Reader reviews for The Wild Blue by Stephen E. Ambrose

Audiobook. Was a little slow, but good information and kept us entertained during a long car ride
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Interesting and terrifying and edifying in many spots but draggy throughout. It's mostly the story of George McGovern's WWII, and I learned a lot. It's a good read, just not a gripping one- except where it's so scary and you are over enemy territory in the middle of the night and lose your engine.
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It gives a good overview of the B-24's significance and its contributions to the war in Europe, as well as a moving glimpse into the lives and stories of specific men and crews. The book centers on George McGovern, whose experiences as a bomber pilot were remarkable for a reader yet not unusual among his fellows.
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An excellent review of B-24 bomber operations from training to combat over the Third Riech. It is also a biography of George McGovern's war years as a B-24 pilot. It is an excellent listen for aviation enthusiasts, World War II readers and pilots.
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I have a good friend who flew over Italy in WW II. I admire his courage and appreciate his friendship. This book reflects his experiences and at the age of 86, he clearly recallsl his many flights and tour of duty. What a great find and I am happy to share this book with McKay Rich.
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Outstanding book about young men going to war
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There are many books about flying B-17's over Europe but fewer about what it was like to fly the B-24. Here Ambrose has gathered many stories from the men who flew them from airfields in Italy to targets over Eastern Europe concentrating on the crew of George McGovern, the 1972 Presidential candidate. As well Ambrose takes us through the adventures experienced during training in the US. There is much humour but also a great deal of terror. He also describes the bomber with all its flaws and does compare it to its more famous rival, the B-17. More B-24's were built than any other US bomber and they could carry a bigger payload farther as well.
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This is a great book and a nice match for Bradley's Flyboys as it focuses more on the strategic bombing in Europe. I just like the way Ambrose told a story. This is not his best but a great work, just the same.
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I listened to this book on audio and it was fantastic. Many times writers have trouble writing for out loud reading, but Stephen Ambrose does and excellent job. If you are interested in WWII or in flying I would suggest you read this book.
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A rather weak and unworthy effort by Stephen Ambrose, barely comparable to his other books. This book suffers from truthiness and a lack of focus. Ambrose is invested in propagating the Greatest Generation myth. By omission and commission, he offers a wrong picture of history. True, the WWII soldiers were young boys - but so were the soldiers in any other war from the boy colonel in the US Civil War to the baby-faced tankers in the Iraq War. Ambrose's exceptional claim simply is no such thing. The same is true about the mix of the boys from coast to coast. Read any US Civil War account to get a similar picture. Ambrose also paints a too rosy picture about US officers. Can you really hold up Joseph "Catch 22" Heller's claim that there were no bad officers with a straight face? These are minor points. The major distortion, Ambrose engages in, is propagating the effectiveness of strategic bombing. The bombs destroyed many lives and much property, but it didn't cripple the German war engine. Ambrose should have realized this, when he describes the effects on the air raids on Ploesti: Only the Soviet ground forces deprived the Germans of those crucial fuel supplies. The real value of the US airforce was its tactical ground support as flying artillery. This message clashes with Ambrose's intent on glorifying the strategic bomber pilots.Ambrose further weakens his book by choosing George McGovern as its main protagonist. Through no fault of his own, McGovern enters active war only in the final months of 1944, when the war in Europe was all but over. Whether McGovern and his crew dropped their bombs or not on target, had no effect on the outcome of the war. Furthermore, McGovern's squadron was stationed in Italy, thus in a sideshow theater of war.Published in 2001 for 26 USD, this book was bought remaindered for 5.34 USD in a Borders store in leafy Scarsdale, NY during 2003, crossed the Atlantic and ended up in a Zurich, Switzerland used bookstore where I bought it in 2010 for 3.50 CHF/3.75 USD. After the quick plunge, the book manages to tenaciously hold on to its remaining value.
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