An important contribution to World War II literature.


The Heroes of Hosingen


An exhaustive history examines one of the most significant battles of World War II.

The extraordinary battle in Hosingen, Luxembourg, between American and German troops remains sadly neglected, despite being one of the most significant engagements of the war, according to the author. When the 110th Infantry Regiment set up camp in the town, its purpose was largely to rest, and the unit was pleased to find Hosingen relatively unscathed by the war and hospitable. But Hitler, preparing for a massive resurgence of his battered army, set his sights on Bastogne, the way to which cut right through Hosingen. The Americans established a defensive position, and in December 1944, fought the Luftwaffe for nearly three days despite being greatly outnumbered and inadequately equipped. Hosingen was considered to be so strategically significant, Gen. Troy H. Middleton and Gen. Norman D. Cota ordered the men to “Hold at all costs!” American soldiers fought bravely against a force of 5,000 and ultimately wounded or killed 2,000. Nonetheless, on Dec. 18, the regiment, out of both ammunition and food and encircled by the enemy, had no choice but to surrender. This is the second book by Flynn (Unforgettable: The Biography of Capt. Thomas J. Flynn, 2011), and her father figures prominently in this one as well, since he was the executive officer of K Company during the defense of Hosingen. The prose is reliably limpid, and the author’s command of both historical context and tactical maneuvering is stunning. While a scrupulously researched study, the book possesses cinematic power, unfolding more like a work of fiction than an arid catalog of the past. Many of the men who surrendered suffered terribly at the hands of their captors, and the author covers this as well, providing the perspectives of eight prisoners of war. Sometimes the reader may feel crushed under the weight of so much minutiae—Flynn even provides lists of casualties by name—but the action is vividly described, making up for any information overload. The volume also includes a wealth of black-and-white photos and appendices that include newspaper articles from January 1945. This is history at its best: thoughtful, rigorous, and dramatically presented without embellishment.

An important contribution to World War II literature.

Pub Date: Dec. 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5172-6833-6

Page Count: 294

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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