{Read eBook} Citizen Soldiers: The US Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany Author Stephen E. Ambrose – Vansonphu.com

Citizen Soldiers: The US Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany I ve been thinking a lot about story structure lately How many wonderful stories books or movies have a structure something like this Hero reluctantly gets involved in a struggle Hero faces setbacks, makes mistakes, takes a few steps forward and then a few steps back Hero learns, grows, and changes on way to achieving goal Hero has to make some sacrifices, but comes out on top.I love Stephen Ambrose He makes history read like a good novel Citizen Soldiers was packed with information It I ve been thinking a lot about story structure lately How many wonderful stories books or movies have a structure something like this Hero reluctantly gets involved in a struggle Hero faces setbacks, makes mistakes, takes a few steps forward and then a few steps back Hero learns, grows, and changes on way to achieving goal Hero has to make some sacrifices, but comes out on top.I love Stephen Ambrose He makes history read like a good novel Citizen Soldiers was packed with information It was interesting to read The way Ambrose told it, the US Army was the hero learning how to fight in hedgerow country, learning how to fight in a city, getting surprised in the Ardennes, making some mistakes with the Repple Depples and Market Garden, but ultimately pushing through and triumphing Maybe that is why World War Two is still something so many people love to study.Ambrose does a good job of giving the reader a broad picture of what was happening with the US Army in Northern Europe He doesn t cover the Pacific Theater or what was happening in Italy He does give praise where it is due and criticism where it is deserved Great read, even if I did laugh when he talked about the Red Army liberating the Baltic states and Eastern Europe I doubt they felt like they were being liberatedlike being conquered by a different army A history of the U.S Army in World war II, specifically the European Theater, from D Day to VE Day Very readable, with lots of awe inspiring anecdotal reminisces from both American and German infantry and pilots it s also clear and informative on the types and abilities of weaponry both sides utilized.Ambrose is, of course, a patriot, almost a jingoist While the book is very critical of the egotistical and apparently unreasonable Montgomery, it could do with a bitcritique of Patton, wh A history of the U.S Army in World war II, specifically the European Theater, from D Day to VE Day Very readable, with lots of awe inspiring anecdotal reminisces from both American and German infantry and pilots it s also clear and informative on the types and abilities of weaponry both sides utilized.Ambrose is, of course, a patriot, almost a jingoist While the book is very critical of the egotistical and apparently unreasonable Montgomery, it could do with a bitcritique of Patton, who seems just as bull headed and irrational as the Brit does Patton s memoirs are cited without comment, though some of his claims as to his intentions, for example, might be questioned Ambrose s prose nears hagiography when he talks about his hero, Eisenhower, which isn t very helpful as assessment of strategy But the meat of this book is the interview and material from the front line soldiers, and here it s fascinating On almost every page there s an amazing battle or instance of bravery that boggles the modern mind So in that respect, Ambrose accomplishes the book s purpose with skill Indeed, perhaps this strength is also a weakness because the book celebrates feats of heroism, it doesn t linger on the tragedy of mass casualties the slaughter of wave after wave of unprepared young men is tallied in statistics Company XYZ took 185 percent casualties, etc , but not discussed as human loss, and that s a shame Ambrose, an incredibly prolific and readable historian, focuses in this book on the soldiers who made up the ETO European Theater of Operations It s at first somewhat difficult to categorize His analysis of the men who made up the army could almost be called cheer leading of the most nauseating kind But after he settles in, the reality becomesapparent They weren t all great guys and upstanding citizens He points out that some thirty percent of supplies coming into ports after the in Ambrose, an incredibly prolific and readable historian, focuses in this book on the soldiers who made up the ETO European Theater of Operations It s at first somewhat difficult to categorize His analysis of the men who made up the army could almost be called cheer leading of the most nauseating kind But after he settles in, the reality becomesapparent They weren t all great guys and upstanding citizens He points out that some thirty percent of supplies coming into ports after the invasion of Europe were stolen for resale on the black market The picture of Milo in Catch 22 is not the grossest exaggeration Racial problems were endemic at all levels, but Ambrose reserves his harshest judgment for the upper echelon commanders who remained clean, dry, and well fed in the rear while front line troops were asked to take objectives that often made little sense at great cost Thousands of GI s were lost to trench foot and frostbite during the winter because the boots they were issued were inadequate Those in the rear got the good rubber covered boots The response of the brass was to insist that soldiers change their socks regularly, and threatened to court martial anyone diagnosed with trench foot The replacement system designed by Eisenhower s staff sent inadequately trained men to the front where they often died needlessly Had they been trained as units, with experienced sergeants and sent into battle as units fewer would have died, suggests Ambrose British general Montgomery was clearlyinterested in self promotion than in becoming part of the team,, and Ambrose cites one example where Montgomery s demands foroverall command had to be personally put down by Eisenhower George Patton was obsessed with spit and polish In one instance some officers just coming from the muddy front had been ordered to Third Army headquarters to get some badly needed maps They were held up at the entrance to Third Army territory because Patton had issued orders to his MP s that anyone entering had to maintain proper uniform standards of cleanliness, etc It took the officers hours to get cleared and cleaned up before they could get what they needed, holding up the offensive Soldiers soon learned that war was not all they expected As others, like Paul Fussell and Gerald Lindeman who explored the role of the American fighting man have noted, war has been seriously overglamorized Soldiers were psychologically unprepared for battle and the stress broke many of them down Often they refused to take prisoners, shooting all Germans in the way whether under white flag or not The war fundamentally altered the lives of those who survived the front lines Americans, having never been bombed, cannot appreciate the horror of interminable artillery shelling and constant fear and deprivation Ambrose clearly admires what these soldiers for what they endured In the end, the reason for fighting the war is exemplified by the tragic comments of a severely wounded German lieutenant who desperately needed a blood transfusion Just as it was to be administered, the German insisted the medic certify there was no Jewish blood mixed in with the blood he was about to receive The medic obviously could not, but pointed out that without the plasma he would die The German died refusing to be transfused They should have given it to him anyway When people know you like history, especially military history, you are probably doomed to get Ambrose books And so I did, and dutifully read it The fault of Ambrose is not bad prose he can write a passable sentence , but in his perspective I forget the exact line, but the effect is definitely that of There is much that is good, and much that is original But that which is original is not good, and that which is good is not original The fault of plagiarism leveled against Ambrose I mind l When people know you like history, especially military history, you are probably doomed to get Ambrose books And so I did, and dutifully read it The fault of Ambrose is not bad prose he can write a passable sentence , but in his perspective I forget the exact line, but the effect is definitely that of There is much that is good, and much that is original But that which is original is not good, and that which is good is not original The fault of plagiarism leveled against Ambrose I mind less than his original idea, which is basically that Americans won against the Germans because they showed that virtuous citizen soldiers wereeffective than the minions of the dictatorships This manages to combine two of the major pitfalls of military history aping sportswriters, and ignoring essentials I don t mean to dishonor the US vets of the war on Germany, but Wehrmacht of 1943 was not the army that had conquered western Europe in 1939 41, and nearly taken out the Soviets in 1942 The Soviets had seen to that, with some help from the UK And, as Norman Davies shows effectively in No Simple Victory which I highly recommend , the western front was not where the defeat of Hitler really happened In short, Ambrose is not writing for those who want to know what really happened he writes for those who want to feel complacently proud of the U.S I would rather base my pride on facts That I remember it in so much detail 15 years later is mostly due to the strength of my reaction I read Citizen Soldiers by Stephen E Ambrose in the late 1990 s shortly after reading Band of Brothers and D Day, both also by Ambrose I reread this book in 2005 I listened to the audio book version in 2006 The book describes how these citizen soldiers came to be soldiers, and what they did once they were There is some overlap with his other titles about World War II The book follows the battles right after the allies left the beaches of Normandy, all the way through France into German t I read Citizen Soldiers by Stephen E Ambrose in the late 1990 s shortly after reading Band of Brothers and D Day, both also by Ambrose I reread this book in 2005 I listened to the audio book version in 2006 The book describes how these citizen soldiers came to be soldiers, and what they did once they were There is some overlap with his other titles about World War II The book follows the battles right after the allies left the beaches of Normandy, all the way through France into German territory.This lengthy volume details the war in Europe It tells how Americans were critical to that victory It gives the story through the eyes of those who participated in the various units I enjoy this tile and the stories the former GI s share Citizen Soldiers is the name for the draftees, national guard, and army reserve soldiers, the non regular army soldiers, which were so necessary to field an army of the size that was needed in World War II Read and reviewed by Jimmie A Kepler A well written account of US soldiers in WWII in Europe between D Day and the end of the war Based on first hand experiences relayed by soldiers Gut wrenching. I gave this book four stars because it is one of the best histories of World War II I have ever read despite occasional episodes of fierce language There wasn t a lot of bad language but it was intense when it was present Ambrose brings richness, life, and new perspectives to a subject that has been written to exhaustion He relates all of the expected events and gives enough detail to understand the strategic and tactical situation He helps the reader to understand the causes and effects of I gave this book four stars because it is one of the best histories of World War II I have ever read despite occasional episodes of fierce language There wasn t a lot of bad language but it was intense when it was present Ambrose brings richness, life, and new perspectives to a subject that has been written to exhaustion He relates all of the expected events and gives enough detail to understand the strategic and tactical situation He helps the reader to understand the causes and effects of the different happenings, but he also brings the human experience into each event Ambrose relates several experiences, usually told in the person s own words, for each major event that helped me understand not just the historical significance, but what it was like for the men and women who went through the experiences For example, while telling about the first days of the Battle of the Bulge, Ambrose includes diary entries of both German and American soldiers that explained how they each felt about the quick change of direction in the campaign Citizen Soldiers also includes sections about the airmen of the European theater, the medics and nurses, black soldiers, and the American casualty replacement system These sections added perspectives that I do not usually encounter in military history As an example of this, Ambrose includes a letter from a nurse in the theater that was published in Stars and Stripes The letter is the nurses expression of her admiration for the soldiers she treated Ambrose also includes the reactions of some of the German civilians who lived in cities when some of our bomber crews landed among them As you can imagine, they were not very friendly to those who were destroying their homes and killing their families.As a final note, Ambrose does a wonderful job showing that there were good and bad among both sides He talks about kindness showed by German soldiers and civilians, as well as their atrocities He also talks about atrocities committed by GIs, as well as the kindness the showed He forcefully drives home the point that there was good and bad among both sides.Overall, strongly deserving of high praise This was my second Ambrose read after Band of Brothers, and it was exceptional In Citizen Soldiers, Ambrose primarily uses the first hand accounts of a select number of American infantry and non commissioned officers as a cross section of the US Army that liberated Nazi Europe The accounts given by the men Ambrose interviewed are moving, humorous, heart wrenching and ultimately inspiring There is no comparable civilian experience to total war, but Ambrose does his best to draw the reader into This was my second Ambrose read after Band of Brothers, and it was exceptional In Citizen Soldiers, Ambrose primarily uses the first hand accounts of a select number of American infantry and non commissioned officers as a cross section of the US Army that liberated Nazi Europe The accounts given by the men Ambrose interviewed are moving, humorous, heart wrenching and ultimately inspiring There is no comparable civilian experience to total war, but Ambrose does his best to draw the reader into the battlefield of World War II, and does much to explain why those soldiers are commonly referred to as The Greatest Generation.The book is a fairly easy read There are not a lot of sections of long text, as the chapters are broken into short sections that highlight an event or individual While the soldier at the front line is the focus of the book, Ambrose does spend a significant amount of time detailing the drama at the command level, especially with people like Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and Montgomery.This has been an essential read in my latest foray into World War II history While movies like Saving Private Ryan provide a glimpse of the sacrifices made by America s young men and women in World War II, such works fall short of the words and emotions of the people who were actually there At several points, I was gripped by deep emotion at the stories of the citizen soldier I think there is an immense amount of room for debate between pacifism and just war, but in my mind World War II is one of the highest points in American history The American GI traveled to a foreign land to liberate a foreign people and went back home when peace was achieved, and did so in such a way that in many cases American and German veterans became friends in the years that followed I highly recommend the book From Stephen E Ambrose, bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D Day, the inspiring story of the ordinary men of the US army in northwest Europe from the day after D Day until the end of the bitterest days of World War IIIn this riveting account, historian Stephen E Ambrose continues where he left off in hisbestseller D Day Citizen Soldiers opens athours, June on the Normandy beaches, and ends athours, May with the allied victory It is biography of the US Army in the European Theater of Operations, and Ambrose again follows the individual characters of this noble, brutal, and tragic war From the high command down to the ordinary soldier, Ambrose draws on hundreds of interviews to re create the war experience with startling clarity and immediacy From the hedgerows of Normandy to the overrunning of Germany, Ambrose tells the real story of World War II from the perspective of the men and women who fought it I m on a little world war II kick right now and I realized that this book would basically tell me what my grandfather and Kate s grandfather were doing in 1944 Turns out, things were not that fun for them Although, thank god my grandfather was in the anti aircraft part of the army, because if he had been in the front line infantry, according to this book, chances are I would not be around There are lots of great first person stories of the war here, although it is a little jumpy all around be I m on a little world war II kick right now and I realized that this book would basically tell me what my grandfather and Kate s grandfather were doing in 1944 Turns out, things were not that fun for them Although, thank god my grandfather was in the anti aircraft part of the army, because if he had been in the front line infantry, according to this book, chances are I would not be around There are lots of great first person stories of the war here, although it is a little jumpy all around between armies and corps and divisions and stuff I would make one suggestion to readers of this book If you re like me, you ll keep saying to yourself, wait, ok, division 30 of the 1st Army, when did he talk about them before Where were they Wait, what town are they at again Were they the ones from that story with the river and the big battle When these questions come up, you just have to ignore them Maybe if you are a vet yourself, you can keep track of all these groups, but I just can t do it It s impossible to keep flipping back to the text and maps and find everybody I would just ignore the numbers and read it for the stories The other thing you get out of this book is, if ONLY that eyepatch tom cruise guy had managed to kill Hitler like he wanted to That was July of 44 The war went on another year almost, even though everyone with a brain in Germany knew they were going to lose But if they gave up, Hitler would have them shot for treason So they had to keep fighting So they wasted hundreds of thousands of German and Allied lives for absolutely no reason at all It just makes you sick

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