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Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944 to May 7, 1945

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2001

    A little short on soldiers storys

    This was a good bood, but not up to what the reviews claimed. I was expecting more from the individual soldiers experiences. There were many GIs mentioned and quoted, but they were just little snips of that GIs experience. I wanted something more in depth. I also thought the maps were poor. They were a good idea but just not put together quite right. The way he set up the chapters was good. Each group of people giving a new point of view. It was worth reading but left me wanting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Excellent book

    I found this to be a fascinating book, in the manner of Band of Brothers, as it gives a little bigger picture of the various men in the trenches that were responsible for fighting across Europe. Well worth reading especially if you are interested in the events of World War II.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    Good book

    I found this book to be a very good purchase. The stories of the men and their accomplishments are outstanding. In addition, it was fascinating to see how the war was viewed by the German soldiers. I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in the everyday life of the WWII soldier.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    Ambrose touches them all

    From the invasion of Normandy to the surrender of Germany, Citizen Soldiers depicts life in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) from a vast array of perspectives. Beginning at junior officers down to the enlisted men, Ambrose portrays the learning process of citizens becoming soldiers. Whether it be crossing a river in the Rhineland or fighting through the hedgerows of Normandy, soldiers were forced to adapt to situations that basic training failed to prepare them for. To add to the challenge, a majority of the soldiers were fresh out of high school and as a result, severely lacked experience and composure in combat. Furthermore, the soldiers were subjected to the occasional suspect decisions of the brass and the repercussions that followed. That said, Ambrose utilizes oral accounts to recreate the experiences of combat through the eyes of the soldiers who lived it. Ambrose delves into the various aspects of life in the ETO, documenting the sheer horror of spending one night on the front line, the practically criminal nature of the replacement system, the perils of those involved in the air war, the heroics of the medics, nurses and doctors, the cowardice of the jerks, sad sacks, profiteers and Jim Crow, and the atrocities endured by prisoners of war. Not only does Ambrose portray combat from an Allied perspective, but he also explores the experiences of Nazis soldiers. Rather than belittling their endeavor, Ambrose recognizes that the Nazis bore the burden of war comparable to that of the Americans. By doing so, he achieves a holistic view of life in the ETO, complete with unique accounts portraying the war from both sides of the conflict. His methods of research produce an aura of realism unparalleled to others in the genre. Although Citizen Soldiers does contain plagiarism and historical inaccuracies, Ambrose compensates for his errors with his vivid detail of life in the ETO and eloquent writing style that keeps readers on the edge of their seats throughout the novel. Consequently, I highly recommend Citizen Soldiers to any reader interested in World War II, specifically from the point of view of the men and women who valiantly endured the hardships of combat to triumph over the Nazis tyranny.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2004

    Awesome, a military masterpiece

    Citizen Soldiers is one of the best books I have ever read. Not only does it tell the complete story of World War II, it tells about the hardships, victories, and mindsets of some of America's finest men. Beginning from the invasion of Nomandy on June 6, 1944, the book tells of the huge numbers of men who went to war to rid the world of Nazi Germany, the ways the soldiers survived, and even gave multiple accounts and quotes of the German army. Every section of the book tells of the different jobs and responsibilities of the men and women who served in the army. Wether you like war or not, these outstanding citizens got the the job done and I'd recommend everyone read it to get a better grasp on the greatest battle ever fought.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2004

    Great Book

    This book goes into great detail in explaining the struggle of the war through the eyes of the common soldier. Very well written

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2003

    An unreliable popular history

    Having just finished a critique of Citizen Soldiers, I have found more errors and uninformed opinions in this book than any other history of WWII that I've ever read. According to the Washington Post and others, Ambrose was a flat out plagiarist. What I've found him to be is a bombastic purveyor of misleading or downright false information and opinions. His ideas about the Sherman tank and bazooka, as an example, couldn't be more mistaken and false. He also mistated the capture of the Bridge at Remagen, crediting Lt Larsen for things that never happened I checked with the author of The Bridge at Remagen, Ken Hechler, and he confirmed my suspicians about Ambrose - in this instance and many others. Read Ambrose for the pleasure, but don't believe much of what he says. He has 15(!) divisions attacking Bastogne, obviously doesn't understand the Small Solution as applied to the Bulge, calls German soldiers 'Nazis', calls American soldiers 'Citizens', and proclaims D Day as the 'climactic battle of WWII' in the ETO. These are just a sample of the flood of mistakes and mistaken opinions that are found in this text. Don't quote Ambrose in any college history course - you're liable to be very embarrassed. As I've often been told by history scholars - consider Ambrose a 'newsman,' not an historian. He ran a 'history factory' apparently with his son gathering the info he put in his texts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2003

    Great book, hard to put down!

    I found this book to be a very good read, hard to put down. Great how Ambrose presents the story from the German as well as the American perspective. Brings home the brutal realities of war for everyone involved. One of the best books I have read on WWII.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2003

    Great Stephen E. Ambrose Book!

    This book has short stories of the GI's that fought from D-day to the surrender of Germany. You have to read this book you would be able to know more of how these soldiers decided to pull off this war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2002

    One of the best on WWII

    Well researched and put together - this and the Longest Day are the defacto other war books are compared to for non-fiction war novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2001

    The Drive on Germany from a Miserable, Cold Foxhole View

    Citizen Soldiers begins the day after D-Day in Normandy and continues through the surrender of Germany in May 1945. While there are many history books about this period, all of the ones I have read take the perspective of either the big picture as seen by the politicians and generals or the little picture as seen by individual units. Citizen Soldiers is unique in my experience in combining both perspectives in one book. Citizen Soldiers is the only book I have read about World War II that contains every single negative story about the GI experiences that I have heard from individual veterans over the years. As such, Citizen Soldiers is a cautionary tale about grim realities of war. If you are easily offended by inhumanity, you will not enjoy this book. Combat is full of such, and Citizen Soldiers honestly captures everything from mass murder to random cruelty. I learned a lot from this book. Did you know that soldiers were often as likely to become casualties because of trench foot as with a bullet wound? Despite this, the recruits and draftees were never taught how to avoid trench foot. Other training errors cost lots of lives and wounded, such as not preparing the soldiers for the raised hedgerows in Normandy. The Germans were well prepared, but the Americans were not. Although no one can know what combat is like without experiencing it, Citizen Soldiers does a fine job of giving a flavor. The remorseless statistics of how many casualties were taken gives a grim sense of the fatalism that many soldiers must have felt. If 200 percent of a unit became casualties, and no one was released without becoming a casualty, what do you think you would assess your chances at? Where in the big picture histories, the cities and regions are mostly names. Here, there is a strong sense of place. You will know the difference between one forest and another, and from one river crossing to another. Important criticisms are aimed here at both the American and German leaders. Atrocities done by both Americans and Germans are handled openly and honestly. I hope these lessons will not be forgotten. I was pleased to see that Professor Ambrose made an effort to interview German soldiers as well. The mutual perspective on the battles and on the overall war experience is much more powerful than it would be by just hearing how it was for the winners. I came away from this book with a greatly heightened respect for the ordinary infantry soldiers of both the American and German armies on the northwestern front. I think you will, too. More than The Greatest Generation, this book made me realize the incredible character involved in winning World War II in northwestern Europe. I was also fascinated by the stories of how important innovations occurred, such as the coordination artillery, aircraft, tanks and infantry using radios and developing methods for breaching hedgerows in Normandy. It was the ordinary soldiers who usually came up with the good ideas, not the heavy thinkers. After you finish this book, think about where else lack of training and preparation needlessly wastes lives. How about people who have trouble learning in school, and feel humiliated in the process? At the same time, examine what the lessons are here for dealing with the escalating terrorism aimed at Americans. Look squarely in the face of violence and evil intentions with honesty! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2001

    Major Disappointment

    This book suffers from one of the worst cases of fact-checking failures that I have ever read in a book about WWII. I'm not being nitpicky, its just that the book is full of them: mis-identifications, incorrect photo captions, flat-out wrong statements of fact. The sad thing is, you can use the books in his listed bibliography to correct his errors, as I have. I am sending a compiled list to Simon & Schuster with a letter of complaint. I really enjoyed reading a number of Ambrose's previous work, but to readers well-versed on WWII in Western Europe, and especially the U.S. Army's role in it, Citizen Soldiers is a sloppy piece of scholarly work, but some good story-telling if you are a casual WWII reader. I am going to return my copy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2000

    Best Yet

    Stephen Ambrose has outdone himself with this great work. It brings the true hardships of war to the civilian.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2000

    Ambrose's best book yet

    Stephen Ambrose is a talented writer and historian. His realism that he brings to his books are suberb. He continues to amaze me with his writing and World War II knowledge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2000

    Thank You

    Being only twenty years old and not really knowing much more about WWII than I have studied in class and seen on TV and in the movies, I was mesmerized by Ambrose's portrayal of the action in the ETO. I have talked to some vets since reading the book who remember many details exactly how Ambrose writes them in the book. The only thing that comes to my mind after reading this book is immense respect and gratitude to all those who served. Thank you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2000

    Best book that tells GIs' side of WW II

    Citizen Soldiers is the best book I have read on WW II. It shows not only the Army's point of view but shows what it was like for the average GI fighting the war. Must read for everyone to understand what the GI went through during that time in history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
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