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Download The Bedford Boys: One American Town’s Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Bedford Boys: One American Town’s Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice Audiobook, by Alex Kershaw Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (569 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alex Kershaw Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2004 ISBN: 9781482975635
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The Bedford Boys is the astonishing true story of twenty-one young men who were killed during the first horrifying minutes of D-Day and the friends and families they left behind in the small town of Bedford. Twenty-one sons killed—no other town in America suffered a greater loss in one day. It is an unforgettable story of triumph, courage, and tragedy based on extensive interviews with survivors and relatives as well as diaries and letters. Alex Kershaw’s remarkable book brings to vivid, heartbreaking life the hitherto untold story of one small American town, their sons, and the brutal, bloody war that deprived them of their futures.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A powerful reminder of the human cost of war.”

    Washington Post

  • “A poignant story that humanises the D-Day sacrifice.”

    The Observer (London)

  • “This accessible and moving group biography portrays the men of Company A, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, who were part of the first wave at Omaha Beach in WWII. Initially, 103 of them left the small town of Bedford, Va.—now the site of the national D-Day memorial—when the local National Guard was called up in 1940; thirty-four were still with the company on D-Day. Of these, nineteen died in a matter of minutes and three more perished in the Normandy campaign…the book’s central focus is on the town where a good many survivors remain whose memories have not faded and whose emotional wounds have not healed.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Kershaw’s book is more than just another war story; here is an in-depth account of this blue-collar town and its 3,000 people…Kershaw describes in painful detail how the next of kin were notified of the soldiers’ deaths via Western Union telegrams and how the news devastated their lives. Drawing on interviews with survivors and relatives, newspaper clippings, letters, and diaries, Kershaw has chronicled one community’s great sacrifice.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed | 2/15/2014

    " An excellent, haunting book of war and sacrifice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janel | 2/11/2014

    " Great book. Read it in one day on vacation. It is about the town of Bedford, Virginia who lost 22 sons on DDay. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 2/2/2014

    " This book amazes me at their sacrifice and courage. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny Karraker | 1/17/2014

    " Each year on the anniversary of D-Day, I see articles in the paper and hear on the news broadcasts about the sacrifices made that day on the beaches. This book showed me another side of that great invasion as the author tells the story of Company 29 and the many soldiers from the little town of Bedford,VA who participated, most of them dying as that first wave of men attempted to cross the beach and attack the German defenders. It was interesting to learn that these boys had signed up as National Guard members, mostly to receive the extra $1 per month to help support their families during the Depression. They were called up for regular duty and trained in England for two years readying them for this invasion that would eventually begin the end of the European theater of the war. It was sad to hear about the few who lived though it all and their survivor's guilt and post traumatic stress symptoms, things they struggled with for the rest of their lives and for which no help was available at the time. The histories of the families and their struggles to live with their sons' deaths was sobering. Having a father who fought in WWII and who would not talk about his experiences until almost 40 years later when my 8th grade daughter was assigned in school to interview a WWII veteran, this book made me appreciate again all he did to serve our country and to make this a better place to live. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chip Carman | 1/12/2014

    " This was a book about a small town that lost many of their young men on Omaha Beach on D Day. It was a good history read but not for the faint of heart "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 1/2/2014

    " Great book. Tells the story of 34 men from one small town who all signed up and served (and many died)together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 12/26/2013

    " You cannot fathom how this town must have felt when they started finding out about all the deaths. It's a great book about a very sad time for a small american town "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 12/25/2013

    " I've read countless books about World War Two and in particular D-Day. My grandfather was there in the days after the invasion and I've spent my life trying to fill in the blanks of his story. This book is special, it doesn't spend as much time on the failures and triumphs of "The Longest Day", but instead it focuses on the human story of war. If you take the death, destruction, and senselessness out of war, and only focus on the human spirit as it relates to it, the human war story is a marvelous thing. This book does that. It's a sad love story, it's triumph and tragedy, it's the desire to live at all costs, and the struggle of loss. Two years ago, my own small American town lost its first soldier since Vietnam. Our town was as emotional as I've ever seen it for the loss of one of its sons. I can only imagine the true state of human emotion in Bedford, Virginia when it found out in one day that 19 of her sons were not coming home. This book is a must read for any history lover, and should be required reading in high school history class. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Burke Baker | 12/24/2013

    " Good book on Operation Overlord (Normandy Invasion). Much easier to read than "D-Day" by Stephen Ambrose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J | 12/22/2013

    " Lest we forget the price that was paid. Good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 12/20/2013

    " Maybe next time I drive by Bedford I will actually stop. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 12/18/2013

    " Bedford, Virginia troops participated in the early D-Day landings at a great cost of life. This well paced story tells how the lure of National Guard pay was one factor in recruiting many of those who served and died on the beaches of Normandy during that epic battle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joane | 12/16/2013

    " An absolutely fascinating story that I knew nothing about - until I drove through Lynchburg, VA and wondered why on earth there would be a D-Day Memorial Museum there. Truth is so much stranger than fiction. Everyone should read about this part of history!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodie | 12/11/2013

    " I really love the voice that Alex Kershaw gives to the greatest generation. He does a wonderful job of effortless storytelling in all of his books and this one was no different. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 11/18/2013

    " Very interesting. A little dry. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ron Kieloch | 11/15/2013

    " While the author may have researched the young men who died from this town, his details about military equipment and plane were inaccurate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eddie | 10/30/2013

    " Why the F did this guy write Jive and Jitterbug 5,000 times????? Other than that, sweet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Torieqwq | 3/2/2013

    " I admire all the work that went into this book, but found it hard to keep everyone straight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 1/21/2013

    " Excellent true story of nineteen men from Bedford, Virginia who died in the first few minutes of D-Day. Opens your eyes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 12/3/2012

    " About a whole unit of guys from Bedford who died at the D-Day invasion. Sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donnie Edgemon | 9/26/2011

    " Have you been to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA? Do you want to know more after watching the opening Omaha Beach scenes in Saving Private Ryan? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amanda | 6/15/2011

    " Like Saving Private Ryan, but true. I couldn't take it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joane | 6/6/2011

    " An absolutely fascinating story that I knew nothing about - until I drove through Lynchburg, VA and wondered why on earth there would be a D-Day Memorial Museum there. Truth is so much stranger than fiction. Everyone should read about this part of history!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 4/9/2010

    " Great book. Tells the story of 34 men from one small town who all signed up and served (and many died)together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck | 1/2/2010

    " Heartbreaking story of a small town in Penn. who lost 20+ men on the first day of the D-Day invasion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed | 4/13/2009

    " An excellent, haunting book of war and sacrifice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kenneth | 4/1/2009

    " This book was okay. Makes you realize the sacrifices all made across the country during WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/7/2009

    " Bedford, Virginia troops participated in the early D-Day landings at a great cost of life. This well paced story tells how the lure of National Guard pay was one factor in recruiting many of those who served and died on the beaches of Normandy during that epic battle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eddie | 9/18/2008

    " Why the F did this guy write Jive and Jitterbug 5,000 times????? Other than that, sweet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 7/27/2008

    " True story of inexperienced Reserves from Bedford Virginia are trained to fight in the first wave of D-day (Normandy). It would not have interested me had I not seen the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amanda | 7/4/2008

    " Like Saving Private Ryan, but true. I couldn't take it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 4/22/2008

    " Excellent true story of nineteen men from Bedford, Virginia who died in the first few minutes of D-Day. Opens your eyes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 2/26/2008

    " Tears at your heart and makes you proud at the same time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wachlin007 | 2/21/2008

    " This is a very sad, touching story of a town whose soldiers ended up being among the first to hit France on D-Day. A large number of them died. It was sad to see how their families reacted, some never recovering from the shock and pain. "Bedford goes to War" addresses the same topic. "

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About the Author
Author Alex KershawAlex Kershaw is the New York Times bestselling author of several books on World War II, including The Bedford Boys and The Longest Winter.  He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
About the Narrator

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.