Item description for SURROUNDED BY HEROES: Six Campaigns with Divisional Headquarters, 82d Airborne, 1942 - 1945 by Leonard Lebenson & Barbara Gavin Fauntleroy...
When the author was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1942 he had no reason to expect special treatment. Instead, because he was a typist and draftsman, he was grabbed up by an outfit desperately in need of those skills. It was the G-3 (Operations) Section of the 82nd Airborne. Len Lebenson thus gained a ringside seat for some of the greatest campaigns of World War II.
The 82nd fought throughout the ETO, from the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and France, to the Netherlands, the Bulge and the drive on Berlin. And throughout the campaigns sat Lebenson at the division's nerve center, typing orders, drafting battle maps, and acting as liaison. A rare enlisted man with "bigoted" (top secret) status, he was privy to the 82nd's actions as they were being devised. In the process, he was able to gain firsthand looks at Ridgeway, Gavin, Patton, Montgomery and other luminaries who came through the Headquarters.
Along with the divisional staff, the author arrived in battle in many different ways-by ship, plane, glider, parachute and jeep. With the rest of the All American Division he shared the blistering heat of Africa, the bonechilling cold of the Ardennes, the confusion of battle, and the ever-present enemy fire.
Rising from private to master sergeant, Lebenson thought that he had "the best job in the army." In this revealing memoir, however, he never fails to give full credit to the men on the firing line who suffered the greatest hardships and casualties. The author has provided a rare behind-the-scenes view of the 82nd Airborne in World War II, yet he is the first to acknowledge that his greatest honor was to be "Surrounded by Heroes."
Len Lebenson lives in New York City.
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Reviews - What do customers think about SURROUNDED BY HEROES: Six Campaigns with Divisional Headquarters, 82d Airborne, 1942 - 1945?
WW II Army Life 101 - not only for dummies! Dec 23, 2007
This is an exciting book! It captured my attention and drew me in from the first page. It presents a very personal view of war. The author describes his feelings at every turn - what it was like to get a letter from home, to lose a friend in battle, or to learn that a son was born in your absence. "Surrounded By Heroes" gave me a clear picture of what it was like to be on the battlefield and off, the terror of war, the frustration of Army bureaucracy, the boredom of waiting and not knowing what was coming next. On top of all this I learned what all the Army jargon and acronyms mean - from AAF (Army Airfield) to SNAFU (Situation Normal: All F****** Up) to USO (United Service Organizations).
It's a good book. read it.
Personal History, WW ll Oct 9, 2007
"Surrounded by Heroes" is an articulate, thoughtfully written remembrance of the WW II effort, observed from the vantage point of a sort of "everyman." It is a perfect companion for the PBS series, "War" (produced by Ken Burns), citing a number of the battles, locations and "players" who toiled and sometimes died in that arena. I happened to read it just before the series appeared, and found it afforded a more personal experience than if I had viewed the series alone.