Greatest Generation Anecdotes

Anecdotes, Epigrams and Like Episodes in the Context of the WW II Era

Non-Fiction - Historical
176 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2012
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jean Brickell for Readers' Favorite

During World War ll Charles Day was a Canadian volunteer who was sent to Ireland and then to other countries in the United Kingdom, also countries in Europe and North Africa. His ship was hit not too far from Ireland and 75 per cent of the people aboard were killed. He was a court reporter and was assigned to the Army Historical Station. His stories are sometimes funny and sometimes more depressing. The soldiers learned that cigarettes were a form of currency and could be traded for buying food, laundry, and later for sight seeing tours. At one point he obtained a flying pass when he had a few days' leave and by hitching rides on military planes, he managed to fly to several North African countries and getting back with just minutes to spare before his leave was up.

This was a fascinating book that told the story of WWII in the voice of a noncom. He does not dwell on the horrors of war but emphasizes the funnier and more pleasant aspects of being sent overseas. This is an interesting book from a soldier with a sense of humor and also aware of the more poignant and touching side of war. But gallows humor plays a part of war also, helping a person remain sane in terrible times. This well-written book is a great addition to the historical stories of WWII.

Kevin Sanders

"Greatest Generation Anecdotes" is by a court reporter with the Army Field Historical Section in World War II in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Sicily, Itally, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany sharing anecdotes, epigrams and like episodes in the context in which they took place, it being the purpose here to tell more of the irony rather than of the hell of war. It reminded me of "Tales Of The South Pacific."

Billy Jones

With the following indication of what's included in this book, with its highest rating, you can see why I was very much impressed with a reminder it seems similar to "Tales Of The South Pacific," which might have been called "Tales Of The North Atlantic:"

ILLUSION BECOMES REALITY - In the early part of August there was a plan for the 1st Canadian Corps to move to the Central sector of Italy. An elaborate deception scheme was put into effect by the Canadians to give the impression their Corps would be going to another sector - the Adriatic coastal. Then a change in plan was suddenly decided on at higher level for the Canadians to go, instead of to the Central sector, to the Adriatic coastal sector, the very illusion the Canadians had tried to create of going to the Adriatic coastal sector becoming a reality.

ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY RUSSIAN TO DO HIS DUTY - In 1942 there was the possibility of Russia being driven out of the war with Germany. It was felt there was doubt on the part of Russia an Anglo-American Second Front in Europe would ever take place to take pressure away from Russia and that Russia suspected Britain and the U.S. of letting Germany and Russia fight it out while they talked about an invasion of Western Europe. Going around was a famous British saying which had been paraphrased - "England expects every Russian to do his duty."

HERE IS THE WASHING - In the early days of the war the British sang a song which went something like: "We're going to hang our washing, On the Siegfried Line, If the Siegfried Line's still there..."
As we passed through the Siegfried Line at the end of the war we noticed at one point some washing on a line by a sign reading: "This is the Siegfried Line, Here is the washing."

WHERE'S THE STATION - A captured German prisoner interrogated in the closing days of the war said, "It used to be you would go to a train station in Germany and find the train gone. Now you go to the station and find the station gone."