This is the exciting story of valiant "citizen soldiers" who risked their lives during the dramatic paratrooper invasion of Sicily in July 1943 that set the stage for the ground troop invasion of Fortress Europe.
In July 1943, Dwight Eisenhower was ordered to invade Sicily, but first he had to build a working coalition among feuding American and British subordinates. The Allies had to attack a shoreline that was being held by German soldiers who had been mostly victorious for four years of war.
Ike knew that during the initial attack, with his men packed into ships and landing craft, his tanks and artillery trying to get off the beach, his forces would be vulnerable. If the Germans hit while the invaders were straddling land and sea, the Allies could be destroyed. Failure would mean appalling loss of life and at least a year's delay in liberating Europe. To protect his force from those counterattacks, Ike had a new weapon: the US paratrooper.
This is a story of young men going into combat, for the first time, against an experienced and determined enemy. The book will tell a little-known story of how these paratroopers changed the American way of war. It is also a story of battlefield commanders who led from the front, who joined the fight when they saw its outcome hanging in the balance, and it is the story of America's young citizen soldiers in their first brush with the battle-tested German Wehrmacht.