Midnight Flight to Nuremberg (Hardback)
The Capture of the Nazi who put Adolf Hitler into Power
Finalist, 2021 "Best Book" Awards
"Award Winning Finalist in the History: Military category of the 2021 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest"
Midnight Flight to Nuremberg is one of the Overall Grand Prize Winners in Non-Fiction, taking home the GOLD for the 2021-2022 Reader Views Literary Award!
Currently on the 2021 HEARTEN Book Awards for Inspiring & Uplifting Non-Fiction – CIBAs Short List 2021
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This is the story of an American C-47 ‘Dakota’ pilot who earned three Air Medals, seven Battle Stars and flew twenty-seven combat missions during the Second World War. As a young U.S. pilot, Harry Watson, arrived in Britain as the Battle of Normandy was reaching its crescendo. Thrown immediately into the fray, Harry, along with more than 200 aircraft, set off to carry supplies to the troops fighting in France. But with visibility reduced to zero, the aircraft were ordered to turn back – all did except Harry, who successfully delivered his life-saving cargo of blood and US Army nurses.
Harry continued to take risks, which resulted in many hair-raising episodes. This included almost being caught on the ground, while on an urgent fuel resupply mission for a platoon of General Patton’s tanks, by a German Mk.IV panzer and a battalion of supporting infantry.
He flew throughout Operation Market Garden, losing a close friend to German anti-aircraft fire while taking some hits to his own plane. Thereafter he led a flight of five transports on a desperate mission to evacuate a mobile field hospital that was about to be over-run by the SS. Only four of the planes made it back as they came under direct fire just before they could take-off with scores of casualties and medical personnel crammed aboard each Dakota.
Around midnight, in early April 1945, he was sent on a secret mission to fly to a point near Nuremberg, which was behind enemy lines at the time. It was necessary for him to locate an empty meadow in the dark, land, load a party of US soldiers and their captives, and then take-off again. He pulled it off. Among those prisoners was Franz von Papen, the man who had persuaded President Hindenburg to make Hitler Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Von Papen had been seized at his own home by First Lieutenant Thomas McKinley and his men from the US 194th Glider Infantry Regiment.
Based on his own recollections, as told to the author Marcus Nannini, this is Harry Watson’s exciting account of the air war told, unusually, through the words of a transport pilot.
A riveting and detailed military memoir, "Midnight Flight to Nuremberg: The Capture of the Nazi who put Adolf Hitler into Power" is an extraordinary and recommended addition to community, college, and university library World War II biographies. Of particular interest to academia and dedicated military history buffs.Midwest Book Review website
FeaturedAmerican Book Fest.com website
The unique missions recounted in this book are are what make this book and it will appeal to any troop carrier historians or enthusiasts. Therefore I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages and experience levels.ARGunners
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This book is an engrossing read and is richly filled with details. There are many black and white photographs placed throughout the book. Some are personal photos from Harry Watson and some are stock photos. The unique missions recounted in this book are are what make this book and it will appeal to any troop carrier historians or enthusiasts. Therefore I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages and experience levels.Aviation News
"A riveting and detailed military memoir..."Midwest Book Review, January 2022
Nannini, author of Left for Dead at Nijmegen, takes flight in this gripping account of courage in the air, the story of pilot Harry E. Watson, who flew 27 combat missions in World War II and was the recipient of seven Battle Stars and three Air Medals. Nannini, who interviewed First Lieutenant Watson extensively, opens this vivid account in the thick of the war, with the tense tale of Watson, already celebrated for his skill at bad-weather piloting, being tasked to fly “a plane-load of Jerry cans”—that’s fuel— to General Patton’s troops near the French city of Reims, on the front lines, “so they don’t get themselves massacred” by the Germans. The fog’s a beast, and there might be wounded to ferry back, and the adventure that follows will involve Mark IV tanks, 800 German troops, and French champagne in a foxhole.Book Life
Nannini proves adept at war-time storytelling, with an emphasis on bravery and camaraderie; his accounts of Watson’s missions take an engaging novelistic approach, with memorable detail—the C-47s Watson flies, the “hot chow” the crews scarf, the rituals a superstitious pilot works into his routine—and a feeling for suspense. On a mission to evacuate a field hospital in danger of being overrun by the SS (from the mission briefing: “get ’em all the hell out of there”), the sight of a German Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter stirs in Watson and readers both a mesmerized awe and then deep alarm.
This inviting volume reads quickly, building to the top-secret, behind-enemy-lines mission of the title, rendered with clarity and power. Nannini excels at establishing the stakes, explaining crucial context like flight conditions, and putting readers alongside Watson in the cockpit. The reconstructed dialogue tends to be upbeat, sounding, perhaps, like Watson’s own voice, sharing these stories. It’s a pleasure to have them set down. The striking photographs offer welcome context.
"This exciting account of the air war and one mans experiences as a humble transport pilot deserves a place on the bookshelf of those with an interest in WW2."Martin Willoughby, The Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association
A riveting and detailed military memoir, "Midnight Flight to Nuremberg: The Capture of the Nazi who put Adolf Hitler into Power" is an extraordinary and recommended addition to community, college, and university library World War II biographies.Midwest Book Review
Read the full review here
"If you wish to read an exciting book filled with harrowing escapes and a great life that pays homage to one of America’s bravest, “Midnight Flight to Nuremberg” by Marcus A. Nannini is the book you want! 5 Stars.”Reader Views
Pick of the month!Boutique History Bookshop
'Pick of the month'.History Enthusiasts
Midnight Flight to Nuremberg is easily one of Nannini's most well-written and well-researched books; an enthralling rollercoaster ride for history buffs.Daniel Rhodes, The Book Commentary
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The book provides a unique historical view of WWII, military terminology, aircrafts, and machinery, and life in the 1940’s. Harry is the perfect protagonist to his own story, sharing with readers his harrowing experiences during WWII that many can only imagine. Readers will find a perfect balance of history and biography in Midnight Flight to Nuremberg.THE BOOK REVIEW DIRECTORY
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“World War II is filled with heroic stories, but few measure up to the daring contributions of John Billings, an OSS pilot who was involved in a mission so daring it takes your breath away. Read this book and be grateful.” - Tom Brokaw, author of “The Greatest Generation" If there was ever a man who was born to fly, it is John M. Billings. He took his first plane ride in 1926, began taking piloting lessons in 1938, and joined the US Army Air Force in July 1942. After training he was assigned to fly Consolidated B-24 Liberator long-range bombers. He joined the 825th Bombardment Squadron of…By John M Billings
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