Lines of Battle by Annette Tapert
Letters from American Servicemen, 1941-1945

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Arranged in chronological order, this collection of some 100 letters from soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines offers a very personal view of World War II and a sense of immediacy that is remarkable. The correspondence ranges from a GI's final message, written from Bataan, to a private's advice to his unexpectedly drafted father; from a general's letter of condolence to journalist Ernie Pyle's widow to a marine's revelation to his mother that he lost a leg in battle; from an airman's description of the mercy-killing of a comrade trapped in a burning plane to a soldier's reaction to the news of the A-bombings. Several letters are by well-known figures (William Halsey, George Patton, John Kennedy, among them), but these obviously were included for the eloquence of emotion expressed rather than because of the writer's renown.

About Annette Tapert

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Annette Tapert is the author of The Power of Style.
Published November 21, 2012 by Crown. 297 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

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A collection of letters written by WW II soldiers, together with 150 pictures including some of the writers themselves.

May 12 1987 | Read Full Review of Lines of Battle: Letters from...

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