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Surrounded By Heroes (Hardback)

Six Campaigns with Divisional Headquarters 82nd Airborne


By Leonard Lebenson
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 16 pages of b/w photos
ISBN: 9781932033588
Published: 1st October 2007



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When the author was inducted into the US Army in 1942 he had no idea that typists and draftsmen were in short supply and that he would be quickly snatched up by the G-3 (Operations) Section of the 82nd Airborne. The author thus gained a ringside seat for some of the greatest campaigns of World War II.The 82nd fought from the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and France, to the Battle of the Bulge and the drive on Berlin. And throughout the campaigns sat Lebenson at the division’s nerve centre, typing orders, drafting battle maps and acting as liaison. A rare enlisted man with ‘bigoted’ (top secret) status, he was privy to the 82nd’s actions as they were being devised. In the process, he was able to meet Ridgeway, Gavin, Patton, Montgomery and other army luminaries who came through the headquarters. Along with the divisional staff, the author arrived in battle in many different ways – by ship, plane, glider, parachute and jeep. With the rest of the All American Division he shared the blistering heat of Africa and the bone-chilling cold of the Ardennes.Rising from private to master sergeant, Lebenson thought that he had ‘the best job in the army’. In this revealing memoir, however, he never fails to give full credit to the men on the firing line who suffered the greatest hardships and casualties. The author has provided a rare behind-the-scenes view of the 82nd Airborne in World War II, yet he is the first to acknowledge that his greatest honour was to be ‘surrounded by heroes’.

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