Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: WGSA: Higher Call, A

  1. #1

    Default WGSA: Higher Call, A

    Submit a Book Review
    Book Title:
    A Higher Call
    Author:
    Adam Makos
    ISBN:
    978-0-425-25286-4
    Category:
    History
    Format:
    Hardback
    Summary:
    392 pages including 16 pages of photos.

    I bought this book after reading about the story here on the Aerodrome. I started reading it this morning. Quite simply I couldn't put the book down.

    The connecting theme of the book is the sparing of a badly damaged B17 by the pilot of an ME 109. The book follows the chronological events leading to this amazing incident. Starting with the young Franz Stigler learning to fly a glider, becoming a Lufthansa pilot flying into Spain during the civil war. He trains Luftwaffe pilots to fly while still a civilian before joining up and being posted to N. Africa and later Italy. In 1943 he is posted to Germany.

    Meanwhile in America Charlie Brown is completing his final exam on B17s, getting his crew together and training with them.

    The actual incident is graphically portrayed from both sides, along with its immediate aftermath. Eventually Brown and his crew will complete their 28 missions and go stateside. For Franz Stigler events get worse as the fighter squadrons of the Luftwaffe are decimated, finishing the war with Galland's ME262 squadron.

    Eventually the two pilots will meet, both haunted by the events of that day, both wondering if the other pilot made it through the war.

    This is a must read book. It's hard to put down. The action is subdued, the descriptions of the pilots lives, and for Stigler the political nightmare, having more weight.

    Can good men be found on both sides of a bad war? - This is the question the author asks. The answer is yes.

    Read this book.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	higher_call.jpg 
Views:	72 
Size:	17.4 KB 
ID:	83706
    Last edited by Baldrick62; 03-31-2013 at 04:16. Reason: added image

  2. #2

    Default

    This is an excellent story. Well worth the time to read.

  3. #3

    Default

    Ditto,
    It is now making the rounds of family and in-laws, none of whom are history buffs.

    This book opened my eyes to many perspectives I hadn't even thought of looking at. Some of the descriptions of Stigler's life really made me rethink my views of WWII.

    Mike

  4. #4

    Default

    I hope the announced Tom Stoppard-directed movie of this incident does the truth justice.

  5. #5

    Default

    I gave this book to my uncle for Christmas and wasn't sure about it. I should have joined the site sooner to see that I was making a good choice. I didn't order it soon enough for me to read it first, but I have reserved it from the Library!

  6. #6

    Default

    I can't speak highly enough about this book. It was a life changing read. It forced me to reconsider how I view war and history. Not just a good read....it is a must read.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham Resident View Post
    I gave this book to my uncle for Christmas and wasn't sure about it. I should have joined the site sooner to see that I was making a good choice. I didn't order it soon enough for me to read it first, but I have reserved it from the Library!
    Someone lost the library's copy, so I never got it. I will try and borrow it back from uncle over the 4th of July when I see him.

  8. #8

    Default

    Read this a while ago and loved it. Just need a model of Stieglers plane now.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham Resident View Post
    Someone lost the library's copy, so I never got it. I will try and borrow it back from uncle over the 4th of July when I see him.
    Finally read it while on vacation. Fantastic. I cannot say enough good things about it. I read "Unbroken" over the winter, and both are incredible stories. The viewpoint here surprised me, as it's very much also about the Luftwaffe throughout the war.

    I very much enjoyed the author's note, who originally only wrote about "the good guys" and had no interest in writing about "a Nazi". But as he (and thus we) learned, Nazi's were party members, soldiers fought for their country and each other.

  10. #10

    Default

    Friend of mine borrowed me this book in German two days ago.

    I'm curious...
    Voilą le soleil d'Austerlitz!

  11. #11

    Default

    You won't be dissapointed, Sven. A great read. Some members of my group that you know (Sławek and his wife, their son Filip) and some friends of theirs read it as well. The book is a hit.
    <img src=http://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=2554&dateline=1409073309 border=0 alt= />
    "We do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing."

  12. #12

    Default

    I read it and I have to say that my feelings were diveded about some parts of this book.

    I was surprised about the honesty of the two pilots and some episodes I never heared about before.


    There were some details in it the book that are shure painful to read for both sides.

    • a JG 27 pilot that wet his pants at the first air battle
    • rumors about faked aerial victories in the desert
    • Allied airmen that were treatened to death when jumped out over Germany
    • German pilots shot at while going down with a parachute
    • US fighters that strafe "everything" on the ground
    • a German pilot giving away his aerial victories to rookies
    • frozen 50 cal. MGs of the Fortress during the sortie (wyh didn't told anybody this to the rookie crew?)
    • no reward for bringing the bomber wreck & the crew back to England
    • etc...


    Then the question why the hell didn't Stiegler finished off this bomber? The surving crew bombed the Reich 24 times again and when I think about the general attitude of German late war pilots that each Allied heavy bomber less means less killed people, less destroyed cities and less destroyed factories of their homeland I can't agree with this behaviour (in the first).*

    Franz Stiegler shot down Fortresses and Liberators down before and after.

    I can only explain this with a very lucky combination of many factors:

    • He get no gunner fire from the Fortress during his aproach. (I'm shure that this would have sealed the fate of the US crew)
    • He recognized the heavy damages and was only fascinated that this plane was still in the air.
    • He was alone (no witness).
    • He was surprised by the stubborness of the crew refusing to land in Germany or fly to Sweden and choosing the way over the North Sea instead.
    • He was still considering what to do with this bomber while they crossed the Flak positions (...and the happy circumstance that the Flak commander decide not to fire)
    • He maybe thought that this Fortress wouldn't make it back to England anyways.


    ...and the last and important point was the person of Franz Stiegler himself that had too many time to consider what happened when he shot the bomber down now (in my opinion).

    At all an intersting read.

    Very uncommon for a WW II book.



    * ...but when I read about Franz's meeting with Charlie, some crew members and their families and this scene when they stand beside each other, tears in the eyes, saying thank you for saving their lives, I can't condemn this breach of duty. I was satisfied that this pilot refused once to do his duty.



    Difficult...
    Voilą le soleil d'Austerlitz!

  13. #13

    Default

    Has anyone read the new Makos book "Spearhead" about a tank crew? I want to get it from the library.



Similar Missions

  1. Flying Higher
    By Ian in forum WGF: Rules Help
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-11-2014, 09:20
  2. WGSA: Airwar [2 vols]
    By Hunter in forum Book Reviews
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-20-2013, 03:05
  3. WGSA: Air War Pacific
    By Coog in forum Book Reviews
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-28-2012, 13:52
  4. WGSA: Aircrew
    By Carl_Brisgamer in forum Book Reviews
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-30-2012, 05:28
  5. I wanna go higher.
    By pistonpopper in forum Hobby Room
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-05-2010, 22:12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •