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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting and emotional tribute, 21 May 2004
This review is from: The Bedford Boys: One Small Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thoroughly researched description of a unique and tragic story. The book flicks between the build-up to, and slaughter of the first landings and the feelings of family and friends back home. If any of you thought the central story line of Saving Private Ryan was exaggerated, then please think again. This book also makes one appreciate the precision of Mr Spielberg in the above film (which in part was loosely based on this book). By the end of the book, I wanted to visit Bedford and pay my tributes to the families of these men. I cant think of a bettter litmus test! Enjoy
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars at last a war book which is so much more than combat, 16 May 2003
By A Customer
Wonderful to read a story about lovers, brothers and a community that gave everything so we could be free. The combat is as goos as any writingon war, very detailed and extraordinarily dramatic - harrowing. But the best part of the book is the heart-breaking finale in which we really see what war costs and how the violence of battle is felt as greatly by those who lose a loved one. So much of this story is British too and readers will be amazd at how brave the British navy was on Omaha Beach - this has not been told before. The special relationship really does exist and this book shows why.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best battle writing, 22 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Bedford Boys: One Small Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice (Paperback)
I have read many books on D-Day but this was by far the most moving and accurate. The chapters on the landings are riveting and mesmerizing in their intensity. The last chapters will break your heart. Great stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 23 April 2006
This review is from: The Bedford Boys: One Small Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice (Paperback)
This is the story of a group of soldiers from a small town. The beginning of the book tells of the men, why they joined up and their backgrounds. It tells of their relationships with each other and their loved ones. It describes their time before assembling at their staging points in England and their time immediately before the invasion of mainland Europe. The actual invasion is brought to life through the accounts of the men who were there. These men were sent to Omaha beach where they suffered massive losses, they were part of the first wave to hit that beach, "the suicide wave". The later part of the book I found very moving as it tells of the impact on the town, the parents and wives. Some of those who died had only known their children through photos and letters. It is well written easy to read and enthralling, I read it in two days.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than Saving Private Ryan, 27 Jun 2003
By A Customer
A great book about the human cost of war. So many books about D-Day and yet this is utterly unique. It shows how the greatest invasion in history impacted a small community. It is heart-breaking and very very sobering. Never has war been treated with such a personal touch. Recommended for all history buffs and anyone who wants to know the true price of war - a lesson so important today and yet one which is often, tragically, forgotten. The battle scenes are simply magnetic in their intensity and raw honesty, and the scenes back home in rural Virginia will make even the most hardened cynic cry with rage and grief. This book lasts in your memory and emotions long after you've read it. It haunts the soul.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the greatest sacrifice for our freedom, 15 May 2003
By A Customer
This is a book which shows how a small town gave everything to free Europe. We should remember these men's greatest sacrifice now more than ever. Brutal, brilliant and lyrical, this book is thebest kind of history - powerful and personal, it makes you cry. I could not put it down. For anyone who wants to know what war and suffering cost and for those who enjoy a really brilliant story. It is a superb acheivement - moving beyond words. Read it and weep and give thanks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Bedford Boys, 20 Dec 2012
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This book is part oral history and the story of young men from one small town who enlist in World War 2. It is written in journalist style and is therefore an easy and very absorbing read. As well as reading it myself, I have lent it to my sons who have also rated it highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moved to Tears, 11 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Bedford Boys: One Small Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice (Paperback)
"The Bedford Boys" is not just another book about D-Day or the Second World War. This is Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers in one book but with an extra dimension. It links the story of the men that went to war, with the impact the fighting and dying of them had on their communities back home in general and their parents, brothers, sisters, sweethearts, children and friends in particular.

Bedford, a small town in Virginia had almost all its sons killed within the first hour of D-Day. The story about the training, bonding, fighting but mainly dying of the soldiers combined with the stories and pictures of their lives back home makes this book a haunting read and left me devastated for weeks. It is one of the most moving books I have ever read.

"The Bedford Boys" stands for the thousands of communities who have seen their future been drained away by the Second World War, whether their sons died in Stalingrad, Monte Casino, Arnhem or D-Day. The devastating effects in terms of human and social costs are brought home in this book; it will leave nobody untouched.

On 6 June 2004, I was on Omaha Beach listening to a veteran from the 29th Division, wearing the Yin-Yang badged beret with pride. He mentioned he stormed the beach in one of the first waves. Shortly afterwards, I read "the Bedford Boys" and ever since I have wondered if he had been one of them. I will never know, but I thanked him nonetheless for all he had done when we shook hands. I was moved to tears.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Memories, 18 July 2009
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Kathy (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bedford Boys: One Small Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice (Paperback)
Bought for my husband at a used cost of 19 pence plus postage. It is the best value I have had for a long time. He couldn't put the book down until he had finished reading it. We also have local knowledge of the area the book is written about, and are old enough to remember the time of "The Bedford Boys"
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4.0 out of 5 stars American Sacrifice, 31 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Bedford Boys: One Small Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice (Paperback)
This is quite a sad book portraying the loss of one small American town during the D-day landings at Omaha beach, which resulted in so much slaughter. The memorable opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, which portrayed the appalling scenario on Omaha Beach, was loosely based on Kershaw's story. The first wave of seasick young GIs that landed on that fateful beach were mown down by the waiting machine gunners and torn apart by the devastating shell fire. The dead lay there in their hundreds, bodies and dissected limbs of the fallen were strewn all over the beach like flotsam and the water turned red with their blood. Omaha was finally taken but at a terribly high cost and the cost to Company A, who were in the first wave of landings, was higher than most. A company was all but obliterated by the end of the Longest Day.

A story that encompasses the young men from the time they joined to the time they died, their loves and their hopes, their training and their humour, from small town lives to the fateful beaches of Omaha...a vivid account of American sacrifice on the deadly beaches of Normandy and dedicated to the loss of one small American town...a town called Bedford.
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The Bedford Boys: One Small Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice
The Bedford Boys: One Small Town's Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice by Alex Kershaw (Paperback - 4 May 2004)
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