The Liberator

The Liberator

One World War II Soldier's 500-day Odyssey From the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau

Book - 2012
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The true story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War. The battlefield odyssey of a maverick U.S. Army officer and his infantry unit as they fought for over five hundred days to liberate Europe; from the invasion of Italy to the gates of Dachau.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 433 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., map ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780307887993
0307887995
Branch Call Number: 940.541273 Spa

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bibliotechnocrat Aug 20, 2014

Starting with riding the rails during the great depression, Felix Sparks bootstrapped his way into college. When the war came, he became an officer in the Thunderbird Division of the US Army, and went ashore at Sicily. Sparks served with the Thunderbirds up through the Italian Peninsula, then on to Anzio before being transferred to the landing force that entered southern France - four amphibious landings in all. He fought his way into Germany, finally ending up as the liberator of Dachau. Napoleon famously wanted officers who were lucky - I think Napoleon wouldn't have approved much of this American officer. Solidly researched, this biography covers lesser known areas of US involvement in the war, and gives a great picture of a maverick officer. The discovery of the Dachau atrocities are a body blow at the end of Sparks difficult journey through World War II.

AlanReynolds Nov 14, 2013

I agree wholeheartedly with bbb1771. What a story this man has! A must read for any WWII buff or anyone who wonders how people cope in combat.

ChristchurchLib Jan 15, 2013

"Felix Sparks enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1936; by the end of World War II he held the rank of colonel. From July 1943 to the end of the war, Sparks led the 157th Infantry through brutal and bloody fighting in Sicily and Italy - with devastating losses at Anzio. Among the first Americans to reach Germany, they liberated the Dachau concentration camp. Using interviews with Sparks and letters from him and his men, journalist Alex Kershaw builds a detailed portrait of Sparks' army career, his inspiring leadership, and the grit and perseverance of his regiment." January 2013 Biography and Memoir Newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=591080

b
bbb1771
Nov 20, 2012

Powerfully written account of forgotten WW II campaigns and battles, bringing historical context to significant events from the vantage point of someone who experienced it first hand.

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