Review of Against All Odds: A True Story of Ultimate Courage and Survival in World War II, by Alex Kershaw

Alex Kershaw writes masterfully about Americans awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II. Can you name a WWII Medal of Honor recipient? Unless you are a history buff, your guess is probably Audie Murphy.

Murphy came out of WWII with a limp, but few other lasting physical wounds. He also had a chest full of medals as the most decorated man of the war (including the Medal of Honor), and plenty of mental and emotional battle scars.

Maurice “Footsie” Britt, former pro football player, was the next most decorated soldier. He lost an arm in the war. Britt earned the Medal of Honor.

Michael Daly washed out at West Point, and couldn’t seem to earn his soldier father’s admiration. But as one of the youngest leaders in battle, Daly earned the Medal of Honor.

Keith Ware was normally a behind-the-scenes tactician, but when he got word that German soldiers had pinned down his men, he led a charge up “Bloody Hill” in the face of artillery, mortar, machine gun, machine pistol, and rifle fire, earning the coveted Medal of Honor.

Kershaw profiles other men’s heroics in this book; they also earned the Medal of Honor. The one thing all the recipients shared was unflinching courage in the face of certain danger. Some of these men saved many lives by their actions; some made the ultimate sacrifice of their own life.

If you’d like to learn more about the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients in the context of World War II as it progressed, you’ll enjoy this book. And if anyone asks if you can name any WWII Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, you’ll have all the answers.

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