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Posted July 8, 2001
This book is fantastic! The bombing and subsequent court martial are not even mentioned until the last half of the book. Jackson takes great care to explain the circumstances people went though from the start of our involvement with WWII up through the time of the end of the war in Europe. My dad served on the same base at the same time as Jackson. He verified many of the accounts that Jackson described. I learned more about his day-to-day wartime experience through this book and now have a greater appreciation of the hardships they went through for the liberties we now have. This is a must read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 31, 2000
'The Day We Bombed Switzerland' is a stylish and informative first-person historical memoir about the author's experiences as both a navigator aboard B24 bombers over Germany in the last months of World War 2, and of his participation in the court-martial of two flyers facing charges for bombing Zurich, Switzerland during that period. This is well-written and well-researched, utilizing both personal recollection and information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and I found it quite fascinating. As the author points out in his closing paragraphs, first hand accounts of these historically momentous events are harder and harder to come by, and they provide a unique clarity of the historical facts which is hard to find in secondary source works. I recommend this highly to historians of the period and to those with an interest in WW2 aviation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 26, 2000
This book is an outstanding account of the greatest war ever experienced on our planet. Granholm tells this tale with clear description and wonderful anecdotes, with verbage from a day gone by. You can literally feel this novel! His experiences as a new recruit to the seasoned veteran (of course, still a very young man) serving as the defense for flyboys charged with a serious criminal act (the accidental bombing of Switzerland) are memorable. This is one of the best wartime books I have ever read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2000
This book is really two books in one. It's an intimate look at one man's wartime experiences, but it's also an important historical account of an event kept secret by the government for many years after WWII. Mr. Granholm's account of his military training and duty in England is both funny and touching, and contains many examples of the courage and fortitude displayed by so many of our young men during this horrible conflict. I'd recommend this book for history buffs, airplane fans, even people interested in knowing more about Jimmy Stewart. I think almost anyone would find something interesting in this very readable account. Bravo!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 13, 2000
Jackson Granholm's new book, 'The Day We Bombed Switzerland', is a riveting, revealing and often hilarious account of a never before revealed part of World War II history. Granholm, a Navigator in the 458th bomb group stationed in England around the time of D-Day, paints a realisitic and often horrifying picture of the adventures of men who flew the B-24 Liberator bombers, the bulky, ugly cousin of the famed B-17 Flying Fortress. The reader is taken through Granholm's misadventures during training in the American desert, through intense bombing raids in unthinkable weather through enemy 'flak' fire over Germany, and concludes with the agonizing court martial trial of two servicemen whose plane became lost in bad weather and accidentally dropped bombs on Zurich. The descriptions of bombing runs and the difficulties faced by crews attempting to hit established targets are so realistic the reader can hear the German flak bullets rattling and ricocheting through the B-24's interior. Over 6000 men from the 2nd Air Division (of which Granholm was a member) died during the war. The haunting description of one of the gigantic B-24's, broken in two and falling to earth, as seen from Granholm's bomber, gives an incredibly vivid account of the horror the 'fly-boys' went through, though far removed from the front-line ground fighting. The reader is introduced to some fascinating characters in 'The Day We Bombed Switzerland'. Center Stage is Max Sokarl, the brilliant lawyer turned aviator, whose quit wit and impressive tongue, piloted my an incessant desire to cause trouble, create a number of crazy and unpredicatable adventures, such as the stealing of a civilian bus for several days, and the resulting amazingly funny cover-up in which Sokarl redefines the meaning of 'red tape'! Sokarl's stories appear throughout the book, and add great comic releif to the intensity of the battle descrtiptions. One can't help get the feeling that Max Sokarl was a real life Hawkeye Pierce. Granholm does a fantastic job of pulling the reader into the daily life at the 458th: The airman in the infirmary who is convinced he will die in battle, the one who shoots petals off of daisy's, the one who steps on a hidden German land mine, the one who accidently blows up his own bomber as it sits on the runway. Softer touches are added as Granholm describes his tour of a town his bomb group has just bombed, as he talks with a German child there, and his visit to the the English Vaudeville to watch the entertainment. Throughout, the author interfuses amazing references to the history of the region, such as the impressive local cathedrals and the remnants of the occupation of the British Isles by the Danes. The trial of the servicemen breaks new literary ground. Granholm's research is thorough and memory sharp--(he served as defense council to the airmen accused in the court-martial proceedings). This little-known part of American history is revealed in depth for the first time, and the author's recount is detailed and interesting. The reader gets a close glimpse of the trial proceedings, of which the now-famous Max Sokarl plays center stage, the agonizing of the two accused airmen, and the calmness and kindness brought to the forefront by none other than Jimmy Stewart---yes THAT Jimmy Stewart. It was a joy to read 'The Day We Bombed Switzerland'. Whether you fought in World War II, have a relative who did, have in interest in airplanes, or just want to read a great book, The Day We Bombed Switzerland is ideal for you!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.