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Vanguard Of The Crusade: The 101st Airborne Division In World War Ii: The US 101st Airborne Division in WWII (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 30. Juni 2003


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Gebundene Ausgabe, 30. Juni 2003
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Synopsis

Mark Bando, well-known author of four previous books about the 101st Airborne Division in WWII and Breakout at Normandy: The 2d Armored Division in the Land of the Dead, now presents his first comprehensive book addressing the "Screaming Eagles'" entire wartime record. Expanding on his previous works, Vanguard of the Crusade amplifies the history of the American airborne division that saw its baptism of fire as the advance echelon for Operation OVERLORD, captured the first objectives of Operation MARKET-GARDEN, and defiantly held the key crossroads at Bastogne during the German Ardennes Offensive. Dozens of previously unpublished photos support all-new sections about airborne equipment, airborne operational doctrine, and the major German formations defeated by the 101st in its campaigns in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. Also includes ten brand new, highly-detailed maps based directly on primary source documents.

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Shortly before D-day, orders originated at division level forbidding the invading troopers from keeping a diary, taking souvenirs, or using a camera. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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24 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Brothers in Arms, Men of Courage and Integrity, and Vanguard 18. April 2004
Von Mannie Liscum - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Vanguard of the Crusade: The 101st Airborne Division in World War II by Mark Bando is a truly special chronicle of the 101st Airborne from its time in wait in England prior to the invasion of the Continent to the end of the war and disbanding of the Division. Vanguard stands as a tribute to those who fought with the Screaming Eagles, whether they survived the war or not.
Bando has sculpted his prose from hundreds of interviews and personal diaries (although expressly forbade in combat zones!) of 101st veterans. With often only snippets of information from any single source, Bando has been able to piece together an engaging history of combat of one of the most elite forces the Allies assembled during the Second World War. Where possible Bando has reproduced the words of the veterans verbatim within the context of larger discussions lending a feel of authenticity that many other works do not achieve. Vanguard is not written in the flowery novelette style of so many authors (e.g., Ambrose) and as such may be a "difficult" read for many less interested in historical events minus the Hollywood feel. Yet, having said that, anyone interested in how the 101st earned its reputation should not be deterred from tackling this book. It's a wonderful collection of memories and writings that is weaved into a nearly seamless single story of the Division from England 1943 to late 45 in occupied Germany. If you want HISTORY - untainted and without opinions based on hindsight of 60 years - this is it. Bando and the Editorial staff at Aberjona Press have done an incredible job checking, re-checking and verifying information and this fact alone makes this a wonderful piece of historical writing. One other subtle yet VERY effective editorial trick has been to italicize German unit names. In this way it is always clear who is who without knowing all units by heart.
Vanguard of the Crusade represents an indispensable source of fuller information that has not been pre-digested for those less patient for the complete story. Two obvious examples come to mind: First, many probably think they know the "story" of the Airborne drop in the Netherlands as part of Operation Market-Garden. However, the story told in the classic (and both well written and factually sound) A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan is quite "sanitized" and abridged with respect to the actions in which the 101st were involved. Bando does a wonderful job touching on the breadth of the combat situations in which the Screaming Eagles were involved while trying to keep Hell's Highway open. It is probably fair to assume that many people assume that the 101st fought as a single group in relatively small engagement areas during Market-Garden but Bando's text makes it clear that the reality was that of smaller groups spread over greater distances engaged in multiple hit-and-run (generally) battles with both first and second-rate German troops. Few sources (one exception being It Never Snows In September by Robert Kershaw) make this clear. Second, although the Battle of the Bulge is certainly one of the most recognized military actions of the US armed forces, and many know that the 101st Airborne Division played a crucial role, it is unlikely that many understand what the siege on Bastogne really represented in terms of combat. Contrary to "popular" depictions, the month long fierce battles around town of Bastogne were not simply one battle a la the Alamo. Certainly Bastogne was surrounded by the Germans and siege set, but many small Belgian towns like Foy, Bizory, Marvie, Longvilly, and Noville that were situated around Bastogne played a role in its defense and ultimate reversal of battle. It is important to remember not just those who fought from within Bastogne proper, but also those who battled from a distance of yards to a few miles outside Bastogne itself. It was this collective group that earned the Distinguished Unit Citation en masse for their key role in the Battle of the Bulge. Bando dedicates a large portion of his text to these lesser known but not lesser important engagements.
I found Vanguard of the Crusade to be an extremely pleasurable read. I would sit with maps of the various engagements (all the maps presented in the book can be downloaded and printed from: [...] plot the actions while I moved through the text, and get lost in the hundreds of photographs presented that put a real face on the map coordinates and words. While it is not essential to read Vanguard in this fashion I suggest it, as it is rare that one can so lose oneself so fully in a popular historical text. I give Vanguard a hearty 5 stars for context, presentation and soul!
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
THE Encyclopedia of the 101st. Airborne Division in WWII 28. Juli 2004
Von sp - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Vanguard is the most comprehensively researched work between two covers of the Screaming Eagles in WWII, from (A)ddeville to (Z)ell am See. It's the perfect mix between a scholarly presentation of the facts, and human interest war stories as told through the words of the men who were in the "dress rehearsal" for the Hollywood productions. Bando is not a cheerleader, so don't expect a spin on the facts. He's a retired policeman, an investigator/researcher and a reporter of events. He often leaves the answers to questions of right or wrong to the reader. You get the report of what happened as seen through the eyes of the men who pulled the triggers and lived through experiences that many of them still think about daily.

Bando's decades of personal interviews and research have become his trademark. There are no research assistants or hastily pumped out books to coincide with the anniversary of a well-known invasion or battle. When he writes something that isn't attributed to another author, you can be sure that it was the result of 40 years of personal research that included and continues to include traveling the country speaking to individual veterans, attending everything from company to division reunions, and regular trips to the National Archives and the battlefields of Europe, whether he's armed with a notebook, camera or metal detector. I'm never surprised when I read a quality book by another author (Richard Killblane and Jake McNiece's "Filthy Thirteen" for instance) and see Bando's name in the footnotes or bibliography.

"Vanguard" turns the spotlight over to the guys who weren't portrayed by Hollywood's A list in the movies. Men like Lt. William Russo, who could do with an 81mm mortar what a sniper could do with a scoped rifle, only to much more dramatic effect on the hapless target.

I wish I had the time to go through "Vanguard" like Manny, with my maps out, especially the ones published with Bando's 2-part article in "Armchair General" magazine, but the anecdotes on virtually every page of the book are enough to keep me turning the pages. They're stories you haven't heard before, whether the story is humorous such as when Jack Womer of "Filthy Thirteen" fame speaks of Winston Churchill urinating on his boots while he hid in a hay pile after a practice jump, or riveting like the story of one-man army Charles Santarsiero, or Joe Beyrle, who spent more combat time with a Russian armor unit after multiple escapes from German POW camps than he did with US troops. Vanguard also answers the question: "Can one paratrooper shoot 3 SS men with one round from his M-1?" The answer, of course, is "yes", and Leo Gillis did it.

If you like history more than Hollywood, and want the most accurate information available on the 101st. ABD in WWII, buy this book. Better yet, buy this one together with "101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles at Normandy". Some authors dedicate their careers to what they know, and others to what they can sell quickly. This author knows what he's talking about.
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Honor to the Eagle 25. Juli 2005
Von Steven C. Myers - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Mark Bando has done an outstanding piece of work in his "Vanguard of the Crusade: The 101st Airborne Division in WWII."

I have read copies of this and some of his earlier work and find "Vanguard" an impressive fusion of, and significant addition to it. What's more, the author's sense of dynamic and his attention to detail reflect mastery of the subject material and reflect great honor upon the many, many superb accomplishments of the 101st Airborne Division in World War II. Bando rates a 'thumbs up' in my mind.

I was surprised at recent rating remarks that were quite critical of this book and of its publisher. I have read both of Bando's earlier works leading to "Vanguard" and believe "Vanguard" is much more than a paste-together: both as seen from detail to information and attention to detail in preparation, photos, and printing.

What the eye sees, is what it sees. In my opinion, comparison of earlier Bando publication photos shows the "Vanguard" publisher worked diligently to ensure best possible renditions - and a lot of new data - are in the book. Deterioration of the quality of archived or private photo records nearly 60 years old is inevitable. The "Vanguard" publisher, in my opinion, did his best to obtain pictures of high quality - and that might intrigue the reader, spurring him/her on to the next pages and revelations.

In the Amazon description of "Vanguard" there are plain words saying it is an improvement/expansion that draws on Bando's earlier works, with more detail, more maps, more data.

I believe the author-publisher team has created an exceptional new recounting of glory, grimaces, and ghosts of war. Hats off to Mark Bando and the Aberjona Press!
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Rolls Royce of US Army Airborne Books 25. Juli 2004
Von Lars Gyllenhaal - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Had there been a Nobel Prize for military history books Mark Bando's Vanguard of the Crusade would be nominated...and ought to win. It is crystal clear to me that the research behind this book is close to a life-time of hard work (I am an author myself). The text is stunning both in content and style. And the number of not only unpublished but also amazing photographs is awesome. In contrast to many other divisional histories you'll also learn from this book about the enemies that the division fought - in great detail. If ever there was and will be an absolute must book for US Army airborne veterans, family and buffs - this is it.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Premier individual and small unit action history. 7. November 2003
Von David Nelson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Mark Bando has done it again. His accounts of individual and small unit action during WW2 is outstanding. His attention to detail, and respect for the WW2 veteran, is vividly apparent. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bando during the debut of his book, 2nd Armored Division in the Land of the Dead, at a 2nd Armored reunion. I met some of the men involved in the actions he recounted, and they confirm his in depth research. I am sure the same devotion goes into every one of his books, and I cannot overstate how informative, and enjoyable, these books are for the WW2 history buff.
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