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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • "An irresistible history of the WWII Jewish refugees who returned to Europe to fight the Nazis.” —Newsday
They were young Jewish boys who escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe and resettled in America. After the United States entered the war, they returned to fight for their adopted homeland and for the families they had left behind. Their stories tell the tale of one of the U.S. Army’s greatest secret weapons.
Sons and Soldiers begins during the menacing rise of Hitler’s Nazi party, as Jewish families were trying des-perately to get out of Europe. Bestselling author Bruce Henderson captures the heartbreaking stories of parents choosing to send their young sons away to uncertain futures in America, perhaps never to see them again. As these boys became young men, they were determined to join the fight in Europe. Henderson describes how they were recruited into the U.S. Army and how their unique mastery of the German language and psychology was put to use to interrogate German prisoners of war.
These young men—known as the Ritchie Boys, after the Maryland camp where they trained—knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured. Yet they leapt at the opportunity to be sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions that saved American lives and helped win the war. A postwar army report found that nearly 60 percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys.
Sons and Soldiers draws on original interviews and extensive archival research to vividly re-create the stories of six of these men, tracing their journeys from childhood through their escapes from Europe, their feats and sacri-fices during the war, and finally their desperate attempts to find their missing loved ones. Sons and Soldiers is an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism that will not soon be forgotten.
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
Bruce Henderson has written more than twenty books, including the national bestseller Hero Found and Rescue at Los Baños. Henderson served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CVA-61) during the Vietnam War. He lives in Menlo Park, California.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Germany 1938 1
1 Saving the Children 13
2 Escaping the Nazis 51
3 A Place to Call Home 85
4 Camp Ritchie 115
5 Going Back 149
6 Normandy 168
7 The Breakout 204
8 Holland 227
9 The Forests 251
10 Return to Deutschland 287
11 The Camps 325
12 Denazification 346
13 Going Home 361
Dramatis Personae 375
Appendix: The Ritchie Boys 393
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Being the son of jewish immigrants that arrived in the US in 1939, and never hearing about the Ritchie Boys, I decided to read this book, and so glad that I did. An untold story of german jews who immigrated to the US only to turn around and go back to Germany as inteligence officers primarily used as interpreters. Low and behold, reviewing the list of the approx 2,000 Ritchie Boys, I saw my last name listed. I googled him, and it turned out to be a cousin of mine. I was stunned! This made the book come alive even more then it already had for me. I can't recommend it enough. A stunning account of a little known story of extraordinary men risking their lives for their new country by going back and fighting against their old one. A five star read!!!!!
A real look into history. Riveting stories
Excellent and moving account of those persecuted individuals who returned to fight the Nazis.
well written. Sad but uplifting .
well written. Sad but uplifting .
I never heard of the Ritchie Boys until I saw and read this book. A powerful story about ordinary soldiers trained to do extraordinary jobs during WW2. Highly recommend adding this to your must read list.
Enjoyed very much
Sons and Soldiers is an exceptionally well-researched story of heroism of a group of Jewish refugees from pre-WWII Nazism. This untold story of a group of young men in their adopted country of America, their training in IPW (Interrogation of Prisoners of War) at Camp Ritchie in rural Maryland, and their perilous return to help fight the war in Europe is a riveting tale. it is a story of WWII as no other. The author tells it through the eyes and exploits of these men who served as interrogators in different areas following the D-Day Invasion. The battle campaigns are familiar to the reader but the author tells it all from the point of view of the involvement of the “Ritchie Boys” and the humanity they display. That is what makes this book a must-read in this reviewers opinion.