An online database
of WORLD WAR II
books and information
on the Web since 1995
New & forthcoming
Books by subjects
This time around we have a quick look at four different recently arrived biographies.
Phillips, Henry Gerard. The Making of a Professional: Manton S. Eddy, USA. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000.
Manton Eddy might hold the distinction of looking least like a US Army general in World War II, but Phillips proves that looks can be deceiving. Eddy commanded the 9th Infantry Division (about which the author has written three previous titles) in North Africa, Sicily, and France, then XII Corps, and about half the book covers the general's experiences with those units in WWII.
Daso, Dik Alan. Hap Arnold and the Evolution of American Airpower. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000.
Henry Harley Arnold's military career spanned the earliest experimental efforts to build military airpower through the devastating impact of the B-29 Superfortress and the first jet aircraft. Arnold is almost certainly the best-known of the subjects of these biographies, serving during WWII as head of the US Army Air Force. Daso's biography integrates the story of Arnold's personal life with the growth of Army air forces, with two chapters devoted to the WWII years, through his death in 1950 just a few miles down the road from where this webpage is being composed.
Hillary is probably less familiar, at least to American readers, than the subjects of the other biographies here. He was born in Australia, educated at Oxford, and served as an RAF fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain. Ross describes him as a writer who happened to be a pilot. Hillary became an ace but was shot down in 1940 and suffered severe burns to his face and hands. During his recovery he wrote The Last Enemy, considered by some to be a classic. After returning to duty, Hillary died in an air crash in 1943.
Ohl, John Kennedy. Minuteman: The Military Career of General Robert S. Beightler. Boulder, CO: Lynn Rienner Publishers, 2000.
Although the differences had been largely erased by the end of the war, early on there was considerable difference between Regular Army units and National Guard divisions. When many of his colleagues were being sacked left and right, Beightler had the distinction of being the only commander of a Guard division, the 37th Infantry, to remain on the job throughout the entire war. Most of the book is devoted to his WWII service with his division on New Georgia, Bougainville, and especially Luzon.
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Reviewed 3 December 2000
Copyright © 2000 by Bill Stone
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