- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
The Execution of Private Slovik Paperback – 1 Oct 2004
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In August 1944, a drab convoy of raw recruits destined to join the 28th Division lumbered along a windy French road strewn with dead animals, shattered bodies, and burning equipment. One of those draftees was 24-year-old Eddie Slovik, a petty thief from Detroit who had spent his youth in and out of reform schools. Eddie's luck had recently changed, however, with a steady factory job and marriage to a beautiful girl who gave Eddie hope and security for the first time in his life. But their honeymoon - like that of many other wartime newlyweds - was interrupted by the call to service. The convoy came under intense artillery fire, and in the confusion Slovik became separated from his unit. He joined a Canadian outfit and travelled with them before finally reporting to the 28th Division. He carried a rifle but no ammunition. He was assigned to a platoon but walked away. Refusing to fight, Slovik was arrested, court marshalled, and condemned to death. Hundreds of soldiers were tried for desertion during World War II and sentenced to die, but only Eddie Slovik paid the price, supposedly as a deterrent. vet word of the nature of his death was never officially released.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Rejected on his military physical exam, he was later called up when reinforcements were desperately needed. What is known is that he was a nice, helpful person according to those he trained with, without vices, a lousy shot, borderline physical stamina. He was not a troublemaker and not insubordinate. His correspondence reveals the one lucky break in his life - meeting his sick, crippled wife and having a home life for the first time. She was his one human connection and was the sun in his universe.
He spoke no word on his own behalf at his trial and it's certain he didn't understand the deadly repercussions of his insistence to serve in a non-combat position. He was under the mistaken impression that he'd go to jail for a few years and go home with a dishonorable discharge. He faced a firing squad instead. He was made an example of. Unlike Robert Morgenthau's son - (and other "Fortunate Sons") -who had a nice, non-combat position because his father was who he was, Slovik was completely without any helpful connections. His was not Abbie-Hoffman-like rebellion; Slovik was unsophisticated, unlearned, and just had a laser-focus to get back to his ailing wife.
Duty calls and soldiers must serve and God Bless the Greatest Generation who served heroically. But this punishment did not fit this "crime." If he couldn't be reassigned to noncombat status due to his original 4F status, then jail - yes. Dishonorable discharge, certainly. But not the firing squad. Not while some of the privileged sons drank martinis and stayed in luxury hotels for the duration. It's only a ripple in the tsunami that was the Second World War but even the small calamities deserve to be told. RIP Pvt. Slovik.