway writes wonderfully, and evokes a certain America magically, she has created a very important memoir.

I feel the book is so important in Americana culture and Jewish-Americana cultural archives, that the book should eventually be entered onto an online Internet site, free of charge, so that readers in the future, and I mean the FUTURE, like 500 years from now, can also read this moving memoir! Also, this would make a great movie in the Barry Levinson vein of Hollywoodiana. The murder of the little girl and the arrest of the murderer would make a fantastic 1950s Chicago movie story, with Soloway's memoir bookending the movie on both sides.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless--A Treasure
I was drawn into this wonderful book by the details of daily life in 1942 as seen, in the first pages, through the eyes of a four-year-old child.And I stayed with delight to absorb that little girl's increasingly acute awareness of family, friends, neighbors, and the urban neighborhood itself, as she grew into her early teens. The way in which the reader comes to know and ultimately care deeply about the parents, Min and Irv Shapiro, and the future of the family is especially satisfying. While the time and the place are unique, I believe that everyone of any age will find something familiar in this lovely memoir.
... Read more

33. Division (Question of Math)
by Sheila Cato
Library Binding: 32 Pages (1999-08)
list price: US$25.26 -- used & new: US$24.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1575053195
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A group of children introduce division, using everyday examples and practice problems. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Division (Question of Math)
I am a third grade teacher and I used this book to introduce the concept of division in my classroom. I have looked at other books to help my students learn division, but I really enjoyed this book because it gave several examples of when we use division and the story problems were ones that the students could relate to. After reading this book even my struggling students could write and understand a division sentence. I would recommend this book to anyone who is afraid to introduce division to their students. ... Read more

34. US Armored Divisions: "The European Theater of Operations, 1944-45" (Battle Orders)
by Steven Zaloga
Paperback: 96 Pages (2004-03-25)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$15.06
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Asin: 1841765643
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The armored divisions were the shock force of the US Army's combat formations during the fighting in Northwest Europe in the final year of the war. Of the 16 such divisions formed during the war, all but one served in the European Theater of Operations. This book examines the organizational structure, operational doctrine and combat mission of these divisions from D-Day onwards, describing how doctrines and tactics were changed as the divisions were forced to adapt to the battlefield realities of combat against an experienced foe. The lessons drawn by the armored divisions from the bitter fighting in Northwest Europe from 1944 to 1945 strongly shaped postwar US Army doctrine. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Could be better
I would trade this book in for one done on the same topic by somebody else. Zaloga is generally tops in the field, but other books in this series give you more for the money. For example, US Army Infantry Divisions of the same series gives you far more detail. Mr. Zaloga should take a look at that book before doing more - a new and higher standard exist.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but some bumps in the new format
The third volume in Osprey's new Battle Order series, US Armored Divisions: The European Theater of Operations 1944-1945, is quite good but demonstrates that the format has not yet reached maturity.As usual, Stephen J. Zaloga's narrative is excellent, rich with technical detail and insight; this is an excellent summary of an important but often neglected subject.However, the maps, mission descriptions and unit orders of battle - the heart of this new series - are not always what they should be given the vast amount of data available on the subject.

US Armored Divisions starts with a discussion of the combat mission of these formations; unlike British armored divisions, US armored divisions were not designed to defeat enemy armor but to exploit breakthroughs made by infantry divisions.This is an important distinction and goes a long way toward explaining why the U.S. relied on the mass-produced Sherman tank instead of investing earlier in heavy tanks to defeat German armor.Zaloga spends seven pages discussing doctrine and training in the period 1941-1943; the most important development was the introduction of combat commands in 1942, which Zaloga notes "was an important step away from viewing the division as a tank formation, and seeing it as a combined arms formation."The heart of the volume is the 28 pages that Zaloga spends on unit organization, and there is a wealth of data herein.In addition to very detailed TO&E charts, numerous line and block charts, and graphical depictions, Zaloga describes each type of sub-unit (armored battalions, artillery battalions, etc) within the division.Zaloga also provides charts listing medium tank strength, Pershing tank strength and M-24 tank strength in each of the divisions on a monthly basis.This statistical section alone is sufficient justification for readers interested in the US Army in the Second World War to purchase this volume.Zaloga follows this section up with a short summary of C3I in the US armored divisions.

The next major section, Tactics, discusses the operational and tactical employment of the US armored divisions in Northwest Europe in 1944-1945 (operations in Italy and virtually excluded).Zaloga picks a variety of operations to analyze and uses a single map to illustrate each. The operations Zaloga picked to examine - based upon official post-war studies - are: offensive operations in the enemy rear (map: breakout and pursuit, July-August 1944); breakthrough (Remagen, March 1945); seizing key terrain (Paderborn, April 1945); regaining the initiative (Bastogne, January 1945); restoring the initiative (Ubach, October 1944); overcoming an unprepared defense (Saar-Palatinate, March 1945); attacks on a prepared position (Vianden Bulge, February 1945); attacks on enemy armored units (Arracourt, September 1944); counterattacks and delaying operations (Celles and St. Vith, December 1944).There are also three maps depicting small-unit actions at Muhlhausen and Singling.This section is interesting but problematic.First, unlike most Osprey tactical maps, these maps have no numbered legends depicting sequence of events and the light-tone colors used makes it difficult to distinguish between US and German symbology.Many of the maps are far too busy, depicting a swirl of arrows and phase lines, and often lacking in much information about the enemy.The choice of missions is also overly broad, with little attention to difficult missions like fighting with armor in urban areas (Aachen), river crossing (the Rhine), forests (the Huertgen, Ardennes) or bocage country.Operational logistics - particularly the impact of the fuel crunch in the fall of 1944 - are virtually ignored.Readers should also be cognizant that Zaloga does not attempt to summarize all US armored operations in Europe in 1944-1945, merely operations he deems representative.Although Zaloga mentions the 65 non-divisional tank battalions - more than half the US armored force - these battalions serving in the infantry divisions get little more than a nod.

The final section of the volume is a quick thumbnail description of the US Armored Divisions, listing commanding officers, assignments to higher headquarters, and organic units, along with a short synopsis of division history.Readers should note that the 1st Armored Division is the only division not listed because it served in Italy.Habitual attachments, like the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion - which spent the entire period of August 1944-May 1945 attached to the 7th Armored Division, are not listed.On the other hand, Zaloga provides an excellent statistical chart that lists the personnel losses and tank losses for each division.The bibliography consists mostly of divisional histories which Zaloga admits are often rather superficial, but no reference to the Official US Army history.Overall, this volume is a colorful supplement to standard references like Shelby L. Stanton's authoritative Order of Battle U.S. Army World War II, but it lacks the depth to stand entirely on its own merit. ... Read more

35. The Angels: A History of the 11th Airborne Division
Hardcover: 480 Pages (1989-10)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$64.00
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Asin: 0891413588
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars never received it!
why bother, never received the book, in all the emails I've sent he responded one time with a lame excuse.

5-0 out of 5 stars An importnat unit history
The 11th Airborne Division was activated at Camp Mackall North Carolina on February 25, 1943, and was primarily composed of former glider troops with some Airborne veterans. Immediately following activation, the 11th Airborne Division began jump training, and was ready to be transported overseas barely a year later. In early 1944, the 11th Airborne Division was moved to San Francisco, California, and ordered to prepare for embarkation to the Pacific Theater.

They were sent to New Guinea, where they trained in jungle warfare techniques, prior to the invasion of the Philippines, in November. The 11th Airborne Division landed at Leyte Beach, the Philippines, on November 18, 1944. They relieved 24th and 37th Infantry Divisions, and their objective was to clear a mountain pass from Burauen to Ormoc. After three 3 months of tough fighting, including hand-to-hand combat, the Japanese were driven from the pass and surrounding heights.

Members of the 11th Airborne Division rested and were resupplied when they reached Ormoc. On January 26, 1945 the 11th Airborne Division landed at Nasgubu Beach, Luzon, approximately 70 miles from Manila. Their mission was to remove the enemy from Highway 17 and to link up with the Allied forces that were attacking Manila. After just 5 days, the 11th Airborne Division accomplished their mission and broke through the enemy defenses on Tagaytay Ridge. The 551th Parachute Infantry Regiment conducted a combat drop to reinforce the main body of the Division.

After capturing Fort McKinley, Clark field, and Nichols field, the 11th Airborne Division joined the 1st Cavalry Division and the 37th Infantry Division in the attack on Manila. Following Manila's liberation, the 11th Airborne Division launched a daring raid behind enemy lines and liberated 2,200 Allied POWs from the Los Banos Internment Camp. Following the completion of this mission, the 11th Airborne engaged in mopping up operations in the southern areas of Luzon. In May 1945, the Division was placed into reserve in the Philippines, to rest, resupply, and acquire replacements, in preparation for Operation Olympic, the invasion of the Japanese home islands, which was never to occur.

The 11th Airborne Division moved to Okinawa on Aug. 10, 1945, to escort Gen. Douglas MacArthur into Japan and to spearhead the occupation. The 11th Airborne Division landed at Atsugi Airdrome, near Tokyo, on Aug. 30, 1945, and occupied the area in and around Yokohama. In September 1945, when they moved to northern Japan and assumed responsibility for Akita, Yamagata, Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

Later, the 11th Airborne division took over control of Amori, Hokkaido, Fukushima, and Prefectures, controlling almost half the island of Honshu and all the island of Hokkaido. The11th Airborne Division remained on occupation duty until 1949 when they were relieved and sent to Camp Campbell Kentucky. ... Read more

36. The Jungleers: A History Of The 41st Infantry Division
by William F. McCartney
 Hardcover: 230 Pages (2010-09-10)
list price: US$33.56 -- used & new: US$31.86
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Asin: 1169741304
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Kessinger Publishing is the place to find hundreds of thousands of rare and hard-to-find books with something of interest for everyone! ... Read more

37. Panzer Divisions: The Blitzkrieg Years 1939-40 (Battle Orders)
by Pier Battistelli
Paperback: 96 Pages (2007-11-20)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$14.41
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Asin: 184603146X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Germany's armored forces - the Panzerwaffe - were still in their infancy. The restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles meant that German tank development had to be conducted in secret. Initial armor campaigns in Poland were not completely successful and changes were needed before the invasion of France.

This book examines the organizational changes, developments in doctrine and tactics, and improved command and control that provided the basis for the spectacular success of the Panzer divisions in 1940. Although the Panzerwaffe was still largely inferior to its enemies in terms of both tank numbers and quality, it effectively adapted and developed those doctrines and principles of warfare that had shaped German fighting since the 19th century. Achieving tactical and operational surprise, the Panzer divisions succeeded in breaking through enemy defences in the Ardennes and enveloping a large number of hostile forces at Dunkirk. The legend of the Blitzkrieg was born. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good summary.
Although this is a perennially popular topic for WWII authors Pier Paolo Battistelli (who has written the earlier Battle Orders title on the Afrika Korps as well as the follow-up to this book detailing Panzer Divisions on the Eastern Front) has managed to produce an informative and useful synthesis in only 96 pages.

He starts with a description of the development of the Panzerwaffe in the early 1930s. As with all sections of the book this is illustrated with well chosen photographs and descriptive captions. Sometimes it is difficult to make out some of the details mentioned in the captions due to the small size of many photographs, but this leaves more room for the text! The unit organisation section is the core of the book, showing the structure and development of the early panzer divisions and their component parts in September '39 and May '40. There are many clear and large line charts, block diagrams and other illustrations which show the organisation well. You will find yourself becoming good at recognising the silhouettes of different tanks and armoured cars. Note that the author always prefers the German terms to English (zug rather than platoon, leichte rather than light) but there is a clear glossary and, again, it's all educational! As well as providing general information, brief overviews of all ten Panzer divisions formed prior to May 1940 are given.

The section on weapons and equipment does not go into any detail (the main summary table is of French tanks rather than German) but this information is readily available from other sources.

After a quick look at the command and communications structures of the divisions, we move onto the combat operations section. Bar one action on the River Bzura in Poland the other five examples are all during the May 1940 campaign in France. Here the maps the good and detailed, maybe too detailed (although lacking scales which I find annoying), but the accompanying text can be difficult to relate to the maps. Maybe a more detailed look at two or three encounters would have been a better use of space and resources.

Despite these minor issues, I wholeheartedly recommend this book as one of the best examples of the Battle Orders series. I will certainly be buying the follow-up when it becomes available and I look forward to further works from this author; hopefully a companion volume on the Italian army!

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent choice for any in-depth World War II military library.
Pier Paolo Battistelli's PANZER DIVISIONS: THE BLITZKRIEG YEARS 1939-40 follows a German division relatively late to armored warfare, but which formed a formidable 'lightning war' contribution to its side. This focus on the tactics, weaponry and strategies of the Panzer Divisions is an excellent choice for any in-depth World War II military library.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Decent Synthesis of Existing Research on Panzer Organization and Doctrine
Although there are a large number of books on German panzer divisions in the Second World War, Osprey's Battle Orders No. 32 entitled Panzer Divisions: The Blitzkrieg Years 1939-40 nicely packages and assimilates a great deal of material into a concise package. Dr. Battistelli did the earlier volume on the German Afrika Korps and this one is put together similarly. This volume primarily covers the 1939 Polish Campaign and the 1940 French Campaign (May only), but I was disappointed to see that Fall Rot (Case Red), the battle for Metropolitan France in June 1940 was omitted, so some of the material such as the Battle for Sedan has been over-done while the fighting in June is usually ignored (by English-speaking historians). Nevertheless, this is a decent volume and it nicely meshes organization, doctrine and tactics to explain why the panzer divisions were the decisive element of German combat power in the early years of the war.

The volume begins with introductory sections on the pre-war genesis of the panzer divisions in 1935 and their combat mission to serve as a breakthrough/exploitation force for the Wehrmacht. The sections on doctrine and training incorporates earlier work done by authors such as Robert Citino and Wolfgang Schneider, focuses on the unique characteristics of the panzer divisions in 1939-40: a combined-arms organization that made maximum use of radio communications to enable tactical flexibility (it is often forgotten that many Allied commanders at the start of the war were still unaccustomed to issuing orders by radio). Unit Organization is covered in 33 pages, using standard line and block charts as well as pictographs with vehicle silhouettes. Unlike some other recent titles in the Battle Orders series, where the author forgets to include specific order of battle data, Dr. Battistelli gives a run-down of the specific composition of each of the first ten panzer divisions, as well as giving a thorough look at the composition of panzer and rifle regiments, artillery regiments, reconnaissance, motorcycle, anti-tank, pioneer and support units. The information is similar to that provided in Leo Niehorster's German organization volumes, but a bit more compact and user-friendly. Brief sections on tactics and weapons follow, which give a sense of how panzer divisions fought, but which leave battalion and below tactics a bit vague.

A 6-page section gives an overview of command, control, communications and intelligence for the panzer divisions. Although the author provides some nice charts on radio nets and staff structure, these are likely to be too detailed for the general reader and too general for the specialist. For example, there is no mention of either specific radio systems or capabilities used, including Enigma. Furthermore, the key weakness of the German staff system - the fact that the intelligence officer worked for the operations officer - is not emphasized. There is no doubt that the Germans had a communication advantage at this phase of the war, but specifics, like how did the organic Schutzen (rifle) regiments control dismounted troops when the German army at this point had few man-portable radios? Perennial C3I problems - such as how the Germans organized their fire support and air support (Flivo) nets are not even alluded to. Although the division reconnaissance battalion is discussed, how it did its mission and how this contributed to mission success for the division are given barely a nod. After reading these sections, I felt that the author understood the composition of the panzer division but did not really comprehend how all the pieces contributed to the mission.

The last major section is the 15-page discussion of combat operations, which primarily focuses on well-known actions in Poland and France. While the author's descriptions of the actions are factually correct and interesting in some places, the lessons do not always seem to come through with much force.This volume has six 2-D maps (4th Panzer Division at the Bzura in Poland, 13-14 September 1939; first tank battle of the war at Hannut, Belgium, 12-13 May 1940; breakthrough at Sedan, 13-14 May 1940; the panzers are checked at Gembloux, 15 May 1940; Rommel's breakthrough at the Meuse, 12-15 May 1940; the counterattack at Arras, 21 May 1940), which are very attractive but also crowded and confusing. Unlike other Osprey volumes, the maps in the BO series lack sequential notes on events and they just throw everything onto one map, which makes it difficult to follow. Furthermore, the action is all division-level, which gives little sense of actual tactical combat. The author also provides a useful bibliography and glossary.
... Read more

38. Climb to Conquer: The Untold Story of WWII's 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops
by Peter Shelton
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2003-10-28)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743226062
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Few stories from the "greatest generation" are as unforgettable -- or as little known -- as that of the 10th Mountain Division. Today a versatile light infantry unit deployed around the world, the 10th began in 1941 as a crew of civilian athletes with a passion for mountains and snow. In this vivid history, adventure writer Peter Shelton follows the unique division from its conception on a Vermont ski hill, through its dramatic World War II coming-of-age, to the ultimate revolution it inspired in American outdoor life.

In the late-1930s United States, rock climbing and downhill skiing were relatively new sports. But World War II brought a need for men who could handle extreme mountainous conditions -- and the elite 10th Mountain Division was born. Everything about it was unprecedented: It was the sole U.S. Army division trained on snow and rock, the only division ever to grow out of a sport. It had an un-matched number of professional athletes, college scholars, and potential officer candidates, and as the last U.S. division to enter the war in Europe, it suffered the highest number of casualties per combat day. This is the 10th's surprising, suspenseful, and often touching story.

Drawing on years of interviews and research, Shelton re-creates the ski troops' lively, extensive, and sometimes experimental training and their journey from boot camp to the Italian Apennines. There, scaling a 1,500-foot "unclimbable" cliff face in the dead of night, they stunned their enemy and began the eventual rout of the German armies from northern Italy.

It was a self-selecting elite, a brotherhood in sport and spirit. And those who survived (including the Sierra Club's David Brower, Aspen Skiing Corporation founder Friedl Pfeifer, and Nike cofounder Bill Bowerman, who developed the waffle-sole running shoe) turned their love of mountains into the thriving outdoor industry that has transformed the way Americans see (and play in) the natural world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A compelling story well-told
I read this book some time ago.I will acknowledge that I even know some of the characters portrayed in this book due to my life-long involvement in the ski industry.But that takes away nothing from the intensity of the undertaking these young Americans encountered during World War II.The intensely personal accounts from several of the players--not just amongst themselves, but in later years' contact with some of the "enemy" makes for very emotional reading.A well-written and told story that certainly brings home the absurdity of fighting wars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Perfect mix of skiing, mountaineering and combat
Climb To Conquer: The Untold Story of World War II's 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops is an engaging story of one the US Army's most specialized organizations of WWII.Outdoor and skiing enthusiast Peter Shelton has done the men of the 10th Mountain Division justice with Climb To Conquer.Unlike the more recent, Boys of Winter by Charles J. Sanders, Shelton's book is a solid piece of historical literature.

Climb to Conquer is divided into four basic topical sections:

1) The Prologue and first seven chapters (with the exception of chapter 5) are dedicated to telling the story of how the "US Ski Troops" were conceived, formed and trained.Shelton thankfully opts not to present Climb To Conquer with the who's-who of skiing approach that Sander's took with his book.Instead Shelton gives background information about the genesis of the ski troops (initial Army outfit being the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment) and its most vocal and active proponents (C. Minot "Minnie" Dole and no less than Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall) within a context of the pre- and post-Pearl Harbor US military without cluttering it with unnecessary name dropping and ski-laden references.

2) The second section, which can be seen as being comprised of Chapters 5 and 8-13, is the "battle meat" of the book.While Chapter 5 sits physically in the middle of the first topical section of the book it in fact tells the story of the first armed actions of the 87th Mountain Regiment on Kiska - one of the Aleutian Islands.This is a fascinating story told well by Shelton.Charged with driving Japanese defenders from the Island, the 87th spilled its first blood on Kiska.Unfortunately Kiska represents a tragedy in the history of the 10th Mountain Division since the casualties sustained were not the result of Japanese defenders (who had vacated the island weeks earlier in a stealthy escape through a US Navy blockade worthy of its own retelling) but rather from friendly fire of fellow 87th soldiers.Confusion and chaos reigned on Kiska and none of the survivors forgot their terrible experiences.

Chapters 8-13 detail the exploits of the 10th Mountain Division as it entered the ETO in late 1944.Shelton does a good job describing the actions of the 10th (and other units of the US Fifth Army under Maj. Gen. Mark Clark) in the Italian Appennine Mountains, through to the Po River Valley, and the final race with the Wehrmacht to their supposed Alpine Redoubt in the Austrian Alps.Shelton's prose in the "battle chapters" is such that it holds the readers attention and draws then along with the story.Very well written from a pure reading standpoint.

3) The third section of the book is represented by a single chapter (14) and details the time men of the 10th spent in the European mountains after their fighting was over.While there is not a lot of text associated with this section it provides an interesting tie-in to the final section of the book.

4) The fourth and final section (Chapters 15 and 16) of the book describes the exploits and accomplishments of the veterans of the 10th at home after the war.Again Climb To Conquer, unlike The Boys of Winter, does a good job detailing how men of the 10th were instrumental in the establishment of the US ski industry.As was the case with his discussion of the formation and training of the mountain troops, Shelton places this final section within the larger context of how these things came to pass in many ways because of the training and combat experiences of the 10th veterans.Sanders failed to do this with The Boys of Winter.Moreover, Shelton doesn't limit his post-war accolades of the 10th Vets to their influence on the ski industry but rather makes a strong point of the critical importance of their work on environmental and conservation issues.These were mountain-men who had seen the devastation of man in war and vowed to protect nature's beauties.This final section provides the most unique sub-story to the history of the 10th Mountain Division.

Concluding remarks: While the sub-title (The Untold Story of World War II's 10th Mountain Division Ski Troops) of Climb To Conquer is misleading - this is certainly not an untold story as many books about the 10th have proceeded Shelton's book, Peter Shelton has crafted a sound piece of unit history that also represents a noteworthy human story.Climb To Conquer is an easy-to-read, hard to put down and a solid 4 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Good History of the 10th...
First off, let's dismiss the "Untold Story" bit which is part of the book's title. The fact is that the 10th Mountain has received its share of books and "Climb to Conquer" in that respect, is no different.

That said, along with McKay Jenkins "The Last Ridge" and Bob Bishop's and Flint Whitlock's "Soldiers on Skis" you have what I think is a wonderful tryptych on America's Mountain Soldiers.

"Climb to Conquer" compares favorably with "Last Ridge." Shelton's book is I think, a touch more readable. Shelton moves the action along quickly. The photo section isn't as good as "Last Ridge" (though neither can compare to "Soldiers on Skis" for that matter). The book also suffers for lack of maps. Shelton does a wonderful job describing the 10th's objectives and obstacles and how they overcome them, but some maps would help keep readers abreast of what is going on.

"The Last Ridge" is, I think more conforming of a straight narrative historical account and "Climb to Conquer" is written much like a catchy magazine article (but in this case, it's a good thing).

Each book has it's strengths. Jenkins' book is highly informative, but Shelton's will probably read faster. Both are warmly recommended. I can't pick out which is better. That is best left to the readers. However, it's nice to see America's Mountain troops get the recognition they long deserve.

Grant Waara ... Read more

39. From Brittany to the Reich: The 29th Infantry Division in Germany September-November 1944
by Joseph Balkoski
Paperback: 370 Pages (2010-09-10)
list price: US$31.95 -- used & new: US$23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1451568134
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"From Brittany to the Reich: The 29th Infantry Division in Germany" is the third installment in Joseph Balkoski's history of the 29th Infantry Division in World War II. After storming Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, the 29th fought through the hedgerows of Normandy and Brittany in the summer of 1944, suffering more than 12,000 casualties. "From Brittany to the Reich" begins as the 29th Division reenters the line in Germany in October 1944. For the next six weeks, the 29th experienced some of it toughest battles in World War II against a resolute enemy that refused to quit. It is a story of hardship, valor, sacrifice, and heartbreak. ... Read more

40. Patton's Vanguard: The United States Army Fourth Armored Division
by Don M. Fox
Paperback: 496 Pages (2007-03-14)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 078643094X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Stirring accounts of the almost legendary campaigns of the United States Fourth Armored Division, universally recognized as "Patton's Best," from its pre-World War II origins up through its famous relief of the 101st Airborne Division during the Battle of the Bulge are presented in this book. The break out of Normandy at Avranches, the isolation of the Brittany peninsula, the armored thrust across France, the tank battles at Arracourt that cemented the reputation of the Fourth Armored, the brutal struggle in Lorraine, and, ultimately, the legendary drive to Bastogne are among the topics. The accounts were assembled through the use of original unit combat diaries and after-action reports, memoirs of key historical figures and abundant supplementary documents and correspondences. But the essence of the book are the first-hand recollections from members of the division gathered by the author. With maps, drawings and photographs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but room for improvement
For the most part, I liked the book, it did a great job of detailing the division's activities from Normandy to the Ardennes.It was well detailed and the descriptions were well carried out. The big problems if there were any was that the writing style seemed to switch mid-book. The early part of the book was written a bit more "rah-rah" than the latter half, and the book suffered a little for it. Also, I feel the maps could have been better, and should have had the division sub-units movements marked.

In any case, I found it a solid work that did it's intended job well.

3-0 out of 5 stars good read, several errors
Re. the battle for Salzburgen (Chateau-Salins), the author states, "The attack on Chateau-Salins was made no easier by the fact that the population of the town had a strong German heritage, and their sympathies generally fell in the direction of the enemy" Well that's wrong. The town had a synagogue and a strong Jewish/ Italian minority, including my grandfather Petronillo Cantoni, a resistant (husband to Marie Jenft). The town was "defended" by the 559th panzerjaeger whose soldiers lobbed grenades into basements, killing dozens of civilians and resistants alike, including several of my relatives. The nazi defense was incredibly brutal and the last remaining civilians, including Marie Jenft, Petronillo Cantoni, and their daughters Laure and Liliane, were rescued by the Americans after a 3-day carnage that left over 3/4 of the local population dead, or maimed. How can you expect "flowers, wine, songs and embraces" when you've lost 3/4 of your relatives? The 500-year debt of gratitude to the US army remains. But flowers ? Only in films. fortis10@gmail.com

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Account of a Great American Fighting Unit
Patton's Third Army was made up of many great units, but few are as well known or as famous as the 4th Armored Division. This book provides a great account of the 4th's major actions (and there were many) during WWII. It also provides a great portrait of the men and officers who did the fighting.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Well-Done Overview of 4th Armored
I bought this book solely for the purpose of researching the battle at Singling and was very pleasantly surprised at the overall wealth of detail throughout the book. If you have an interest in tactical details this would probably be a good choice for you. Good pictures and maps as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent detail
The problem with most World War II books is that you are given overviews and opinions. This book is highly detailed and gives the blow by blow descriptions of specific battles. It is excellently researched and backed up by personal accounts of General Al Irzyk, Colonel James Leach and others.
I felt like I was there in my own Sherman tank and it is a must read for someone who craves small unit and company action.

... Read more

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