×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Fighting First: The Untold Story Of The Big Red One on D-Day
     

The Fighting First: The Untold Story Of The Big Red One on D-Day

4.8 4
by Flint Whitlock
 

See All Formats & Editions


The Fighting First recounts the untold story of the 1st Infantry Division's role in the invasion of France at Normandy. Using primary sources, official records, interviews, and unpublished memoirs by the veterans themselves, Flint Whitlock has crafted a riveting, gut-wrenching, personal story of courage under fire. Operation Overlord—the Allied

Overview


The Fighting First recounts the untold story of the 1st Infantry Division's role in the invasion of France at Normandy. Using primary sources, official records, interviews, and unpublished memoirs by the veterans themselves, Flint Whitlock has crafted a riveting, gut-wrenching, personal story of courage under fire. Operation Overlord—the Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944—was the most important battle of World War II, and Omaha Beach was the hottest spot in the entire operation. Leading the amphibious assault on the “Easy Red” and “Fox Green” sectors of Omaha Beach was the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division—“The Big Red One”—a tough, swaggering outfit with a fine battle record. The saga of the Big Red One, however, did not end with the storming of the beachhead, but continued across France, Belgium, and into Germany itself, where the division fought in the battles for Aachen, the Huertgen Forest, and the Battle of the Bulge. The Fighting First is an inspiring, graphic, and often heart-breaking story of young American soldiers performing their missions with spirit, humor, and determination.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Whitlock (Soldiers on Skis; The Rock of Anzio) has written the first oral history of the 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army (a.k.a. the Big Red One). His emphasis is on the division's preparation and actual landing on Normandy's Omaha Beach in 1944. The remainder of the text briefly sketches its work in the subsequent hedgerow wars through France and Germany, as well as the fighting in the Huertgen Forest and at the Battle of the Bulge. Of course, the late Stephen Ambrose set the style for this sort of oral history, and Whitlock follows suit. Whitlock himself writes well; one is able to sense the utter fear of men knowing they may be facing almost instant death-even when the men are battle-hardened veterans of the earlier Italian campaigns. Here is the real story of Private Ryan. Readers wishing more in the way of maps, photography, and pure history can consult Ian Westwell's 1st Infantry Division: Big Red One. Recommended for public libraries. [June 6, 2004, marks the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.-Ed.]-Rich Nowicki, Emerson Vocational H.S. (ret.), Buffalo, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813343174
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
05/09/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
1,284,645
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.12(d)

Meet the Author


Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Flint Whitlock is a former U.S. Army officer who served on active duty from 1965 to 1970, including a tour in Vietnam. He has been a military historian since 1986 and is the author of Soldiers on Skis, The Rock of Anzio, and The Fighting First. He is a regular contributor to World War II magazine and WW II History magazine. He is the president of the newly formed Colorado Military History Museum, Inc. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Fighting First: The Untold Story Of The Big Red One on D-Day 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is an absolutely amazing book...it really displays the hard-ships and the succeses...the big red one spearheaded many invasions(such as OMAHAA BEACH), as well as defended some fellow units. must read if you are a history buff or want great and some humorous action stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is 'The Untold Story of the Big Red One on D-Day' but so much more! This Big Red One story begins in North Africa and the Kasserine Pass where 'The first Division stopped the famous 10th Panzer cold in two attacks.' It goes on to Sicily where with Patton where they 'suffered greatly.' You'd think they had earned a rest but the only rest they got was back in England preparing for Omaha Beach. While there, Whitlock gives the reader some real insights into life for Americans in wartime England.

From there, it's on to Omaha Beach and Rommel's Atlantic Wall. Whitlock gives a lot of details of loading landing craft and of the actual landing where it was said by Corporal Michael Kurtz as reported in The Longest Day: 'I want all of you Joes to keep your heads down. As soon as we are spotted, we'll catch enemy fire. If you make it, OK. If you don't, it's a hell of a good place to die. Now, let's go.' Whitlock also tells of serious errors in the preparation of the Omaha beaches that led to this understated comment: 'The beach area of Omaha Beach was almost unscarred. We did not have a single one of those gun emplacements or pillboxes knocked out. Not a good situation.

'Now, have they earned a break? No way. They are finally pulled off the line in December, 1944. Guess what was about to happen the morning of 16 December - The Battle of the Bulge! The Big Red One is called upon again!

I have often been asked why WWII GIs have waited to talk about their experiences till now and Korean War vets still aren't talking. Perhaps, Whitlock says it best: 'Only with other veterans would a soldier speak of the unspeakable for only other veterans would know of the hardships, fear and tragedy, and, yes, even the exultation of combat.'

This is one hellava book! Don't miss it.