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A Higher Call: The Incredible True Story of Heroism and Chivalry during the Second World War [Kindle Edition]

Adam Makos
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (326 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Five days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a twenty-one-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. Suddenly a German Messerschmitt fighter pulled up on the bomber's tail - the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger. This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day - the American - 2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown and the German - 2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler.

A Higher Call follows both Charlie and Franz's harrowing missions and gives a dramatic account of the moment when they would stare across the frozen skies at one another. What happened between them, the American 8th Air Force would later classify as 'top secret'. It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was the encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would seek out one another and reunite.

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Well worth reading... A Higher Call pounds along with the all-action rhythm its genre seems to demand, but still manages to rescue the idea of German chivalry from cliché... A Higher Call is deeply felt by its author and deeply affecting to read. Apparently humans react more sentimentally to films and books consumed on aeroplanes than on the ground. I read this at 30,000ft... but I suspect it would have ambushed my emotions anywhere. --Giles Whittle, The Times

A truly awe inspiring story of wartime chivalry --Tony Rennell, Daily Mail

An unusual tale, well-documented and with an ending to stir even the most cynical reader s heart --Sunday Times

From the horrors of the most savage war in history emerges this beautiful story of a brotherhood between enemies. Simply told, splendid, and well worth the read. --Joseph L. Galloway, co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller We Were Soldiers, Once... and Young

A riveting story of humanity and mercy set against the ghastly backdrop of war --Publishers Weekly

This book grips you like a movie. It's part Top Gun, part Valkyrie, and more! --Marcus Brotherton, author of the New York Times bestseller, We Who Are Alive and Remain

A truly awe inspiring story of wartime chivalry --Tony Rennell, Daily Mail

A riveting story of humanity and mercy set against the ghastly backdrop of war --Publishers Weekly

A remarkable story... Brown and Stigler, former enemies who became friends, died within months of each other in 2008. Their story is worth retelling and celebrating. --USA Today

About the Author

Adam Makos is a journalist, historian and editor of the military magazine, Valor. Makos has interviewed countless veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and present-day wars. In 2008 Makos travelled to Iraq to accompany the 101st Airborne and Army Special Forces on their hunt for Al Qaeda terrorists. Larry Alexander is the author of the New York Times bestselling biography Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers. He is also the author of Shadows In the Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines in World War II and In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company's Battlefields With Sgt. Forrest Guth.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9228 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (15 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782392556
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782392552
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (326 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,001 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Higher Call 11 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read an article in the Saturday Mail a few weeks ago about the German Pilot in WW11 who had seen a B17 which had been shot up badly. Franz Stigler's initial reaction was to shoot the plane down but as he got nearer to the B17, he saw the extent of the damage and he could see the crew through a hole in the aircraft tending their wounded. He was always told, you shoot at a machine not a man and suddenly he realised what he must do, he had to help the crew of this B17 get to safety. He risked everything to escort this aircraft through the coastal German anti aircraft guns and once they were over the sea, tried to signal to them to head for Sweden and land there. The pilot of the B17 just wanted to get the plane home and eventually they felt threatened by the German fighter and turned their gun on him to warn him off. Franz realised that there was nothing more he could do and mouthed 'Good Luck' and flew off. Franz always hoped that the B17 had got home safely and Charlie Brown the B17 pilot never forgot what this German fighter pilot had done for him and his crew and eventually when they are both old men, they are able to track each other down and have a very emotional reunion! This is a tale of courage and honour and it gives the reader the chance to see the war from both the English/American and German perspective. It opened my eyes and I am so glad I read this book. The story of 'A Higher Call' is simply told and one of the most excellent books I have ever read. Thank you Adam Makos.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A higher call 1 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having read and studied a lot of material concerning the Luftwaffe and its pilots this is a most interesting, and to say the least illuminating book. It has obviously been well researched and is extremely well written. It is quite intriguing to read the first hand stories of a number of the well known named "Aces" and to realise that the Nazi heirarchy was as much despised by the more enlightened members of the German forces as they were by the Allies.
Of particular interest is the "audience" with Hitler himself, where on his return the pilot declared "The man is a raving lunatic!"
I can thoroughly recommend to anyone with an interest in WW II history and flying in particular.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb WW2 Book 8 Feb. 2013
By Martin
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A Higher Call ranks as the best book I have read on the aviation war in the European theatre. Franz Stigler's story is so detailed with insights into what life as a Luftwaffe fighter pilot was truly like. After reading this book your understanding of this period in history will change as mine did.

I would recommend to any WW2 aviation enthusiast.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvelous uplifting true story... 5 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was an easy rating! It's a great book on a number of levels, the sheer humanity of this ace's action in sparing the B17 crew is a ray of light in what was a horrible and dark period. It was fascinating also to read of their subsequent relationship.But good as this is it is trumped by Franz's account of his career, it provides a seldom seen insight into life in the Luftwaffe, his account of the last few futile months of the conflict is both harrowing and fascinating laying out as it does the brutality and humanity of these pilots forced to fight to their inevitable end. Best war book I've read for a long time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story 14 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked this book because it really showed both sides of the war and the fact that the Germans were virtually the same as the people they were fighting. Makes one realise the futility of wars! I also bought the book for my friend in UK who thought it was one of the best books he had read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read....really. 24 Feb. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I know words like that get bandied about all too often but this really is as good as stated. It stumbles a little to get going but once it reaches Franz's experiences in North Africa and beyond you simply won't want to stop reading. A truly fascinating insight into the "enemy" and the reality of life in the Luftwaffe written with frankness and self deprecation. Although the book centres around the meeting of Franz and Charlie both above Germany, and later in life, it's really mainly Franz's story. And I don't mind admitting to welling up a bit at the end. Two extraordinary men in a book full of extraordinary men. Will change your Hollywood inspired black and white view of the War In Europe and give some appreciation of the Luftwaffe pilots. Brave men, unfortunately led by madmen and psychopaths.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great true war story, well written 7 Aug. 2013
By BAlba
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a superbly written biography of Franz Stielger, a German WWII fighter pilot. I honestly think this is one of the novels which should be part of the school curriculum, as it can potentially teach more history as well as humanity than most history textbooks.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Higher Call 2 Feb. 2013
By Mustang
I can't recommend this book enough, I simply couldn't put it down. A brilliantly well told story of the humanity of both sides set against the insanity of war. It's both uplifting and at the same time depressing - the courage and integrity of those on the front line contrasts powerfully with the inhumanity and brutality of their superiors, and it seems we have learned nothing in the intervening years. During the course of his own impressive research, the author's views of the war in the air were totally transformed, and this wonderful book is a testimony to his efforts. READ IT!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic, powerful, 4 x engines
A fantastic read.
As it happens, I came to this book with a great love of WWII aviation. I loved it.
You are taken up through the clouds into the enlightened world. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Kwev
5.0 out of 5 stars Great account.
Focus is actually on the German pilot much more so than the American, but that's fine because he had a much MUCH more interesting life. Fascinating account and well written. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Smiff
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
A fantastic book of bravery and chivalry. The story of a German figher pilot and an American bomber. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Lt Col Val
5.0 out of 5 stars Book A HIGHER CALL
What a wonderful story with a wonderful ending
Published 25 days ago by Mr R Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story and interesting facts about a German fighter pilots experience during WW2
Published 26 days ago by jambojack
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read "A Higher Call"
Absolutely amazing, wonderful story but also heart breaking. Unbelievable that this could have happened. So sad that these two men had to start out as enemies.
Published 1 month ago by Wyn
5.0 out of 5 stars ... for my husband and he said it was very good and he couldn't put it...
Bought this for my husband and he said it was very good and he couldn't put it down even when he was tired and wanted to stop reading he just wanted to know what was going to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by katie Dawson
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
its good
Published 1 month ago by jim lochrie
5.0 out of 5 stars great true story
Only just started reading this book, great true story, love it.
Published 1 month ago by Barrymac
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read
One of the best books I have ever read.,.. the true story of what happened between a B17 Bomber and a ME109 fighter when they both met in combat, and what the lives of both... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tom Foster
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