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The Steel Wave
World War II series #2

by Jeff Shaara

      The Steel Wave begins on January 25,1944 with a group of British commandos gathering samples of sand on Omaha Beach in order to assess landing sites.  Its theme is the planning and execution of Operation Overlord, examined from the perspective of historical figures and less exalted figures of the army.  The story of Jesse Adams of the 82nd Airborne Division whose troops were the first to drop into Occupied France is continued. There are accounts of the big brass (Eisenhower, Montgomery, Churchill) dealing with the problems of the invasion, and of aged German Field Marshall Rommel, who is a good soldier working under a delusional Hitler and Berlin command.  The Germans called the American invasion "the great waves of steel."  It was a grisly and brutal Allied invasion.

This is Shaara's 2nd in his World War II series.  It is a tremendous, well written work. Shaara has the gift of words which bring alive individuals and events.  You  are there.  You experience (or experience again) events which ultimately helped to shape the world as we know it, and which also changed our lives.  He has excellently portrayed the climate and atmosphere of those crucial times in our nation's history. I lived during those times and found myself reliving my own experiences, even becoming involved in the lives of those in the story.  Shaara shows insight into the problems facing the political leaders as well as the men in the field.

This is a series which should find a permanent place on any bookshelf to be reread to remind us of this great endeavor.

It is with great anticipation that I look forward to reading his final work in this series.

The Book

May 13, 2008
Fiction / Military [World War II France]
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The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2008
© 2008