Monday, February 15, 2010

World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware by James Diehl - Book Review

World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware by award-winning journalist James Diehl is an engaging and inspiring look into the contributions made by regional members of the United States Military during World War II.

In profiling these men and women, Diehl has shared the stories of many reluctant heroes whose efforts during World War II helped the Allies win the war. While the ranks, the locations, and the level of action varies, there is no doubt that every person mentioned in this book deserves to be honored for his or her contribution to the war effort.

In his Introduction, Diehl shares how this project came into being, the impact speaking to these brave men and women had on him, and how saddening it is to know that we will soon lose the ability to talk to our World War II veterans. Five veterans profiled in the book died prior to its publication. I think it is also important to note, as Diehl mentions in his Introduction, that none of these people saw themselves as heroes. They were simply doing what they had to do.

Each of these stories is moving in its own way, and Diehl offers you the opportunity to really get to know what it was like for these men and women during their years of service. Also included are other personal tidbits, which provide small glimpses into these people's lives.

Among the many things I learned while reading World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware, is that the 261st Coast Artillery of the Delaware National Guard was responsible for protecting the mouth of the Delaware Bay from the Nazis during the war.

In the special Fort Miles Insight section at the back of the book, Diehl shares the story of Horace Knowles of Lewes, Delaware, a member of the 261st, and the efforts of the Fort Miles Historical Association to return portions of the fort to their original condition. As a lover of history, I find it very discouraging to read of historical sites being sold and developed in the name of progress. I honestly believe there can be some type of balance between the two, and stories of this type of restoration encourage me to keep believing it is possible.

World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware by James Diehl is a book I would highly recommend to history lovers, those who enjoy reading about World War II efforts, and anyone who is inspired by heroic stories. Even without ties to the area, there is so much to learn from reliving the memories alongside these brave men and women.

Title: World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware
Author: James Diehl
Publisher: DNB Group
ISBN-10: 0615322565
ISBN-13: 978-0615322568
SRP: $19.99

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