My 19-year-old dad gave thanks on an LST off the coast of Okinawa. It was August 14, 1945―the war was over. It ended sooner for Ernie Pyle. On April 18, Japanese machine-gun fire cut down the celebrated combat journalist on Iejima, an island off Okinawa.
I thumbed through Brave Men, a firsthand look at boys on the front, more than 40 years ago. Along with William Shirer’s Berlin Diary―a day-by-day account of the momentous events leading up to the war in Europe―it taught me about writing, authenticity, and style.
In recent months, I read several biographies and histories about Churchill, Roosevelt, Ike, Patton, McArthur, Stalin, and Hitler. However, the stories of everyday soldiers and civilians took on greater meaning:
Hampton Sides’ Ghost Soldiers relates the saga of the Bataan Death March, the grim reality of prison camps, and a daring rescue mission.
Caroline Moorehead’s Village of Secrets
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