The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany

The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany

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Audiobook(Cassette - Abridged, 4 Cassettes, 4 hrs. 30 min.)

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Overview

The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany by Stephen E. Ambrose, Jeffrey DeMunn

Stephen Ambrose is the acknowledged dean of the historians of World War II in Europe. In three highly acclaimed, bestselling volumes, he has told the story of the bravery, steadfastness, and ingenuity of the ordinary young men, the citizen soldiers, who fought the enemy to a standstill -- the band of brothers who endured together. The very young men who flew the B-24s over Germany in World War II against terrible odds were yet another exceptional band of brothers, and, in The Wild Blue, Ambrose recounts their extraordinary brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship with the same vivid detail and affection. With his remarkable gift for bringing alive the action and tension of combat, Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to the death through thick black smoke and deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743504683
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: 08/14/2001
Edition description: Abridged, 4 Cassettes, 4 hrs. 30 min.
Pages: 5
Product dimensions: 7.12(w) x 4.22(h) x 1.11(d)

About the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose is the author of numerous books of history, including the New York Times number one bestseller Nothing Like It in the World, and Undaunted Courage, D-Day, and Citizen Soldiers. He lives in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and Helena, Montana. Visit his Web site at www.stephenambrose.com.

Date of Birth:

January 10, 1936

Date of Death:

October 13, 2002

Place of Birth:

Whitewater, Wisconsin

Place of Death:

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Education:

B.A., University of Wisconsin; M.A., Louisiana State University, 1958; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1963

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The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s over Germany 1944-1945 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This non-fiction novel by Stephen E. Ambrose is about the crews of the B24 Liberators flown in World War II and their crews; specifically, the crew of the Dakota Queen. This book begins by explaining where the crew members of these bombers came from and has a large focus on George McGovern and his difficult training in which 124,000 out of roughly 317,000 men (after physical testing) "washed out". Washing out means that the men who aspired to be a pilot, bombardier, or a navigator could not pass one or several of various challenges or tests that were placed before them so they were sent off to either another branch of the service (such as the army) or were instead trained in being a gunner for the B24. The rest of the book outlines the missions that the Dakota Queen engaged in and also speaks of the Tuskegee Airmen who were the B24's fighter escorts for some of their missions. The major stress or theme at the beginning of this novel is the stress on the growth of the United States Army Air Force (the USAAF or the AAF for short) and the large number of young men volunteering to join in the AAF. I enjoyed this book because it contains large amounts of information about the bomber crews and their missions in World War II and it also explains the very rigorous and difficult training that the crew, especially the pilots, had to endure to become what they aspired to be. This book kept me interested throughout most of its entirety with a few exceptions. During the first few chapters the book progresses very slowly and dumps almost too much information on you as Ambrose explains the training they went through. The book soon speeds up however as Ambrose begins to describe the risky missions that the Dakota Queen partook in. This is a must read for anyone who is interested in history, planes, or a combination of the two as it is full of good information. Not only do I recommend this book but I also recommend Band of Brothers which is also written by Ambrose and is much better known. Another good book is Marine Sniper by Charles Henderson which I also read recently. This book is about the marine sniper Carlos Hathcock who recorded a record 93 confirmed kills while on his tour in Vietnam.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of Ambrose, but somehow I came away after reading The Wild Blue with mixed emotions. On the one hand you only have to look at the extensive notes section at the back of the book to realize how much research Ambrose and his son poured into this effort. The details he offers of each of the young men that fought, and sometimes died, in their B-24s is very impressive. Yet it is this same detail that causes me some disappointment. The cast of characters he offers is quite large, as witnessed by over 40 names mentioned on Page 25. As Ambrose takes us through the various stages of training, shipping over to the war, and eventually engagement in the war, he does so not just from the perspective of George McGovern, but from the perspective of many of the other characters. What this left me with was a feeling of abrupt changes, that happened continually throughout the book. I found it especially difficult to stay on top of who was who in the training chapters. Names of men, locations and thoughts wizzed by so fast I ended up just reading over the names as if they didn't exist, and concentrated more on George McGovern. Perhaps I'm alone in this thought, but I wished a few times as I read through the book that Ambrose would have fixed his incredible writing powers just on McGovern, and not brought in so many other interesting, but sadly short, perspectives. I am and will always be a big fan of Ambrose, but I feel that perhaps this was not quite his best effort. Would I recommend this book to others? Hmmm, I have mixed emotions.
GrizWA More than 1 year ago
I had an Uncle who flew B24s in WWII and had listen to some of the stories he told me. This book is truly a document of just what these men had to deal with and how close they were as family. A must read if you are interested in the AAF during the war.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These young flyers had more courage than my baby boomer generation will ever hope to have. The excerpt is about the first missions for several of the crewmembers. Dr. Ambrose has a wonderful way of putting you right there in the aircraft, enduring the horror of buddies killed and flak tearing the B-24 apart. Riveting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not up to the author's standard in previous works, most notably Undaunted Courage and Band of Brothers.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Think I read it years ago, but it was fresh. Well done! My respect for George McGovern really went up!
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RCCnLA More than 1 year ago
I bought this book after reading " The Arsenal of Democracy" which provided great details on how Detroit and Ford Motor Company built more B-24's than any planes in WWII. I always thought the B-29 was the " hot bomber", but nothing compared in numbers like the B-24. That book also suggested the B-24 was a tough bird to fly. "The Wild Blue" filled in some details that really opened my eyes as to what WWII crews went through. As my father was in the AAF in a photo-recon unit, I gained a greater appreciation for what he had been though,something he never provided details on to me personally.This is ( another) good read filled with first person accounts from Steven Ambrose.
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woodySP More than 1 year ago
The book interesting and informative, it was also long winded.
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Just so we do not forget what our military has done for those of us to keep our country as we remember it. Freedom doesn't come cheap and our young men have freely given their lives so that we can continue to live free. We must never forget.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my husband. He really enjoys historical novels and non-fiction history. He liked it from the beginning. Not dry like some historical work.
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