Very occasionally you pick up a book and from the very first page you know you are reading something quite special.
"A Powerful and fascinating foray into the future of science and its unforeseen consequences"
A riveting first-person account of a brave young man caught up in a cataclysmic World War. This is the story of Captain William C. Frodsham, Jr., who — shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor — enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry, where he excelled in basic training, became a junior officer, and eventually led a combat boat team ashore on Omaha Beach.
Six days later, in French hedgerow country and under withering German fire, Frodsham was wounded and taken prisoner. He spent the next year as a German POW, where he suffered great deprivation before finally being liberated by advancing Russian forces.
His training, his courage, his capture. The reader is taken for a first-person tour of the times at home and then tunneled into a vastly different world on the battlefield and in a German prisoner-of-war camp.
A commendably engrossing portrait of how one soldier coped with his experiences in World War II Burgauer has delivered a rare and humanising biography that provokes much reflection. His passion for accuracy is evident in every chapter as he captures the haphazard chances of life and the unanticipated twists of fate, without smoothing them down. Captain William C. Frodsham, Jr. was a real person caught up in events that were indifferent to him, a courageous man who never stopped giving his very best. Burgauer doesn’t hype or aggrandize the detailed richness of his story, but diligently conveys the extremes and cold harsh realities of men at war whilst maintaining the self-effacing honesty of Frodsham’s words. As a human story with an emotional intensity it has no need for conventional or dramatic order. It’s undeniably harrowing at times, particularly in recounting the traumas of imprisonment behind enemy lines but on another level it celebrates the endurance and resilience of soldiers at war lest we ever forget the sacrifices so many have made.
An intimate and often daunting portrait of one man’s life changing confrontation with war, The Road to War: Duty & Drill, Courage & Capture is highly recommended.
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