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

Extended Audio Sample The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany Audiobook, by Stephen E. Ambrose Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.4 out of 53.4 out of 53.4 out of 53.4 out of 53.4 out of 5 3.40 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen E. Ambrose Narrator: Jeffrey DeMunn Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2001 ISBN: 9780743555845
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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. Twenty-two-year-old George McGovern who was to become a United States senator and a presidential candidate, flew thirty-five 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. Download and start listening now!

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

    Dallas Morning News

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

    Denver Post

  • “In his fast-paced narrative, Ambrose follows many other flyers (including the Tuskegee Airmen, the African American pilots who gave the B-24s essential fighter support on some of their most dangerous missions) as they brave the long odds against them, facing moments of glory and terror alike.” 

    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.”

    Booklist

  • 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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyson Farmer | 2/17/2014

    " I listened to this audio book on CD while driving to and from St. George for spring break. It was excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony Randall | 2/16/2014

    " Entertaining and informative. Not his best work, but better than most everyone else's. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter | 2/15/2014

    " Not the best Ambrose book I ever read, but it is an interesting book. This is the story of (mainly) B-24 crews flying out of Italy during WW2. Light and easy read if you're a history buff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod Zemke | 2/9/2014

    " I admire Ambrose for what he did--I don't fault him for writing popular history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brent Woodson | 2/8/2014

    " Gave me different perspective on war from Army power. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Don Stanton | 2/4/2014

    " worst of all Ambrose' work "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan | 2/4/2014

    " I consider myself a student of the Pacific Theater of WWII. This started with the indoctrination that is Marine Boot Camp. I built upon that with my own reading, eventually spilling over to the ground war in Europe. What I found I was missing was any sense of the scale of the air war over Europe. This good book did much to remedy my lack of knowledge of this subject. Ambrose does a good job of conveying the scale and sacrifice made by these brave and I must say undertrained men. Being a pilot myself, I can not imagine being thrown into battle with the minimal training they had. The other info that made me realize my lack of understanding of the scope of the airwar was the casualty figures. It's easy to forget that each bomber sent over carried 10 or so crew. The numbers add up in a hurry. Good overview of the airwar, the personalities involved, and the debatable results of the campaign. As usual a very good Ambrose book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 1/24/2014

    " Not my favorite Ambrose, but still a detailed referece of B-24 groups, their training, and life before during and after the war. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bhall | 1/16/2014

    " the start is painful. i'm not a fan of ambrose's style of jumping from character to character. the story is very interesting, though, about being in the team that flew the b-24s at the very end of the war. don't really recommend unless you're passionate there though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 1/1/2014

    " Great story of what it was like flying over Germany in WWII "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Flanagan | 12/25/2013

    " A bit dissapointing of a book not up to the standard I expect from Ambrose. A good if brief overview and insight though. Just seemed a rushed book to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cimuchowski | 11/1/2013

    " A lot of time is spent looking into the background of these brave men. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marshall | 6/4/2013

    " I had to read this book for school and it had cussing and stuff in it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tin Wee | 3/17/2013

    " Like a bomber's mission, book is slow to get started but action is intense. Generally an ok read, with a nice end. Not as gripping or engaging as Band of Brothers tho. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony | 12/18/2012

    " Much more of an biography of McGovern than I had expected, but still a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 11/3/2012

    " Read this because my grandfather flew during WWII. Very inspirational. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 10/9/2012

    " Didn't stand out in it's genre in the way Band of Brothers did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Markham | 4/8/2012

    " A quick brief acount based on interviews with people who were there and did fly the bombers. A good acount, well written but perhaps not quite what I was after in length and over all detail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregory Cunningham | 7/27/2011

    " Great collection of what B24 crews experienced. Also a interesting perspective of those flying out of Italy. Writers and movies have covered the 8th out of England extensively, but there is little about the crews flying from Africa and Italy and how their experiences differed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Anderson | 4/29/2011

    " It felt like this one was written in a hurry. Still a good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 4/15/2011

    " would have been better, but it spent too much time focusing on that idiot democratic politician/presidential candidate McGovern "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scot | 2/17/2011

    " Who knew George McGovern was a war hero. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 1/16/2011

    " audio book, abridged, nonetheless good...still ambrose likes to justify bombing...sweeps over all the human loss and suffering, along with the racism... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lacey | 11/8/2010

    " Very dynamic book. Was very humbled when I got to travel by train through Romania and got to see some of the area in which these men gave their lives to liberate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Devon | 9/28/2010

    " it was okay for being a historical fiction. in my opinion it was really boring but not so bad that i couldn't finish it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dennis | 9/14/2010

    " I enjoyed this book partly because my father served in the Army Air Corp and was station at the same air base in Cerignola Italy where much of this book was based. Gives a good feeling for what it must have been like for those flying in the B-24's under such extreme conditions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evan | 9/7/2010

    " Good stories about what you'd expect from Ambrose. WWII B-24 bomber missions and strategic bombing, from volunteering to the end of the war it follows George McGovern's experiences as well as his crew's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod | 6/10/2010

    " I admire Ambrose for what he did--I don't fault him for writing popular history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 6/4/2010

    " A bit dissapointing of a book not up to the standard I expect from Ambrose. A good if brief overview and insight though. Just seemed a rushed book to me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marshall | 5/25/2010

    " I had to read this book for school and it had cussing and stuff in it. "

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About the Author
Author Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose (1936–2002) was the author of Citizen Soldiers, Undaunted Courage, and D-Day, as well as biographies of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon. He also founded the Eisenhower Center and was president of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. His book, Band of Brothers, was the basis for the HBO miniseries.

About the Narrator

Jeffrey DeMunn is an American film, television, and stage actor. He graduated from Union College in 1969 and then spent two years at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school in England. He is best known for his roles in several Frank Darabont films, including The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Majestic. His is also featured in numerous television roles, most recently in the adaptation of The Walking Dead comic book series. In addition to his film and television performances, DeMunn has lent his voice to several audio books, including The Colorado Kid, Dreamcatcher, and Letters for Emily