Never Left the Battlefield (2015)

Never Left the Battlefield (2015)

Author: Birney T "Chick" Havey
Publisher: Clovercroft

Silver Star recipient Chick Havey recounts his experiences during World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of Dachau and the postwar occupation of Austria.

This book was a gift to me. My father is more of a WWII buff than I am, but I suppose it was given to me due to my own experience in the Army. Anyway, our pool of first-hand accounts from the boots on the ground shrinks by the day, so books like this are important for posterity. I have to credit the author for his unassisted recall of the stories even at 93 (when he was writing the book). I would've preferred a chronological narrative, but the vignette approach he takes works fine too. Mr. Havey's narrative voice has nice casual feel to it, just like he's sitting right there telling you his stories. There are a few minor editorial quibbles I could make, but it's nothing major. Another thing worth noting is the author's candor. Not everything he did quite fits a spotless idealized image you might have of an American hero, but he doesn't shy away from any of it. He also doesn't refrain from weighing in with his own opinions, but this isn't meant to be a dispassionate historical narrative. If you have any interest in all in hearing about World War II from someone who was there, then you'll want to give this a read.

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