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Download The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944–45 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944–45, by Stephen E. Ambrose Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,697 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen E. Ambrose Narrator: Jeffrey DeMunn Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The very young men who flew the B24s over Germany in World War II against terrible odds were an exemplary band of brothers. In The Wild Blue, Stephen Ambrose recounts their extraordinary brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship.

Stephen Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and chose those few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war. These are the boys—turned pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners of the B24s—who suffered over 50 percent casualties.

Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B24s as their crews fought to the death through thick, black, deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine or else went down in flames. 22-year-old George McGovern, who was to become a United States senator and a presidential candidate, flew 35 combat missions (all the Army would allow) and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. We meet him and his mates, his co-pilot killed in action, and crews of other planes—many of whom did not come back.

As Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers portrayed the bravery and ultimate victory of the American soldier from Normandy on to Germany, The Wild Blue makes clear the contribution these young men of the Army Air Forces stationed in Italy made to the Allied victory.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brilliant…It is a terrific story.” 

    Larry King, USA Today 

  • “Ambrose is a superb historian.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Mr. Ambrose’s storytelling ability is unparalleled.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A brilliant new book.”

    USA Today

  • “[The Wild Blue] demands our attention…page-turning reading.” 

    Denver Post

  • The Wild Blue is right on target…[the book] finally gives those men of the 15th Air Force the tribute they so richly earned.” 

    Dallas Morning News

  • “[A] fast-paced narrative.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Brought to life by bestselling historian Ambrose, here is one of America's forgotten workhorse weapons of WWII, the B-24 bomber…Ambrose follows pilots and crews from start to finish where they were from, their backgrounds, training, bravery and heroism as they did their part to help win the war.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Based on an impressive array of primary and secondary sources, the book is another affirmation of the Greatest Generation, to be sure, and a tribute to a fast-diminishing band of American heroes who offered and in many cases gave their lives to save their posterity from real and gruesome dangers.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • One of the 2001 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jimmie Kepler | 2/19/2014

    " The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany by Stephen E. Ambrose is controversial because some scholars point out Ambrose has lifted the work of other authors without placing said work inside "quotation" marks. That is a tragic error. Is it an error of omission or commission? I do not know. I do know it is ethically wrong. The book tells the story of former US Presidential candidate and US Senator George McGovern. It tells of McGovern's upbringing, his journey to college, the outbreak of World War II, his falling in love and marriage, his joining the US Army Air Corps, his training as a pilot, and his combat deployment and action where he was based out of Italy bombing the Axis war machine. It is written in Ambrose's wonderful narrative style. It is highly readable and entertaining. Read in January 2005. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Art | 2/12/2014

    " very good, but far from Ambrose's best. He seemed to be phoning it in. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Lisa | 2/5/2014

    " I had to quit on disc 3 of 8. I just wasn't interested in the story; it wasn't moving very fast at all. I was expecting to hear more about combat life, but on disc 3, the pilots were still in flight school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Notalice | 1/27/2014

    " My dad was an nose gunner in a B-24 in WW2. This gave me a good idea of what he experienced as a flyer. "

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