PDF Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II (War and Society in North America)


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Students of history will recognize the famous 84th Infantry Division The Railsplitter of the US Army for having been the home of young Henry Kissinger and his senior mentor Dr Fritz Kraemer who became my mentor for 23 years in 1979Now Henry Kissinger writes in the forward of the new book Home Front to Battlefront An Ohio Teenager in World War II by Frank Lavin It was In The 84th Division That I First Met Fritz Kraemer the 84th Division that I first met Fritz Kraemer staid Prussian aristocrat who helped start me on the road of serious academic work With the publication of Home Front to Battlefront we also see it was the home of Pfc Carl Lavin the father of Frank LavinI first met Frank in 1984 when he was director of the office of President Reagan in the White House in the Situation Room of the West Wing He comes from Ohio is Republican and made a splendid career as US Ambassador to Singapore and Under Secretary at the US Department of Commerce We became friends Now he lives in Hongkong and started the commerce company ExportNow in ShanghaiUnlike Kissinger and Kraemer his father Carl Lavin never Date Me entered the world of grand strategy serving as a combat rifleman and then returning to his small town home in Ohio after the war In some ways this is what makes the book worth readingNobel Laureate John Steinbeckxplains There are really two wars he wrote and they haven t much to do with ach other There is a war of maps and logistics of campaigns of ballistics armies divisions and regiments and that is General Marshall s war Then there is the war of the homesick weary funny violent common men who wash their socks in their helmets complain about the food and lug themselves and their spirit through as #DIRTY A BUSINESS AS THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN #a business as the world has ver seen do it with humor and dignity and courage Home Front to Battlefront concerns that second war This is the war as seen by one foot solider Carl Lavin an American teenager who becomes a combat infantrymanIf you are trying to understand the human dimension of the American GI in WWII similar in some respects to foot soldiers around the world Home Front to Battlefront is for youI like the book It is a homage for a father who did not spent his youth in bars but on the battlefield It touched your heart and motionsIt is a story of the young GI with all his dreams hopes and fearsIt is good that his son has collected all the letters and documents now to transfer the personal impressions and know how to the next generationsIt is worth reading and thinking about this brave generation Young Americans ready to die for the values of America freedom and peace And The Constitution From All Political Racial And Religious Backgrounds the constitution from all political racial and religious backgrounds Lavin re creates a masterpiece for us through the collection of letters saved by his grandparents from the correspondence between his father and the family during World War II From his arliest days preparing for war and handling poison ivy in boot camp to fierce house to house combat in the European Theater with 3rd Platoon of L Company of the 335th Infantry one has a Combat with the 84th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge Home Front to Battlefront is the tale of a foot soldier who finds himself thrust into a world where he and his unit grapple with the horrors of combat the id. In this Fitness for Geeks: Real Science, Great Nutrition, and Good Health era of selfies relentless bravado and intense self promotion what a delight to read a book where the true values of America arextolled Human decency Sense of duty Acceptance of war but Refusal of hatred through the telling of the story of a common soldier based on his own narrative and the thoughtful and loving prose of his son Carl the author s father never saw himself as a hero and his letters convey a sense of level headedness and normalcy He came back home and kept his war mental scars well hiddenan upright man The commentaries provided by the author around the various situations provide information that seems to reflect well the way Carl was living the situations he was involved in no hyperbole just facts just life War as life itself is usually a matter of details of small matters Frank Lavin tells us in recounting this amazing story of his father Armed with some 200 letters and his own considerable intellectual acumen Ambassador Lavin has produced as moving and intimate an account of an important chapter of American history as you could hope to ncounter From growing up in Canton Ohio to crossing the English Channel on Christmas Day 1944 along with other soldiers of the 84th Infantry to carrying on in arly postwar Germany and France Frank Lavin s father communicates directly with the reader to share the hope passion fatigue and homesickness that coursed through the veins of so many American GIs fighting for the victorious Allied cause Reading this book will transport you back to an Cause Of Fear earlier and largely harrowing time in a way that longer academic volumes fail to do This is anxtraordinary book After reading Jay Winik s superb book about WWII 1944 I thought I had read about the best there is on the topic But this is WWII history up front and personal and it s riveting Once I started it I found it hard to put down and I didn t I hope this book gets into the hands of a hollywood producer it s a uniuely a Hollywood producer It s a uniuely story that would make an amazing movie This is an incredible book When I grew up in the 1960 s pretty much veryone s Dad was a WWII veteran You would often hear some selected stories but not a full rounded understanding of the ntire The Game of Love experience By delving into personal correspondence you understand the highs and lows the important and the mundane Most of these people are gone and we can t hear the stories any Even before they were reluctant to talk about many things they saw and did This book is a critical link to the futureThis also serves as a sobering reminder of what total warntails This is the last war that truly drew soldiers from all levels of society and njoyed nearly universal support The sacrifices were unbelieveable only 15% of Lavin s platoon scaped injuryI highly recommend this book A moving personal oral history of finest American GI s xperiencesin World War II Of great value for European readers as wellMargarita Mathiopoulos Professor of US Foreign Policy at the UnivofPotsdam and author of the bestseller The End of the Bonn Republic. Carl Lavin was a high school senior when Pearl Harbor was attacked The Canton Ohio native nlisted when he turned ighteen a decision that would take him with the US Army from training across the United States and Britain to. Ense of being there as scribed by the lder Lavin It is a story of the boredom of military life hurry up and wait of daily dodging death and the luck of battle of devotion and intense loyalty to one s fellow military comrades One better understands the prevailing attitudes of the time and we know now than The Lady in Pink ever why they were called our greatest generation Frank Lavin has written arrestingly about his father s wartimexperience Carl Lavin was typical of the Greatest Generation he didn t like to talk about the war perhaps because he thought it unmanly to do so when so many of his comrades didn t survive to tell their stories But towards the Eyes end of Carl s life father and son talked about what happened and Frank discovered a treasure trove of letters from Carl to his mother in the Lavins s attic The result several years after Carl passed away is a book of letters from son to mother with Frank filling in illuminating context on Carl the Lavin family in small town Ohio and the battles Carl fought inI really like two things about this book First the similarities between father and son Carl s letters are sprinkled with gentle cheeky humourven when facing daily dances with death in the Ardennes and in Germany in late 44 and arly 45 Almost very letter Sinner's Heart ends in a plea for candy and complains that family supplies from home are nevernough Knowing the son a little I and complains that family supplies from home are never nough Knowing the son a little I understand the provenance of his humourSecond and substantially is the startling jump in maturity in Carl s letters once he ncounters actual combat Before December 44 he was an Spirit of the Wolf easygoing youth though with a practical bent from his father a love of music and reading from his mother and a growing curiosity about the adult world on his doorstep But then the letters undergo a step change in a matter of days or a week or two towards thend of 44 and in A Vineyard Christmas early January 45 This is when the twenty year old Carl sees real combat for the first time and almost daily sees death in the face Given strict censorship he can t write about it directly orven allude to it Een Bijzondere Vorm Van Osteosclerose except in the most obliue way But by now it is as if a deep and wise middle aged man seasoned by decades of lifexperience writes these letters home Carl seems to have acuired decades of wisdom in a matter of days I can t imagine writing letters of such maturity or ven philosophical depth at the age of twenty or ven today for that matter Carl s ability to detach himself from these supercharged wartime moments to make astute observations and judgments of people and situations is astonishing so is his reluctance to tar his German nemies with collective guilt or sin and his moral condemnation of atrocities committed by his own side What shines enemies with collective guilt or sin and his moral condemnation of atrocities committed by his own side What shines is Carl s humanity in the most inhuman situationsFinally reading about Carl I think I now have a better appreciation of the warmth humanity wisdom and culture deeply felt lightly worn and modestly xpressed of the son Thanks Frank for a wonderful book You have allowed your father to speak in his own voice and done him proud. Iocies of bureaucracy and the oddities of life back home all in the same day The book is based on Carls personal letters his recollections and those of the people he served beside official military history private papers an. ,


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 Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II (War and Society in North America)