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Currahee!: A Screaming Eagle at Normandy [Mass Market Paperback]

Donald R. Burgett , Stephen E. Ambrose
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 12 2000
Seven days in hell

In June 1944, the Allies launched a massive amphibious invasion against Nazi-held France. But under the cover of darkness, a new breed of fighting man leapt from airplanes through a bullet-stitched, tracer-lit sky to go behind German lines. These were the Screaming Eagles of the newly formed 101st Airborne Division. Their job was to strike terror into the Nazi defenders, delay reinforcements, and kill any enemy soldiers they met. In the next seven days, the men of the 101st fought some of the most ferocious close-quarter combat in all of World War II.

Now Donald R. Burgett looks back at the nonstop, nightmarish fighting across body-strewn fields, over enemy-held hedgerows, through blown-out towns and devastated forests. This harrowing you-are-there chronicle captures a baptism by fire of a young Private Burgett, his comrades, and a new air-mobile fighting force that would become a legend of war.

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Review

"A fascinating tale of personal combat...portrays the courage, endurance, initiative and fighting qualities of an American soldier on a European battlefield of World War II."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I have read a lot of books on the experience of combat from both World Wars, and this is by a longshot the best. Without qualification."
-- Stephen E. Ambrose (from the Foreword)

A Military Book Club Selection

"Without false heroics, everything is here, man's cruelty and kindness under stress, fear and courage, hope and despair."
-- Life

Also By
Donald R.Burgett Seven Roads To Hell
A screaming eagle at Bastogne "A marvelous book."
-- Stephen E. Ambrose

"A stirring combat memoir."
-- Kirkus Reviews

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From the Back Cover


"A fascinating tale of personal combat...portrays the courage, endurance, initiative and fighting qualities of an American soldier on a European battlefield of World War II."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I have read a lot of books on the experience of combat from both World Wars, and this is by a longshot the best. Without qualification."
-- Stephen E. Ambrose (from the Foreword)

A Military Book Club Selection

"Without false heroics, everything is here, man's cruelty and kindness under stress, fear and courage, hope and despair."
-- Life

Also By
Donald R.Burgett Seven Roads To Hell
A screaming eagle at Bastogne "A marvelous book."
-- Stephen E. Ambrose

"A stirring combat memoir."
-- Kirkus Reviews

Other related titles from Dell
Black May
The Epic Story Of The Allies' Defeat Of
The German U-Boats In May 1943
By Michael Gannon

Panzer Commander
The Memoirs Of Colonel Hans Von Luck
By Hans Von Luck

A Blood-Dimmed Tide
The Battle Of The Bulge By The Men Who Fought It
By Gerald Astor

Raid!
The Untold Story Of Patton's Secret Mission
By Richard Baron, Major Abe Baum, And Richard Goldhurst

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars burgett is a great author July 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
honestly its been three or more years since i read this burgett book, but it only took me two days to finish it. it just sucks you in and im a very slow reader. burgett is very matter of fact about his training and war time experiences. from training accidents to killing men so badly burned there was no alternative to relieving them of their suffering. truley powerful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Mega Stars April 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Donald Burgett is one of my favorite authors. He puts you smack in the middle of the action with his superb writing ability. This book deserves more than 5 stars, so 5 Mega Stars is my rating. An EXCELLENT read!
Dr. Michael L. Johnson author of "What Do You Do When the Medications Don't Work?--A Non-Drug Treatment of Dizziness, Migraine Headaches, Fibromyalgia, and Other Chronic Conditions".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Combat Memoir Nov. 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So we've all seen Private Ryan now and think we know something about the horrors of war, but I would suggest that there is no way that anybody who was not there can truly understand it. This great book, written by an American paratrooper about his experiences leading up to and then at D-Day, makes us realize that the visceral horror of war is something that probably can not be conveyed.
It is a rather short read and is in three parts: the first is at training camp in Georgia; the second in England preparatory to the assault; and the third is the terrifying jump into France, and the grim, terrible battle which followed. To say the least, it makes for very compelling reading.
The training aspect was remarkable for its undisguised brutality. The men were told in no uncertain terms that the paratroopers did not want them; they were going to try to make them quit. The first day, for example, several men collapsed during the morning's six mile run. They were left by the side of the road, to crawl back as they could, with one of them not arriving until after midnight. He quit. Treatment, as well as being harsh, was also intentionally unfair. The narrator, after his first night jump, broke his ankle. He was left out there as well, in the darkness, to crawl back to the barracks as best as he could. "If I knew how to cry," he said. "I would have." The men were told that their likelihood of surviving combat was very poor, and that they should expect to die. The men accepted this. Most died.
Their mission was to jump behind enemy lines the morning of D-Day. Each company was given specific tasks to accomplish, but one gets the sense that all it was really hoped they would do was to create as much chaos as possible.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great heroics, but not a great book. Nov. 6 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If I were to award stars based on the heroics contained within the pages or Currahee!, I'd have to award 5-stars. Unfortunately, I have to rate the book based on how well this personal account of the Normandy engagement was told and whether or not it was very engaging. With that in mind, I'd probably rate the book between 2 1/2 and 3 stars. My biggest problem with the book is that the author attempts to cover too much material in too small a book. The end result is I never really felt connected on a personal level and the story comes off as disjointed.
Currahee has thee chapters; Training for Combat, Waiting for Combat, and Combat. While there is some interesting content in each of the chapters, the first two chapters are too long in my opinion and water down the main story by leaving only a mere 119 pages to discuss his account at Normandy. Thus the final chapter contains several very detailed accounts of the battle which end up fitting loosely together. Probably what hampered me the most while I was reading Currahee! was that I kept wishing it could have been written as well another book which I'd read, GUNS UP by Johnny M. Clark. You must read GUNS UP to really understand what a compelling, first hand account should be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "What was it like?" Aug. 30 2003
By Sammy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nobody but a combat soldier can answer the question: "What was it like?" For those of us who have never experienced battle we can only try to imagine it. Mr. Burgett urges us to hunker down into his foxhole as the carnage of noman's land drops onto our laps like a screaming mortar shell. His unbelievable experiences make for a series of WWII memoirs unsurpassed in their vivid telling. I have read all four of his books-in chronological order-and I cannot imagine a more genuine and descriptive account of a trooper's brutal experiences in the European theater of WWII. I wish I could meet the man to shake his hand. His dedication and sense of honor and sacrifice make me proud to be an American, and very grateful indeed for having known of such combat men as Donald R. Burgett.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the Precedent for All Combat Memoirs! July 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The successful book and mini-series _Band of Brothers_ prompted a re-read of Donald R. Burgett's timeless classic: Currahee: A Screaming Eagle in Normandy (the subtitle was added to the reprint editions). First published in 1967, Burgett was ahead of his time in paving the way for a no holes barred narrative and chilling memoir. Some of the more recent World War II memoirs will attest that there are several pit-falls awaiting the well intentioned autobiographer. For example, a combat veteran's world was very small. He was rarely aware of events transpiring outside the realm of his squad or platoon. He oftentimes knew not where he was, nor was he aware of the grand strategy of which his unit was a small yet intricate part. All he knew was that he had to keep going on to victory, not so much for his country as a whole, but for his buddies who depended on him, as he relied on them for survival. Also, there is a tendency for the humorous memories to over-shadow the horrors of war in many recent accounts. The result is often a personal anecdotal approach. Although this style is significant to understanding the culture of the World War II veteran, it can also bore the reader quickly. Not so with Burgett's first effort. Burgett blends the anecdotal with the overall picture splendidly. He made a smart decision to have a military historian edit his manuscript and fill in the holes with facts Burgett could not possibly have known at the time. This collaboration is done with finesse, lending just enough factual military history to Burgett's personal experiences to make for a riveting read (This delicate ingredient will become more abundant in Burgett's subsequent installments). Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Account of the 101 in the Normany Campaign
Excellent read, however those not versed in the WWII military venacular (e.g. B.A.R., D.Z., O.P., etc.) may have problems following some aspects of the book. Read more
Published on May 29 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best
The only other World War II novels that can compare with this one are Burgett's 3 ohters. Very truthfull and gives the reader a real feel of what a paratrooper went through at... Read more
Published on March 13 2003 by Ryan J Major
5.0 out of 5 stars Burgett puts you right into the action!
This book is very good for several reasons, but mostly because Burgett keeps your attention throughout so that you almost feel as if you are his comrade in the war. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2002 by D. Gaito
4.0 out of 5 stars With the 101st at Normandy
The author was a member of A Company of the 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne. While dealing to a certain extent with his training and the preparation phase for the invasion, the... Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2002 by K Scheffler
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the first war books I ever read
I got ahold of an old tattered copy of this book when I was 14, and it made quite an impression. Since then, books like "The things they carried"(Vietnam) and "The Longest Day"... Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2002 by Samuel Krikorian
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best ETO Memoirs....
Burgett's memoir was initially published in 1967. It came out when most books on World War II were about generals, or not even about the fighting. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2002 by Grant Waara
5.0 out of 5 stars Ambrose at his best
Once again, the world's foremost scholar on the European theater of World War Two presents history without any interruptions.
Published on Nov. 29 2001
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