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Most Helpful Favorable Review
31 out of 36 people found this review helpful.
Felix Sparks was a son of the great depression. He spent several
The Division Landed in North Africa and were trained in invasion tactics. The first loses came in the course of the training. Moving from ship to small boat is a dangerous thing in itself. The first invasion was Sicily. Under the leadership of George Patton they raced Montgomery to try to cut off the German pull back to Italy.
Following this they invaded Italy twice, first at Paestum in September of 43. Then after fighting their way up the boot they were selected to invade again, this time at Anzio in the abortive attempt to outflank the German line of resistance. After fighting in Italy until August of 44 they landed in France at Saint-Tropez. From there they fought their way into Germany until the unit saw its last action in the liberation of the Dachau complex.
Through the course of this fighting Felix Sparks spent over five hundred days in combat. He had fought in eight campaigns and earned two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts, and the Croix de Guerre.
Following his military service he was active in politics and in worked for many causes. Some that readers will agree with some they will not. However, nothing changes the fact that Lt. Colonel Sparks led his men through some of the worst fighting in the Second World War.
Alex Kershaw is a bestselling author and has produced a carefully crafted and stunningly told story of men in combat. This volume deserves to stand with the best books on the European campaign.
posted by hippypaul on November 18, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
23 out of 29 people found this review helpful.
Author Alex Kershaw¿s narrative traces the steps of Felix Sparks
Little snippets about the battalions’ high rate of venereal disease, Generals using photo opportunities to display their egos, hidden caches of liquor, souvenir hunting, and tales of fraternization will appeal to readers voyeurism until they are slapped in the face with emotional breakdown of battle weary American soldiers during the capture of the Dachau Concentration Camp, one month prior to the end of the war.
The story quickly faded when it jumped from Sparks return to civilian life in 1945 to a very brief awkward overview of Spark’s anti-gun crusade in the 1990s, to his lack of receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, before mentioning his death and funeral in 2007.
Diaries, other interviews and written materials are used to provide limited documentation to Sparks’s account, are listed in the notes. The nine maps provided are very inadequate for showing the position of his regiment or its movement through the terrain for key battle scenes mentioned in the book.
The author should have included transcripts for key Starks’s interviews in appendixes. Adding appropriate academic cross-references for deployments, critical battle decisions and casualty statistics mentioned throughout the text would change this book from one man’s interesting interpretation of the Thunderbirds accomplishments to a documented account of the man and division.
An acknowledgment, notes, list of selected bibliographical materials and index is provided.
posted by penandtome on February 18, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 6, 2013
50% of this was really good, it delves into Felix Sparks Army ma
50% of this was really good, it delves into Felix Sparks Army man's life as progesses into the battling of the Nazis at the start of America's involvment in WWII, he fights up North Africa into his final destination of Germany, Dachau concentration camp.
However, this book was in bad need of a more contrite editor, way to long and drawn out, way to make irrelevant facts. Then the author, provides an ending about Felix Sparks involvment to abolish juvenille buying of guns in his Colorado state! Who cares?! The ending kind of veered off about what the main -- 50% beginning of book was focuesd on. I would say if the publisher had just published the first half of the book and taken out the second half it would have deserved five stars, but it was interesting.
19 out of 27 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.