When We Were One: Stories of World War II

Overview

Before W. C. Heinz embarked on his illustrious career as one of the premier sports writers of the past fifty years, he served as a war correspondent for the New York Sun. Now for the first time ever, Heinz's finest work on World War II, written both during and after the war, is collected in one volume. From his first-person account aboard the U.S.S. Nevada during D-Day in 1944 to his legendary dispatches from the towns and battlefields of the European front, Heinz vividly conveys the courage, humor, and humanity ...

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Overview

Before W. C. Heinz embarked on his illustrious career as one of the premier sports writers of the past fifty years, he served as a war correspondent for the New York Sun. Now for the first time ever, Heinz's finest work on World War II, written both during and after the war, is collected in one volume. From his first-person account aboard the U.S.S. Nevada during D-Day in 1944 to his legendary dispatches from the towns and battlefields of the European front, Heinz vividly conveys the courage, humor, and humanity of men under fire. Whether describing a battle scene or a soldier, Heinz brings home the war like few others ever have. In the second half of the book, he and his fourteen-year-old son, Bud, revisit the beaches of Normandy with D-Day veteran Major General Earl Rudder, who recounts his experiences there; in another story he describes, in his patented you-are-there style, the morning three German spies were executed; and in the concluding piece, Heinz revisits many of the towns he journeyed through as the American army fought its way across Europe twenty years before.When We Were One is a superb collection of writing on World War II that ranks with the finest ever assembled on any war.

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Editorial Reviews

Elmore Leonard
Every W.C. Heinz sentence is as clear and cold as an ice cube.
Entertainment Weekly
Selected as the "It Lit Comeback".
Mike Lupica
Marvelous...like a restoration of some lost piece of art.
New York Daily News
Vanity Fair
No one will ever produce work of comparable range.
Boston Herald
One of the most respected sportswriters of the 20th century, a peer of Damon Runyon, A. J. Liebling, and Red Smith.
New York Sun
His dispatches are among the very best from the war.
Jeff McGregor
Tells his stories the way Heifitz fiddled or Hopper painted, or the way Willie Pep boxed—with a kind of lyrical understatement.
Sports Illustrated
Library Journal
Heinz is a longtime sportswriter and author of The Professional as well as a coauthor of MASH. During World War II, he was a young correspondent for the New York Sun, and this collection of his war pieces begins with his personal observations aboard the USS Nevada. The battleship had been restored after the attack at Pearl Harbor and was now supporting the Allied invasion on D-Day. From D-Day, Heinz continues his war coverage with stories from the Siegfried line and Aachen. Heinz was one of the few reporters who witnessed the execution of three German spies captured after the Battle of the Bulge, an experience he writes about with clarity and controlled emotion. In his of-the-moment dispatches, Heinz does a good job of telling the story of the war and profiling its fighting men and scenes of horror. His narrative brings all the chaos of battle to the reader. In the newspaper dispatches, of course, there is little room for historical background. But the book also includes several longer magazine pieces, most memorably an account of returning years later to the Normandy beaches with a D-Day hero and his son. This book of wartime observations will be riveting for the interested reader. Recommended for all public libraries and academic libraries with historical collections. Mark Ellis, Albany State Univ. Lib., GA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306812088
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 4/10/2003
  • Edition description: First Da Capo Press Paperbacck Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

W. C. Heinz is the coauthor of Run to Daylight, the best-selling autobiography of Vince Lombardi, and MASH, the novel that later became a successful movie and TV series. Da Capo recently published an omnibus collection of his best sportswriting, What a Time It Was. W. C. Heinz lives in Vermont.

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Table of Contents

Dispatches from the New York Sun (1944)
Sun Reporter on U.S. Battleship Tells How Navy Fought on D-Day (6/6/44) 3
Back from Grave at Pearl Harbor, U.S.S. Nevada Shatters Nazi Line (6/9/44) 9
The Nevada Bows Out with Her Fame Safe in History (6/20/44) 13
A Ride to Mons in Moonlight (9/4/44) 19
Harried Germans Don't Have Time Even to Bury Their Dead (9/19/44) 23
Bitter Armored Battle for Stolberg (9/20/44) 27
Still Battle on Hill Above Aachen (10/22/44) 33
Dawson Holds Line Above Aachen (10/23/44) 39
Co. G Holds Ridge, Key to Aachen (10/24/44) 43
Capt. Dawson Keeps Phone Busy (10/25/44) 47
Little Abie a Hero on Dawson Ridge (10/26/44) 53
Yanks Slog Through Rain to Battle (11/13/44) 57
Rabbit Unnerves Reporters (11/29/44) 61
In the Hurtgen Forest ... (12/5/44) 65
Yank Platoons Push Off to Attack (12/18/44) 69
Dispatches from the New York Sun (1945)
Questioning Nazi Captives Is Tough (2/2/45) 75
Night Attack (A six-part series)
Yanks Plan a Tricky Night Attack (2/5/45) 79
Yanks Clear Path for Night Attack (2/6/45) 83
Riding into Battle on a Tank (2/7/45) 87
Kids Cling to Tanks on Way to Battle (2/8/45) 93
Lack of Proper Winter Equipment Costs U.S. Lives in Attack on Town (2/9/45) 99
Yanks Work Over a German Town (2/10/45) 105
Old German Gets in Colonel's Hair (2/13/45) 111
"The Morning They Shot the Spies" and Other Features (After the War)
The Morning They Shot the Spies 119
Excerpt from Transition 133
D-Day Relived 163
The Day We Met the Russians 187
The Retreat at Mons 193
The GI's War Fades Away 209
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