23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 1999
Omar Bradley's book wins my approval for its behind-the-scenes narrative and honest retelling of the men involved in marshalling and directing the war. It is not so much a soldier's story as a commander's story. It is not merely a biography, but it also describes the strategies of the various campaigns in the European Theater. It is powerful because it is objective, not bothering to propagandize or immortalize men such as Patton or Montgomery; enough books have already done that. Bradley gives a look at the men behind the legends and their failures and shortcomings as well as the victories and attributes that turned them into historical figures of perhaps inhuman stature.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2008
General Bradley's memoirs are so modest and self-effacing that at times it is easy to forget the awesome responsibilities that he carried. He is very clear-eyed on the posturing of other generals notably George Patton and Bernard Montgomery but his actions always seem to be devoid of their ego and grand-standing. And there certainly appeared to be an awful lot of that going on around him and perhaps he was determined not to follow that path himself? It also questions, in a way, why allies reserve their most bitter hatred for one another rather than the enemy they are trying to defeat?
A great and good man and perhaps the most under-rated of the war?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Omar Bradley is one of those crucially important soldiers whose fame is limited by their non-self promoting nature and the fact that they never held the top command. Nonetheless they were eyewitnesses to history and their observations are fascinating. "A Soldier's Story" is Bradley's memoir of service from his arrival in North Africa in 1943 until V-E Day in May 1945. It takes the reader into the conferences of the highest echelon and the encounters with the lowliest private. It chronicles the anecdotes that reveal the humanity of the brass.
On these pages we come to know Bradley along with those with whom he worked: Eisenhower, Patton and Montgomery, Terry Allen, Ted Roosevelt and Ernie Pyle just to name a few. He explains the reasons for the actions that were taken as he narrates the march across Europe. Debates over the Mediterranean vs. Normandy, the extent and timing of D-Day and, the invasion itself and supply charges that ended only with the German surrender have to seize the attention of any who pick up this book.
Although I am sure that Bradley was circumspect in his evaluations of brother officers, he is not afraid to present his opinions. Although generally favorable, he frequently questions Montgomery's methods, laments Patton's temper and recklessness and recognized Eisenhower's tendency to compromise as a necessary quality in an Allied leader.
Now over 60 years old, "A Soldier's Story" makes up in spontaneity what it lacks in the perspective of current research. These participant memoirs have a permanent place in World War II literature. Churchill and Eisenhower have contributed mightily to the canon. Bradley's work has done no less.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2012
a very modest history of one of the greatest leaders of ww2. always known as the soldiers general,ifound it an incredible read and an insight into the difficult desicionshe made an excellent book.
on 13 November 2014
Omar Bradley has always lived in the shadow of other great allied generals of World War II (Eisenhower, Patton, Montgomery, etc ..).
It's one of the reasons that led me to buy this book.
We discover a man of character and determined but a man who has retained the sense of moderation and responsibility. Hence the good relations he kept with the personalities mentioned above.
He was probably the right man to keep the balance between the impetuous Patton and Montgomery's takeover attempts.
If you are a serious student of the history of World War II you need to have read this. The autobiography of one of the leading Allied generals, Omar Bradley, gives great insight into the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily and in Northern Europe from D-Day onwards. It is very interesting in giving an American view of Montgomery's role in the European campaign. It's pretty well written too, so it's eminently readable.