The Liberator

The Liberator

One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey From the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau

eBook - 2012
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Random House, Inc.
The untold story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War.
 
Written with Alex Kershaw's trademark narrative drive and vivid immediacy, The Liberator traces the remarkable battlefield journey of maverick U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks through the Allied liberation of Europe—from the first landing in Italy to the final death throes of the Third Reich.

Over five hundred bloody days, Sparks and his infantry unit battled from the beaches of Sicily through the mountains of Italy and France, ultimately enduring bitter and desperate winter combat against the die-hard SS on the Fatherland's borders. Having miraculously survived the long, bloody march across Europe, Sparks was selected to lead a final charge to Bavaria, where he and his men experienced some of the most intense street fighting suffered by Americans in World War II.

And when he finally arrived at the gates of Dachau, Sparks confronted scenes that robbed the mind of reason—and put his humanity to the ultimate test.

Baker & Taylor
Traces the achievements of the World War II regiments under Felix Sparks, documenting their clashes with Hitler's elite troops in Sicily and Alerno and their heroic liberation of the Dachau concentration camp. By the best-selling author of The Bedford Boys. 60,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Crown, 2012
ISBN: 9780307888013
0307888010
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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bibliotechnocrat Aug 20, 2014

Starting with riding the rails during the great depression, Felix Sparks bootstrapped his way into college. When the war came, he became an officer in the Thunderbird Division of the US Army, and went ashore at Sicily. Sparks served with the Thunderbirds up through the Italian Peninsula, then on to Anzio before being transferred to the landing force that entered southern France - four amphibious landings in all. He fought his way into Germany, finally ending up as the liberator of Dachau. Napoleon famously wanted officers who were lucky - I think Napoleon wouldn't have approved much of this American officer. Solidly researched, this biography covers lesser known areas of US involvement in the war, and gives a great picture of a maverick officer. The discovery of the Dachau atrocities are a body blow at the end of Sparks difficult journey through World War II.

AlanReynolds Nov 14, 2013

I agree wholeheartedly with bbb1771. What a story this man has! A must read for any WWII buff or anyone who wonders how people cope in combat.

ChristchurchLib Jan 15, 2013

"Felix Sparks enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1936; by the end of World War II he held the rank of colonel. From July 1943 to the end of the war, Sparks led the 157th Infantry through brutal and bloody fighting in Sicily and Italy - with devastating losses at Anzio. Among the first Americans to reach Germany, they liberated the Dachau concentration camp. Using interviews with Sparks and letters from him and his men, journalist Alex Kershaw builds a detailed portrait of Sparks' army career, his inspiring leadership, and the grit and perseverance of his regiment." January 2013 Biography and Memoir Newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=591080

b
bbb1771
Nov 20, 2012

Powerfully written account of forgotten WW II campaigns and battles, bringing historical context to significant events from the vantage point of someone who experienced it first hand.

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