4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Curtis Burdick has written a stunning fictional story infusing the characters with total authenticity. I imagined I was standing in a room with General Eisenhower and General Bradley and felt their emotional response to startling news about General George S. Patton.
A military historian, John Harding, was signing copies of his latest book when an older woman introduced herself as Julia Patton Walton, General Patton's granddaughter. Julia gave John a package that she had received from her mother and asked him to read it. John read about a classified event that happened to General Patton in 1943 and was a tightly kept secret for the last fifty years.
In 1943, the Germans were being run out of Italy through the Peloritani Coastal Mountains in Sicily. General Patton was not happy and called an "URGENT" briefing at the 7th Army headquarters of division and brigade commanders who were exhausted from a month of continuous combat. General Patton was angry that the Germans were getting away, he thought they should be imprisoned or killed, or the US troops would reencounter them after they regrouped.
Great characterization at all army ranks supports the wartime ambiance. The author highlights the sense of fighting against all odds, making decisions under immense pressure, and making deadly mistakes. The men tasked with suicide missions develop a feeling of grievance when field headquarters made mistakes.
There are some breathtaking scenes in Rescuing General Patton where the rangers parachute into German-occupied territory and land in a minefield. The rangers are not trained for parachuting and get one day for practice jumps, then a nighttime mission. The ranger captain loses some first-rate men, and others are needlessly injured; he is deep down angry with his superiors.
During the planning for General Patton's rescue, a scene between General Bradley and Captain Pizzio demonstrates the horror of war for those giving orders. Like the parachute jump into a minefield, brave soldiers get killed and maimed for no gain. General Bradley appeals to Captain Pizzio, "I can't even remember all the mistakes that have been made that I have made, that cost so many lives, thousands of lives. But the war doesn't stop for us to mourn."
There are very detailed descriptions of the weapons used in combat; anyone interested in armaments will be fascinated. The exciting pace of this story keeps you wanting to read and unable to put the book down.
I rate Rescuing General Patton 4 out of 4 stars for the exciting pace and military wartime ambiance. I do not rate it 3 out of 4 stars because it is brilliantly imaginative and great entertainment. I enjoyed reading about the army in combat and seeing the war from different perspectives. I detected no errors and believe it is professionally edited. There was nothing I disliked.
I recommend it to lovers of mystery, war stories, armaments, and historical fiction. There are profanities, typical of wartime situations, like "sonsofbitches" and "goddamn," but no sex. I believe it would be suitable for young adults.
Rescuing General Patton
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon