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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
31
4.7 out of 5 stars


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on 12 January 2010
I totally agree with all the other reviews that this is a great book, whether or not you agree with what is written about the English contribution to the campaign.
A couple of years ago I had the honour and pleasure of meeting "Babe" Heffron at the American Cemetery in Luxembourg where General Patton is buried. He was over with a tour group from the US, following the route of the Band of Brothers across Europe (and doing pretty well considering his age!).We had quite a chat, as I am an accredited Luxembourg tour guide who also gets to show a lot of groups the cemetery and have reasonable knowledge of the Battle of the Bulge.When he realised I was English he said that he and the other guys were very pleased to have had the "Brits" alongside,they were great soldiers, but if there was one "Brit" they would have loved to put up against a wall and shoot it was that "b.....d Monty!
We all know that mistakes (some disastrous) were made by senior officers, Monty and Patton to name just two (and they, to put it as mildly as possible, hated each others guts, but generally the soldiers lower down the chain of command had respect and a feeling of comradeship for the other nationalities fighting alongside, even if sometimes, especially when things went wrong, they vented their feelings with a few good cusses.
Going to start reading the book again as soon as I post this review.
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on 17 March 2017
I brought this book after watching the series and having a lot of unanswered questions. I couldn't put it down. The back and forth between the men have you laughing and crying. I've since ordered other books by the Easy company men.
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on 9 December 2012
The best thing about the book is that the author uses wthe words that bot men say. It is written like a conversation in their own words, no changing things for the sake of making it read stylishly. Just accurate reflection of how both men remeber things and how theu feel about it.
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on 10 January 2009
this is just one of those books you cant put down.the way its written, its as though both authors are in the room talking to you.every emmotion leaps from the page, from the pride they had,to the horrors they saw.from the hardships they endured,to the awful conditions in which they had to live.and the love and admiration they have for each other,and everyone else that they served with.superb,and i have already ordered another copy for a friend.cant recommend this book highly enough.
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on 26 July 2008
A great read that fills in the blanks left by the Band of brothers book and tv series.
Political correctness takes a back seat and Bill and Babe say it as it was.
I felt that more could have been detailed about the different firefights which occured (especially on the Normandy drop.)
Bill touches on this very lightly by saying he was named Wild Bill after killing many Germans on D Day.

However, he doesn't go into any more detail other than admitting that he 'executed' two SS soldiers (on D Day) who had surrendered to him - with a bullet to the back of their heads. He then goes on to say that he has no regrets and feels no sorrow or remorse for killing them. (How many people would admit that in their book ?)

Been a Brit I didn't appreciate the comments stating that if the 101st were dropped into Arnhem then it may well have been a different outcome but hey, That's what makes this book such a good read.
They tell it exactly how they see it and don't hold out on there opinions (Especially on what they think of Monty !)

I know this isn't a review as such but I wanted to give a couple of examples as to the content of the book to give an idea of what you can expect.

As I said earlier this is a great read and I highly recommend buying it.

I give it 4 Stars but it is very nearly a 5.
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on 19 May 2015
this book is the opinions and described experience of two men whose time together at war was not long but whose friendship was thankfully life long. They may lack political correctness, they are opinionated and they have only their point of view of events, they were not involved in the high up decision making, they may not know why events happened as they did but neither did many men. They were just able to experience the consequences of these decisions and their experiences were horrific and they should be recorded and read because these were the men on the ground who suffered the most. The book is gripping, their voices come out from the page, each different with their different points of view but it's clear that these are not easy events to remember and share with those of us who can never really know what they felt, who can never feel the cold or pain and who can never see the horror with our own eyes.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 September 2014
William Guarnere and Edward Heffron are better known as "Wild Bill" and "Babe" from the 101st Airborne Division's Easy Company. We first met them in Steven Ambrose's Band of Brothers and then saw them portrayed in the movie of the same name. This book tells their life stories, beginning in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia, coming together in the chaos of WWII Europe, and continuing together as close friends back home.

These two friends offer perspective on some of the events in Band of Brothers, but most of the stories are uniquely theirs. They include:

- A girl chasing a departing troop train with suitcase in hand to catch up with her soldier--who she will never see again.
- Two soldiers filling jerry cans with water for their thirsty platoon and noticing human brains in the stream and water. There was no time to get water anywhere else.
- How far soldiers were willing to go to get rid of an officer they believed would get them killed on the battlefield.
- How American soldiers and officers fought and what they thought of their French and British allies.
- The common procedure for accepting the surrender of members of the German Gestapo.

These soldiers' stories have the same tone and repeat many of the same lessons about war that their fellow soldiers in Easy Company have shared. Soldiers did their jobs in all weather, without proper equipment, support, or ammunition. Often they fought out of loyalty and concern for the men around them as much as they did for their country. And when one of their comrades-in-arms died it affected them deeply and forever after.

This is a well-written memoir and is enhanced by the back-and-forth narrative between the two old soldiers. Readers will forgive them for bragging a little when interviewed by their female coauthor. It makes them seem young again and gives readers an unguarded glimpse of the boys they were when once they walked across Europe with their rifles in hand.
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on 13 January 2010
this a very pleasant book;two voices:that from "Wild Bill", and that from "Babe".If you are a fan of "Band of brothers", you'll be fond of this item.It's like they are talking to you directly. Very recommended.
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on 16 September 2012
I agree with other comments about this book being quite scathing towards the British soldiers/Army, and how great the Americans are...Being English myself i found that to be very annoying. All armies had heroes and idiots alike, especially in the higher ranks! Otherwise though, i found it to be a very interesting and easy read. It was also nice to read about what they did in the post war years as the Band of Brothers book only touches briefly on this point. It's also interesting to hear what happenend to Bill after he lost his leg, in the miniseries he seems to get forgotton about after he was hit. Well worth a read but probably not aimed at the British audience. A must for BoB fans.
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on 9 November 2011
I was given this book, by 'Babe' himself, as i know him and Bill personally. (I traveled on the BOB tour that went across much of Europe, retracing the path of the 101st. And also spent a week with Babe in Philadelphia, and visited Bill...in fact...Bill DROVE us back to the centre of town!!!!! 86yrs old with 1 leg!!!!! lol)
They seem to get a lot of flack for their 'opinions' about the British Army in WW2. But i dare say one almost has to know these men, to get them and what they say in the book.
Ultimately these men are soldiers....heroes ...and not historians. I live in Britain (though i am not British, but Commonwealth) and even i was offended by some things....but just realised i had to take these men and some of their opinions for what they are: opinions!...as i have mine, about other (and even my own) cultures..and enjoy the amazing relationship and banter, that this book is really about.
Generally, I loved how in one page, this book could make me laugh AND cry. These guys went through hell....It was hard watching Babe sob his eyes out all these decades later at that same Bastogne forest where he lost one of his best friends and where Bill was injured...telling us 'young' people to wake up and realise what it cost...'freedom is not free'. So they have earned the right to p*** and moan about their time and the war...in my opinion.
So hopefully with that in mind, if people choose to buy/read this book, then you will enjoy it more if you put certain things aside!
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