Brothers in Arms by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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A powerful wartime saga in the bestselling tradition of Flags of Our Fathers, BROTHERS IN ARMS recounts the extraordinary story of the 761st “Black Panthers,” the first all-black armored unit to see combat in World War II.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar first learned about the battalion from family friend Leonard “Smitty” Smith, a veteran of the battalion. Working with acclaimed writer Anthony Walton, Abdul-Jabbar interviewed the surviving members of the battalion and their descendants to weave together a page-turning narrative based on their memories and stories, from basic training through the horrors on the battlefield to their postwar experiences in a racially divided America.

Trained essentially as a public relations gesture to maintain the support of the black community for the war, the battalion was never intended to see battle. In fact, General Patton originally opposed their deployment, claiming African Americans couldn’t think quickly enough to operate tanks in combat conditions. But the Allies were so desperate for trained tank personnel in the summer of 1944, following heavy casualties in the fields of France, that the battalion was called up.

While most combat troops fought on the front for a week or two before being rotated back, the men of the 761st served for more than six months, fighting heroically under Patton’s Third Army at the Battle of the Bulge and in the Allies’ final drive across France and Germany. Despite a casualty rate that approached 50 percent and an extreme shortage of personnel and equipment, the 761st would ultimately help liberate some thirty towns and villages, as well as the Gunskirchen Lager concentration camp.

The racism that shadowed them during the war and the prejudice they faced upon their return home is an indelible part of their story. What shines through most of all, however, are the lasting bonds that united them as soldiers and brothers, the bravery they exhibited on the battlefield, and the quiet dignity and patriotism that defined their lives.

About Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Giant Steps, as well as Kareem and A Season on the Reservation. ANTHONY WALTON is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Mississippi, as well as the coauthor of Reverend Al Sharpton's book Go and Tell the Pharoah.
Published May 4, 2004 by Broadway Books. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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June 6, 1944, was the date of the most massive and complex operation ever attempted by an armed force on earth, and its success continues to reverberate. Fans of Saving Priv

Apr 12 2004 | Read Full Review of Brothers in Arms: THE EPIC ST...


“Brothers in Arms” covers the quest of the 761st Tank Battalion, the first completely African-American Armored Unit to see combat in the war.

Feb 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Brothers in Arms: THE EPIC ST...

World War II Database

Although my German pronunciation was not very good, I could easily tell that the audio book publisher never bothered to consult with a German language expert, or even a WW2 expert for that matter, before producing the audio book.

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Brothers in Arms: THE EPIC ST...

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