Assignment to Hell: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A .J. Liebling, Homer Bigart, and Hal Boyle

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Penguin, May 1, 2012 - History - 528 pages
“A book every modern journalist—and citizen—should read.”—Tom Brokaw, Author of The Greatest Generation

In February 1943, a group of journalists—including a young wire service correspondent named Walter Cronkite and cub reporter Andy Rooney—clamored to fly along on a bombing raid over Nazi Germany. Seven of the sixty-four bombers that attacked a U-boat base that day never made it back to England. A fellow survivor, Homer Bigart of the New York Herald Tribune, asked Cronkite if he’d thought through a lede. “I think I’m going to say,” mused Cronkite, “that I’ve just returned from an assignment to hell.”

Assignment to Hell tells the powerful and poignant story of the war against Hitler through the eyes of five intrepid reporters. Cronkite crashed into Holland on a glider with U.S. paratroopers. Rooney dodged mortar shells as he raced across the Rhine at Remagen. Behind enemy lines in Sicily, Bigart jumped into an amphibious commando raid that nearly ended in disaster. The New Yorker’s A. J. Liebling ducked sniper fire as Allied troops liberated his beloved Paris. The Associated Press’s Hal Boyle barely escaped SS storm troopers as he uncovered the massacre of U.S. soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge.

This book serves as a stirring tribute to five of World War II’s greatest correspondents and to the brave men and women who fought on the front lines against fascism—their generation’s “assignment to hell.”

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ASSIGNMENT TO HELL: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A.J. Liebling, Homer Bigart, and Hal Boyle

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A sprightly synthesis of literature and history follows five newspapermen who cut their journalistic teeth during World War II.Gay (Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial ... Read full review

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Having personal communication with some of the men written about in this book (they were relatives), I would have to say that the author's research and stories were poor at best. The generalization of occurrences and failure to document first person accounts places this literary debacle as close to fiction as possible without totally trivializing the war itself.  

Selected pages


DDay for All Their Lives
Cherbourg and St L6Ugly Fighting Among Dead Cattle
Rescuing the KittenParis Redeemed
Gasping CoughCrashing into Holland
A Good

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About the author (2012)

Timothy M. Gay is the author of Satch, Dizzy, & Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball before Jackie Robinson and Tris Speaker: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend. His essays and op-eds on American history, politics, public policy, and sports have appeared in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, USA Today, and many other publications. A graduate of Georgetown University, where he majored in American history, Tim lives in Virginia with his wife and children.





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