Sky Men

Sky Men

by Kirk B. Ross
5.0 1


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Sky Men by Kirk B. Ross

Features 122 photographs—including many previously unpublished images by famed combat photographer Robert Capa—and 4 maps.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764311727
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Series: SkipSearch
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.86(d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1What I Call Southern Charm13
Chapter 2Out of the Frying Pan44
Chapter 3McGoldrick and his Forty Thieves72
Chapter 4And Into The Fire101
Chapter 5Perfect Targets146
Chapter 6Swatting at Tigers193
Chapter 7Nobody Goes Back239
Chapter 8Reorganizing for Varsity256
Chapter 9Like Bolts from Heaven284
Chapter 10Spearheading East322
Published Sources454

What People are Saying About This

Clayton D. Laurie

The most comprehensive small unit history of World War II ever written. (Clayton Laurie, Ph.D., U.S. Army Center of Military History and Author of The Propaganda War)

Joe Quade

I found it both entertaining and educational. Congratulations on a fine Job. Airborne! (Joe Quade, Editor, Thunder From Heaven, the 17th Airborne Division Association newsletter)

Russell F. Weigley

I am . . . favorably impressed, because while I especially admired your description of F Company, 513th Parachute Infantry's part in the Battle of the Bulge——the Ardennes campaign always has to have a special place in World War II histories——I ended up admiring even more your account of the company in Operation VARSITY and the push eastward afterward. That is because the final American campaigns of the war in Europe have received relatively short shrift from most historians, to some extent including me. Therefore your GI's-eye view of the last part of the war is especially fresh, excellently capturing the feeling that went with increasingly assured victory. Your book is a model of effective use of oral history to bring the ordinary soldier's experience back to life . . . . It was a pleasure and a reward to read The Sky Men. (Russell F. Weigley, author of Eisenhower's Lieutenants, The American Way of War, and A Great Civil War)

Scott E. Belliveau

The Sky Men is one of the more rewarding recent works on World War II history. Admittedly, its basic form——a unit history——is hardly original. Furthermore, many units tread the path of F Company of the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th US Airborne Division from its origins in Alabama and Georgia, through its training in Tennessee and England and, finally, into combat in Belgium and Germany.

What elevates The Sky Men well above the ordinary is the author’s approach. Kirk Ross sheds an unsparing light on his subjects and pulls no punches in his narrative. He thus constructs a forthright picture of these men and their behavior in the front lines and behind the lines. Often, it isn’t pretty. Ross is as unflinching in his descriptions of the men’s whoring and drinking in England as he is of the horrors of front-line combat and the blunders——at many levels——that led to the deaths of so many of these men.

Some readers——especially those who bask in the rosy nostalgic glow of such works as The Greatest Generation——might be put off by this aspect of The Sky Men and tempted to dismiss it as yet another attempt at "myth debunking." Resist that temptation. The Sky Men is, from start to finish, suffused with an abiding respect of these men and their courage and dedication. Such an honest, powerful narrative should not diminish our admiration of these men and our appreciation of their service. Quite the contrary, by showing that these men were not plaster saints but flesh-and-blood soldiers and that every inch of every advance was made possible only by their blood and suffering, their courage and grit, The Sky Men only serves to increase our appreciation of the service and sacrifices not only this small band of paratroopers, but of all those who fought in World War II. (Scott Belliveau, former Acquisitions Editor, Naval Institute Press)


"An essential immediacy accompanies war. No place is it felt more intensely than among the young men whose job it is to do the actual killing. At the time this story takes place most of the men in it were only nineteen years old. The United States had been at war for almost two years when enlistment or the draft inducted them into the brotherhood of war and began to instill in them a new morality, one which made killing a virtue and proclaimed Duty its god. The army didn’t want any choir boys. What they needed was "a bunch of damn killers in uniforms," and that’s what they got. The Sky Men is their story. (From the Preface)

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Sky Men 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you thought you liked Ambroses's 'Band of Brothers' then you should definitely read this very well researched and written book.