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To D-Day and Back: Adventures with the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment and Life as a World War II POW: A Memoir Paperback – 10 Sep 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press (10 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076034793X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760347935
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm

Product Description

Review

World War 2 Database, October 2007 "Bob Bearden's To D-Day and Back was not just another paratrooper-themed memoir trying to ride on the success of others. Several distinctions set this work apart from others. Bearden told his story from a very personal angle. Coupled with the use of everyday prose, the book was another one of those works that felt much like storytelling by a member of the family. It was not just another war memoir, but rather, the book told how the war interacted with Bearden's life."Bearden also had the unfortunate experience of becoming a German prisoner of war merely two days after he jumped into Normandy, France. He faithfully recorded his observations while it came, amidst braving malnutrition and the cold winter. While other authors told the horrors of war through descriptions of exploding shells and flying shrapnel, Bearden completed the picture by telling the horrors of war through experiences of being imprisoned by the Germans ... Indeed, his WW2 experience was a unique and remarkable adventure, recorded in captivating detail in To D-Day and Back."

World War 2 Database, October 2007 Bob Bearden's To D-Day and Back was not just another paratrooper-themed memoir trying to ride on the success of others. Several distinctions set this work apart from others. Bearden told his story from a very personal angle. Coupled with the use of everyday prose, the book was another one of those works that felt much like storytelling by a member of the family. It was not just another war memoir, but rather, the book told how the war interacted with Bearden's life. Bearden also had the unfortunate experience of becoming a German prisoner of war merely two days after he jumped into Normandy, France. He faithfully recorded his observations while it came, amidst braving malnutrition and the cold winter. While other authors told the horrors of war through descriptions of exploding shells and flying shrapnel, Bearden completed the picture by telling the horrors of war through experiences of being imprisoned by the Germans Indeed, his WW2 experience was a unique and remarkable adventure, recorded in captivating detail in To D-Day and Back. "

From the Inside Flap

In the predawn hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944, Bob Bearden and his comrades in the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment jumped into the inky skies over Normandy. Their mission: defend the west bank of the Merderet River against German counterattack. After long months of training they were finally taking the war to the Germans. Bearden's time in combat proved shortlived, however, when he was captured on D-plus-2, June 8. This was only the beginning of a new war for his survival through multiple German POW camps, his so-called "liberation" by Russian tanker crews more bent on exacting vengeance upon the Germans than safeguarding Allied prisoners, and the perilous journey that followed, mostly on foot, along the sandy, snow-covered roads of Germany and Poland on the way to Moscow and eventually, back home to Dallas, Texas. From the book: "As the camp descended into chaos, one of the grizzliest scenes took place in the IIIC delouser. If you ever had a bath, this was the place where they took your clothes to rid them of lice. It did the job with steam and was a simple room. The Russians started gathering up Germans and forcing them into the delouser, locking the doors, and turning the steam up to max . . . . I heard others say that when they opened the doors of those chambers, the Germans' bodies had shrunk to the size of pygmies. I certainly never went over to check the matter out." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Paratrooper's Experiences as a German POW 9 Nov. 2007
By Mr. Truthteller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a good first-person account of one American's adventures and escapades as he goes from being a member of the Texas National Guard in 1940 at the tender age of 17 to becoming several years later a (mortar) squad leader in the famous 82nd Airborne Division as a member of H Company, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

As a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, the author parachutes into Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Unfortunately, at D-Day plus 2, he is captured, along with several others, including a Colonel, after being surrounded and running out of ammunition. (It is the Colonel who orders the men to surrender.)

The author then spends the next several months being shuttled to various German prisoner of war camps, finally ending up in one for American NCOs near the Oder River that is liberated by the Russians in their march toward Berlin. Although the author's experiences as a POW were traumatic, after liberation by the Russians he and his fellow prisoners were left to fend, and forage, for themselves, as the Russians were too intent on exacting revenge on the Germans to assist the freed prisoners.

Incredibly, the author, while simply trying to get back to his own troops, becomes a prisoner of war of the Soviets and then has to escape from a Soviet POW camp, fortunately making it back to his own troops and, eventually, home.

The book, despite its grim tales and subtext, is an enjoyable read as it is written in a first-hand, almost conversational style that makes you feel you are right there in the action. It is an excellent addition to the personal histories of World War II, especially from the perspective not just of the horror and chaos that was D-Day but from the unusual vantage point of someone who was a prisoner of war.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One terrific book. 30 Sept. 2007
By John T. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Thank you Bob Bearden for sharing your adventures during WWII. First person accounts of D-Day and WWII are very important for succeeding generations. I am afraid that there are many stories that will never be told because veterans put off recording them until it is too late. I have enjoyed reading your adventures and I feel much closer to understanding what occurred prior to and during WWII. I think that you did a terrific job and I hope it will inspire other veterans to get their stories published. Thanks again.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 1st Hand Account 7 Nov. 2007
By Herbert Lahout - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I only enjoy reading soldiers accounts of D-Day in their "real words"-not technical history books (showing maps,etc.). This is a terrific account of a paratroopers D-Day jump and aftermate in a German Stalag. He talks about his buddies and the hardships they went thru to survive-a great storyteller. Bob was one real "tough texan" who gave his all...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding! A real surprise. 23 Jun. 2008
By Toe Tag - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an outstanding resource for information about the war in general, but it also provides a different perspective from most accounts. It's very well written and easy to read. It is also the only first-hand account of the war from member of the 507th Parachute Infantry Division I know of.

The book itself starts off pretty much like any other paratrooper memoir. But it's interesting that most of the action takes place in the mid-western United States. I also enjoyed the information about the Texas 36th Infantry Division as it holds a special place in the Italian campaign. The author was a member of the 36th prior to transferring to the 507th.

However, what makes this book special is the author didn't see a tremendous amount of combat in Normandy, France. He was captured by the Germans and promptly sent to a POW camp. The majority of this book details how Bearden survived there, the ingenious ways they staved off hunger when they could, and how poorly treated the Americans were as prisoners of war.

Interestingly enough, he also writes about what happened when his camp was overrun by the Russians. The war wasn't over yet and he had a real issue figuring out where he was and what the best way to get back to the American side of things.

This starts a remarkable trip through central Europe ending in Moscow of all places. If this wasn't more confusing, to make things worse he's eventually captured and placed in a Russian POW camp and well, the rest is quite an interesting and brutal story.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book led me to one of the most rewarding days of my life. 10 Aug. 2014
By Wayne A Deaton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My father passed away in 1967

The first time I Google his name - no results. A couple years later I tried again and there was one result.
A reference to a picture of my Dad in Mr' Bearden book.

A little research and discovered that Mr. Bearden lived only 150 miles away. I contacted and requested to meet with him.
"Sure, Come on down" was his response. He recalled quite a few stories about my Dad. : )

A Good Read
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