Book: Last Eyewitnesses, World War II Memories - D-Day to 70th Anniversary by Walter Parkscategories: Book, D-Day, Normandy, War Heroes, Death Camps, Eyewitnesses to War, Ike, Patton, Horrors of War, Soldiers, History, World War II
Walter Parksabout this book: We interviewed 14 truly great soldiers that went ashore at Normandy on June 6, 1944 or shortly thereafter.
Soon, all these brave men will pass to another time and place. We believe that these men should never be forgotten. Their personal memories must be preserved.
We interviewed paratroopers, glider pilots, artillery men, medics, dog soldiers, and even a sailor who witnessed Rangers storming the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc were personally interviewed.
The interviewees ranged in age from 88 to 93 and to a man, each had some profound stories to tell.
Those landing on the beaches have burning memories of the great armada of ships and vessels in the avenging invasion of Normandy. They all remember the carnage of bodies on the beaches.
One interviewee was kept on the beach to recover bodies because he could swim. He still carries horrific images in his head of all the bodies on the beach. They were stacked like cord wood, 4 and 5 feet high.
This book may be the last documented eyewitness's memories of the D –Day invasion. Four have already died since our interviews of just a few months ago.
We begin this heroic, terrible, terrible war story in 1939. That was when the European war really started. That is when Germany invaded Poland, and Britain and France declared war on Germany.
Most of the many books written about World War II concentrated on well known leaders and celebrated heroes. We wanted to tell the story through the eyes and memories of the common soldier.
Most of our heroic interviewees still had clear memories of the significant events they encountered.
We present their memories in their own words because we want you to be able to sense their emotions.
The interviews are split into sections so that we can integrate their memories with the chronological and historical framework of their experiences.
Some of the interviews were so very visual that we could see the bodies floating in the waters at the beaches.
We could see our soldiers falling in the hedgerows and roads of the country side.
We could see our soldiers when they were captured and marched long distances in severe weather.
We could almost hear the gunfire and smell the gunpowder.
We could see the horrors of the German concentration camps.
Let's never forget these memories.
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