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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended - 'Angels of Mercy' by Paul Woodadge, 26 April 2013
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This review is from: Angels of Mercy: Two Screaming Eagle Medics in Angoville-au-Plain on D-Day: 1 (Normandy Combat Chronicles) (Paperback)
`Angels of Mercy' by Paul Woodadge is a wonderful book that focuses upon the role played by two medics efforts to treat the wounded on D Day and the initial stages of the Normandy campaign during June 1944. These two medics named Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore belonged to the 2 Battalion, 501 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101 Airborne Division and they not only tended to their own wounded but treated the German wounded too. The author encapsulates the drama and tension as these men worked to recover and look after the wounded as the battle enraged in and around Angoville-au-Plain. At one point the German's captured the village and they were able to continue the work of dealing with American and German wounded. Paul Woodadge has cleverly produced a book that highlights their role, provides a detailed, easy to understand account of the US Airborne troops that landed and fought at Angoville-au-Plain on 6 June 1944 and also shows how the war and events of D-Day affected the French inhabitants from the village.
I like the way that he has been able to write about the two medics Moore and Wright, but also feature the experiences of the US paratroops that they treated. I was enthralled to read about their experience of jumping into German occupied Normandy on that eventful night.
As you read through the book, the author incorporates within the narrative of events short biographical accounts of some of the American, French and German individuals connected with this story and invites the reader to stop and reflect upon their overall experiences during WW2 and lives before and after. Some of the American Paratroopers featured in this volume who landed in Normandy would go on to take part in Operation Market Garden in Holland during September 1944 and later at Bastogne in Belgium during December 1944. On the German side there is featured Friedrich August von der Heydte who saw action in Crete, in the North African desert at El Alamein. I was fascinated to read about the French villagers and their experience of being caught up within the conflict in the vicinity around Angoville-au-Plain and saddened to read some of the tragedies that they suffered as a consequence.
This book has been meticulously researched with great diligence and attention to detail by the author. Paul Woodadge is a highly respected battlefield guide based in Normandy and his knowledge and his ability to convey these remarkable stories shines through. Using contacts made from veterans he has been able to provide an account of events that transports the reader back to Angoville-au-Plain during June 1944, brings the subject to life and allows the reader to get immersed within their experiences. I found reading the book very emotional as I was able to connect with the participants and gain some idea of what they had experienced and be appreciative and thankful for what they and their generation did seventy years ago. It is important that these stories are told and passed down for future generations to discover and remember.
I congratulate and commend the author in his ability to relay these stories in a compact, concise and comprehensive style that pays homage to Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore and the US paratroopers from 2 Battalion 501 PIR, 101 Airborne Division. I read every page with interest, totally absorbed in the subject matter presented by the author. I congratulate and commend the author on his superb debut book. He has been able to highlight new stories that have not told and has produced a book that can be added to the extensive list of must read books that have already been written on Normandy 1944. This volume is the first in a series of books called the Normandy Combat Chronicles Series and I eagerly anticipate future books written by Paul Woodadge.
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