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Currahee!: A Paratrooper's Account of the Normandy Invasion Hardcover – 31 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press; New edition edition (31 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891416811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891416814
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 539,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By joalem on 11 Sep 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked this up and read it in what seemed like an hour, but it was a very uneasy experience. The simple matter of fact presentation belies the fact that this book is packed to bursting with physical and psychological terror, told through the eyes of a 19-year old American farm boy thrust into the vanguard of the Normandy Invasion in 1944.
The book covers the period from his induction into the new paratroop regiment to the end of his fighting in Normandy through injury. The initial phase of his training outlines the brutal training regime and vividly illustrates the "who cares?" attitude of all involved. (for example, when he breaks his leg in a training jump, he is left to crawl home on his own)and then the initial deployment to England for further training. The whole exercise is enjoyed by the young recruits as if it was a big outward bound course, and the ironic detachment of the young men is illustrated when they witness a German torpedo attack on their own ships - they cheer the Germans for their audacity as they watch the ships sinking.
The entire first half portrays the process whereby the young men are violently reduced to a point of blind obedience and conditioned responses - they pass their spare time playing dangerous practical jokes on each other, and going into town to have violent fights with rival regiments and the military police; failing that they fight with each other.
The last half of the book concerns the actual combat experience, and it is a visceral and graphic account of the horrors of war. Even so, the narrator's over-riding characterisation of himself and his friends always seems to be the desire to do a good job, and not let the side down, even to the detriment of their humanity.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Gil_Gibbs_Hotch VINE VOICE on 26 May 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A book which concentrates on one member and his friends of the 101st Airborne Division on D-Day and the following 6 days of chaos,determination and savage fighting.
This is a story of one man from the day he joins this unit, through the training in The States, billeting in England and then finally the drop into action.
It is very much a personal account and his memories recall stories of humour,heroism,sacrifice and graphic portrayals of the real horror of war. The latter point is most exemplified at one point in the book where they are attacking across an open field and his friend running near him is hit by a shell which removes the top half of his body, leaving the legs to run on for a few more steps !
A book which I could not put down and would thoroughly recommend to anyone who is interested in personal accounts of this period in our history.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Tony1962 on 11 Aug 2003
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This is a fabulous memoir of one man's WW2 service from his training to his homecoming after the final victory. If you enjoyed reading and watching 'Band of Brothers' then this is a must. It recalls 'A' Company, 1st Bn 506 PIR through their war service. This first book is an action packed account of D-Day and the weeks of fighting which followed. It is an honest, violent account which, although obviously a memoir, reads and flows like a novel. It is NOT a book about how the Americans won the war but a story of international brothers in arms. I could not put it down and went on to read the rest of the books. I'm sure you will too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Mills on 5 Sep 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An excellent book that I was unable to put down once started. Burgett tells it how it was for a young paratrooper in Normandy. Thoroughly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mark St Grant on 20 Nov 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am sorry to admit that only came across this book after having read Band of Brothers when it first came out.This book knocks spots off Band Of Brothers any other Airborne memoir.Please read the other books by Mr Burgett, they are just as good, if not better.Mark Bandos books on the 101st are equally superb and well worth a read,its a pity he has had not had the recognition he deserves.If you find Mr Bandos web-site you will be rewarded by many pictures of Mr Burgett looking at least 20 years younger than his real age!Another good read is Gregory Orfaleas book on the 551st Parachute Infantry Regiment and Fighting with the Screaming Eagles by Robert Bowen.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Aug 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Extraordinary story of personal and unit heroism. With men like this how can you lose
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By Hedge on 5 Nov 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
What a book. As an avid reader of non-fiction WWII era books and the more modern Iraq/Afghan books, I am always looking for an account that really places you there, living and breathing the action and drama. Burgett does that is spades, partly due to his almost nonchalant attitude to the whole thing. They were there to do a job and they got on with it.

What he does so well is provide really good (and sometimes distressing) detail, but not in a glory seeking or headline grabbing way. He is almost casual in his descriptions and feelings towards what he saw. Apart from the gripping descriptions of battle, what he sees, smells and thinks, along with the imense sense of purpose, really gives you a pretty raw account of war on the front-line.

For those of you who want to read between the lines a bit more, you see Burgett change from a teenager with no fear, to a battle hardened paratrooper, detached almost from reality, with only really one mantra; kill or be killed.

The book gives a great insight into the comradery with his fellow 'troopers and the whole Band of Brothers analogy. They really would die for each other. Some of the descriptions of what Burgett saw (and did) are so graphic and almost unbelieveable, you end up reading it 2 or 3 times just so that it can sink in.

This book does not glorify war, there are no egos in play. It simply shows how dirty, messy and disorganised war can be. There are no real `winners` and on both sides people suffer. It's a gripping read and makes me grateful for the sacrifices that people made and the fact it should never happen again in my lifetime.
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