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April

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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 8 | Loc. 117-21  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 10:51 AM

At its height in the tenth and eleventh centuries, the Chaco Canyon proto-city probably had a population of 4,000–5,000 people, while the surrounding network of villages may have housed 25,000–50,000 people. Two hundred and fifty miles of roads, some of them paved with cobblestones, connected Chaco and the surrounding villages. No one knows why Chaco Canyon was abandoned around 1150, but there is evidence prolonged drought caused a famine. There may also have been violent upheaval; the oral histories of Navajo pueblo-dwellers recall Chaco as a place where “people got power over other people,” suggesting exploitation and social unrest.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 10 | Loc. 149-53  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 10:54 AM

LIE: The Puritans came to America to establish religious freedom. THE TRUTH: The Puritans came to America to escape other people’s religious freedom. The story starts in 1593, when radical Protestant “Separatists” emigrated from England to Holland, where they could live in peace, without being hung or jailed for religious nonconformity. That led to a new problem for the Puritans: the easygoing Dutch allowed people to practice all sorts of crazy religions, including Judaism, Catholicism, and eventually even atheism–the horror!
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 12 | Loc. 172-75  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 10:57 AM

Like the rest of us, you probably bought the ol’ Thirteen Colonies story, but it’s not an accurate depiction of colonial America for most of its history. In 1606 King James I chartered just two companies to settle North America, the Virginia Company of London and the Plymouth Company. As settlements were founded, each new city was recognized as its own colony: for example, Connecticut actually contained 500 distinct “colonies” (or “plantations”) before they were merged into a single colony in 1661.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 12 | Loc. 180-81  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 10:58 AM

So technically, there were just 12 colonies in 1775 and 13 states in 1776.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 30 | Loc. 458-59  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 03:11 PM

In Turkey tobacco use could bring the death penalty in the 1630s, and in Russia the first offense brought deportation to Siberia; the second, execution. But none of these had much effect: tobacco was so habit-forming that users would risk death just to get their fix.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 31 | Loc. 462-63  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 03:11 PM

While they had barely scratched out a living before discovering tobacco, the first Virginia colonists became incredibly wealthy, and their success attracted thousands of imitators. Predictably, trouble followed.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 31 | Loc. 465-67  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 03:12 PM

Over the seventeenth century, the success of Virginia’s tobacco planters attracted increasing numbers of poor but ambitious young Englishmen. Enticed to the New World by the promise of endless free land, these new colonists were surprised to find that all the good land had already been claimed.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 40 | Loc. 613-16  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 03:24 PM

Above all, the new taxes angered American colonists because they were given no say in how the British Parliament decided that money should be raised or spent. This violated the 1689 British Bill of Rights, which said no subject of the English crown should be taxed without representation in the official legislature. But Parliament went ahead and granted itself the power to levy new colonial taxes–a power that members were thrilled to abuse.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 43 | Loc. 654-57  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 03:28 PM

beginning in 1766, when he helped his former prime minister, William Pitt, persuade Parliament to repeal the hated Stamp Act. Grateful colonists erected statues of George III and Pitt in New York City. In fact, every unpopular colonial tax on the books was eventually repealed at the king’s request, or at least with his consent, except for one: the Tea Act of 1773.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 44 | Loc. 660-64  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 03:38 PM

Boston, as usual, opted for a more violent solution: the Boston Tea Party, in which 50 colonists–not very convincingly disguised as tea-hating Mohawk Indians about 300 miles from home–dumped all the tea in Boston Harbor. At this point, George III went from nice to nasty. It was one thing to protest taxes on paper, but destruction of property was a villainous crime. More importantly, George III wanted to keep his right to arbitrary taxation. In fact, that was the whole point of the Tea Act: George III said Parliament had to hang on to at least “one tax to keep up the right.”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 48 | Loc. 729-30  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 03:45 PM

the plan for the final victory that ended the Revolutionary War–the siege of Yorktown–was suggested to Washington by General Comte de Rochambeau of France.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 56 | Loc. 849-52  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 09:09 PM

The main denomination was intended to correspond in value to the Spanish real de a ocho, or piece of eight–the standard Spanish coin at this time. To mix things up a bit, the Founding Fathers called their version, with the same monetary value, a dollar, an old North European monetary unit from the German word Taler, a short form of Joachimstaler–a coin minted in the Joachimstal valley of Bohemia in the sixteenth century.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 65 | Loc. 993-95  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2016, 09:19 PM

This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United States, and I have given England a maritime rival who sooner or later will humble her pride. –Napoleon Bonaparte, 1804
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 70 | Loc. 1069-74  | Added on Saturday, April 09, 2016, 02:17 AM

Along the way, he also helped develop America’s first fire department and first library, as well as the concept of daylight savings time. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about Ben Franklin the inventor was his refusal to patent any of his ideas, so that the widest possible number of people could benefit from them. As we enjoy great Advantages from the Inventions of others we should be glad of an Opportunity to serve others by any Invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously. –Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, published 1790
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 88 | Loc. 1350-52  | Added on Sunday, April 10, 2016, 02:42 PM

Soon, the party became better known by its nickname, the “Know-Nothings,” stemming from the answer members gave when asked about their secret meetings. But after sweeping into power in local elections in 1855 in Chicago and Boston–both cities with large Irish populations–the Know-Nothings rapidly faded from the scene.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 89 | Loc. 1357-61  | Added on Sunday, April 10, 2016, 02:42 PM

Reaching out to German, Jewish, and Italian immigrants, the Tammany politicians handed out crooked city contracts and public jobs (especially with the police) and arranged for the mass naturalization of immigrants, who then became voters. They also stood up for tenants against greedy landlords and helped workers organize unions. Just how corrupt were they? The most famous leader of the Tammany machine, Boss William M. Tweed is believed to have stolen about $200 million from New York City–the equivalent of $8 billion today.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 111 | Loc. 1699-1702  | Added on Monday, April 11, 2016, 11:20 AM

After the war ended in 1865, the North tried to “fix” the South by making Southern whites as angry as possible. Unsurprisingly it didn’t turn out too well. The decade-long phase known as “Reconstruction” stalled in the face of Southern opposition. Embittered whites rolled back the reforms that had extended political and civil rights to freed slaves. Meanwhile, hard-core Confederate veterans formed new paramilitary organizations, including the Ku Klux Klan, to scare blacks into submission.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 114 | Loc. 1748-53  | Added on Monday, April 11, 2016, 11:25 AM

Shall we sink down as serfs to the heartless, speculative Yankees, swindled by his tariffs, robbed by his taxes, skinned by his railroad monopolies? –Democratic newspaper editor And that’s exactly what happened. In 1828 Northern congressmen passed a protectionist tariff (nicknamed the “Tariff of Abominations” by the South) so outrageous that the British responded with a counter-tariff of their own. The tariffs doubly affected the South, hurting cotton sales while making imports of manufactured goods more expensive.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 135 | Loc. 2067-69  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 11:00 AM

In the fall of 1867, the KKK began “night-riding” to intimidate blacks in rural Tennessee–the first known instance of organized, large-scale racial persecution by the secretive group. In April of 1871, Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Act, allowing Grant to suspend habeas corpus to fight the KKK in South Carolina.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 135 | Loc. 2069-71  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 11:00 AM

But these early signs of progress proved fleeting. After a decade of Reconstruction, it became clear the federal government would never be able to crush entrenched white resistance across the South.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 136 | Loc. 2073-78  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 11:01 AM

Eventually the Republicans just gave up, effectively cutting loose Southern blacks, as part of one of the dirtiest political deals in U.S. history–and that’s saying something. In 1876 the Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes lost the popular vote, but the election was still up in the air because of disputed counts in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Realizing the Republicans were probably going to steal the election anyway, Southern Democrats cut a secret deal giving Hayes these states, and the presidency, in exchange for withdrawing Union troops from the South. In the process, they were screwing over their own candidate, Samuel J. Tilden, but as a New York Yankee and former War Democrat, he was almost as bad as any Republican.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 137 | Loc. 2088-89  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 11:03 AM

Planters were legally exempt from military service, but in 1861 Forrest enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private and was quickly elevated to colonel on account of his wealth.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 147 | Loc. 2241-46  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 11:18 AM

However, Vanderbilt–who was worth about $180 billion in today’s U.S. dollars–was not a man to be trifled with. Gentlemen, you have undertaken to cheat me. I won’t sue you, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you. Yours truly, Cornelius Vanderbilt. –Cornelius Vanderbilt There was only one way this could end: Vanderbilt organized a coalition of half a dozen Central American states opposed to Walker, raised a rebel army in Costa Rica, and toppled the filibuster’s year-old regime.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 147 | Loc. 2250-54  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 11:18 AM

in pursuit of mankind’s eternal nemesis–the whale. By the early nineteenth century, they had the enemy on the run. The peak harvest came in 1840, when Yankee whalers brought in 11,593,483 gallons of whale oil to feed the American demand for lamp fuel. But as the supply diminished, the price went up, and even more whalers went into the business. From 1823 to 1846, the American whaling fleet increased from 203 to 736 ships, and they chased whales all the way from New England to the waters off Alaska; from there it was just a short trip down the Aleutian and Kuril island chains to the coast of Japan.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 149 | Loc. 2272-75  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 11:20 AM

To make sure the foreigners saw nothing of Japan, wood and silk screens were erected along the entire route, concealing practically everything but the cobblestone streets. To be on the safe side, the town was also guarded by thousands of samurai, brought in especially to make sure the Americans wouldn’t somehow slip unnoticed into Japan.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 149 | Loc. 2283-85  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 11:22 AM

Known as the Meiji Restoration, in one incredible decade, Japan jumped from feudalism to an advanced industrial economy. But this didn’t mean everything was peachy: although they ended up agreeing to Perry’s demands, Japan’s leaders weren’t about to forget the fear and humiliation inflicted by the Westerners.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 160 | Loc. 2441-43  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 02:05 PM

During this period, cities took the leading role in the U.S. economy. Foreigners continued to pour into the United States, but more of them settled in urban areas–a big change from the 1840s to 1870s, when huge numbers of Europeans (especially Germans) had flocked to the Midwest.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 163 | Loc. 2485-89  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 02:09 PM

Southern Democrats–or “Dixiecrats”–instituted requirements for voters, including literacy tests and poll taxes. Of course, both measures excluded poor whites too. In Alabama, the number of eligible white voters decreased from 232,821 in 1900 to 191,432 in 1903. When poor whites protested, legislators in some Southern states responded with “grandfather clauses,” which said a man could vote if his grandfather had voted in 1867 (the year before freedmen got the vote). These tactics, upheld by the Supreme Court well into the twentieth century, effectively sidelined black voters.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 165 | Loc. 2528-31  | Added on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 02:15 PM

These fears weren’t groundless. Indeed, radical anarchists–most visibly those from Germany, Italy, and Russia–were the nineteenth-century equivalent of modern-day terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. Forming autonomous cells, they pursued their fantastic vision of a world without government through assassinations and indiscriminate bombings–dignifying terrorism as “propaganda of the deed,” a term invented by the Russian group “People’s Will.”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 184 | Loc. 2818-20  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 10:43 AM

Eugenicists also believed that society was actively undermining the process of natural selection through benevolent institutions like public education, charity, and social welfare. These programs had the unintended consequence of enabling “inferior” individuals to have more children, reversing the natural order of things.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 188 | Loc. 2869-73  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 10:50 AM

When Congress did get around to passing eugenics laws, it focused on limiting immigration by “undesirables,” including whole races and nationalities. Urged by lobbyists from groups like the Immigration Restriction League, the main targets were Slavs and Jews from Eastern Europe and Italians, who were supposedly less intelligent on average. In 1924 Congress invited Harry Laughlin–a former high school principal and the director of Eugenics Record Office–to testify on the subject of mentally defective immigrants. This led to the Immigration Restriction Act, effectively ending immigration until after the Second World War.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 188 | Loc. 2882-84  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 10:53 AM

Riding the rails, itinerant black musicians were able to share local songs and styles and were also exposed to various kinds of white music, including Scots-Irish ballads that evolved into modern country music; in fact, there was a great deal of overlap between country music and the blues
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 189 | Loc. 2898-2900  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 10:54 AM

Yes, it’s true: when the fizzy soft drink was first formulated, Coca-Cola contained small amounts of cocaine, which probably made it mildly habit-forming. But it turns out the early business dealings surrounding the “Pause That Refreshes” were far more nefarious than any of its ingredients.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 191 | Loc. 2917-20  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 10:57 AM

1892 Candler decided to ditch the whole legal mess and create a new corporation, The Coca-Cola Company (note the important difference). If this all sounds a bit shady and illegal, well, it probably was: Candler supposedly forged Pemberton’s signature on the 1888 bill of sale–and his decision in 1910 to burn the company’s early corporate records doesn’t exactly allay suspicion. But as the old American saying goes: “Whatever!”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 191 | Loc. 2923-25  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 10:57 AM

Bottling Coca-Cola allowed the beverage to expand into retail distribution, via general stores, as well as restaurants and hotels, which didn’t always have soda fountains. Of course pharmacies continued to sell the fountain drink. Operated by “soda jerks,” these were informally known as “dope shops” because of the cocaine content.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 196 | Loc. 2993-96  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 11:09 AM

All of this changed, however, with the invention of the internal combustion engine by an Italian engineer, Pietro Benini, in 1856. The internal combustion engine operated on the same basic principle as the steam engine–raising and lowering pistons to turn wheels or propellers–but it made the process more efficient by replacing super-heated water vapor with flammable diesel or gasoline, providing far more horsepower from a much smaller unit.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 198 | Loc. 3035-38  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 11:40 AM

Before long they owned the largest oil refinery in the world, and in 1870, the brothers created a new corporation, Standard Oil of Ohio. The duo borrowed heavily to acquire new competing refiners, but John was able to achieve substantial savings elsewhere by striking secret deals with railroads that gave Standard Oil rebates for its high-volume oil shipping business. These methods allowed him to drive competing companies into bankruptcy and buy them cheaply.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 199 | Loc. 3040-42  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 11:40 AM

Rockefeller’s achievements didn’t just benefit his own bank account. By creating economies of scale, he could offer consumers better quality kerosene at a lower price. But after achieving dominance in kerosene refining, there was nothing left to do but take over other parts of the supply chain.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 210 | Loc. 3210-15  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 02:03 PM

After American trade with Germany was severed by the British blockade, trade with Britain and France grew even more important. During the war, American exporters supplied both countries with vehicles, fuel, food, and consumer goods, allowing the Allied Powers to devote their own industry exclusively to armaments–and American exporters were making out like bandits. Then bankers got in on the act: starting in 1915 American banks loaned Britain and France hundreds of millions of dollars to continue buying American goods. These war financiers feared that the debts might never be repaid if the Allied Powers lost. With so much trade and money at risk, these business interests were all the motivation that the United States needed to get in on the Allied action.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 211 | Loc. 3226-28  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 02:07 PM

The German strategy almost worked: in the last two years of the war, U-boats sank 8.9 million tons of shipping, and the effort nearly starved Britain into surrender. But it also gave Wilson the support he needed to get Congress to declare war in April of 1917.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 216 | Loc. 3302-6  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 02:17 PM

When President Wilson left Washington he enjoyed a prestige and a moral influence throughout the world unequalled in history … The disillusion was so complete, that some of those who had trusted most hardly dared speak of it … Was the treaty really as bad as it seemed? What had happened to the President? –John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace, 1919
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 217 | Loc. 3313-18  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 02:21 PM

the deception was a big deal. It triggered a wave of outrage across the German political spectrum–left, right, and center–which almost never agreed on anything. If Allied diplomats didn’t understand why this was a problem, then they’d just have to wait and see. It wouldn’t be long. To this day, nobody really knows what Wilson was thinking. It’s possible he deliberately deceived the Germans–but the implication that he drew up an idealistic peace program as part of the biggest con job in history just seems too perversely cynical. Alternatively, it may have just slipped his mind; there are, in fact, questions about Wilson’s mental health during this period. In April 1919, while in Paris, he suffered a minor stroke, which can change one’s personality and cause disordered thinking.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 222 | Loc. 3396-98  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 02:44 PM

Don’t forget about food! Road-tripping builds an appetite, but in an era before effective health regulations, drivers were understandably leery of catching salmonella at some roadside greasy spoon. New national restaurant chains sprang up to meet this demand, offering travelers alimentary assurance with a standard menu and prominently displayed promises of cleanliness.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 225 | Loc. 3441-43  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 02:49 PM

Counterintuitively, some forgiving and forgetting would actually have been more beneficial to the United States: putting cash in European pockets would have allowed them to buy more American imports, and the United States could have used its leverage to demand an end to protective tariffs. Renewed trade could also have tied Europe together, possibly averting another war.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 226 | Loc. 3459-62  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 02:51 PM

Meanwhile, the German government, infuriated by the French occupation, had a brilliant idea for paying off its debts: print more money! This scheme triggered hyperinflation, and by November 1923, the average price of consumer goods in Reichsmarks was an incredible 260 million times what it had been in January of that year.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 226 | Loc. 3465-72  | Added on Thursday, April 14, 2016, 02:52 PM

Finally, in 1924 the United States took action and proposed an awesomely ridiculous scheme that “solved” the problem. The “Dawes Plan” (named for Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Charles Dawes) called for billions of dollars in new American loans to Germany, which Germany would use to pay reparations to France, so France could pay Britain, and Britain in turn could pay America. The circular scheme ended up being just as futile as it sounds, since all the loans were basically wiped out by the Great Depression. No country benefited, and everyone suffered. Just canceling the debts really would have been the smarter move. This would all be sort of comical, in a Three Stooges kind of way, except for the terrible long-term results. The French occupation of the Ruhr inspired a fresh surge of anger in Germany, multiplied by the economic meltdown that followed. As various groups vied to grab the reins in an unsteady German state, one crazy contestant rose to prominence. In 1923 a war veteran named Adolf Hitler led his tiny Nazi Party in a (failed) attempt to seize power in Munich. Thanks in part to the Dawes Plan, he’d be back.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 231 | Loc. 3536-40  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 11:24 AM

An emotional style focused–paradoxically–on minimizing emotion, “being cool” likely began in African-American culture as a way for individuals to passively deflect the psychological hurt inflicted by white racism. In American Cool, effortless mastery of both oneself and one’s context became expressed through verbal and body language, or lack thereof: the cool American is calm, unfazed, even slightly jaded or blasé. This new emotional minimalism was part of a long-term shift in what society modeled as “proper” emotional behavior.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 233 | Loc. 3560-64  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 11:27 AM

Originating in the 1910s–1920s and first popularized by jazz idol Lester Young in the 1930s, the idea of “cool” quickly spread through mainstream culture, giving rise to scores of expressions: you can “be cool,” “stay cool,” “play it cool,” “keep your cool,” “lose your cool,” “cool it,” “cool your heels,” or “cool your jets.” We all want to make a “cool million,” and someone can be a “cool customer,” “cool cat,” “cool as a cucumber,” “coolheaded,” or just “real cool.” Before long (surprise!) the concept was co-opted by corporate America and soon anything could be cool.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 233 | Loc. 3567-69  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 11:28 AM

Of course, cool wasn’t the only new slang being slung in America. “Hip” and “hipster,” coined by jazz musicians, referred to the typical position of a supine opium smoker, lying sideways on his or her hip, leading to the coded inquiry: “Are you hip?”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 233 | Loc. 3571-75  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 11:49 AM

On March 4, 1918, a deadly influenza virus surfaced among American soldiers in Fort Riley, Kansas–followed by Queens, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; and Detroit, Michigan, later that month. Small and isolated, Fort Riley is definitely the odd man out in this list, prompting an obvious question: why there? Since it’s unlikely the flu actually came from Kansas–most flu strains originate in poor countries where peasants live in close proximity to infected livestock–an innocuous precursor was most likely brought to Fort Riley sometime before the first outbreak.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 235 | Loc. 3592-97  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 11:51 AM

With the earth encircled by disease, the toll was truly epic: altogether the pandemic infected about 500 million people and carried off 50 million–100 million victims. The death toll was two or three times the total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I, and probably more than those killed by the Black Death in medieval Europe. In the United States alone, the flu killed 675,000 people, about six times the number of American soldiers killed in World War I. And actually, more than half of the 110,000 American war dead–57,000–also died from the flu. This global decimation was especially shocking because most of the casualties were young people, reversing the usual pattern for influenza mortality.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 240 | Loc. 3667-70  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 01:49 PM

Close the medical school, get rid of the student body, build a new medical school on the Johns Hopkins model, get new chairmen and start over. –advice to philanthropist Robert Brookings on how to improve the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 246 | Loc. 3765-68  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 01:55 PM

To paraphrase Shakespeare: some countries are born great, some achieve greatness, and some spill something that smells like greatness on themselves after falling asleep on the couch. That last would be America. Having turned its back on international affairs after World War I, the United States had to be roused awake and then dragged kicking and screaming into World War II–after which it ended up a “superpower.” Some countries have all the luck.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 257 | Loc. 3940-45  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 02:09 PM

From the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 to the end of the war, the number of German troops deployed on the Eastern front never sank below three-quarters of Germany’s total strength. As a result, the Eastern front saw mind-boggling casualties: just under 90 percent (3.2 million) of German combat deaths and three-quarters of German tank losses occurred there. On the Soviet side, 11 million soldiers died, including 2 million in German POW camps. Combined with civilian deaths, the total Soviet toll came to an astonishing and horrifying 25 million, compared to 1.3 million combined military and civilian deaths for the United States, U.K., and France.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 269 | Loc. 4113-15  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 02:24 PM

Persian oil is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, it is ours. –FDR, to the British ambassador Lord Halifax, 1944
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 272 | Loc. 4164-67  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 02:43 PM

After the war was over, Luciano, who had been freed and deported to Italy by the U.S. government in recognition of his wartime service, started getting involved in organized crime’s new high-growth business, drug smuggling, almost certainly with the knowledge–and maybe even help–of the CIA. The postwar Mafia drug-smuggling operation evolved over time, and it was thanks to the mob’s BFF, the CIA, that the most profitable network–“the French Connection”–came about.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 272 | Loc. 4168-75  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 02:44 PM

In 1947, CIA spymasters employed two Corsican brothers, Antoine and Barthelemy Guerini, to break up strikes by communist dockworkers in the port city of Marseilles, France. Once in control of the docks, the Guerinis went into business with Luciano. Beginning in 1951, raw opium harvested in Turkey was smuggled overland to Beirut, Lebanon, refined into morphine base, and then shipped onward to Marseilles, where Corsican drug chemists turned it into heroin. From Marseilles the heroin was distributed all over Europe as well as to the United States via merchant ships sailing from northern European ports. After New York City customs officials caught on, smuggling shifted south under the direction of Santo Trafficante Jr., one of the most powerful mobsters in American history. The boss of the “Tampa family,” controlling Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean, Trafficante established new routes running from Marseilles through Cuba, Martinique, and Guadeloupe, onward to Puerto Rico, and finally to Miami for distribution across the United States.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 273 | Loc. 4177-78  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 02:45 PM

The Mafia’s only concession? They agreed to limit heroin sales to African-American neighborhoods, figuring the government wouldn’t care as much about addiction among minority populations. (They were right.)
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 279 | Loc. 4271-77  | Added on Friday, April 15, 2016, 02:54 PM

The same year that saw the invention of the atomic bomb also gave the world another hot device: the microwave oven. The principle behind microwave cooking was discovered by Percy Spencer, an engineer who worked on radar installations for defense contractor Raytheon. After noticing that a chocolate bar melted after being accidentally placed in front of a new “magnetron” vacuum tube, Spencer experimented with other foods, including popcorn (which worked perfectly) and an egg (not so much). After these experiments, Spencer deduced that the food was being heated by low-density microwave energy that could penetrate solid objects. Using those principles, he designed his first primitive oven in 1945, and by October of 1946, Raytheon had filed a patent for a microwave based on Spencer’s idea.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 290 | Loc. 4447-52  | Added on Saturday, April 16, 2016, 02:31 PM

In short, the United States became a youth culture. The baby boomers were doted on by parents determined to give them all the things they’d missed growing up in the Great Depression–from bikes and baseball gloves to college and cars. The boomers displayed astounding creativity, energy, and sheer precocious self-confidence. As teenagers and young adults, they voiced concern about nuclear weapons, pollution, and racial discrimination. But their larger-than-life qualities could also be weaknesses: self-assurance could turn to arrogance, self-expression to self-destruction. As a result, movements that began with good intentions often ended up far from their original goals. Maybe free love and psychedelic drugs weren’t the solution to the world’s problems after all?
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 295 | Loc. 4521-23  | Added on Saturday, April 16, 2016, 02:35 PM

In fact, King had paid careful attention to Mahatma Gandhi’s successes in undermining British rule in India, and he came away believing that peaceful action–designed to provoke violent reaction–could strip government of its legitimacy.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 296 | Loc. 4537-38  | Added on Saturday, April 16, 2016, 02:38 PM

They are not the first Negroes to face mobs, they are merely the first Negroes to frighten the mob more than the mob frightens them. –James Baldwin, August 1960
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 299 | Loc. 4582-84  | Added on Saturday, April 16, 2016, 02:45 PM

In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department. –James Madison, 1793
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 300 | Loc. 4587-90  | Added on Saturday, April 16, 2016, 02:46 PM

The presidential power grab (and congressional abdication of responsibility) got even bigger with President Lyndon Johnson. The 1964 Tonkin Gulf Resolution authorized the commander in chief to order whatever military action seemed appropriate in Southeast Asia after North Vietnamese forces (allegedly) took a couple of potshots at U.S. Navy ships. This open-ended resolution basically gave Johnson a blank check to escalate the conflict in Vietnam, setting in motion a textbook example of how not to conduct a war–er, that is, “police action.”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 305 | Loc. 4673-77  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 02:04 PM

Overall, the proportion of American workers who belonged to a union fell from about 40 percent in 1955 to 30 percent in 1975–in the private sector. However, the situation was different in the public sector (meaning government jobs), thanks to JFK, who encouraged federal workers to unionize, setting the precedent for state and county employees not long after. From 1955 to 1975, the proportion of public employees who belonged to unions jumped from 12 percent to 40 percent. Insert jokes about the DMV here.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 312 | Loc. 4780-84  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 02:14 PM

Meanwhile, tobacco companies mounted a furious counterattack, playing up tobacco’s patriotic association with American history and funding studies that blamed the rising prevalence of lung cancer on other plausible culprits, like increasing air pollution. In 1953 the industry came together to create the Council for Tobacco Research, which sought to win over the scientific community with generous research grants, followed in 1958 by the Tobacco Institute, whose main mission was neutralizing negative PR. Beginning in 1954, the industry also trumpeted the cigarette filter, which supposedly made tobacco “safe” (it didn’t).
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 315 | Loc. 4824-26  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 02:17 PM

The number of first-time users tripled from 1960 to 1965 to 600,000, then surged to 2.5 million new users in 1969 and nearly 3.5 million in 1972, and continued at that rate for the rest of the 1970s. In total, from 1960 to 1975 over 28 million Americans experimented with marijuana, equaling 13 percent of the population in 1975, with a good number–around 14 million–returning for follow-up experiments.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 318 | Loc. 4870-74  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 02:20 PM

The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning [that is, a longing] that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries … she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question–"Is this all?” –Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 320 | Loc. 4906-10  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 02:23 PM

The centerpiece of the “deterrence” strategy was a large nuclear arsenal, and we do mean large: from six fission bombs in 1945, the U.S. stash grew to include 3,057 fission and fusion warheads by 1955 and 31,642 by 1965. The number of high-yield (multi-megaton) devices peaked around 1960; supposing 500 high-yield bombs could wipe out human life on earth, it seems the U.S. nuclear arsenal had enough firepower that year to destroy civilization five times over, give or take an apocalypse.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 324 | Loc. 4968-69  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 02:27 PM

Neil Armstrong’s astronaut application arrived almost a week past the June 1, 1962, deadline. A friend of his who worked at the Manned Spacecraft Center slipped the tardy form into the pile before anyone noticed the postmark.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 325 | Loc. 4970-72  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 02:41 PM

The lunar landing was a foreign policy triumph. At a time when televised images of the losing battle in Vietnam were broadcast around the world, Apollo 11 provided undeniable proof of American wealth, power, and technical skill in the form of a riveting broadcast event. The event was watched live by about 600 million people around the world.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 330 | Loc. 5053-57  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 02:49 PM

In 1970 the CIA orchestrated the assassination of the commander in chief of the Chilean armed forces and also worked to destabilize Chile with inflation, a collapse of foreign trade, and crippling strikes. Amid this growing chaos, in August 1973 the Chilean parliament asked the military to restore the “rule of law.” Pinochet, the new commander in chief, clearly interpreted this as an invitation to stage a coup, which he did after consulting with the CIA on September 11, 1973. Defiant to the end, Allende was killed when Pinochet ordered planes and tanks to attack the presidential palace.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 342 | Loc. 5242-45  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:00 PM

They say that the United States has had its days in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems, that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities. My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view. –Ronald Reagan, 1980
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 346 | Loc. 5302-9  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:02 PM

History suggested the disillusioned evangelicals would join fundamentalists in withdrawing from politics altogether, but there was a new activist impulse at work, inspired by moral issues: in 1969 evangelicals in Anaheim, California, drew national attention with protests against a sex education curriculum planned for the city’s public schools, followed in 1974 by a similar protest against sex ed in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Then the Democrats surprised everyone by nominating a “born-again” Southern evangelical to run for president in 1976. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter hit all the right issues, lamenting “the loss of stability and loss of values in our lives,” which he blamed on “the steady erosion and weakening of our families.” He promised to tackle divorce, illegitimacy, and drug abuse, but his most important promise was also the simplest: “I will never lie to you.”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 350 | Loc. 5356-62  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:07 PM

Toward the end of the Carter administration, the CIA initiated “Operation Cyclone,” delivering money and weapons to the Afghan guerillas via Pakistan, an American ally since the 1950s–but at this point the level of funding ($20 million-$30 million in 1980) was too low to have any real impact on the course of the war. That changed when a U.S. congressman from Texas named Charlie Wilson took an interest in the Afghan resistance and–at the urging of CIA Director William Casey and CIA Afghan task force chief Gust Avrakotos–persuaded Congress to funnel more and more money and weapons to the mujahedin, reaching about $600 million per year by the mid–1980s. Congress also agreed to send billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan to keep things running smoothly, including emergency relief for millions of Afghan refugees. Meanwhile, American allies, led by Saudi Arabia, also poured billions of dollars into the resistance.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 352 | Loc. 5397-5401  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:09 PM

The groundwork for the Internet was laid in the late 1960s by researchers at leading California universities who invented a way to transmit information by breaking large amounts of data into smaller “packets,” which could be sent to multiple computers simultaneously. This pioneering digital network was organized and funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the Pentagon’s cutting-edge research and development division, as a way of sharing information between research sites: ARPANET’s first four routers were located at UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford, and the University of Utah.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 353 | Loc. 5410-21  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:10 PM

In 1988 the Pentagon announced it would phase out ARPANET by 1990, prompting universities, industry, and other civilian users to expand the nonmilitary network. At the urging of these groups, in 1988 Gore authored legislation allocating federal funds to connect 1,000 academic and other civilian networks to form an “information superhighway.” This evolved into the National High-Performance Computing and Communications Act, a $1.7 billion project linking universities, libraries, government facilities, and industrial labs in a common network. The NHPCCA–otherwise known as the “Gore Bill"–also funded computer scientists at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana who developed Mosaic, the first graphic Web browser, which inspired successors like Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer. The 1992 expiration date set for funding from the National Science Foundation raised the question of how to finance further expansion. Again, Gore was instrumental in getting Congress to pass the Information Infrastructure and Technology Act of 1992, which allowed businesses and individuals to use the Internet for commercial purposes. There was no question Gore understood the broader implications of his policies: rallying support for the NHPCCA in the House of Representatives in 1989, he told committee members, “I genuinely believe that the creation of this nationwide network will create an environment where work stations are common in homes and even small businesses.”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 355 | Loc. 5429-33  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:11 PM

Actually, the optimists were half right. From 1950 to 1975, the number of blacks living in poverty dropped from 75 percent to 31 percent as per capita income rose from $810 to $2,980 ($7,150 to $10,800 in 2008 dollars). Adult illiteracy fell from 10 percent to 2 percent, and the number of African-Americans enrolled in four-year colleges increased fivefold to 665,000. And the numbers don’t lie, right? Well, it turns out these gains weren’t shared evenly by the community: as things got better for the rising African-American middle class, they got worse for an increasingly destitute and desperate “underclass.”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 355 | Loc. 5437-41  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:12 PM

the earlier pattern of “white flight” from cities to suburbs, the African-American middle class left ghettoes for suburban neighborhoods with lower crime rates, better schools, and higher property values. From 1970 to 1990, the number of African-Americans living in suburbs jumped from 3.6 million to 10.2 million. However “black flight” contributed to an even greater concentration of poverty in central cities. The total number of African-Americans living in poverty in the ghettoes increased from 2.9 million in 1970 to 5.3 million in 1990, from 13 percent to 18 percent of the African-American population.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 356 | Loc. 5450-52  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:13 PM

Crime rates surged, with the number of young African-American men murdered each year tripling between 1985 and 1992. From 1975 to 1992, the number of African-American men in prison almost quadrupled, to 425,000, or 50 percent of the total prison population. In 1991 the Justice Department estimated that an African-American male born that year had a 28 percent chance of going to prison someday.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 359 | Loc. 5502-5  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:17 PM

From 1975 to 1992, the number of Americans who were obese doubled from 30 million to 60 million, with rates rising in children as well as adults. Average calorie intake during this period stayed the same, at about 2,100 per person. How is that possible? That’s the $46 billion question (the total cost of treating obesity in 1990). Scientists still aren’t sure.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 362 | Loc. 5542-47  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:20 PM

Between rising legitimate costs, pork barrel, and massive fraud, federal spending on Medicare jumped nine-fold from $15.5 billion in 1975 to $136.3 billion in 1992, while Medicaid spending increased 10fold from $6.6 billion to $66 billion. That compares to a mere six-fold increase in total health care spending over the same period. Somehow, the math just doesn’t seem to add up. Of course, it’s not all Uncle Sam’s fault. The private sector had its own issues, like the always fun practice of suing doctors. During this same period, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits soared from 2.5 per 100 physicians in 1975 to 14.1 per 100 in 1992. Some of these were doubtless justified, but profit, as always, was a major factor.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 376 | Loc. 5760-62  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 03:50 PM

Russia is playing chess, while we are playing Monopoly. The only question is whether they will checkmate us before we bankrupt them. –Jeanne Kirkpatrick, 1988
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 393 | Loc. 6023-25  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:06 PM

“Red state” TV viewers can fulminate about the godless perverts sipping lattes and marrying their dogs “on the coasts,” while their “blue state” counterparts can heap scorn on all the stupid hicks who think dinosaurs are a U.N. hoax in “flyover country.”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 396 | Loc. 6061-64  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:09 PM

Of the 35 million immigrants living in the United States in 2008, the total number of foreign-born Spanish speakers constituted just over half–nearly 18 million. With the United States exerting this kind of attraction, it’s not surprising that Hispanics also constitute the largest population of illegal immigrants: 55 percent of the Mexican immigrants, or about seven million people, are living in the United States illegally, along with similar percentages from other Spanish-speaking countries.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 396 | Loc. 6069-74  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:10 PM

Where 51 percent of the adult Hispanic population had a high school diploma in 1990, the number rose to 59 percent by 2005, while the number holding college degrees increased from 5.5 percent to 8.5 percent. Still, parts of the Hispanic community continue to face some serious challenges: in 2008 the high school dropout rate for Latinos was 17 percent, compared to 9 percent for African-Americans, 6 percent for whites, and 4 percent for Asians. This in turn affects progress in areas like learning English, which correlates directly with employment opportunities and income levels. About 16 million Hispanics, or 35 percent of the total population, have limited or no English.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 398 | Loc. 6095-99  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:12 PM

Meanwhile, beginning around 1995 real estate prices started to eclipse their rental earning potential at an alarming rate. In other words, the value of residential real estate was no longer linked to its utility; instead, prices kept going up because, well, prices kept going up. What’s that old expression about everything that goes up? From 2006 to 2009, the total appraised value of U.S. residential real estate fell from $30.5 trillion to $24.7 trillion, and if it continues falling in 2010, it could wind up right back where it started in 2000.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 398 | Loc. 6103-4  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:12 PM

In 2010, there were 19 million vacant homes in the United States–enough to house the population of France at 3.4 people per home.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 399 | Loc. 6114-21  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:14 PM

All this gave a huge boost to the risky securities market, which in turn gave private lenders a big incentive to offer more risky loans. Following the lead of Countrywide Financial, a big subprime lender, in 2004 many subprime mortgage corporations began using automated loan approval systems, meaning loan applicants were (barely) screened by computers, with scant human supervision. By 2007 a total of $1.5 trillion in subprime mortgages were held by 7.5 million homebuyers–13.4 percent of all outstanding home loans. At the same time, the volume of risky mortgage-backed securities issued annually rose from $87 billion in 2001 to $450 billion in 2006, with private investors taking a bigger and bigger slice. Thus when the real estate market began declining in the second half of 2006, a lot more was riding on it than most people understood–but everyone was about to get a quick tutorial.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 401 | Loc. 6134-38  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:15 PM

From January to December 2008, total subprime losses in the financial sector almost quadrupled, from $218 billion to $800 billion, rippling outward from the original subprime culprits. Adding up the failures and government-brokered fire sales, bank shareholders lost $7 trillion. Meanwhile, global stock markets lost an incomprehensible $30 trillion in value–yes, that’s $30,000,000,000,000. For comparison, that’s the net worth of Green Bay, Wisconsin, if every resident was Madonna; alternatively, it’s like winning the Powerball lotto jackpot 300,000 times in a row.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 401 | Loc. 6138-43  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:15 PM

The staggering losses made a government bailout funded by the public (hello, you!) unavoidable. In July of 2008, President Bush signed a bill providing $300 billion in new loans to keep the mortgage market from freezing up completely. As panic set in following the Lehman Brothers failure in September, the U.S. government took control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (setting aside $200 billion to cover their subprime securities losses), poured another $295 billion into domestic financial markets, loaned $330 billion to foreign central banks to stabilize overseas financial markets, and ponied up $125 billion to bail out American International Group (AIG), an insurance giant that lost tens of billions.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 404 | Loc. 6182-85  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:18 PM

Within 24 hours of September 11, three aircraft carrier battle groups set sail for the Arabian Sea, and U.S. planes and ground forces began gathering in friendly countries around the Persian Gulf. Under U.S. pressure, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan renounced the Taliban, whom they’d previously supported, and Pakistan opened its airspace to U.S. warplanes. Even Iran, still a bitter U.S. enemy, agreed to rescue any American airmen forced down in its territory.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 419 | Loc. 6425-26  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:34 PM

When it’s $100,000 of debt, it’s your problem. When it’s a million dollars of debt, it’s the bank’s problem. –Robert D. Manning, author of Credit Card Nation
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 421 | Loc. 6450-52  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:54 PM

In 1980 there were about 105 million acres of wetlands in the United States, but by 2010 the number had shrunk almost 10 percent to 95 million acres. The country is currently losing about 80,000 acres of wetlands per year–scientists estimate there were over 220 million acres of wetlands before European settlement.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 425 | Loc. 6514-16  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 04:59 PM

990 about two million Americans were using the Internet–less than 1 percent of the total U.S. population; by 2010, the number had climbed to 200 million, or 63 percent of the total population. This expansion went hand in hand with a tidal surge of online business activity, beginning–where else?–in America.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 427 | Loc. 6541-43  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 05:02 PM

In other words, in less than a decade, a single corporation saw its value decrease by an amount exceeding the individual GDPs of 180 countries in the year 2000, including Russia, Sweden, Turkey, and Pakistan.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 428 | Loc. 6549-50  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 05:03 PM

From a mere $19 million in 2000, Google’s total ad revenues increased over a thousandfold to $23.6 billion in 2009.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 428 | Loc. 6554-56  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 05:04 PM

For once, money is the least interesting part of the story. What’s truly fascinating is how the Internet is changing everyday life for billions of people around the planet. The phenomenon is too wide-ranging, varied, and dynamic to ever accurately describe, but just look at personal ads:
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 429 | Loc. 6567-69  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 05:05 PM

While it’s hard to judge the company’s claims, one of the most popular online dating sites, eHarmony, claimed to have helped facilitate 43,000 marriages in 2007 alone–about 2 percent of the total 2.3 million weddings in the United States in 2007.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 429 | Loc. 6577-78  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 05:05 PM

It’s even more amazing that all this complex, sensitive equipment actually works, considering the way these robots are delivered to the Red Planet.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 429 | Loc. 6578-81  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 05:05 PM

In 2003 the MER missions loaded Spirit and Opportunity onto three-stage Boeing Delta II rockets, which propelled them beyond Earth’s gravity for their 320-million-mile journey to Mars. Six months later, both Explorer spacecraft entered the Martian gravity field in January 2004 traveling at about 12,000 miles per hour.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 430 | Loc. 6592-94  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 05:06 PM

Perhaps most incredible of all is the total cost of the missions to date: just $950 million (which is a rounding error in terms of federal spending in the first decade of the twenty-first century). And of course, one of the best things about robots is that they aren’t people, so if you blow them up, no one gets too upset.
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 446 | Loc. 6837-38  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 05:55 PM

Chose not to seek reelection in 1968. Quote: “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: ‘President Can’t Swim.’
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 450 | Loc. 6896-97  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 06:00 PM

Quote: “When I take action, I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive.” Trivia: nickname for chief political advisor Karl Rove is “turd-blossom.”
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The Mental Floss History of the United States (Erik Sass)
- Highlight on Page 487 | Loc. 7464-66  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 06:03 PM

There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America. –Otto von Bismarck You can always count on Americans to do the right thing … after they’ve tried everything else. –Winston Churchill
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Dreams in a Time of War (Ngugi wa'Thiong'o)
- Highlight on Page 25 | Loc. 376-79  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 06:31 PM

These names and places were vague in outline, and, like those surrounding Harry Thuku earlier, were really shadows in a mist. Was this Hitler, for instance, the same who had refused to shake hands with Jesse Owens? I could understand them only in terms of scary ogres versus heroes in the never-never land of orality. Hitler and Mussolini, who threatened to enslave Africans, were the bad, ugly ogres, the proof of their evil intent being next door.
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Dreams in a Time of War (Ngugi wa'Thiong'o)
- Highlight on Page 28 | Loc. 419-22  | Added on Monday, April 18, 2016, 06:34 PM

So we did not spend much time with him, but I hardly slept thinking of the drama that had just ended. It was as if Kabae had jumped out of a story, said a hello, a good-bye, and then jumped back into the story. Hitting my mother’s hut and digging out the truck at night was not exactly the most heroic homecoming for one who had been all over the world fighting ogres, but then his was the first motor vehicle ever to come to our homestead.

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May


The ARRL General Class License Manual (ARRL Inc.)
- Highlight Loc. 1881-82  | Added on Wednesday, May 04, 2016, 12:12 PM

If the ac voltage is at a higher frequency, however, the capacitor never gets sufficiently charged to reduce current very much. So a capacitor blocks dc current, resists low-frequency ac current and passes high-frequency ac current. 
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The ARRL General Class License Manual (ARRL Inc.)
- Highlight Loc. 2057-60  | Added on Wednesday, May 04, 2016, 10:44 PM

If the control grid is at a negative voltage with respect to the cathode (grid-to-cathode voltage), the electrons are repelled and are either slowed down, decreasing plate current, or stopped altogether, called cutoff. Conversely, a positive grid-to-cathode voltage accelerates the electrons toward the plate, increasing plate current. Varying the control grid’s voltage therefore varies plate current, amplifying the input signal. 
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The ARRL General Class License Manual (ARRL Inc.)
- Highlight Loc. 2124-28  | Added on Wednesday, May 04, 2016, 10:53 PM

An MMIC (monolithic microwave integrated circuit) is a special type of RF IC that works through microwave frequencies. [ G6B02 ] Taking advantage of integration to combine many RF devices into a single package, some MMICs perform several functions. One example is an MMIC that acts as an entire receiver front end. The MMIC is what enables communications engineers to construct low-cost cell phones, GPS receivers and other sophisticated examples of wireless technology. 


June

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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 7 | Loc. 99-103  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:21 PM

Together these traits meant that once this weapon was distributed, the small-statured, the mechanically disinclined, the dimwitted, and the untrained might be able to wield, with little difficulty or instruction, a lightweight automatic rifle that could push out blistering fire for the lengths of two or three football fields. For the purpose for which it was designed—as a device that allowed ordinary men to kill other men without extensive training or undue complications—this was an eminently well-conceived tool.
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 7 | Loc. 105-9  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:26 PM

The acronym abbreviated two Russian words, Avtomat Kalashnikova, the automatic by Kalashnikov, a nod to Senior Sergeant Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov, a twenty-nine-year-old former tank commander to whom the army and the Communist Party formally attributed the weapon’s design. The number was shorthand for 1947, the year a technical bureau in Kovrov, a city east of Moscow with its own hidden arms plants, had finished the prototypes. In the time since, factories in Izhevsk had been tooled up to produce it. Within twenty-five years it would be the most abundant firearm the world had known.
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 8 | Loc. 115-21  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:27 PM

Unlike the nuclear arsenals and the infrastructure that would rise around them—the warheads, the mobile launchers, the strategic bombers and submarines—an automatic rifle was a weapon that could actually be used. And none of the Cold War’s seemingly infinite and fantastic array of killing tools could more readily slip from state control. In this way, 1949 became the year of a mismatched but fated pair, RDS-1 and the AK-47, whose descendants were to work in consonance and shape the conflicts ahead. The nuclear umbrella froze borders in place and discouraged all-out war between the conventional armies stacked in Europe, helping to create conditions in which the Kalashnikov percolated from continent to continent, nation to nation, group to group, man to man, maturing as its numbers grew and its reputation spread into the age’s dominant tool for violence in conflict zones.
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- Highlight on Page 8 | Loc. 121-24  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:27 PM

By the early 1960s, after the Cuban Missile Crisis had startled its participants and as the war in Vietnam was expanding and quickening, the Kremlin and the White House comprehended that their mutual nuclear arsenals had made total war unwinnable. Small wars and proxies would be the means through which the Cold War would be fought. The Kalashnikov Era had arrived. We are living in it still.
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 9 | Loc. 134-36  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:29 PM

The richer context is this: The automatic Kalashnikov offers a lens for examining the miniaturization and simplification of rapid-fire firearms, a set of processes that when uncoupled from free markets and linked to mass production in the planned economies of opaque or brittle nations, enabled automatic firepower to reach uncountable hands.
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- Highlight on Page 10 | Loc. 140-43  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:30 PM

In the narrowest sense, these weapons were born of a set of ugly and overpowering political forces of the early to mid-twentieth century. Nazism, Stalinism, and the exigencies of the Cold War combined to give assault rifles their early shape. But their roots reach much further back in time; they are the result of evolutionary processes in firearms and ammunition development and changes in military and economic thinking that accompanied an industrializing and polarizing world.
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- Highlight on Page 10 | Loc. 152-55  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:32 PM

Last, in the latter half of the Cold War, the chronicle shifts again, to an account of how Kalashnikov-pattern rifles migrated from military possession to guerrillas, thugs, bandits, child soldiers, and a host of other users at odds with the stated, or perhaps supposed, reasons of their design. These weapons began as a means to equip standing armies. But the nations that made them lost custody of them, and then control, and now in much of the world they are everyman’s gun.
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- Highlight on Page 13 | Loc. 197-202  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:40 PM

Once it grew beyond border and crackdown duty in Eastern Europe, and became an automatic weapon for global combat service, it was instantly a groundbreaking firearm, a weapon that rearranged the rules. In the 1960s, when American Marines encountered AK-47s in urban warfare, at Hue City in Vietnam, they discovered that a single guerrilla with a Kalashnikov could slow a company’s advance; they used cannon to rubble buildings in which AK-toting Viet Cong marksmen hid.4 Its power, today a battlefield norm, was at first of an almost unseen sort, at least among the weapons that could be wielded by one man. Interest in it was immediate.
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- Highlight on Page 15 | Loc. 225-29  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:42 PM

The rifle assumed uses that were at once soldierly and ceremonial, and over the decades it reached far beyond conflicts in which the Kremlin played a primary role. When Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas, was mourned in 2004 by his followers in Gaza, his casket was guarded by masked men at the ready with folding-stock AKs. The scene was a throwback. Six years earlier along the Cambodian-Thai border the body of Pol Pot was attended by teenage gunmen carrying an Asian version of the same gun. Mastering a Kalashnikov is one of the surest ways to become an underground fighter in our time.
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- Highlight on Page 16 | Loc. 240-41  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:44 PM

In Los Angeles they have served bank robbers and urban gangs; in the northwestern United States survivalists squirrel them away in anticipation of the worst.
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- Highlight on Page 17 | Loc. 254-57  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:46 PM

A single comparison provides a sense of the automatic Kalashnikov’s spread. The second-most-abundant family of rifles is the American M-16 family; fewer than 10 million have been made.6*i Serious estimates put the number of Kalashnikovs and its derivatives as high as 100 million. There could be one Kalashnikov for every seventy people alive.
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- Highlight on Page 19 | Loc. 286-91  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:50 PM

Even a single Kalashnikov can set a nation in motion. In 1989, after the drifter Patrick Purdy opened fire with a Kalashnikov on a schoolyard in Stockton, California, striking thirty-four children and a teacher, Congress began work on the assault weapon ban. Purdy did not use a true automatic Kalashnikov. His rifle was not an automatic. It had been modified to shoot a single bullet with each trigger pull, making it no more dangerous (and arguably less, considering the medium-powered cartridges it fired) than the rifles in many a deer camp. The facts hardly mattered. The mere appearance of a Kalashnikov in a schoolyard crowded with children, its look, was enough to put Congress in a lawmaking mood.
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- Highlight on Page 24 | Loc. 366-69  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:57 PM

Yepishev said: “Who needs your truth if it stands in our way?”7 This is part of the nature of official Soviet history, and it frames one of the challenges to objective researchers of the period. And for exactly this reason, Soviet sources are useful, even necessary, when clearly shown for what they are. They go to the very character and motivations of actors involved, and provide readers with a basis for a healthy skepticism of official stories in the national stock.
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- Highlight on Page 25 | Loc. 383-87  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 01:58 PM

A small number of firearms references have attempted this, at least in part, and the United States military has quietly built an arms database, known as CHUCKWAGON, that provides this service to its users. The Pentagon’s database includes data not just on weapon types by style and serial numbers and their sources of production but also on intermediate handlers, including governments and units that have possessed distinctly identifiable weapons at certain times. But for private citizens, none of the publicly available tools are complete, and all of them have errors.
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- Highlight on Page 38 | Loc. 572-79  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 02:14 PM

war is an incubator for industry and weapons development, it is also a phenomenon that attracts profiteers and quacks. Ripley faced problems that will always accompany a government that has the power to make an arms salesman instantly rich. Several decades later, the British minister of munitions would describe the phenomenon perfectly; “I was, naturally being deluged at the Ministry of Munitions with letters and calls from people who had some new invention or improvement to propose. The great majority of these ideas were, of course, useless, and many of them came from cranks and lunatics.”)24 In Ripley’s case, the forces working against standardization were extraordinary. Both sides had been unprepared for war when war arrived. The Union Army had grown from 16,000 officers and men to a force of 486,000 in a matter of months,25 and Ripley was tasked with finding them arms and ammunition.
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- Highlight on Page 41 | Loc. 616-20  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 02:21 PM

The names of these lost sons filled lists in the newspapers around the land, North and South. By the time Gatling wrote Lincoln, about half a million Union and Confederate soldiers were dead, by far the largest toll that the nation had ever suffered in war, and ever would. Hundreds of thousands more men had been wounded. These were staggering numbers for a nation with a population of 31 million. (The proportionate equivalent would be roughly 5 million dead Americans in the first three years of the most recent war in Iraq.) They were even more staggering considering that neither the Union nor the Confederate tallies included civilian tolls.
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- Highlight on Page 41 | Loc. 620-21  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 02:21 PM

Gatling offered to help end the bloodletting through a counterintuitive means: more efficient slaughter.
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- Highlight on Page 75 | Loc. 1143-50  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 05:12 PM

Lord Chelmsford ordered Ulundi to be set afire. His command had left its camp before 7:00 A.M. It faced the Zulu charge at 9:00 A.M. “Ulundi was burning at noon,” he telegraphed home.56 The British, with their superior firepower, had completed the destruction of the Zulu nation in a morning, though they were on enemy terrain and outnumbered roughly four to one. One British officer and ten enlisted men were killed.57 The rout had reached proportions almost absurd, but was also demonstrative of what rapid-fire weapons could do when applied to people who did not have them, or who were ordered in the open by commanders who did not appreciate how machine gunnery worked. Colonel Custer had left his guns behind. The killing at Ulundi had shown their utility in what one officer called “wars with people who wear not trousers.”58
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- Highlight on Page 99 | Loc. 1513-17  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 05:47 PM

At that moment, Hiram Maxim had effectively achieved what he would be most remembered for. The companies he was affiliated with would sell more guns to many buyers, and he would continue his inventing, and would try to design an airplane. With uncanny martial prescience, he would predict aerial bombing before airplanes had even been made. But the demonstration for the kaiser was his moment. Once the kaiser had seen the efficiency and ease of use of the automatic machine gun, Maxim had offered his weapons for sale to the powers that would become the central military actors in World War I.
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- Highlight on Page 119 | Loc. 1816-22  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 06:56 PM

Churchill was shaken. “I have tried to gild war,” he wrote, “and to solace myself for the loss of dear and gallant friends, with the thought that a soldier’s death for a cause that he believes in will count for much, whatever may be beyond this world.” But he was unable to square the sights before him, acre upon acre of the remains of soldiers on their own land, with his understanding of war waged by a “civilized Power.” There was nothing dulce et decorum about the Dervish dead; nothing of the dignity of unconquerable manhood; all was filthy corruption. Yet these were as brave men as ever walked the earth. The conviction was born in me that their claim beyond the grave in respect of a valiant death was not less good than that which any of our countrymen could make.
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- Highlight on Page 132 | Loc. 2012-14  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 07:21 PM

The attitude was well established in successful military units: Moral force was superior to material might, and men were supreme. In its way, the attitude marked one of the older and more enduring vulnerabilities of military units steeped in their past success and lore.
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- Highlight on Page 142 | Loc. 2165-68  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 07:39 PM

Both comments were instructive. Racism still informed colonial operations. And Captain Meinertzhagen, who published his diaries years later and with the benefit of seeing the outcome on the Western Front, could not, even with the passing of time, understand the technical picture for what it was: Intensive machine-gun fire could hardly be beaten back by men with rifles using tactics of yore.
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- Highlight on Page 150 | Loc. 2300-2308  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 07:53 PM

It is still twilight when the signal is given and we go over the top, advancing across the open ground with difficulty, as two lines of trenches have to be “jumped” by means of narrow bridges, which causes much congestion. Everyone is in the charge; stretcher-bearers, signalers and the Lewis gunners, and we make our way blindly forward through a chaos of bursting shells and machine-gun bullets. It is only possible to see one’s nearest neighbors in the smoke, the sense of direction is entirely lost, and there is an awful feeling of being very much alone. The noise, which at first was deafening, is hardly noticed after a few minutes, shell splinters and bullets are practically ignored, and dead and wounded lying in the way are only looked upon with a sort of mild interest. The sole idea seems to be to keep on until something happens. It appears as though it would be impossible to get through such an inferno, but at last we reach the trench. The Germans have put up a stout resistance but we managed to get about sixty prisoners before they break away for their own lines.
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- Highlight on Page 152 | Loc. 2329-34  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 07:56 PM

Geddes, satisfied that he had a document that would enable him to deliver more machine guns to the front, presented the memorandum to Lloyd George. Lloyd George was aghast. He had quietly taken to talking on his own with soldiers returning from the horrors of France, and had been told repeatedly that the troops needed more machine guns. As minister of munitions, he had no authority to exceed the secretary of war’s request. He seemed not to care. He almost tore up Kitchener’s memo, but Geddes managed to save it for posterity. Lloyd George then broke policy. “Take Kitchener’s maximum [four per battalion],” he said. “Square it, multiply that result by two; and when you are in sight of that, double it again for good luck.”
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- Highlight on Page 159 | Loc. 2428-30  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 08:05 PM

maintained his detachment and dark humor to the book’s end, where he lamented that an inhaler he had designed to relieve congestion brought him no fame at all. “It is a very creditable thing to make a killing machine,” he wrote, “and nothing less than a disgrace to invent an apparatus to prevent human suffering.”54
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- Highlight on Page 160 | Loc. 2443-47  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 08:08 PM

Soon, they topped the hill, and raced together Over an open stretch of herb and heather Exposed. And instantly the whole sky burned With fury against them; earth set sudden cups In thousands for their blood; and the green slope Chasmed and deepened sheer to infinite space Of them who running on that last high place Breasted the surf of bullets, or went up On the hot blast and fury of hell’s upsurge. Or plunged and fell away past this world’s verge, Some say God caught them even before they fell.
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- Highlight on Page 165 | Loc. 2519-34  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 08:17 PM

Every day Svetlana Vladimirovna works a long shift at the machining factory beside the smelter at the edge of her city in central Russia. The factory makes the best beds in the Soviet Union, all of them of exceptionally fine steel. But no one in Svetlana’s city, including Svetlana, has a bed. This is an unfortunate but perfectly understandable matter of policy. The comrades who run the factory, and who have designed such magnificent and marvelous beds, better than any beds in America, have decided in the spirit of the revolution and correct socialist principles that they must give beds first to all of the hospitals, and to the army, and to the universities, and to the collective farms, and to many other important institutions necessary for the people and the government in the world’s most rapidly and inevitably advancing socialist society. To do this, the factory must work round the clock. Three shifts a day. And only rarely stopping on holidays. It is understood that the workers need beds. But it is not yet the workers’ turn. Only recently did the cosmonauts receive beds! And so everyone who works at the bed factory returns home after each shift and sleeps on the floor. One summer Svetlana’s sister, Natasha, who long ago married a man in Leningrad and moved away, returned for a visit. She was appalled that after ten years Svetlana still had no bed. After all, Svetlana was strong of hand and skilled with tools and one of the best machinists at the bed factory. “My dear sister,” Natasha said. “You have not been thinking correctly. It is very easy to have a bed. Each day you must steal one piece of bed from the parts bins at the factory and smuggle it home. And after a week or two you must assemble the parts. Then you will have a bed. And you will never again sleep on the floor.” Svetlana listened closely. “My dear sister,” she sighed. “It is you who are not thinking correctly. We have tried this many times. We have stolen the bed parts and carried them home. We have assembled them in the room. And every time, after we finish, we discover that instead of a bed we have an automatic Kalashnikov.”
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- Highlight on Page 174 | Loc. 2662-66  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 08:28 PM

But little in any independent inquiry into the evolution of automatic arms can compare in degree of difficulty to an examination of the origins of Kalashnikov’s AK-47. The reasons are manifold. First and foremost, the weapon came into existence inside one of the most secretive and paranoid military systems the world has known. Within this system, the state-directed process was long, fundamentally bureaucratic, scattered across multiple cities and testing sites, and conducted in a cone of near silence by scores, if not hundreds, of participants. The rules muzzled
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- Highlight on Page 180 | Loc. 2746-52  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 08:45 PM

The weapon, which Kalashnikov emphasizes as a defensive tool and a shared monument to the population’s creative energy, was rather a marker of the planned economy under totalitarian rule, a nation that could make weapons aplenty but would not design a good toilet, elevator, or camera, or produce large crops of wheat and potatoes, or provide its citizens with decent toothpaste and bars of soap. This is not to say that the planned economy was completely inefficient, though broadly it was. In the planned economy, when the plan worked, the nation got what its planners ordered. Main battle tanks became sturdy, reliable, and fearsome. Refrigerators barely worked. The AK-47 and its descendants in many ways form an apt emblem of the Soviet legacy, a wood-and-metal symbol of what the socialist experiment came to be about.
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- Highlight on Page 181 | Loc. 2775-79  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 08:47 PM

Since the October Revolution, the population of the former Russian empire had suffered civil war, collectivization, purges, and labor camps. The revolutionary promises of socialism had given way to the centralization of a police state and single-party rule. The People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, the NKVD, had grown in size and role, and its secret police had become a principal arm of a government that ruled by violence and fear. By the time of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler’s plan to invade the Soviet Union in 1941, show trials had thinned the ranks of the Bolshevik revolutionaries and party luminaries.
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- Highlight on Page 182 | Loc. 2781-82  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 08:48 PM

Stalin’s personality cult had overtaken the land, and the national conversation was smothered by official propaganda and state lies. The nation was being consumed by the general secretary’s whim, and the whims of those who acted under his hand.
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- Highlight on Page 183 | Loc. 2804-13  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 08:52 PM

Stalin knew that large military forces would be necessary to occupy and administer this new socialist frontier, and to face down the West. These forces would need weapons. The timing was ideal for arming them. The Soviet Union had gone through an industrial transformation and remained on a war footing. It now had a labor force skilled in making weapons. Its arms and munitions factories, which had grown in size and number and worked around the clock in the war years, were producing weapons at an extraordinary rate. By one official estimate, in slightly less than four years of war, the Soviet Union managed to manufacture 12 million rifles, more than 6 million submachine guns, and almost a million machine guns—more than 13,000 weapons a day.20 But this was an average over a four-year period during which production in the first years was small. By the end of the war, at least one enterprise, the sprawling gun works at Izhevsk, claimed at peak production to be making 12,000 weapons each day by itself, consuming fifty tons of steel every twenty-four hours.21 This was the state of Stalin’s defense complex as it considered its needs for a new infantry arm, a small automatic rifle that could be issued to every man.
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- Highlight on Page 192 | Loc. 2936-37  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 09:05 PM

Hitler had swung round and become a strong supporter. He renamed Schmeisser’s automatic yet again: the sturmgewehr, or storm rifle, which in translation became assault rifle, the designation that stuck. A new class of firearm had been named.
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- Highlight on Page 197 | Loc. 3016-22  | Added on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 09:14 PM

As weapons go, the PPSh was neither handsome nor refined. It was a triumph of pragmatism, expediency, and unpretentious Soviet ideals. One reviewer said it fit a pattern: “The Russians excel in calculated crudity. In these burp guns, the plumbers have all but eliminated the gunsmiths.”41 Aesthetics matter to many gunsmiths. They mattered not at all to a nation that risked falling under Nazi control. Known among Soviet conscripts as the pe-pe-sha, the dumpy submachine gun was popular with Red Army troops and was regarded well enough that when German soldiers captured them, as they often did, they carried them, too. This is the highest vote of confidence an infantry arm can achieve, and this submachine gun, rushed into production to save the nation, became a familiar prop in Soviet symbols of the Great Patriotic War, appearing endlessly in murals and statuary.
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- Highlight on Page 222 | Loc. 3404-10  | Added on Thursday, June 16, 2016, 03:18 AM

Often times designers become affixed to a certain idea and hesitate to discard it. They are so attached to their original concept, you could say, like a spinster to her cats! I am just the opposite. Today this idea seems good, tomorrow I might just toss it. The day after I might do the same until such a point, when I can feel the design is completed. When you work with somebody who is afraid to discard an idea that has outlived its usefulness, you notice that they find it difficult to part with it. They think their accomplishments should last for all times. I am referring here to the need for a certain flexibility (of mind), i.e., the ability to test as many ideas as possible and not get too attached to any one in particular. This enables one to develop models of high reliability. . . . There is no limit to improvement!
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- Highlight on Page 237 | Loc. 3632-36  | Added on Thursday, June 16, 2016, 03:42 AM

Yet the assault rifle’s practical merits do not explain the proliferation that followed. The AK-47 was not to break out globally because it was well conceived and well made, or because it pushed Soviet small-arms development ahead of the West.2 Technical qualities did not drive socialist arms production. It was the other way around. Soviet military policies mixed with Kremlin foreign-policy decisions to propel the output that made the AK-47 and its knock-offs available almost anywhere.
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- Highlight on Page 239 | Loc. 3661-63  | Added on Thursday, June 16, 2016, 03:45 AM

But even Stalin could not last forever. Someone else would send the rifles around the world. Nikita S. Khrushchev, who would replace him, became the Kremlin’s arms dealer, the man whose government passed the weapons out and whose decisions would serve to expand assault-rifle production to outsized levels.
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- Highlight on Page 240 | Loc. 3666-68  | Added on Thursday, June 16, 2016, 03:46 AM

As the AK-47 gained acceptance and approval in the Soviet army, the Kremlin used it as a readily deliverable tool in the game of East-West influence jockeying, both as a diplomatic chip to secure new friendships and as an item to be distributed to those willing to harass or otherwise occupy the attention of the West.
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- Highlight on Page 264 | Loc. 4037-41  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 12:19 AM

On October 24, the government fell. Nagy returned to office. He tried to balance conflicting pulls, working with the Kremlin while feeling the revolution’s ineluctable draw. The Kremlin escalated. On October 25, Soviet divisions from outside Hungary crossed the border. Hungary, a member of the Warsaw Pact, was being invaded by its fraternal mentor, which had pledged to protect it from invasion. The Soviet military had decided that it must destroy the Corvinists. A conventional idea was settled upon: A Hungarian army unit, working with Soviet armor, would storm the theater.
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- Highlight on Page 277 | Loc. 4243-51  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 12:36 AM

Once civilians started filling orders, scandal was not far behind. In 1921, a shipment of Thompsons bound for the Irish Republican Army was discovered on a vessel soon to depart Hoboken for Dublin, which nearly caused a major diplomatic row between Washington and London.65 The company’s officers dodged indictment, though suspicions lingered that some of them knew more about the Irish deal than they let on. In 1923 the Saturday Evening Post questioned the merits of the gun’s existence, and worried aloud over the uses to which it might be put. Except as an arm for trench warfare or semimilitary police forces having to deal with armed risings, it is difficult to see what honest need they can meet; yet we are faced with the fact that they exist and are on the open market for anyone who wants to buy them. Here, one would say, is an arm that is useless for sport, cumbrous for self-defense and could not serve any honest purpose, but which in the hands of political fanatics might provoke disaster.66
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- Highlight on Page 279 | Loc. 4264-69  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 12:38 AM

There was also the important matter of scale. Perhaps a few hundred Thompsons reached criminal hands in the United States. They caused minor havoc and national uproar, but the United States took steps for the public’s safety before popular ownership of submachine guns became widespread. It began to make law. In 1934, Congress passed the National Firearms Act, part of a series of state and federal laws that restrict the sale, ownership, or use of automatic arms in the United States. Ultimately, after a brief and noisy heyday, Thompson’s trench broom served to illustrate how stable nations with responsive governments can adjust to shifts in weapons technology. These were not the sort of nations where the AK-47 would leave its longest-lasting marks.
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- Highlight on Page 279 | Loc. 4270-72  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 12:38 AM

The AK-47 existed on a different order of magnitude, and was controlled by a different political culture. It was being assembled in enormous quantities by governments that, while they lasted, would show small concern for where the weapons went, or to whom. And after these governments fell, many of their automatic arms cascaded out of their possession. The arms flow began with a trickle. It began with József Tibor Fejes.
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- Highlight on Page 279 | Loc. 4274-78  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 02:17 AM

Soon after the cease-fire, the Kremlin adopted a conciliatory tone. It published in Pravda a declaration of respect, equality, and noninterference in the domestic affairs of its European satellites. By all appearances, the insurgents had won. They had forced Khrushchev to accept a new point of view about Soviet relations in the buffer zone. The revolution shifted from violent to political, at least on the surface. On November 1, 1955, Prime Minister Nagy delivered a radio address declaring Hungary’s departure from the Warsaw Pact, and proclaiming its new unaligned status. Hungary was leaving the Soviet orbit.
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- Highlight on Page 279 | Loc. 4278-81  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 02:18 AM

For Hungarians the proclamation was a moment of national self-determination. For the Kremlin, the radio address challenged Soviet authority over the nations in its grip and threatened to unravel a carefully choreographed alliance. For Nagy, the address was a reactive step; he had received reports of new Soviet military activities. The conciliatory declaration in Pravda had been a trick. On October 31, Khrushchev had decided to invade Hungary again, and with a much larger force.
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- Highlight on Page 280 | Loc. 4283-89  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 02:18 AM

On November 1 in Washington, Allen Dulles, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, addressed the National Security Council after digesting the news. He marveled at the insurgents’ success: In a sense, what had occurred there was a miracle. Events had belied all our past views that a popular revolt in the face of modern weapons was an utter impossibility. Nevertheless, the impossible had happened, and because of the power of public opinion, armed force could not effectively be used.67 Public opinion was not so powerful after all. That night, Soviet troops started a reconnaissance of the capital. On November 3, the Soviet and Hungarian delegations met for negotiations. The meeting ended when General Ivan Serov, director of the KGB and Dulles’s Soviet counterpart, placed the Hungarian delegation under arrest.
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- Highlight on Page 281 | Loc. 4294-99  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 02:19 AM

The Soviet army called the crackdown Operation Whirlwind and launched it with the codeword grom, Russian for thunder. Armored divisions rolled into Budapest from multiple directions, this time with an ample complement of infantry. Nagy managed a radio broadcast to say the Hungarian government was at its post and Hungarian troops were fighting. Then he fled to the Yugoslav embassy. János Kádár, a rival politician who had secretly betrayed Nagy and received Kremlin backing, announced that a new government had been formed. The attack was overpowering. Soviet units quickly encircled the Hungarian Ministry of Defense and army buildings and barracks, neutralizing any chance of an organized conventional defense.
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- Highlight on Page 288 | Loc. 4407-10  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 03:51 PM

For Kalashnikov, this period should have been a time of professional and personal satisfaction. Instead it brought troubles. Kalashnikov’s fame had fueled resentment, and as his stature grew he faced a species of social persecution that inhabited the post-Stalin Soviet Union. In 1956, Khrushchev issued a speech to a party congress, “On the Personality Cult and Its Consequences,” in which he denounced Stalin’s brutal excesses and the fealty and adoration that surrounded him.
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- Highlight on Page 301 | Loc. 4615-21  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 04:18 PM

And one common element of modern infantry fighting involved a reliance not on the precision aimed fire of the individual, but on the massed area fire of the group. The means and style of conventional ground warfare had changed. Concentrated firepower was often used to pin down an enemy as much as to kill him, while friendly troops moved in close. This suppressive fire, studies showed, was frequently applied without soldiers’ putting their weapons’ sights to their eyes, unless a distinct target presented itself, which was often not the case. In firefights like this, what was the purpose of such a rifle as La Garde had championed, which could strike a standing man seven hundred yards away? Soldiers often were relying on volume of fire more than on precise plinking at great range, and creating volume of fire required carrying hundreds of bullets, which was not easy to do if those bullets were heavy and large.
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- Highlight on Page 310 | Loc. 4754-60  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 04:37 PM

American intelligence officials marveled that few of them had undergone significant training with live ammunition before being sent on missions against South Vietnamese and American forces. Many captured enemy fighters said they fired their weapons for the first time only in combat.4 And yet by summer 1967, as Hotel Company rushed toward Ap Sieu Quan, the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army were killing nearly eight hundred American servicemen each month. One reason for their success was their weapons. Nikita S. Khrushchev was gone from the Kremlin, forced into retirement in a bloodless coup in 1964. But his practice of using arms transfers as a foreign-policy lever continued, and the People’s Republic of China had followed the Soviet example with haste.
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- Highlight on Page 315 | Loc. 4822-26  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 04:43 PM

Had the early M-16 been a reliable automatic rifle, this might have been a straightforward and simple development, a story as old as war. One side gets a new weapon, the other side matches it in kind. In this way, the war in Vietnam became the first large conflict in which both sides carried assault rifles—initially in small numbers but eventually as the predominant firearm. But the American adoption of assault rifles flowed from reaction rather than from foresight or planning, and it was painful and bungled. The early M-16 and its ammunition formed a combination not ready for war.
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- Highlight on Page 316 | Loc. 4831-34  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 04:44 PM

The origins of the problems emerge in especially sharp relief when viewed in contrast to the Soviet Union’s much more successful rifle program. The AK-47 and AKM had resulted from methodical state-directed pursuits. The M-16 arrived in troops’ hands by another route. The American system was neither capitalist nor fully state-driven. It was a disharmonious hybrid.
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- Highlight on Page 318 | Loc. 4867-69  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 04:51 PM

For all these reasons, the M-16 was not a ready equalizer. It was the accidental rifle, pushed into service by a confluence of historical forces that left the United States military in a rush and unwilling to explore a wider set of options or a more careful course. These were conditions for disaster, as the Marines of Second Battalion, Third Marines were finding out.
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- Highlight on Page 318 | Loc. 4871-75  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 04:52 PM

Kennedy brought with him Robert S. McNamara as secretary of defense. McNamara was a graduate of Harvard Business School, a former top executive at Ford, and a believer in an approach to decision-making called “systems analysis,” which had been conceived in the 1950s at the Rand Corporation. Systems analysis centered on intensive study of problems and options, with examinations of costs, benefits, and risks of potential decisions. Its introduction to the Pentagon, along with a cadre of McNamara’s disciples, who called themselves the whiz kids, was a frontal challenge to the military establishment.
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- Highlight on Page 320 | Loc. 4895-4901  | Added on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 04:55 PM

McNamara sensed at least this much. In October 1962, after his aides had examined the gun gap, he wrote a secret memorandum to Cyrus R. Vance, the secretary of the army. The memorandum was a marker of bureaucratic exasperation. “I have seen certain evidence,” he wrote: ... which appears to indicate that: 1. With the M-14 rifle in 1962, we are equipping our forces with a weapon definitely inferior in firepower and combat effectiveness to the assault rifle with which the Soviets have equipped their own and their satellite forces worldwide since 1950. This was a painful declaration for the United States’ most senior military official at the height of the Cold War—a frank admission that the Soviet Union had leaped ahead of the United States in an important way.
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- Highlight on Page 342 | Loc. 5232-38  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 02:02 AM

Firearms and their ammunition form a system. While that system can seem exceedingly simple compared to a fighter jet or a tank, it often is not simple at all. Automatic firearms and cartridges work together in complex ways, and changes to either a weapon or a cartridge can create pervasive disharmonies that can be difficult to pinpoint; ghosts can readily inhabit these machines, and they do. The services and the committee, working through both the government’s arsenal and Colt’s, proceeded to make changes to the AR-15 and the .223 round—more than one hundred in all. Many changes were minor and arcane. Others, including a change to the rifling in the AR-15’s barrel and the addition of a device that could push the bolt forward manually, were significant and consumed months of infighting and interservice positioning. Throughout it all, as the members maneuvered and quarreled, the committee missed a basic step—ensuring that the rifle was resistant to corrosion.
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- Highlight on Page 343 | Loc. 5251-54  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 02:04 AM

McNamara had opened discussions he had not anticipated. The American rifle program, once staid and organized, had become fully disordered. The army had developed one weapon, the M-14, and lobbied for its approval and survival. The air force had snubbed its sister service and adopted the AR-15, which was now called the M-16. McNamara had begun to push the M-16 into select units’ hands. And the Marine Corps was campaigning for the Stoner 63.
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- Highlight on Page 349 | Loc. 5352-65  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 10:25 AM

Moreover, 95 percent of the combat veterans said that when they did see Viet Cong and NVA soldiers, the enemy was either running, prone, or in some sort of hiding.40 What all of this meant was that one touted feature of the M-16—an ability to strike and penetrate steel helmets at five hundred yards—was almost irrelevant in jungle war. This was a dispiriting finding, given that the desire for this long-range performance had led the army to accept a propellant that made the rifle less reliable. And the soldiers’ narrative comments hinted at burgeoning problems. Some soldiers liked the M-16. But many others said that while it was a good rifle when it worked, it jammed. Ominously, several soldiers pleaded for cleaning equipment.41 The National Rifle Association also was ready to give the rifle a boost, and prepared an article for the American Rifleman that praised the M-16. The article, published several months later, asserted that the rifle “bears up well under harsh field conditions” and that “dust, dirt, and rain do not make the M-16A1 less functional provided minimal care is exercised.” As with the stoppages mentioned casually in Shooting Times, the NRA’s article carried a strong whiff of the malfunctions plaguing the rifle. It mentioned problems with dirty chambers, extraction, and jamming, but only briefly. The American Rifleman concluded, without offering evidence, that the rifle “is proving itself in Vietnam.”42 The gun press, with access to arms and arms companies that the traditional media could not match, was missing the biggest small-arms story of the war. The troops would have to find out the truth themselves. They would get that chance.
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- Highlight on Page 352 | Loc. 5390-99  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:01 AM

His letter back to Colonel Yount detailed a supply failure. It also revealed his own uncertainty about the army’s state of knowledge of the weapons it was handing out. The 173rd uses some field expedience, primarily for cleaning the chamber and the bore of the weapons. They either use a piece of commo wire, a shoe lace or a nylon cord which they carry with them. They take a 30 caliber patch cut it in half, fold it once and loop the string or what ever it is to the center of this patch. Then using oil they pull it through the bore of the weapon starting from the chamber. As they do this, they clean both the chamber and the bore and then dry it off. They also put a little bit of oil on it. I have not been able to find anyone that does not put a little bit of oil in the chamber of the weapon to prevent it from corroding. I try to discourage it, however I am not completely convinced myself that if you leave the chamber completely dry you won’t have a problem resulting from corrosion, even if you cleaned your weapon every day.44 No one, it seemed, was quite sure what to do with this new rifle, not even the officers issuing it.
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- Highlight on Page 353 | Loc. 5400-5402  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:02 AM

In at least one of these cases, the American soldier firing it was killed.45 The problems were multiplying. Of 2,000 M-16s tested at the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division, 384 malfunctioned.46
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- Highlight on Page 354 | Loc. 5414-18  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:03 AM

All the rifles have an extremely high rate of fire which isn’t helping us in the least bit. You better get that new buffer over here right pronto to stop some of this malfunction. It sure will help. Finishes have been wearing off many of the weapons and I’ve actually seen holes eaten right through into the charging handle area and along the lower receiver area, underneath the dust cover. You can see right into the magazine. Carrying handles are pretty well eaten up on many of the weapons. Rust is covering quite a few of them.48
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- Highlight on Page 356 | Loc. 5444-52  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:12 AM

November 1966, the latest news of the M-16’s poor performance in Vietnam reached top channels in the army. Colonel Yount visited the Pentagon to brief now-Colonel Hallock. Colonel Hallock’s interest in the M-16 was zealous and personal. He had been an early supporter of the rifle, and a supervisor of Project AGILE more than four years before. The meeting marked a potentially agonizing moment. The SAWS test had zeroed in on problems with misfeeds and fouling related to ball powder. The new weighted buffer had been identified as a fix for at least part of the problem. But the buffer was available only for newly manufactured weapons at Colt’s factory—not for the scores of thousands of rifles already in Vietnam. The weapon Colonel Hallock had advocated was failing, and as near as he could tell, the failures were getting American soldiers killed. What to do? Colonel Hallock filed a classified memorandum for the record based on his meeting. It left no doubt that the army had long understood the scope and nature of the M-16’s problems, had done little to resolve them, and still was moving slowly to help soldiers with malfunctioning weapons in Vietnam.
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- Highlight on Page 357 | Loc. 5461-66  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:13 AM

Far from the war, the two colonels discussed a list of factors compounding the rifle’s poor performance—lackluster weapons-cleaning habits, shortages of cleaning equipment, insufficient training, and a host of jerry-rigged practices by soldiers, including soaking ammunition with oil. This was not how the M-16’s introduction as the primary firearm in Vietnam was supposed to go. And Colonel Yount’s inaction was not how military officers were expected to carry out their duties. Colonel Hallock wanted the problems remedied. But his bureaucratic instincts interfered. He was equally interested in restricting who knew of the problems.
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- Highlight on Page 357 | Loc. 5467-73  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:14 AM

I said, as I have on several other occasions during the last year, that this situation was potentially explosive with the Congress, within Defense, in the Army, and with the public, and that the malfunctions alone could be expecting to be causing loss of soldiers [sic] lives, even though the data showed the XM16E1 to be more effective than other rifles even with the malfunctions. Also, that if there were excessive malfunction rates, the troops would lose confidence in their weapon, even though the causes were not due to weapon design, and that it was a serious thing for the troops to lose confidence in their weapon. I urged again that highest priority be given to correct this situation and also that he consider the security aspect of the information in technical and other channels.
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- Highlight on Page 357 | Loc. 5474-80  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:15 AM

Colonel Hallock stamped his memorandum SECRET HOLD CLOSE repeatedly, and sent it to Dr. Jacob Stockfisch, codirector of the Force Planning and Analysis Office, urging that the gloomy information be provided to the army chief of staff. (Stockfisch’s office reported both to the secretary of the army and the army chief of staff; it was a strong proponent of the M-16.) Read against what was happening in Vietnam, and as more rifles known to be unreliable were being manufactured and issued to men headed to combat, the correspondence was chilling. The military had the option of delaying the issue of the M-16 until its shortcomings were worked out, and to allow troops to carry weapons that worked. But this would have meant admitting to a mistake and sounding an alarm. It would have required an officer to display courage. Instead, corporate instincts and self-protection had trumped integrity and good sense.
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- Highlight on Page 358 | Loc. 5482-85  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:15 AM

Colonel Yount added that only he and two other people were allowed to keep file copies of his reports. “All other copies,” he wrote, “will be destroyed within 10 days of receipt.”52 At a time when the M-16 program desperately needed candor, attention, and more resources, and when commanders and troops in the field should have been informed of the problems emerging in Vietnam, another cover-up had begun.
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- Highlight on Page 358 | Loc. 5485-89  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:15 AM

It is easy, based on the existing records, to see Colonel Yount and Colonel Hallock as bureaucratic villains; certainly they acted against the interests of the troops in Vietnam. Their careerist behavior was of a familiar species, and ugly, even unconscionable, when revealed. If some of the men who had been in fighting in which M-16s had failed could have read what Colonel Hallock wrote, they would have demanded investigations. Rage was high enough in Vietnam that no small number of grunts would have wanted to do worse.
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- Highlight on Page 359 | Loc. 5492-96  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:16 AM

But these two colonels were hardly alone. They were part of a procurement and advocacy phenomenon that had slipped from control. Since early 1963, McNamara’s office had pushed the M-16 along without check. Colonel Yount managed the program, but he did not provide its direction or have control over many of its decisions. With General Westmoreland calling for more rifles, all involved in the rifle program faced internal pressure to keep M-16s flowing off the assembly lines and into Vietnam. And yet it was a fateful moment to choose to play along quietly. It was in many ways a last chance.
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- Highlight on Page 359 | Loc. 5496-99  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:16 AM

Effective November 4, the army had decided to adopt the M-16 as its standard rifle. Step by step, decision by decision, without clear signs of institutional intent, the watermelon shoot on Boutelle’s farm and the untrustworthy Project AGILE report had led to policy. The M-16, a rifle with a flawed development history, was to replace the M-14, even though the army knew the powder-rifle mismatch was causing high M-16 malfunction rates, and before a technical solution had been put into place.
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- Highlight on Page 360 | Loc. 5508-18  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:18 AM

In early February 1967, the armorers for Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, stationed near the coast at Phu Bai, Vietnam, grew concerned about the new rifles in the battalion’s custody. The Marine Corps was beginning to receive its share of M-16s. Though this battalion’s rifles had been used just four times, and only for training, they were already pitted. The armorers reported their concerns and offered other observations as well. The weapons rusted easily; a recessed area on the bolt was difficult to clean; during firing, the trigger pin and hammer pin “tended to work their way out of the receiver.” The armorers also wrote that “we experienced more than a normal amount of ruptured cartridges.”54 The mix of rapid corrosion and cleaning difficulties were an ill-boding combination for a rifle issued for fighting in rain forests and rice paddies. The Marine supply officers seemed alarmed. “This rifle is currently being utilized by units engaged in active combat,” they wrote to the Rock Island Arsenal. “Therefore, an expeditious evaluation is requested.”55 The complaint reached the office of Colonel Yount. Before an army technician was able to examine the weapons, supervisors at the arsenal ordered him to hand out new maintenance instructions that were to be “taken by the user to correct reported problem.”
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- Highlight on Page 361 | Loc. 5522-28  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:19 AM

Headquarters had spoken. Though the army knew the M-16 had technical problems that needed technical solutions, combat units were blamed for their rifle’s worrisome traits. The troops entered the monsoon season of 1967 with rifles prone to fail, and a bureaucracy ready to scold them when they did. The decisions to blame the infantry, and to keep the problems out of public discourse while issuing more rifles, were untenable. By early 1967, the sense that something was awry had reached Washington. Angry troops were sending home letters. Journalists were hearing complaints. Reports of the AK-47’s reliability were also providing an obvious contrast. The Washington Daily News posed the question. How did the world’s wealthiest nation lag behind communist countries in its most basic fighting tool?
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- Highlight on Page 362 | Loc. 5545-48  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:21 AM

The two weapons were designed in fundamentally different ways and their differences in lineage left the M-16 lacking in reliability for reasons that no manufacturing tweaks or upgrades could entirely fix. The AK-47’s main operating system had been conceived to have a loose fit and massive parts, and the resulting excess energy available in each firing cycle made it resistant to jamming.
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- Highlight on Page 363 | Loc. 5559-62  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:26 AM

The M-16 was the manifestation of a different set of design ideas. Its parts were made to be a snug fit, almost in the manner of a manually operated bolt-action rifle. The tight fit helped make the M-16 more accurate than the Kalashnikov, all the way out to the theoretically impressive five hundred yards. It also seemed to make it undependable. Dust, dirt, sand, rust, carbon buildup—all these things could slow or obstruct the movement of an M-16’s bolt.
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- Highlight on Page 364 | Loc. 5568-73  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:27 AM

By spring 1967, the problems had become so widely known that Congress took an interest. On May 3, 1967, Representative L. Mendel Rivers, Democrat of South Carolina and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, appointed Representative Richard H. Ichord, Democrat of Missouri, as head of a special subcommittee to examine “the development, production, distribution and sale of M-16 rifles.”57 Ichord steered wide of the question of which weapon was better—the M-14 or the M-16—for Vietnam or elsewhere. He left such questions to soldiers.58 If the military wanted the M-16, so be it. He wanted to know why the M-16 was malfunctioning at an unacceptably high rate.
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- Highlight on Page 364 | Loc. 5582-89  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:28 AM

Then came the shock. On April 27, the battalion was preparing for combat against dug-in NVA units on Hills 861 and 881 near Khe Sanh. It spent much of the day watching artillery and air strikes pounding suspected NVA positions on the high ground. On April 29, the company moved toward Hill 881 North, and that night, after recovering the remains of a missing Marine, it spent the night in the bush on the approach to the southeast of Hill 881 North. On April 30, the company moved out on foot again, jumping into an attack at first light with Second and Third platoons abreast of each other and moving forward in a battle formation known as “on line.” In Third Platoon, as Second Lieutenant Thomas R. Givvin, the platoon commander, walked uphill he found at least five M-16s with cleaning rods forced down their barrels resting on the ground.60 These were the discards of Marines who had fought on the hill several days before. Hotel Company moved through tall elephant grass and was ambushed at a distance of about fifty meters by the North Vietnamese Army.
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- Highlight on Page 366 | Loc. 5605-14  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:30 AM

Hotel Company had only one platoon—First Platoon—that was still at fighting strength. As the sweat-soaked Marines at last moved near the enemy bunkers, and were preparing to rush, the captain gave an order over the radio to his platoon commander, Second Lieutenant Ord Elliott: Fix bayonets. He was effectively telling men to prepare to fight to the death, hand to hand. The order was superfluous. Lieutenant Elliot had come to the same decision himself. He had already told the men to ready their knives. With bayonets affixed, the officers thought, the Marines whose M-16s failed might slash or stab their way through the bunkers.62 It was 1967, the age of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the B-52 Stratofortress, and the submarine-launched Polaris ballistic missile. A Marine Corps platoon and company commander were preparing their men for an attack in which they would wield their rifles like lances, swords, and spears. And that was Captain Madonna’s assessment of Colt’s assault rifle, circa 1967. “It was a pretty good bayonet holder,” he said. “I knew those weapons were failing. I didn’t know what the rate was, but I knew I couldn’t rely on them anymore.”
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- Highlight on Page 368 | Loc. 5629-36  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:32 AM

By May 5, the jamming had been widespread enough that sadly surreal scenes unfolded at one helicopter landing zone on Hill 881 North, where wounded Marines, who had been hit in a mortar bombardment, were waiting to be evacuated. Marines who had not been wounded wandered among the casualties, asking their bloodied colleagues if their rifles had worked. When they found a wounded Marine whose rifle had performed well, they asked to trade and exchanged a faulty M-16 for the M-16 that had reliably fired. Other Marines had also found that three pins near the trigger assembly had a tendency to work loose and slip out, rendering the rifles useless.64 Over several days, the Marines’ initial satisfaction with their M-16s had turned to astonishment, then disgust. Emotions were further inflamed by a sense among troops that the Pentagon had failed to provide them with enough cleaning rods, as the army technical team had found when they visited Vietnam six months before.
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- Highlight on Page 368 | Loc. 5637-39  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:32 AM

Believe it or not, you know what killed most of us? Our own rifle. Before we left Okinawa, we were all issued the new rifle, the M-16. Practically everyone of our dead was found with his rifle tore down next to him where he had been trying to fix it.
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- Highlight on Page 368 | Loc. 5641-45  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:33 AM

There were, as is often the case, grains of truth in the official statements, just as there were errors and exaggerations in some of the troops’ accounts. In the Hill Fights rifles failed; by most accounts, many rifles. But the claim that “practically everyone of our dead was found with his rifle tore down next to him” was overstatement, at least battalionwide. By seizing on such statements and becoming argumentative, the officers in Washington missed the substantial truth: M-16s were failing at an alarming rate, the failures put lives at risk, and the grunts had lost faith in their rifles and in some cases in their chain of command.
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- Highlight on Page 369 | Loc. 5655-58  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:34 AM

How this translated into combat was captured in the last minutes in the life of Lance Corporal David C. Borey, a Marine from Massachusetts assigned to Bravo Company, First Battalion, First Marine Regiment. A fellow Marine mailed a letter home describing the skirmish, which erupted after his unit had been airlifted outside Da Nang and was caught in the open crossing a rice paddy the next day. “This is how it happened,” he wrote:
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- Highlight on Page 369 | Loc. 5658-66  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:35 AM

Like you said, Dad, we are all complaining about the M-16. When it works you can’t beat it but it jams so goddamn easy. The only cover we had was a 5'' dike to hide behind. There was a steady flow of lead going back and forth and we were jaming [sic] left and right. And when they jam the only thing you can do is poke a cleaning rod down the bore and punch out the empty shell. Borey had the only cleaning rod in our group and he was running up and down the line punching out the bores. I knew he was going to get it and I think he did too. A man needed the cleaning rod and Dave jumped up and started running towards him. As soon as he got up he was hit in the foot. He was about 10 feet in front of me and he called to me and said—Hey Bert I’m hit. He couldn’t stay where he was—bullets were hitting the dirt all around him. He had to get back to the dike. I told him to get up and run and I’d shoot grazing fire into the tree line where the VC were. I got three magazines and fired 60 rounds to cover him but as he was running a goddamn VC bullet hit in the back.68
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- Highlight on Page 370 | Loc. 5666-72  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:35 AM

The wall of silence had broken. One incident after another eroded public confidence. Senator Peter H. Dominick, a Republican from Colorado, visited Vietnam in May 1967 at roughly the same time that Lance Corporal Borey was shot. Dominick inquired about the M-16. He was told it was a good weapon and was invited to test fire a sample rifle himself. Someone produced an M-16 and handed it to the senator, who tried to fire it. It jammed.69 In June, members of Ichord’s panel held their own test fire with an M-16 provided by Colt’s. If any one M-16 might have been expected to perform flawlessly, this should have been it: the test rifle a manufacturer facing congressional investigation presented as a sample to Congress. The subcommittee’s rifle jammed several times.
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- Highlight on Page 370 | Loc. 5673-75  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:36 AM

The other night we got a radio message from one of our night ambushes. . . . The last words they said were, “out of hand grenades, all weapons jammed.” The next morning when they got to them, their hands were all skinned up and cut and their stocks on their rifles were all broken from using them as clubs.
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- Highlight on Page 373 | Loc. 5715-19  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:39 AM

Private First Class Nickelson had survived. He rose to his feet but left his jammed rifle in the dirt. He had arrived in Vietnam a month before. Until that day, he had never handled this kind of rifle. In the United States, the Marine Corps had trained him on an M-14. In his one previous firefight, his M-16 had jammed, too—after firing a single round. He had been in two firefights against NVA soldiers with automatic rifles, and he had managed to fire only three rounds back. What good was a rifle that did not work? Nickelson was new to war. He was no fool. He understood this was not right.
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- Highlight on Page 373 | Loc. 5719-25  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:40 AM

Upon arriving in Vietnam and before being assigned to the battalion, Nickelson had bought a .38 revolver from a soldier who was rotating home. He would carry that until the Marine Corps could give him a rifle he could trust. An officer ordered him to pick up his M-16. Nickelson was incredulous. “Fuck you,” he said. An argument broke out at the edge of the smoking village. Nickelson refused to carry a rifle that did not work. Other Marines intervened. Hotel Company had enough problems. A compromise was reached—he would carry an M79 grenade launcher. Someone produced his new weapon. The Marine who had carried it had been shot; it was available for anyone else’s use. Nickelson slung it and walked into Ap Sieu Quan.
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- Highlight on Page 374 | Loc. 5728-32  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:40 AM

By the time helicopters flew back to the USS Tripoli on July 26, the mood in Hotel Company was dark. The company’s executive officer, Lieutenant Chervenak, had queried each platoon in Ap Sieu Quan and learned that forty rifles had jammed during the battle. Forty rifles. Roughly a quarter of the company had been under fire and unable to fight back. The officers in other companies in Second Battalion, Third Marines told him of similar problems in their own firefights during Operation Bear Chain.
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- Highlight on Page 375 | Loc. 5744-58  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:42 AM

The Corps’ reaction similarly stumped him. The Marine Corps had not been interested in the M-16 throughout the early 1960s.75 But once the Pentagon took its decision, the Corps’ generals adopted the Beltway stance. A din of complaints about M-16 jamming had risen from the ranks. The generals’ replies mixed paternalistic denials that the M-16 was failing with strong defenses of the weapon’s merits. The senior officers followed the army’s pattern: They blamed the troops for the weapons’ problems. At a press conference in Da Nang just after the battles for Hills 861 and 881, one highly decorated commander, Lieutenant General Lewis W. Walt of the Third Marine Amphibious Force, delivered a classic performance of an officer who has lost touch with his men. First he declared that the Marines in his command were “100 percent sold” on the M-16. Most of those who had relied on the weapon in battle, he added, “have nothing but praise for it.” This can be read only as a lie. General Walt pressed on. He put blame for malfunctions squarely upon individual Marines and their officers and noncommissioned officers, saying they either had not adequately maintained their rifles or had tried to force too many rounds into their magazines. This was a slap at the men at war. In a booming slip of the tongue, General Walt added that “rumors” of unsatisfactory M-16 performance were started “by a very, very small majority.”76 Not long after the press conference, General Walt was reassigned to Washington and elevated to the post of the Corps’ assistant commandant. In July, the commandant of the Marine Corps, General Greene, repeated General Walt’s position, calling the M-16 “ideally suited” for the jungle warfare of Vietnam. The brass had set a tone. With the generals standing behind the M-16, complaints had little chance of finding a supporting audience. The young Marines in Vietnam were on their own.
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- Highlight on Page 376 | Loc. 5759-66  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:42 AM

One officer responsible for the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division’s public statements described an official prohibition against mentioning M-16 malfunctions. This was a subject not to be broached in any army comments or in conversations with journalists, along with other topics officially deemed too unsettling for the public’s ears: “the defeat of U.S. units,” “B-52 and other bombing errors,” “female VC,” “very young VC,” and the “use of flamethrowers, hand-held or track-mounted.” MACV31 told all information officers prior to my arrival that the M16 was not a topic for discussion. Newsmen were not to question soldiers about the weapon. No stories about the rifle jamming or malfunctioning were to be written. This was done despite the fact that many GIs hated the M16, felt they couldn’t trust it. And until an order stopped the procedure, carried their own weapons instead: carbines, 45 caliber grease guns, rifles sent from home, captured AK47s, et cetera.
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- Highlight on Page 378 | Loc. 5785-99  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:44 AM

I am a Marine First Lieutenant and have been serving in a rifle company in Vietnam since the 15th of May. Ever since my arrival, immediately following the battle of hill 881, one controversy has loomed above all others—that of the M-16 rifle. I feel that is my duty and responsibility to report the truth about this rifle as I have seen it. My conscience will not let me rest any longer. The idea of a lightweight automatic weapon is a fine idea and I do not categorically reject the M-16 rifle as being useless. I do believe, however, that there is a basic mechanical deficiency within the weapon which causes a failure to extract. This failure to extract a spent casing from the chamber allows another round to be fed in behind the unextracted casing causing the rifle to jam. When this occurs, a cleaning and rod and precious seconds are needed to clear the weapon. A marine in a firefight does not have those precious seconds. We are constantly told that improper cleaning and unfamiliarity with the weapon cause any malfunction which may occur. Any rifle that requires cleaning to the degree they speak of has no place as a combat weapon. I believe that the cold, hard facts about the M-16 are clouded over by a fabrication of the truth for political and financial considerations. I have seen too many marines hiding behind a paddy dike trying to clear their rifle to accept those explanations any longer. Our battalion has test fired these rifles on numerous occasions, aboard the ship and in the field, to try to find a solution to this problem. All rifles were cleaned and inspected prior to these tests. Having supervised several of these tests, I will swear to the fact that at least 25 to 40% of the rifles malfunctioned at least once under these optimum conditions.
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- Highlight on Page 379 | Loc. 5799-5810  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:44 AM

During a recent fight on the 21st of July, no fewer than 40 men in my company reported to me that their rifles had malfunctioned because of failure to extract. Because of these inoperative rifles we were severely hampered in our efforts to extract a platoon which had been pinned down. Lack of sufficient firepower also caused us great difficulty in getting our casualties out. Having 40 rifles malfunction in any rifle company is a serious matter, and in an understrengthened company such as ours, the gravity of the situation is greatly increased. This problem is increasing in its seriousness and I know that is a major morale problem in the company. Unfortunately, all our complaints and the results of our tests never seem to reach willing ears. I do not mean for this letter to slap at my battalion, the Marine Corps, the Colt Manufacturing Company, the Defense Department or anyone else concerned. It is written out of concern for the safety of the men in my company and of the great morale problem that the M-16 causes. I will stand and stake my reputation on the fact that we have had men wounded and perhaps killed because of inoperative rifles. The men in my company have absolutely no confidence in the weapon they carry, and yet, they will be asked to go on another operation in the very near future carrying this very same weapon. Word will come down from higher up, however, stating that no one will take a negative attitude about the M-16, nor will they speak of the weapon in a derogatory manner to any newsman.
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- Highlight on Page 379 | Loc. 5811-14  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:45 AM

I can only hope that men such as yourself, who are in a position to do something, WILL do something. The search for the truth is paramount in all of us and I ask you to look into this problem and search for the truth there. I will stand behind every word that I have written. I think that this problem has been overlooked too long and too many attempts have been made to gloss over a situation that endangers the lives of men.79
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- Highlight on Page 380 | Loc. 5821-27  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:49 AM

In all of the available records surrounding the bloody introduction of the M-16 to American military service, this stands as one of the few brave and candidly honest acts. The officers behind Project AGILE had produced a report no follow-up studies could support. General Johnson had quietly ordered the rifle into service knowing that it was unreliable. Colonel Hallock and Colonel Yount had enforced a hush about the M-16’s many performance problems, even while agreeing that the weapons’ failures were getting American soldiers killed. Officials at Colt’s were insisting in public that the weapon worked well while they reviewed internal reports that said it did not. It fell to a twenty-three-year-old Marine lieutenant, his unit thinned by casualties while their rifles jammed, to stake his name on the truth.
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- Highlight on Page 381 | Loc. 5838-48  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:50 AM

A pair of Marines had swung far to the left during the firefight. They dashed through vegetation and surprised the guerrillas at close range. But as the Marine opened fire his M-16 seized up. One round did not extract and the rifle tried to feed a round in behind it, leaving the Marine with a jam that would take many seconds, even minutes, to clear. He was helpless. The Viet Cong turned and killed him. After recovering the Marine’s body and the jammed rifle, Lieutenant Chritton allowed his fury to guide him. He and other Marines carried the dead Marine and his rifle to the battalion command post and entered the tent to confront the battalion commander with the facts. The commander and the executive officer pulled the lieutenant aside, away from the Marine’s corpse. The executive officer produced a camera, placed the jammed rifle on a table, and made a series of photographs. “We’ll take care of this,” the commander told him. But nothing had come of it, and soon Lieutenant Chritton’s dream started to follow him through his nights. In it, he was home in the United States, and he had kidnapped the president of Colt’s and forced him to admit that Colt’s was knowingly selling bad rifles to the government. Lieutenant Chritton was hardly the irrational sort. He certainly was no criminal. He left the Marine Corps and went on to a long civilian career as a lawyer. The dream stayed with him for his remaining months in Vietnam, and it visited him intermittently after he returned home to the United States.
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- Highlight on Page 382 | Loc. 5849-52  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:51 AM

Back in Washington, Representative Ichord’s subcommittee ground toward its conclusion. The army had stonewalled the congressmen in many ways as they held hearings and lobbed correspondence back and forth with the Pentagon. Important witnesses were never produced. (Colonel Hallock, the supervisor of Project AGILE who later proposed and enforced a cover-up, avoided scrutiny. On May 31, as complaints from Vietnam reached high pitch, he retired.)
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- Highlight on Page 383 | Loc. 5862-64  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:52 AM

Representative William G. Bray, a Republican from Indiana and a subcommittee member, called the collusion “one of the most incredible and inexcusable exercises in duplicity I have ever seen.”85
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- Highlight on Page 384 | Loc. 5874-84  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:54 AM

Twelve days after the release of Ichord’s report, on October 29, the Washington Post, the newspaper of the nation’s political class, published Lieutenant Chervenak’s letter.86 His words had an instant effect. The Marine Corps opened an investigation—not into the causes of the rifle’s failures or the slow reaction by the chain of command to troops’ complaints, but into the officer who dared to write to the Washington Post. General Greene personally called the battalion, looking for Lieutenant Chervenak. By chance the lieutenant was on a rest period in Japan. The brass could not find him. An investigating officer was assigned and canvassed Marines in the battalion, taking sworn statements. He could establish no real wrongdoing. Telling the truth was not legally forbidden, it was just discouraged to tell the truth this way. The offense was a matter of protocol, not of law. When Lieutenant Chervenak returned, the battalion executive officer presented him a letter of reprimand for failure to follow proper channels.87 Lieutenant Chervenak was unmoved. He listened politely. When the major handed the letter to him he did not bother to read it. He was not by nature a troublemaker. But he knew that given the same circumstances, he would do the same thing again.
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- Highlight on Page 384 | Loc. 5886-91  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:55 AM

Marine Corps began facing facts it had ignored. On December 3, a pair of representatives from Colt’s and the Marine Corps caught up with the battalion at a base outside Da Nang. They had been ordered to follow up on the lieutenant’s allegations. Marines gathered in the theater for a presentation, at which the Marine Corps representative, a warrant officer, opened with the familiar lines. He told his audience that the M-16 was a good rifle and if it was failing it was because they were not cleaning it adequately. The Marines shouted and jeered. A near riot ensued. The battalion commander demanded order and quiet. The representative from Colt’s, Kanemitsu Ito, was so shaken he dared not take notes.
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- Highlight on Page 385 | Loc. 5895-5902  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:56 AM

As the Marines filed past to show him rifles that had failed them, he worried that the troops might label him a profiteer as he and the warrant officer condemned pitted rifles. After all, he thought, every rifle to be replaced might be seen as another sale for Colt’s. He decided to let the warrant officer do most of the talking. Quietly, out of the center of attention, he watched. That night, emotionally and physically exhausted, Ito typed a letter and sent it back to Colt’s. He had important news to share. What Lieutenant Chervenak had written to the Washington Post was not quite right. Matters were actually much worse. I walked into a den of angry, feroucious [sic] lions when I visited the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Marines. It was really a touchy situation. I would never ask anyone else to be in the situation I was in. The officers and a great majority of the men hated the M-16A1 rifles. They had a right to hate it. The chambers of the rifles were so badly pitted that the only thing they could use the rifles were for a club.89
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- Highlight on Page 385 | Loc. 5903-11  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:56 AM

The examination of 445 rifles found that many had “chambers that looked like the surface of the moon”; 286 rifles were immediately condemned as unfit for combat use. Ito understood how serious this was. He sought as much information as he could get. He looked for Lieutenant Chervenak, but by then the lieutenant had been reassigned out of Hotel Company, and Ito could not find him. Ito read a copy of the battalion’s investigation and discovered it contained ninety-six sworn statements from Marines who agreed with the lieutenant’s letter. If this were not enough, in Hotel Company, where Lieutenant Chervenak had written of 40 jammed rifles, his letter was more than vindicated: 67 of the company’s 85 rifles were so pitted that the warrant officer and Ito replaced them on the spot. And the charge that Marines had not been cleaning their rifles could find no traction here. The company commander during Operation Bear Chain, Captain Culver, had been a member of the Marine Corps’ Rifle Team—a bunch of crack shots. Captain Culver was almost religious about forcing his Marines to clean their weapons. To him, any suggestion otherwise was a personal insult.
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- Highlight on Page 386 | Loc. 5917-22  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:57 AM

Ito saw the problems for what they were. His correspondence to Colt’s did nothing to sugarcoat them. But he was in a difficult position. Colt’s had wanted him to distribute surveys about the rifle. A lockdown was in place. The questionnaires are out of the question. The M-16 rifle is a very hot topic over here. They don’t want any names or units put on paper. I have been asked not to put anything down on paper. Unit COs [commanding officers] and staff officers forbid the use of the questionnaires. I go into the field armed (would you believe) with an M-16 rifle, when I can get one. Everything that I inspect and see, I must keep in my head until I can get to a place to write it down.91
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- Highlight on Page 387 | Loc. 5930-35  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:58 AM

Every time I think that I am tired, I do these things. As I said I have a lot of guts. I wished that others had the guts to look at things I see or ask questions. Some had reasons to hate me yet they like me because I am helping—a few don’t really know. I don’t know what to say to them—there are people with no arms, legs, faces and the rest. These are some of the places I go to find the information I need. I go every place, but I sure wouldn’t ask anyone else to do it.… . . . It is difficult working 18–20 hours a day—7 days a week. Any time I am tired I go back to the 24th, 93rd Evac or the 3rd Field Hospitals.
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- Highlight on Page 388 | Loc. 5937-39  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:58 AM

Even as late as summer 1967, while complaints of jamming rose to a roar, Colt’s executives had been briefing journalists as if nothing were wrong. They told the executive editor of Popular Mechanics that they had received “no official complaints from their customer—the Department of Defense.”
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- Highlight on Page 388 | Loc. 5946-56  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:59 AM

In the end, Kanemitsu Ito was a midlevel engineer. He could describe what he had seen. He could share what he knew. But Benke, the man who ran Colt’s Firearms Division, would get the last word. Benke interjected. He told the military officers present that “the observations were based on very brief contact, hearsay, and single pieces of evidence, and that final conclusions would require added review and investigation.”95 By this time, Benke had been receiving frank, descriptive accounts of M-16 failures from his teams in Vietnam for more than a year. The accounts had come from multiple engineers—from Fremont, Hall, Behrendt, and others—and from multiple trips. Each of his company sources had relayed the remarks and experiences of many soldiers. Ito was neither treading new ground nor trafficking in rumor. He was sharing carefully observed details consistent with what others had seen and said. In November 1966, Benke had received a memo from another Colt’s engineer, which summarized “discussions with one brigade commander, four battalion commanders and many other field and company grade officers.” The memo specified “changes and things which should be expedited,” including chrome-plating the bore and chamber, installing new buffers, and applying a better protective finish. More than a year had passed. Thousands of troops in Vietnam still had rifles without these improvements. They continued to suffer malfunctions.
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- Highlight on Page 389 | Loc. 5957-61  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:00 PM

More than forty years later, Paul Benke disagreed with any reading of the record that suggests that Colt’s was not forthright and conscientious, or sold the Pentagon rifles unfit for combat duty in Vietnam. The M-16 rifle program suffered from problems, he said, but these problems were related to interservice rivalries, inadequate troop training, and bureaucratic opposition to the rifle within military circles. The problems with the rifle’s reputation were exacerbated, he said, by the fact that he was opposed to the American involvement in Vietnam.
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- Highlight on Page 390 | Loc. 5968-70  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:01 PM

When provided a copy of Ito’s correspondence and of the memorandum of record from the meeting he attended with Ito in the Pentagon in December 1967, he said, “We never ever ever tried to hide anything.” Their only concern, he said, was that soldiers have the best possible rifle.96
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- Highlight on Page 390 | Loc. 5973-77  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:01 PM

In the matter of a rifle, the defending American troops, after several years in Vietnam, still did not have a fully reliable firepower match. Matters were more dire for the Americans’ Vietnamese allies, who often were armed with surplus weapons from World War II. One of the senior South Vietnamese officers, Lieutenant General Dong Van Khuyen, lamented his soldiers’ predicament against the better-armed foe. “During the enemy Tet offensive of 1968 the crisp, rattling sounds of the AK-47s echoing in Saigon and some other cities,” he said, “seemed to make a mockery of the weaker, single shots of Garands and carbines fired by stupefied friendly troops.”97
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- Highlight on Page 392 | Loc. 6003-6  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:05 PM

Such was the state of resignation. The M-16, which at the start of the war had been a symbol of innovation and technical promise, had become instead a symbol of the mix-ups of war, and of a dishonest Pentagon and a manufacturer with which it worked. As public opinion on the war shifted, America’s undependable rifle became another element of disaffection, a symbol of failure for a military that had won World War II and for a nation that believed its industry was among the best in the world.
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- Highlight on Page 392 | Loc. 6007-14  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:05 PM

The M-16 sure is a marvelous gun, and in a god-awful war it provides some keen fun. The bullet it fires appears too small to harm but it makes a big hole and can tear off an arm. Single shot, semi, or full automatic, a real awesome weapon, ’tho in performance sporadic. But listen to Ichord and forget that stuck bolt, for you aren’t as important as a kickback from Colt. So carry your rifle (they don’t give a damn), just pray you won’t need it while you’re in Vietnam. The M-16 is issue, though we all feel trapped. More GIs would protest, but somehow they got zapped.102
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- Highlight on Page 391 | Loc. 5992-96  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:06 PM

In autumn 1968, Ito was back in Vietnam, where he and another Colt’s field representative toured military units around Saigon. They found that many magazines did not seat well on the weapons, which caused M-16s to fail to feed when fired on automatic. They found problems with the selector switch, which was often difficult to turn. And, even after all of the changes, they found that “quite a few rifles are rusting or corroding,” especially around the selector switch. In a tape sent back to Colt’s offices, Ito said that “damaged or poor functioning parts were noted in rifles which were only in use for two months maximum.”100
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- Highlight on Page 393 | Loc. 6015-18  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:07 PM

Several months after the fight for Ap Sieu Quan, Staff Sergeant Elrod was reassigned from Hotel Company’s First Platoon to become the battalion’s intelligence chief, and was meritoriously promoted, to the rank of gunnery sergeant. The battalion continued to operate against the NVA in the provinces just south of North Vietnam. Throughout this time, he refused to carry an M-16.
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- Highlight on Page 393 | Loc. 6020-25  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:09 PM

One day in spring 1968, after a skirmish in a gully near Khe Sanh, Gunnery Sergeant Elrod found an AK-47 beside a dead North Vietnamese soldier. The rifle was in excellent condition. He claimed it as his own, along with several magazines. This was not a trophy. It was a tool. Now he had an assault rifle he could depend on. The AK-47 did not solve all his problems. It solved one problem but replaced it with another. There was a special danger related to carrying the enemy’s weapon: The M-16 and the AK-47 have distinctly different sounds, and whenever Gunnery Sergeant Elrod fired his new weapon, he risked drawing fire from other Marines. He considered this less of a risk than carrying a rifle that might not fire at all.
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- Highlight on Page 393 | Loc. 6025-31  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:09 PM

A few weeks later, Gunnery Sergeant Elrod was walking across a forward operating base near Khe Sanh with his AK-47 slung across his back. A lieutenant colonel stopped him. “Gunny, why the hell are you carrying that?” he asked. “Because it works,” Gunnery Sergeant Elrod replied. “It’s going to get you killed,” the colonel said. Gunnery Sergeant Elrod knew something about how Marines were getting killed. In his experience, this was not one of the ways. “Sir,” he said. “My Marines know what my weapon sounds like. And it works.”
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- Highlight on Page 394 | Loc. 6031-32  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:09 PM

And that was the basic position from which any discussion about automatic rifles began and ended.
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- Highlight on Page 394 | Loc. 6039-43  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:10 PM

available data, compiled in the database of the Wound Data and Munitions Effectiveness Team, or WDMET, showed that 51 percent of American combat fatalities in Vietnam during the period under study were caused by small arms, 36 percent by fragmentation munitions, and 11 percent by mines and booby traps. From Ronald F. Bellamy and Russ Zajtchuk, Textbook of Military Medicine. Part I. Warfare, Weaponry and the Casualty. Conventional Warfare: Ballistic, Blast and Burn Injuries, Chapter 2, Assessing the Effectiveness of Conventional Weapons (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Surgeon General, 1989), p. 65.
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- Highlight on Page 395 | Loc. 6048-52  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:12 PM

weight. v Under the license sale arrangement, MacDonald would receive a cut of both Fairchild’fs and Colt’fs future receipts. This included a 1 percent commission from Colt’fs for the selling price of every rifle sold, and 10 percent of Fairchild royalties, some of which were calculated on a sliding scale. For sales to military customers, the combined formula guaranteed him 1.225 percent. These were considerable incentives for MacDonald to try to have the AR.15 adopted by the American military. (For a detailed review of the license deal, see ’How a Lone Inventor’fs Idea Took Fire,’h Business Week, July 6, 1968.)
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- Highlight on Page 395 | Loc. 6053-64  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:13 PM

embarrassment had grounds beyond the origins of the cadavers used. The twenty-seven severed heads were ultimately subjected to tests of little apparent value. And there are hints in the report of a lapse of scientific judgment that cast doubts on the value of the entire study. According to the report, Dziemian and Olivier used AR-15 ammunition different from the ammunition the American military used in Vietnam. Throughout the war, American troops would use a metal-jacketed round, just as the military had been using in other cartridges throughout the century. But in the Biophysics Division’s test in 1962, the cartridges were described by Dziemian and Olivier as propelling ’bullets with a lead core and no metal jackets.’h These rounds could be expected to create wounds of a much different nature from those made by military ammunition, and their use in the tests risked undermining judgment about the relative lethality of the tested weapons. But there is a hurdle to knowing with certainty what really occurred: the secrecy and cover-up of the work. Was the reference a clerical error? The photographs of the ammunition released to the author by the United States government were low-quality digital scans and provided no help in determining the bullets’ composition. Ultimately, it is not possible to tell from the records released to date. The study’fs final report did have other clerical errors, so it remains possible that this, too, was a clerical error. This was one of the pitfalls of secret tests, which were subject neither to peer review nor to public scrutiny. Both research lapses and editorial lapses could pass, and did pass, unchallenged.
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- Highlight on Page 396 | Loc. 6070-76  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:14 PM

Thomas L. McNaugher, in his rigorous 1984 study, The M16 Controversies: Military Organizations and Weapons Acquisition, emphasized maintenance and noted that by 1970 the rifle was widely considered reliable. The most likely cause for most of the reported problems, based on the records now available, and the accounts of veterans, would seem to be corrosion in the rifles’f chambers. This was caused in some cases by cleaning habits in the wet climate of Vietnam, but from a manufacturing perspective was related more strongly to the failure of the army and Colt’fs to chrome-plate the chambers of all M.16s leaving Hartford until late in 1968. Another likely factor contributing to the failures to extract, though as far as is publicly known the army never conducted extensive tests of the cartridge cases from 1966 to 1968, was that the ammunition cases were too soft and expanded under the pressures of firing, lodging into pitting and tool marks in the chamber.
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- Highlight on Page 397 | Loc. 6077-78  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:14 PM

Rifle cleaning habits were in all likelihood much less of a factor, considering that the same troops, when using M-14s in the same environments, reported few reliability problems.
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- Highlight on Page 398 | Loc. 6100-6105  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:17 PM

The West German government, eager to exorcise the memories of Hitler’s Olympics in Berlin in 1936, had chosen a low-key police posture: an unarmed security staff, unimposing barriers, a climate of trust and accommodation rather than suspicion and control. The organizers had dubbed the competition “The Carefree Games.” Like this motto, the public-relations ambition was unsubtle. The XX Olympiad was to be a global affirmation of Bavaria reborn, and a declaration of decency for a nation that had returned from fascism to the civilized world. The men in the track suits were members of the Black September terrorist organization, a recently assembled cell directed to exploit the Games’ officially friendly atmosphere.
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- Highlight on Page 399 | Loc. 6107-10  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:18 PM

cook.1 Afif had patiently watched this same section of fence the night before and observed athletes returning from parties outside. The athletes had scaled the barrier, dropped into the compound, and continued toward their apartments. No guard had stopped them. They passed unchallenged into the secure zone. Afif decided that his cell would imitate this behavior. The killers would masquerade as athletes coming home.
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- Highlight on Page 399 | Loc. 6118-21  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:19 PM

One operating tenet of Black September was its almost airtight secrecy. Even now, as they moved toward their crimes, six of the terrorists—Palestinians from refugee camps who had been trained in Libya—did not know what they had been ordered to Munich to do. Afif briefed them in a restaurant. They were to seize members of the Israeli delegation from their beds and then leverage their lives in a hostage siege.
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- Highlight on Page 400 | Loc. 6128-31  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:20 PM

At about 3:30 A.M. the men stepped into taxis and were driven toward the section of fence Afif had selected. They arrived unmolested and met a group of Americans headed inside at the same time. The two teams—the athletes and the terrorists—helped each other over the top, gym bags and all.4
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- Highlight on Page 401 | Loc. 6146-47  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:21 PM

The processes that completed the Kalashnikov assault rifle’s march out of communist garrisons were not random. They resulted from deliberate socialist arms-manufacturing, stockpiling, and transfer practices, followed by many means of distribution—some legal, some not—that followed.
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- Highlight on Page 402 | Loc. 6158-63  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:23 PM

The transfers of assault rifles to Arab governments were scarcely remarked upon as they occurred. Diplomats and commentators concentrated on Soviet military hardware thought to be more menacing—the artillery, tanks, armored personnel carriers, radar systems, missiles, and aircraft that might change the regional security equation. Rifles were just rifles. Who worried over a weapon with a range of a few hundred meters, which injured its victims bullet by bullet, when a neighboring state was updating its jet fighters and main battle tanks? What was lost to the security experts of the era was a process more dangerous than the introduction to the region of larger-ticket conventional arms: the prodigious migration of the rifle from state garrisons to those bent on unconventional war and crime.
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- Highlight on Page 403 | Loc. 6165-66  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:24 PM

The movements represented a mix of nationalist, religious, and ethnic ambitions, and were organized by leaders willing to exploit arming opportunities made available by the Cold War.
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- Highlight on Page 403 | Loc. 6168-71  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:28 PM

Two phenomena paired to ensure this outcome. One was a socialist behavior: stockpiling, a behavior linked to the excessive rifle production in planned economies. The second was a capitalist axiom: the unrelenting energy of markets. Once excess socialist assault rifles existed, market forces ensured that they moved.
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- Highlight on Page 403 | Loc. 6176-80  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:29 PM

Decades of arms-manufacturing policies in the planned economies of the Eastern bloc had led, by the 1970s, to a material consequence: surpluses of arms without apparent use. The full extent of the Eastern bloc stockpiling is unknown. No thorough historical record has ever been assembled. Nor is it possible for a complete and accurate record to be made. All of the factors related to the socialist arms industry and the associated forms of trade—the conventions of state secrecy, the volume of production over time, administrative incompetence, personnel turnover, pervasive corruption, and other forms of criminal activity—worked to prevent accountability.
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- Highlight on Page 405 | Loc. 6199-6210  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:56 PM

A different set of circumstances filled the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic with arms. Throughout the Cold War, the German drive across Slavic soil in the Great Patriotic War was both a fresh memory and a core narrative in Soviet national identity. The Kremlin considered Ukraine a buffer in the event of another conventional war with the West. As Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces arrayed along the borders of the capitalist world, Ukraine was prepared as a second defensive line. Huge stockpiles were cached on its territory, ready to be issued in any number of desperate scenarios. The most spectacular of the storage sites was in Artemovsk, in eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russia. Artemovsk lies in a region atop geological deposits of salt, and when the Soviet army sought a place to hide a reserve of conventional arms, the mines—out of sight of American spy planes—seemed ideal. More than 150 meters belowground, in man-made caverns from which miners had carted away salt, the army sequestered surpluses. The mines became a repository of small-arms firepower on a scale unknown in the West. The tunnels were filled with caches within caches, a layering of small arms reflecting generations of European war. Within them were weapons reaching to World War I, along with arms captured from the Third Reich or donated to the Red Army by the United States during the Lend-Lease program of World War II. Added to these were Soviet arms that the Red Army had used to fight the Wehrmacht, but subsequently replaced.
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- Highlight on Page 406 | Loc. 6211-15  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:57 PM

The Artemovsk arsenal was an armory and a warren, a storage network mapped out by logisticians in which crates of weapons were separated by type and stacked toward ceilings, in places ten meters or more high. Electric cables and lights ran along the walls, keeping the place in a dim artificial glow. Beneath this maze and monument to Cold War thinking, farther below the earth, miners continued to extract salt. The depot was sealed off, separated by heavy doors and airlocks, the entrances watched by guards.8 In all, the caves held some 3 million guns.
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- Highlight on Page 406 | Loc. 6219-23  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12:58 PM

Mikhail Kalashnikov had a new role. He was a tour guide. Early in the 1960s, before deposing his mentor, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid I. Brezhnev visited Izhevsk as part of his duties as chairman of the Supreme Soviet, the union’s legislature. Brezhnev was in his midfifties, dark-haired and emanating the insider confidence of a politician on the rise. Kalashnikov, ever capable of befriending and performing for power, was eager to escort the chairman on his rounds. In the Soviet Union, important decisions rested within few hands. Brezhnev was a potential patron, a man to be solicited, to be known to, no matter what.
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- Highlight on Page 407 | Loc. 6240-44  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:00 PM

The exchanges pointed to the perils of the Kremlin’s governing style. A small-arms research-and-development center was a cog in the national security apparatus. Arguably it was an important cog. It was not of sufficient importance for its status to require a decision of the head of state. But the concentration of power in few hands meant an endless scrum for access and favor, and involved the most senior officials in matters better handled by ministries and staff. It also colored the way midlevel bureaucrats acted and thought.
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- Highlight on Page 408 | Loc. 6246-51  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:01 PM

As Brezhnev’s power and stature were rising, the assault rifles being assembled in secret in East Germany had found their way to border guard detachments at the boundary with West Germany. The new knockoff was starting to replace the PPSh submachine guns that had been carried by the government’s border guards since the units had formed. The guards stood grim duty. In 1961, the East German government had begun construction of what it called the Anti-Fascist Protection Wall, another milestone in doublespeak, considering that the purpose of the wall was not to keep Germans from the west from entering the east, but to stop the flow of émigrés fleeing the oppression and stagnation of the socialist side.
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- Bookmark on Page 410 | Loc. 6280  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:04 PM


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- Highlight on Page 410 | Loc. 6284-86  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:04 PM

The killing of Fechter also fit the use of the assault rifle for which Mikhail Kalashnikov had been rewarded: “reinforcing the power of the state.” Here was the real Kalashnikov, 1962, propaganda peeled away.10
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- Highlight on Page 411 | Loc. 6290-91  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:05 PM

The challenge to Kremlin hegemony was less confrontational than the uprising in Hungary twelve years before. But it was a threat. Its nickname, Prague Spring, suggested it was only a start.
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- Highlight on Page 412 | Loc. 6315-18  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:10 PM

After Farouk was deposed in 1952, in part because of Egypt’s military failures, the Egyptians lent the fedayeen more support. Unconventional war and sabotage proliferated as other Middle Eastern governments and the Palestinian diaspora followed the Egyptian example. Unable to defeat Israel by conventional means, they maintained pressure in other lethal ways, while seeking a measure of deniability.
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- Highlight on Page 416 | Loc. 6370-74  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:16 PM

Soviet arms designers had watched the American rollout of the M-16 and had examined captured specimens from Vietnam. They had not been favorably impressed with Colt’s rifle. (Kalashnikov himself called it “freakish,” “prankish,” and “capricious,” and something that American soldiers “threw away.”)14 The M-16’s ammunition was another matter. It demanded attention. By the early 1970s, within five years of the M-16’s designation as the United States’ standard military rifle, the Soviet army was at work on its own small-caliber, high-velocity round: the 5.45-millimeter cartridge.
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- Highlight on Page 418 | Loc. 6395-97  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:19 PM

By the 1970s, the Eastern bloc arms stores were proving to be of limited Cold War use, and the risks of the stockpiles and of greater assault-rifle distribution were becoming discernible. The war the rifles were to help the Kremlin win was not fought by the means the stockpilers had planned, and the armories stood as powerful attractants for all manner of opportunists.
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- Highlight on Page 418 | Loc. 6405-18  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:21 PM

The gun-running business was often quiet and opaque, but one private dealer of the era, Samuel Cummings, an American who decamped for Europe and made his fortune brokering deals, granted moments of transparency. In the mid-1970s, Cummings, by then a minor tycoon, offered a tour to a British journalist of part of his arsenal, and explained how small arms move liquidly from fight to fight. Here, he points out, is a stack of American Garand rifles which were first exported to Germany in the ’fifties for the first German rearmament. When Germany got more advanced weapons they were transported to Jordan in the late ’sixties, and when Jordan got more advanced weapons they were bought by Cummings and shipped to Manchester. From there many of them were shipped to the Philippines, to help fight Moslem rebels financed by Libya, while a few remain in Manchester waiting for customers. Here, just next door to the Garands, are some British Enfield rifles which were captured by the Japanese in Indo-China, then taken over by the Americans and used in Vietnam, before they were bought by Cummings. Here are some Springfield rifles which were first supplied to the French in Indo-China in the ’fifties. Here are Mausers which were brought over to Taiwan by General Chiang Kai-shek when he left the mainland in 1949. Over there are German ME42 guns which were left by Hitler’s troops in Greece, Swedish guns made under license in Egypt and captured by the Israelis, British Sten guns dropped by parachute during the Second World War for the French Maquis, American Brownings for the Dominican Republic, Belgian Mausers from Venezuela, American M16s from the Chilean Army. . . . Cummings knows that his arsenals depend for their stocks on the aftermath of wars.
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- Highlight on Page 419 | Loc. 6418-19  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:21 PM

Cummings, in one of his signature one-liners, declared the flow of arms “an index of the world’s folly.”
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- Highlight on Page 419 | Loc. 6421-23  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:22 PM

the durable nature of demand in a world in which the next local struggle was always about to start somewhere, and in which whenever one combatant adopted a new rifle its opponents wanted upgrades, too. There were almost always customers—if the price was right, the supply could be found, and weapons unneeded in one place could be married with a purchaser someplace else.
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- Highlight on Page 419 | Loc. 6423-24  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 01:22 PM

If, as Cummings implied, today’s arsenals depend on their stocks from the aftermath of yesterday’s wars, then the Cold War had provided the biggest boon of all.
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- Highlight on Page 420 | Loc. 6440-47  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 06:57 PM

Tanzania’s army and a coalition of anti-Amin guerrilla groups invaded. Amin bolted. The disappearance of a commander in chief is never a good sign in a military government, and the Ugandan army took its cue from the boss. Officers and troops disappeared from many barracks. What happened next pointed to the risks ahead in Europe when communist nations crumbled from within. In the northeastern region of Moroto, Ugandan troops vacated their garrison, leaving behind an armory. Moroto was inhabited by the Karamojong tribe, traditional herders who roamed the countryside in search of water and forage for their livestock. Their region was formally Ugandan but never fully under Ugandan control, and as a seminomadic people, many Karamojong saw themselves as unincorporated. They had paid for this perceived backwardness and disloyalty at the hands of Amin and his government. After the evaporation of the army at Moroto, local men looted the base and relieved it of weapons. This marked a consequential rearrangement.
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- Note on Page 421 | Loc. 6447  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 06:58 PM

violence begets violence
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- Highlight on Page 421 | Loc. 6450-53  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 06:59 PM

The introduction of Kalashnikovs to the Karomojong multiplied their firepower by a much larger factor than had the introduction of AK-47s to Soviet infantry squads, because the rustlers were not graduating from rifles and submachine guns. They were moving up from spears. In the ensuing years, traditional Karamojong power arrangements eroded, and the elderly leaders were supplanted by younger men leading bands of rustlers equipped with assault rifles. Warlords became a force. Karamojong raiding parties set upon their neighbors and claimed herds owned by the Iteso and Acholi people.
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- Highlight on Page 421 | Loc. 6454-56  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 06:59 PM

Government efforts to control the Karamajong proved insufficient. Upheavals in Rwanda and Congo, and the eruption of an unrelated Acholi insurgency, brought more Kalashnikovs into the country. A local arms race matured. Attempts to restrict the flow of assault rifles were futile.
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- Highlight on Page 423 | Loc. 6473-87  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 07:03 PM

By the 1980s, Mikhail Kalashnikov wanted to travel within the Warsaw Pact to observe the production of his rifles elsewhere. He mentioned this desire on a visit to Moscow to the office of Dmitri F. Ustinov, the Soviet minister of defense. Kalashnikov regarded Ustinov as a mentor and friend. The reaction was cold. He sensed his mistake. Hardly had I started to say that I wanted to see a weapons factory in Bulgaria, when Ustinov became gloomy and frowned. He said in a low voice: “Comrade Major.” I was in civvies as usual, but the minister’s tone made me want to rise from the armchair and stand at attention. It should be mentioned that this happened at precisely the time when the Americans had published an insulting story about “the Russian sergeant having armed the whole of the Warsaw Pact,” and they started rapidly raising my military rank. In the morning, I found out that I had been given the rank of senior lieutenant, and in the evening I was already a captain. Obviously, Ustinov personally monitored my “military career,” and that was the case when I found out that I had been made a Major. But that didn’t change anything. I felt a chill go down my spine when the minister said distinctly: “You have not said that. I have not heard you say that. Anything else?”24 Kalashnikov, for all his official achievements, lived within Soviet constraints, no matter that the series of arms carrying his name had entered the official national culture.
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- Highlight on Page 425 | Loc. 6512-14  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 07:07 PM

And the preconscription training, the tests held for teenaged boys handling assault rifles as part of their school day, established this: Children, it turned out, could figure out the basics of the Kalashnikov at least as quickly as soldiers could.
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- Highlight on Page 426 | Loc. 6526-38  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 07:16 PM

The pipeline was an open secret. To feed it, arms were purchased by the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Arabia, and wealthy Arabs, among other sources, and moved by containership to the port of Karachi, where they were received by officers of the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, Pakistan’s most powerful intelligence service. From Karachi, most of the arms moved by rail to the Ojhri Camp in Rawalpindi, which became an ISI arms depot—a reservoir of arms and ammunition to be sent over the border. The items were sorted there and carried by truck to Peshawar and redirected again, often to warehouses of Afghan commanders and groups fighting inside Afghanistan. The commanders’ logisticians moved the arms to the border on their own fleets of trucks and passed them off to smaller camps, from where they sometimes moved by animal train. The system was slow. At any point after Karachi it could look mismanaged and vulnerable. Ammunition was piled high in Rawalpindi without adequate attention to safety (and in 1988 the Ojhri Camp depot exploded). The routes to the border were watched by Pakistani border guards and police officers who often extracted bribes. Afghan commanders diverted and resold weapons, redistributing them for cash. And inside Afghanistan, the Soviet army, while mostly road-bound, was actively searching for the pack trains. But the pipe was force-fed enough equipment in Karachi that arms and ammunition flowed out the other side, and the mujahideen were outfitted for war in remote terrain.29 It also proved nearly impervious to interdiction at large scale.
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- Highlight on Page 427 | Loc. 6539-43  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 07:17 PM

I would liken our system to a tree. The roots represented the ships and aircraft bringing supplies from various countries to Pakistan. The trunk lay from Karachi almost to the border, at which point the many branches lay across the frontier. These branches divided into hundreds of smaller ones inside Afghanistan, taking the sap (arms and ammunition) to the leaves (the Mujahideen). Lop off a small branch, even a large one, and the tree survives, and in time others grow. Only severing the roots or trunk kills the tree. In our case only the branches were subject to attack.30
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- Highlight on Page 428 | Loc. 6561-67  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 07:19 PM

When the researcher traced serial numbers, the discovery was startling. Of almost 3,000 captured M-16s, nearly 1,900 could be traced back to a previous owner. Of these, 1,239 had once been in the inventory of the United States military, including 973 rifles documented as having been in Vietnam. The American military had left them in Asia, where they had been collected—perhaps by a private broker like Cummings but more likely by the intelligence service of a communist government—and shipped back across the sea. Another nearly 600 of the guerrillas’ M-16s had been provided to the Salvadoran government as part of the American foreign military sales program and had leaked from government possession to the insurgency.31 In sum, the United States had armed its foes, indirectly but surely.
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- Highlight on Page 429 | Loc. 6567-68  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 07:19 PM

The war echoed edicts of Mao: “Guerrillas must not depend too much on an armory. The enemy is the principal source of their supply.”32
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- Highlight on Page 430 | Loc. 6582-85  | Added on Sunday, June 19, 2016, 07:26 PM

The insurgents’ arms-procurement arrangements had progressed, from rifles abandoned by capitalist enemies in Cuba and Vietnam, to interlocking and complementary socialist sources. The socialist system of export had matured. Kalashnikov assembly lines—created under the auspices of defending the Soviet Union and ensuring arms standardization for conventional communist forces—had developed into a supply network for insurgency in the Americas.
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- Highlight on Page 430 | Loc. 6590-95  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:28 AM

In early 1989, the formerly banned trade union, Solidarność, exacted a commitment from Poland’s communist government to hold elections, which it won overwhelmingly in June, creating an irreparable crack. Events accelerated. Czechoslovakia held its Velvet Revolution in November 1989; the Berlin Wall fell the same month. Romanians revolted in December. Hungary held free elections in spring 1990, and Bulgaria in June. Ukraine declared its independence that July, followed by Azerbaijan and Armenia. Georgia and the Central Asian republics announced their independence the next year. Albania voted its communists from office in 1992.
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- Highlight on Page 431 | Loc. 6599-6603  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:30 AM

Fighting broke out between Azeris and Armenians in early 1988, igniting a six-year war. In 1991, Georgia attacked separatist South Ossetia, and Chechnya declared its independence from Russia, setting a course for a larger and more costly war that would see human-rights abuses by Russia and its proxy forces on a grand scale, and the separatists’ adoption of the tactics of terror. Yugoslavia was fracturing, heading into a series of ethnic wars. Civil war erupted in Tajikistan in 1992, the year fighting broke out in Transnistria, and between Georgia and the Abkhaz.
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- Highlight on Page 432 | Loc. 6610-12  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:31 AM

Nearly a year passed before the West German Bundeswehr, the federal defense forces, assumed responsibility for East German arms stores. By then, the depots were no longer full—large numbers of weapons had drifted from state custody into the possession of collectors, criminals, and faraway rebel bands.
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- Highlight on Page 433 | Loc. 6628-35  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:37 AM

In the early 1990s, Albania maintained a veneer of control over its postcommunist affairs. Appearances did not hold. Its leaders knew little of business, and beneath their assurances that an orderly transition from totalitarian bunker state to market economy was under way, the country’s economy was carried along by Ponzi schemes fronting as legitimate investments. A large fraction of the population poured savings into these traps. In 1996 the end came. The schemes ran dry. The funds defaulted. The population’s savings vanished. Panic came quickly as the pyramids collapsed. In 1997, public anger turned to rage. Rioting broke out early in the year, driven by popular fury at the government for not protecting the people from nationwide fraud. Citizens ransacked government buildings and turned on the army and the police. Just as had happened in Moroto in Uganda, crowds seized the state’s guns. The Kalashnikov factory at Gramsh was picked clean. Armed gangs formed, and in many regions anarchy prevailed.
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- Highlight on Page 433 | Loc. 6636-41  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:38 AM

the government offered an assessment of what it had lost, the numbers were staggering: nearly seven hundred thousand firearms, 1.5 billion rounds of ammunition, more than 3 million hand grenades, and a million land mines. As much as 80 percent of the army’s small arms were missing. Researchers later claimed the official estimates were low.36 Some of these weapons were recovered through government offers of amnesty. Most were not. Many went north to the Kosovo Liberation Army, or KLA, which at the time was listed by the State Department as a terrorist group. The next year, the KLA was fighting a war against Serbian troops.
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- Highlight on Page 434 | Loc. 6643-46  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:39 AM

The remnants of the Soviet army lacked the organization, will, and resources to carry all its equipment. It did try to carry much of its weapons and ammunition. Many columns reached Russia. Others made it only to Ukraine, where their journey stopped. Ukraine, already a prestaged conventional arsenal, became an arms dump along the army’s road home, a nation where rail cars crammed with munitions were abandoned in the open air.
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- Highlight on Page 434 | Loc. 6648-50  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:39 AM

After trying to count its inheritance, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed to own between 2.44 million and 3 million tons of ammunition in as many as 220 depots, and an estimated 7 million military small armsvii—roughly one hundred firearms for every soldier.
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- Highlight on Page 437 | Loc. 6699-6701  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:46 AM

Once the payments from Africa were posted in his offshore bank accounts, Minin dispatched planeloads of Ukraine’s weapons—made for the Cold War, cached in European bunkers, marooned by the Soviet collapse, and tended by government officials both incompetent and criminal—on their journey to Africa, thereby moving guns from a northern Cold War front to the postcolonial power struggles to the south.
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- Highlight on Page 438 | Loc. 6702-6  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:46 AM

These were not ordinary thugs. The RUF, among its many crimes, specialized in mutilation. In raids on villages along the Liberian border, it captured civilians and amputated limbs by hacking them off. It then released survivors and burned down villages as warnings to others. Its leaders with time were indicted on war-crime charges, as was Charles Taylor, who helped ferry them their guns. Sierra Leone and Liberia were not the only African countries to suffer from war criminals emboldened by excess Soviet guns, nor were they the only African countries that suffered atrocities and mutilations at such men’s hands.
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- Highlight on Page 438 | Loc. 6708-9  | Added on Monday, June 20, 2016, 01:47 AM

acronym AK meant not just the Automatic by Kalashnikov. The letters stood for something more: the Africa Killer, the gun that helped sink country after country into fresh cycles of blood.
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- Highlight on Page 440 | Loc. 6742-45  | Added on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 02:38 AM

The Lord’s Resistance Army, sinister and bizarre, descended from a mystical guerrilla movement founded by Alice Auma, a childless Acholi woman who by various accounts was either Kony’s aunt or his cousin. In 1985, Auma returned from a period of isolation on the banks of the Nile claiming to have been possessed by the spirit of an Italian army officer, whom she called Lakwena. Lakwena, she said, spoke dozens of languages. His name meant Word of God.
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- Highlight on Page 440 | Loc. 6747-50  | Added on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 02:38 AM

Late in 1986 Alice announced that Lakwena had ordered her to organize a movement to overthrow the Ugandan government, which was led by Yoweri Museveni, a former guerrilla commander who had displaced a post-Amin Acholi president. At that, Alice Lakwena, a composite of personalities in the form of a young woman with no military experience, became as strange and underqualified a guerrilla leader as the world had known. Yet she found a following. Uganda was suffering, and the Acholi felt abused by Museveni. Her message of rejuvenation appealed.
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- Highlight on Page 441 | Loc. 6760-65  | Added on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 02:40 AM

Rituals arose around Alice’s invocations. Before battle, the soldiers attended purification ceremonies and were rubbed with shea butter oil, which Alice said would render their skin bulletproof. Many Holy Spirit fighters did not carry rifles. Those who did, at least in the beginning, were ordered not to aim at their enemies, but to fire in the general direction and allow spirits to guide bullets toward flesh. Others believed that if they chose the right rocks, those rocks, when thrown, would explode like grenades. The Holy Spirit Mobile Forces were not a rational military organization. But their cultishness gave them an early power against their foes, some of whom believed Auma’s magic was real.
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- Highlight on Page 442 | Loc. 6777-80  | Added on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 02:42 AM

occasional interviews with journalists, who documented her end as an exiled lush, hooked on gin, spiritless, vowing a return. Her homecoming was unnecessary. Joseph Kony replaced her as the possessed guerrilla leader of Acholiland. The new commander had learned what Auma had not. Kony did not ask his child soldiers to rest their faith on shea butter and stone grenades alone. He made sure to give them guns.
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- Highlight on Page 443 | Loc. 6780-81  | Added on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 02:42 AM

Joseph Kony raised Alice Auma’s millennial weirdness several notches, blending her mystical persona with more practical ways to kill. He claimed to inherit her otherworldly contacts in 1987, when spirits took possession of him.
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- Highlight on Page 444 | Loc. 6803-6  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 02:10 AM

In almost any other setting or any other time, Kony would have been marked down as a barking madman, a person to be walked wide around when encountered on the street. But Acholiland was rife with cross-border intrigues, and across Uganda’s northern line, in Sudan, Kony found support. Sudan was willing to arm him and the abducted children with whom he crossed out of Uganda, and to use the LRA to undermine a neighboring state.
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- Highlight on Page 445 | Loc. 6811-13  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 02:12 AM

Assault rifles did more than amplify the war. They gave it stamina, a duration it otherwise could not have had. The children sensed this. “The Arabs gave Kony many weapons, and up to now that is how he has been able to resist,” said one former soldier. “Without the guns it would have just been sticks.”
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- Highlight on Page 446 | Loc. 6836-39  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 02:15 AM

The population suffered from both sides. The Ugandan government forced rural Acholi residents into displaced-person camps, both to protect and to control them. The Acholi economy withered. Eventually, the government invested in heavy weapons to chase the child soldiers down. The use of Mi-24 helicopter gunships was decisive in pushing the brigades across Uganda’s borders.
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- Highlight on Page 448 | Loc. 6862-67  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 02:18 AM

loudness and repetition are not truth, and these statements, echoed by journalists and arms-control advocates over the years, are best viewed with skepticism. The more realistic retail price range for a single automatic Kalashnikov in much of the developing world, depending on many factors (the rifle’s exact type, nation of manufacture, and condition, the local laws and security conditions at the time and point of sale, the experience of the purchaser) is on the order of several hundred dollars. In some conflicts, a thousand dollars is not rare. Prices climb when and where Kalashnikovs are difficult to obtain. In nations capable of enforcing the laws they pass, strict gun control can send prices soaring.
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- Highlight on Page 450 | Loc. 6885-94  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 02:22 AM

Not just cash and barter have been used to acquire rifles; extortion has proven an effective means. In Chechnya, insurgents often gain rifles and ammunition through novel agreements. A local fighting cell will use middlemen to negotiate with Russian or pro-Russian Chechen units for truces. In exchange for not attacking a certain Russian position for a prescribed length of time, the insurgents exact a tax paid in armament—a rifle, a can of ammunition, perhaps a sack of grenades. Sometimes to close deals, they sweeten agreements by delivering vodka regularly to a government checkpoint or position. In this way, Russian units have arranged quiet tours.55 Such arrangements are mercurial, and similar pressures can be applied in the other direction and serve as a mechanism for disarmament. Russian units, when seeking to capture weapons, have set up roadblocks and impounded Chechen civilians’ cars and trucks. For each vehicle to be released, the soldiers tell the evicted drivers, the price is one Kalashnikov rifle, to be obtained as the vehicle’s owners see fit.56 In such situations, a rifle becomes very expensive—worth as much as a family’s automobile.
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- Highlight on Page 451 | Loc. 6907-11  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 02:24 AM

Relatively new, the AKSU-74 had been carried in the Soviet-Afghan War by specialized soldiers, including helicopter and armor crews, for whom a smaller weapon was useful in the tight confines of their transit. For an Afghan fighter, possession of one of these rifles signified bravery and action. It implied that the holder had participated in destroying an armored vehicle or aircraft; the rifle was akin to a scalp. By choosing it, bin Laden silently signaled to his followers: I am authentic, even if his actual combat experience was not what his prop suggested.
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- Highlight on Page 456 | Loc. 6982-84  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 02:34 AM

the United Nations had attempted a rough tally of the human costs to those in places where the rifles are used most. It found that small arms had been the principal weapons in forty-six of the forty-nine major conflicts in the 1990s, in which 4 million people died, roughly 90 percent of them civilians.
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- Highlight on Page 461 | Loc. 7069-71  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 02:43 AM

Not youth, not will, not fitness, neither training nor hard-won knowledge could bring a man broken in this way back to what he had been, seconds before. Slogans and money meant nothing here and now. Even ideas were few. Karzan Mahmoud was not a cadaver. Not yet. He was a man who wanted to stand and feel the handle of a pistol wrapped within his shooting hand. He could not. Instead, he was fighting sleep.
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 468 | Loc. 7175-80  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 02:54 AM

“My God helped me,” he said one night in Ottawa. “I like my God.” He had been helped, but not healed. He knew he never would be. And he found, when considering the rifle that had altered his body and diminished his life, that he wondered about Mikhail Kalashnikov, who lent his name to the weapon. He had a question for the man who proudly insisted he was the inventor of this device. “Why did you make this machine?” Mahmoud asked. “You don’t like living people? You are smart. Why not make something to help people, not make them dead?” Mahmoud was sipping tea, pinching the small warm glass with a mangled hand, furrowing his bullet-scarred brow. “Are you not afraid to see the judge?”
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 472 | Loc. 7228-33  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 03:00 AM

Post-Soviet Russia developed around him into an extraction state, an exporter of hydrocarbons, lumber, minerals, and people. It manufactured few commercial products widely recognized or sought beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union. In its lists of companies and exports, Russia had no Sony, Panasonic, or Samsung; no Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, or Nissan; no Vanguard, Lloyd’s of London, or Sotheby’s; no Gucci, Tag Heuer, or Cartier; no Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nestlé, or Kraft; no Nokia, Black-Berry, Apple, or Microsoft. Russian fashions were not coveted, Russian popular music was scarcely listened to outside the former Soviet Union. But Russia had invented one commercial product that had overtaken much of the world: the AK-47 line. The
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 474 | Loc. 7257-60  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 10:30 PM

Others detected his discomfort, his fatigue, and a sense that he was performing services scripted by others. He goes, frankly, as a bauble, a banquet boy in the rolling Russian hospitality suite, to lend the peddling of planes and tanks some historical gravitas. He helps get the checks written… it is a special torture custom-made for him in a special capitalist hell.86
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 477 | Loc. 7312-17  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 10:37 PM

Americans like to think that everything that is best is “Made in USA” and they would like very much that the period after World War Two would pass under the sign of their achievements and that “according to the law of the markets their American products would fly like a swarm.” Unfortunately, everything was the opposite. The second half of the twentieth century is marked by the fact that the Americans could not feel themselves absolutely unpunished either in Cuba or in Korea or in Vietnam or in tens of other places, which they believed were their zone of vital interests. And everywhere it was the AK that had a sobering effect on them.94
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 478 | Loc. 7318-20  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 10:37 PM

His zigzagging statements were unsurprising. He had lived a complicated life. With a complicated life came a complicated file—that of a survivor in a dystopia that first tormented his family, then championed him as a national hero. He presented a mass of ideas that cannot be squared.
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 478 | Loc. 7329-31  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 10:38 PM

The references to Galileo and the outbursts were significant. They underscored the most consistent qualities of Kalashnikov’s innumerable comments after the Communist Party’s fall: his pride of association with the AK-47 and his sense of extraordinary accomplishment. This was his real position.
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 479 | Loc. 7338-48  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 10:40 PM

These positions made him much different from another renowned figure in Soviet arms design: Andrei D. Sakharov. Sakharov, one of the physicists who led the Soviet nuclear-arms program, had contributed to the successful detonation of RDS-1 outside Semipalatinsk in 1949 while Kalashnikov was involved in outfitting the gun works in Izhevsk. His later work was a cornerstone of the development of the hydrogen bomb. He was a giant in Soviet weapons programs, a three-time Hero of Socialist Labor—one of the rare Soviet men more decorated than Kalashnikov. By the mid-1960s, burdened by the moral responsibilities of his work, he urged an end to the arms race that had been the center of his professional and intellectual life. Sakharov dared to question the entire socialist world. In doing so he rejected its rewards and brought upon himself its wrath. He called for rapprochement with the West and the development of a pluralistic society rooted in human rights and free expression. The Soviet Union ordered him into internal exile and restricted his travels and his writing. In 1973, Yuri Andropov, the chairman of the KGB, who had been the Soviet ambassador to Hungary during the crackdowns in 1956, labeled him “a person involved in anti-social activity.”100 The world saw Sakharov differently. In 1975, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Mikhail Kalashnikov was no Sakharov.
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 480 | Loc. 7360-64  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 10:44 PM

His memoirs touched difficult themes. “Arms makers have strange destinies!” he wrote. “They are saluted with shots they never expected, and it is not orations or music that remind one of jubilees but moans and screams.”101 These were hints at private pain. But almost always, after allowing such a tantalizing glimpse, he turned back to his fuller answers, the jumbled medley of a man whose name was attached to the world’s most common rifle, and a killing machine.
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 481 | Loc. 7366-67  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 10:44 PM

they spread the weapon not because I wanted them to. Not at my choice. I made it to protect the Motherland. Then it was like a genie out of the bottle and began to walk on its own in directions that I did not want.
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The Gun (C. J. Chivers)
- Highlight on Page 486 | Loc. 7445-49  | Added on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 10:51 PM

museum, which struggled for years to raise money for its construction, provides a series of stories within a story. Kalashnikov derided the men who dismantled the Soviet Union and profited from the looting of state assets afterward. The museum in Izhevsk that is dedicated to him was built with donations from Anatoly B. Chubais, one of the main architects of the privatization of state assets, who profited handsomely in the process. The ironies only get richer. Chubais was nearly assassinated in 2005 by at least two men who ambushed his armored BMW on a road outside Moscow, spraying it with Kalashnikov fire.
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July

D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 9 | Loc. 136-41  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 01:49 PM

He was well liked by Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and by General Sir Bernard Montgomery, the commander-in-chief of 21st Army Group, but neither rated him highly as a soldier. ‘There is no doubt that Ike is out to do all he can to maintain the best of relations between British and Americans,’ Brooke wrote in his diary, ‘but it is equally clear that he knows nothing about strategy and is quite unsuited to the post of Supreme Commander as far as running the war is concerned.’ Monty’s characteristically terse judgement on Eisenhower after the war was: ‘Nice chap, no soldier’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 12 | Loc. 180-85  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:02 PM

Eisenhower, despite his nervous state and the appalling responsibility heaped upon him, wisely adopted a philosophical attitude. He had been selected to make the final decisions, so make them he must and face the consequences. The biggest decision, as he knew only too well, was almost upon him. Quite literally, the fate of many thousands of his soldiers’ lives rested upon it. Without telling even his closest aides, Eisenhower prepared a brief statement to be made in the event of failure: ‘The landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 13 | Loc. 189-92  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:05 PM

General Bradley had requested that, having checked the beaches selected for the British and Canadian forces, COPP should also examine Omaha to make sure that it was firm enough for tanks. Captain Scott-Bowden, a sapper, and Sergeant Bruce Ogden-Smith of the Special Boat Section swam ashore, each armed only with a commando knife and a Colt .45 automatic. They also carried an eighteen-inch earth auger and a bandolier with containers into which they put their samples. The sea was unusually flat and they only just escaped discovery by German sentries.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 19 | Loc. 279-82  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:16 PM

‘The British,’ observed a key American staff officer, ‘had a much greater fear of failure.’ This was hardly surprising after the long years of war, with bitter memories of Dunkirk and the ill-fated Dieppe raid. Yet whatever their reasons, they were right to have refused to invade the Continent any earlier. An overwhelming superiority was necessary, and the US Army had had many harsh lessons to learn in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 19 | Loc. 283-85  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:16 PM

Churchill once remarked that the Americans always came to the right decision, having tried everything else first. But even if the joke contained an element of truth, it underplayed the fact that they learned much more quickly than their self-appointed tutors in the British Army. They were not afraid to listen to bright civilians from the business world now in uniform and above all they were not afraid to experiment.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 20 | Loc. 298-301  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:19 PM

Fortunately the King dealt with this in a masterly letter on 2 June: ‘My dear Winston, I want to make one more appeal to you not to go to sea on D-Day. Please consider my own position. I am a younger man than you, I am a sailor, and as King I am the head of all the services. There is nothing I would like better than to go to sea but I have agreed to stay at home; is it fair that you should then do exactly what I should have liked to do myself?’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 21 | Loc. 316-19  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:23 PM

But the lofty and awkward de Gaulle, often to the despair of his own supporters, seemed almost to take a perverse pleasure in biting the American and British hands which fed him. De Gaulle had a totally Franco-centric view of everything. This included a supreme disdain for inconvenient facts, especially anything which might undermine the glory of France. Only de Gaulle could have written a history of the French army and manage to make no mention of the Battle of Waterloo.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 23 | Loc. 340-43  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:28 PM

Allied troops, on the other hand, were warned not to offend French sensibilities after they landed. A pamphlet told them to avoid any reference to France’s humiliating defeat in 1940. ‘Thanks to jokes about “Gay Paree” etc.,’ it added, ‘there is a fairly widespread belief that the French are a gay, frivolous people with no morals and few convictions. This is especially not true at the present time.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 23 | Loc. 348-53  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:30 PM

The weakness of Free French security stemmed not from Vichy spies infiltrating the Gaullist network but from the unsophisticated French codes. Exasperation within the Special Operations Executive, especially after the massive Gestapo infiltration of the Resistance the year before, prompted the chief SOE cryptographer, Leo Marks, to go round to the Gaullists’ office in Duke Street in central London. He asked their cipher officers to encode any message they wanted, then he took it from them and broke it ‘under their astonished noses’. ‘This did not endear the British to the French,’ wrote the official historian with dry understatement. Yet Gallic pride still prevented the Free French from using British or American code systems.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 25 | Loc. 376-79  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:35 PM

Churchill flared up, demanding how the British could act separately from the United States. ‘We are going to liberate Europe, but it is because the Americans are with us. So get this quite clear. Every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea that we shall choose. Every time I have to decide between you and Roosevelt, I shall always choose Roosevelt.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 28 | Loc. 418-20  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:43 PM

Butcher had already arranged for the supreme commander, accompanied by journalists, to go to the airfield at Greenham Common that evening to visit the American 101st Airborne Division. They were due to take off at 23.00 hours for the mission which Leigh-Mallory had predicted would be a disaster.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 29 | Loc. 436-39  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:46 PM

A large number of men took their minds off what lay ahead with frenetic gambling, first with the dubious-looking invasion money and then with saved dollars and pound notes. They were shooting dice and playing blackjack. One man who had won $2,500, a very considerable sum in those days, deliberately played on until he lost the lot. He sensed that if he walked away with the money, the fates would decree his death.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 30 | Loc. 447-49  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:48 PM

After a short speech to arouse their martial ardour, Johnson swiftly bent down, pulled a large commando knife from his boot and brandished it above his head. ‘Before I see the dawn of another day,’ he yelled, ‘I want to stick this knife into the heart of the meanest, dirtiest, filthiest Nazi in all of Europe.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 30 | Loc. 450-52  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:49 PM

General Maxwell Taylor warned his men in the 101st Airborne that fighting at night would be highly confusing. They would find it hard to distinguish their own side from the enemy. For that reason they should fight with their knives and grenades during darkness, and use firearms only after dawn. According to one of his men, ‘he also said that if you were to take prisoners, they handicap our ability to perform our mission.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 30 | Loc. 453-57  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:50 PM

Brigadier General ‘Slim Jim’ Gavin of the 82nd Airborne was perhaps the most measured in his address. ‘Men,’ he said, ‘what you’re going to go through in the next few days, you won’t want to change for a million dollars, but you won’t want to go through it very often again. For most of you, this will be the first time you will be going into combat. Remember that you are going in to kill, or you will be killed.’ Gavin clearly created a strong impression. One of his listeners said that, after his quiet talk, ‘I believe we would have gone to hell with him.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 31 | Loc. 462-66  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:51 PM

Eve of battle rituals included shaving heads, to make it easier for the medics to deal with head wounds, but a number of men decided to leave a strip of hair down the middle in Mohican style. This contributed to the German idea, influenced by Hollywood gangster films and later whipped up by Wehrmacht propaganda detachments, that American airborne troops were recruited from the toughest jails in the United States and came from the ‘übelste Untermenschentum amerikanischer Slums’ - ‘the nastiest underclass from American slums’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 31 | Loc. 471-78  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:53 PM

Paratroopers also went back for extra ammunition, overloading themselves. The greatest fear was to face an enemy with an empty gun. Bandoliers were slung crossways over their chests ‘Pancho Villa style’, canteens were filled to the brim, and pouches packed with spare socks and underwear. The camouflage-netted helmets had an aid kit fixed to the back with bandages, eight sulfa tablets and two syrettes of morphine - ‘one for pain and two for eternity’. Pockets and pouches bulged, not just with 150 rounds of .30 ammunition, but also D-Ration chocolate bars, which possessed a texture akin to semi-set concrete, and a British Gammon grenade, which contained a pound of C2 explosive in a sort of cotton sock. This improvised bomb could certainly be effective against even armoured vehicles (paratroopers called it their ‘hand artillery’), but it was also popular for other reasons. A small amount of the fast-burning explosive could heat a mug of coffee or K-Rations without giving off any smoke from the bottom of a foxhole.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 32 | Loc. 478-81  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:53 PM

Dog tags were taped together to prevent them making a noise. Cigarettes and lighters, together with other essentials, such as a washing and shaving kit, water-purifying tablets, twenty-four sheets of toilet paper and a French phrase book, went into the musette bag slung around the neck, along with an escape kit consisting of a map printed on silk, hacksaw blade, compass and money. The largesse of the issued equipment amazed poor country boys more used to make-do and mend at home.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 33 | Loc. 500-503  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 02:56 PM

‘You know, Oyler, the Germans have been kicking the hell out of us for five years and it is payback time.’ Eisenhower went on to ask him if he was afraid and Oyler admitted that he was. ‘Well, you’d be a damn fool not to be. But the trick is to keep moving. If you stop, if you start thinking, you lose your focus. You lose your concentration. You’ll be a casualty. The idea, the perfect idea, is to keep moving.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 35 | Loc. 526-28  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:00 PM

Their engines ‘growling’, the heavily laden C-47s began to trundle in a seemingly endless sequence down the runway at Greenham Common. General Eisenhower stood there, apparently with tears in his eyes, saluting the paratroopers of the 101st as they took off.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 35 | Loc. 532-35  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:01 PM

Churchill had always preferred an indirect, or peripheral, strategy in the Mediterranean, to avoid another bloodbath in France like the one which had slaughtered the youth of his generation. He was right in the end to have delayed the invasion, albeit for the wrong reasons. The Anglo-American armies had simply not been ready, either materially or in trained manpower, to attempt such an operation before.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 35 | Loc. 536-39  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:02 PM

‘One should not forget,’ he had written to Churchill on 24 June 1943, ‘that on all this depends the possibility to save millions of lives in the occupied regions of western Europe and Russia and reduce the colossal sacrifices of the Soviet armies, in comparison with which the losses of the Anglo-American troops could be considered as modest.’ More than 7 million members of the Soviet armed forces had already died in the war.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 37 | Loc. 566-69  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:27 PM

Hitler had convinced himself that defeating the invasion would knock the British and Americans out of the war. Then he could concentrate all his armies on the eastern front against Stalin. The casualties the German armies in France would suffer in this great defensive battle did not concern him. He had already demonstrated what little attention he paid to loss of life, even in his own guard formation, the 1st SS Panzer-Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 38 | Loc. 576-80  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:32 PM

Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt, the Commander-in-Chief West, regarded the Atlantic Wall as ‘just a bit of cheap bluff’. Like many senior officers, the elderly Rundstedt did not forget Frederick the Great’s dictum ‘He who defends everything defends nothing.’ He believed that the Wehrmacht should abandon Italy, ‘that frightful boot of a country’, and hold a line across the Alps. He also disagreed with the retention of so many troops in Norway, whose strategic importance he considered ‘a purely naval affair’.3
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 39 | Loc. 587  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:33 PM

His policy was contrary to every traditional tenet of the German general staff, which insisted on flexibility.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 40 | Loc. 600-602  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:37 PM

Rommel, a former Hitler loyalist, had become dejected by the effects of Allied air superiority in North Africa. The energetic panzer commander who had been made a national hero now referred cynically to Hitler’s mesmerizing pep talks aimed at depressed generals as ‘sun-ray treatments’. But Rommel never slackened in his attempts to improve the coastal defences.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 41 | Loc. 615-17  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:41 PM

There he worked, looking out over a rose garden not yet in flower. His desk had been the one on which the revocation of the Edict of Nantes had been signed in 1685, a measure which had sent the Huguenot ancestors of many Wehrmacht officers to seek new lives in Prussia.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 41 | Loc. 626-29  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:51 PM

Whenever Rommel complained of the uselessness of the Luftwaffe, Führer headquarters would try to impress him with the prospect of a thousand new jet fighters and countless rockets to bring Britain to its knees. Not only did he refuse to believe these promises, he knew that his hands were tied operationally. Ever since the Battle of Stalingrad, Hitler had not allowed a flexible defence. Every inch of ground must be held.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 42 | Loc. 632-36  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:52 PM

The elderly Rundstedt, on the other hand, while constantly referring in private to Hitler as ‘that Bohemian corporal’, would never have contemplated revolt. If others were to remove the Nazi ‘brown band’, then he would not stand in their way, but he would certainly not commit himself. His ambivalence went deeper. Rundstedt had accepted massive amounts of money from Hitler and must have felt compromised as a result. But even Speidel underestimated the depths to which Rundstedt would sink after the attempted revolution against Hitler failed.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 43 | Loc. 648-53  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 03:59 PM

Rommel, who first made his name as a bold panzer leader in 1940, had since been profoundly influenced by his experiences in North Africa. And now that the Allies had achieved total air supremacy over north-west Europe, he believed that panzer divisions held back from the front for a counter-attack would never be allowed to reach the battle in time to ensure a decisive result. Predictably, a bad compromise was the result of Hitler’s insistent meddling and the confused command structure. Neither Geyr nor Rommel had control over all the panzer divisions, because Hitler would only permit them to be deployed with his approval.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 43 | Loc. 658-63  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 04:08 PM

The Army Group commander’s energy produced mixed feelings in many unit commanders. All the time spent on improving the defences had left fewer opportunities for training. They also suffered from a shortage of ammunition for range practice, which may well have contributed to the generally bad marksmanship of many German units. Rommel also insisted on a dramatic increase in the number of minefields. A British officer heard later from prisoners that many of the dummy minefields had in fact been marked out on the orders of German officers purely to impress their demanding commander-in-chief. They had assumed that he would not poke about too much to check that they were real.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 46 | Loc. 705-9  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 04:22 PM

Those fighting in Normandy, especially in the British sector on the eastern flank round Caen, would see one of the greatest concentrations of SS panzer divisions since the Battle of Kursk. There would be the 1st SS Panzer-Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler; the 12th SS Panzer-Division Hitler Jugend, which contained the youngest and most fanatical troops of all, and then later, when they were transferred from the eastern front, the 9th SS Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen and the 10th SS Panzer-Division Frundsberg. British armour would also encounter two SS Tiger battalions, with devastating consequences.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 47 | Loc. 709-12  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 04:22 PM

The American forces to the west would find themselves facing only the 17th SS Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen, the weakest and worst trained of all the Waffen-SS formations in Normandy, and the 2nd SS Panzer-Division Das Reich, which was soon to become even more infamous for its brutality. But the Americans would come up against many more infantry divisions. Of these, General der Fallschirmtruppen Eugen Meindl’s II Paratroop Corps would prove the most formidable.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 47 | Loc. 713-16  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 04:25 PM

The commander of LXXXIV Corps, which controlled the Normandy sector, was General der Artillerie Erich Marcks, a highly respected and intelligent leader. Thin and wiry, he had lost one eye in the First World War and a deep scar ran across his nose and cheek. The bespectacled Marcks had also lost a leg earlier in the Second World War. ‘He was of Spartan-like, old Prussian simplicity,’ wrote one of his admiring officers. On one occasion, when whipped cream was served at dinner, he said, ‘I do not wish to see this again as long as our country is starving.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 47 | Loc. 718-21  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 04:25 PM

in 1940, France had been seen as ‘a conqueror’s paradise’, according to Rundstedt’s chief of staff, General Günther Blumentritt. As a posting, the country represented the complete antithesis of the Russian front. In fact unmarried officers on leave from the war in the east tried to obtain passes for Paris instead of spending it in an austere and heavily bombed Berlin. They far preferred the prospect of sitting in the sun outside cafés on the Champs-Elysées, then dining in Maxim’s and going on to nightclubs and cabarets afterwards.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 50 | Loc. 753-56  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 04:40 PM

German meteorologists, who lacked the information available to the Allies from weather stations in the western Atlantic, believed that conditions would not be right before 10 June. Rommel decided to seize the opportunity to return to Germany for his wife’s birthday and to see Hitler at Berchtesgaden to ask him for two more panzer divisions. He clearly showed great confidence in the forecasts, for he had not forgotten his absence from the Afrika Korps due to illness when Montgomery launched the Battle of Alamein, nineteen months earlier.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 51 | Loc. 769-71  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 04:41 PM

The bad weather on 5 June did not stop an exercise with blank ammunition in the streets of Montebourg on the Cotentin peninsula, but the Kriegsmarine decided that it was not worth sending out naval patrols into the Channel that night. As a result the flotillas of Allied minesweepers were able to advance in line abreast towards the Normandy coast completely unobserved.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 53 | Loc. 800-801  | Added on Friday, July 01, 2016, 04:49 PM

Stalin had washed his hands of France. It appears that he could not forgive her collapse in 1940, which, contrary to all his calculations, had left the Soviet Union suddenly vulnerable to the Wehrmacht.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 54 | Loc. 816-20  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 12:20 AM

Apart from the obvious reasons for preventing the movement of German troops and supplies by rail, there was an added advantage in forcing movement on to the roads. Tank tracks had only a limited mileage, and as a result of the American Eighth Air Force bombing oil plants and refineries, the Wehrmacht was desperately short of fuel. Their lack of rubber for tyres also provided another very easy target for Resistance groups. Tacks and glass scattered on roads used by supply vehicles proved very effective in hampering road traffic, which was the point of ‘Plan Tortue’, or Plan Tortoise.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Bookmark on Page 56 | Loc. 851  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 12:28 AM


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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 62 | Loc. 946-49  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 12:35 AM

While his operations officer alerted the division, Reichert rang LXXXI Corps headquarters at Rouen. By this time the guns had stopped firing, leaving an uneasy calm. Reichert, who had been sceptical about the whole invasion, now sensed that it really was starting, even if this attack was only a feint. Two captured British paratroopers were brought in, but they refused to answer questions. The accuracy of the maps found on them shook Reichert. They showed almost every gun emplacement. He deduced that the French Resistance had been even busier than the Germans had imagined.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 63 | Loc. 959-61  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 12:36 AM

Of the British airborne operations that night, Howard’s success with the two bridges was about the only one which went according to plan. Brigadier James Hill, the commander of 3rd Parachute Brigade, had warned his officers before their departure, ‘Gentlemen, in spite of your excellent training and orders, do not be daunted if chaos reigns. It undoubtedly will.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 69 | Loc. 1058-61  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 12:56 AM

As the aircraft reached the Channel Islands, German flak batteries on Jersey and Guernsey opened fire. One paratrooper remarked that it was ironic to get such a welcome from ‘two islands named after nice moo cows’. A Royal Navy motor torpedo boat, MTB 679, signalled the point where the aircraft were to turn east for their run over the Cotentin peninsula to their drop zones. Once the French coast was in sight, pilots passed back the warning that they had less than ten minutes to go.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 74 | Loc. 1126-29  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:10 AM

The captain with them had to go to a farmhouse to find out where they were. The French family tried to help by giving them a simple map of the Cotentin torn from a telephone directory. Another airborne officer, however, observed that the unintended dispersal of units during the chaotic drop had proved an unexpected advantage in one way: ‘The Germans thought we were all over creation.’ But the paratroopers were only slightly less confused themselves.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 77 | Loc. 1172-76  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:16 AM

The sergeant pulled the bolt back on his Thompson sub-machine gun. In desperation, the boys grabbed the legs of the lieutenant and the chaplain as they and the French family shouted at the sergeant not to shoot them. Finally, the sergeant was persuaded to stop. The boys were locked in the farm’s cellar. But the sergeant was not put off his mission of vengeance. ‘Let’s go and find some Krauts to kill!’ he yelled to his men, and they left. The members of the 101st were shaken by what they had witnessed. ‘These people had gone ape,’ a senior non-com remarked later.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 77 | Loc. 1178-80  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:17 AM

General Maxwell Taylor, the commander of the 101st, had accumulated a group of thirty men, which included four colonels as well as other officers. This prompted him to parody Churchill, with the comment, ‘Never before in the annals of warfare have so few been commanded by so many.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 87 | Loc. 1321-26  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:38 AM

The sobering thoughts prompted by these precautions were offset when ships’ captains read Eisenhower’s message to the invasion troops over the public address system: ‘Soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, towards which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave allies and brothers in arms on the other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.’ Many admitted to getting ‘goose bumps’ on listening to the stirring words. Before midnight, US Navy ships went to ‘general quarters’ and the Royal Navy to ‘action stations’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 91 | Loc. 1385-86  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:45 AM

For French sailors, as for French airmen, the idea of bombarding their own country was deeply disturbing, but they did not shrink from their task.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 92 | Loc. 1398-1403  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:48 AM

The landing ships also moved in to their offshore positions. A US Navy lieutenant who commanded an LST (landing ship tank) headed for Gold beach with British troops slipped below for a moment to look at the radar plot. ‘The screen was literally filled all over with little pinpoints of light,’ he wrote, ‘ships everywhere 360 degrees from the centerpoint of where we were.’ When he returned, the senior British officer on board put a hand on his shoulder just before he addressed the ship’s company over the tannoy. ‘Most of my men,’ this colonel said, ‘have seen the worst of desert warfare and a good many of them were in France and evacuated through Dunkirk. So I’d advise you to go easy, go quick, and don’t get dramatic or emotional.’ The young American followed his lead and ‘made a very simple announcement’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 96 | Loc. 1463-65  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:56 AM

One Royal Navy officer in command of a rocket ship had frozen in horrified disbelief when he had opened his secret orders. His allotted target at the mouth of the River Dives was the elegant seaside resort of Cabourg. As a Francophile and a devoted Proustian, he was appalled. Cabourg was Marcel Proust’s ‘Balbec’, the setting for A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 97 | Loc. 1473-76  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:57 AM

It was six months to the day since Roosevelt had turned to Eisenhower in the staff car on Tunis airfield and said, ‘Well, Ike, you are going to command Overlord.’ But the ‘longest day’, as Rommel was to call it, had only just begun. Extremely worrying news soon came in from Eisenhower’s great friend General Gerow, the commander of V Corps, which was assaulting Omaha beach.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 103 | Loc. 1565-69  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:11 PM

Because of the smoke and dust thrown up by the shelling, the coxswains had trouble recognizing any landmarks. One landing craft with men of the 1st Division beached near Port-en-Bessin, over ten miles down the coast. Many of the landing craft were manned by Royal Navy crews. Several misleading accounts have suggested that they were young, inexperienced and frightened, and in a couple of cases were ordered at gunpoint to take the craft in closer. More reliable sources from eye-witnesses have in fact testified to their skill and courage.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 104 | Loc. 1585-87  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:12 PM

One soldier, who jumped into five feet of water, found that ‘bullets were splashing right in front of my nose, on both sides and everywhere. Right then and there I thought of every sin I’d committed and never prayed so hard in my life.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 108 | Loc. 1656-59  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:19 PM

With astonished admiration, he watched one of his medical orderlies: ‘Corporal A. E. Jones, who was always puny - 105 lbs and 5’ 5” high - was the last one to expect anything spectacular of. In all this fire when one would hardly have a chance to go down the beach and back to live, he went out six times and brought men in.’ On one occasion, he went to examine one of the wounded, came back to Captain Hall to describe the wound and asked what he should do.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 109 | Loc. 1663-65  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:19 PM

German artillery concentrated its fire on the Shermans, especially tanks with dozer blades. No fewer than twenty-one of the 743rd Tank Battalion’s fifty-one Shermans were knocked out. Those tanks that ran out of ammunition moved up and down the beach in relays to give shelter to infantrymen crossing the killing ground. ‘What saved us were the tanks,’ a private in the 1st Division acknowledged.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 110 | Loc. 1675-78  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:20 PM

Closer in, the obstacles had still not been cleared. The engineers of the 146th Special Underwater Demolition Battalion had been landed over a mile east of their appointed landing place, mainly because of the cross-current. Cota and Canham held a hurried discussion. Not only battalions, but even companies and platoons had been broken up in the landings. What they needed to do was to force the men, once they had cleaned their weapons, to start breaking through the wire and minefields on to the bluffs behind to attack the German positions.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 110 | Loc. 1679-84  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:21 PM

At 08.00 hours, while Cota searched for a point to break through the wire towards the Les Moulins draw, a terrible scene took place. Just as a large landing craft, the LCIL 91, approached the beach, an artillery shell exploded on board, apparently hitting the fuel tank of a soldier carrying a flame-thrower. ‘He was catapulted clear of the deck, completely clearing the starboard bulkhead, and plunging into the water. Burning fuel from the flame-thrower covered the foredeck and superstructure of the ship . . . The LCIL, which was the 116th’s alternative headquarters, continued to burn for more than 18 hours, during which her stores of 20 mm ammunition for the Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns continually exploded.’ Ten minutes later the LCIL 92 suffered a similar fate. Many badly burned engineers had to be dragged under heavy fire up to the lee of the sea wall.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 110 | Loc. 1686-91  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:22 PM

One of his soldiers spotted ‘Old Hatchetface’ with his ‘right arm in a sling and clutching a .45 Colt in his bony left hand’. Canham, ‘tall and thin, with wire-rim glasses and a pencil thin mustache’, was the southerner who had warned his men that two-thirds of them would be killed. He was shouting for officers to get their men off the beach. ‘Get these men the hell off this beach! Go kill some goddamned Krauts!’ A lieutenant colonel sheltering from the mortar barrage shouted back, ‘Colonel, you’d better take cover or you’re going to get killed!’ ‘Get your ass out of there!’ Canham screamed back. ‘And get these men off this goddamned beach.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 111 | Loc. 1697-1702  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:24 PM

In fact the first breakthrough on Omaha had already taken place when part of the 2nd Battalion of the 16th Infantry landed between Saint-Laurent and Colleville. They crossed the beach with only two casualties. At 07.35 hours, the German 352nd Infanterie-Division had reported to General Marcks’s headquarters, ‘North-east of Colleville enemy forces of 100 to 200 men have penetrated our lines.’ The Germans were clearly concerned. One battalion of ‘Task Force Meyer’ was told to deal with the breakthrough near Colleville, but according to its divisional headquarters, it could not be expected to arrive ‘within one and a half hours’. In fact Allied air attacks prevented it from arriving until late afternoon.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 112 | Loc. 1703-5  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:24 PM

As the American official history pointed out, the British 50th Division, which was landing on Gold beach some miles to the east, provided ‘the gravest immediate threat for the Germans’. Even though their H-Hour had been fixed an hour later than the American assault, ‘the British assault cracked through the coast defenses in some places during the first few hours’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 112 | Loc. 1705-7  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:25 PM

The left flank of the 352nd Division was completely exposed and the bulk of Meyer’s Kampfgruppe was redirected towards Crépon to face the British. Meyer himself was killed later that day fighting the British at Bazenville. Only ninety of his men out of nearly 3,000 rejoined the division.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 114 | Loc. 1743-46  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:30 PM

A mortar bomb landed by Canham’s group, killing two men next to Cota and blasting his radio operator twenty feet up the hill. They moved the command post rapidly, but still had no contact with the 1st Division on the left. Communications had collapsed. To compound the problem of radios wrecked by sea water, German riflemen had targeted the heavily burdened signallers as they lumbered up the beach with their ninety-pound packs.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 115 | Loc. 1752-56  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:31 PM

Gerow informed Bradley aboard the USS Augusta of the position. They were deeply worried. Bradley even began to consider the possibility of abandoning Omaha and switching following waves either to Utah beach or to the British sector. The situation on many parts of Omaha, especially round the Vierville exit, was indeed horrific. Yet despite the impression of universal chaos, some troops were landing almost unopposed and breaking through to the ridge with comparatively few casualties, as the 1st Division had already shown near Colleville.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 116 | Loc. 1768-71  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:32 PM

The scenes of chaos on the beach and offshore had hardly improved by 09.30 hours. ‘It was just one big mass of junk, of men and materials,’ an officer reported later. There were burnt-out and still-burning vehicles, corpses, and discarded equipment scattered in all directions. Bodies continued to wash up, rolling like logs in the surf, parallel with the water’s edge. One soldier said, ‘They looked like Madame Tussaud’s. Like wax. None of it seemed real.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 116 | Loc. 1775-78  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:33 PM

The course of the battle against the emplacements gradually turned against the defenders. In one case combat engineers managed to place a truck loaded with TNT beside a pillbox. ‘They lit the fuse and blew it up. Going in, they found German bodies all untouched by the explosives, blood pouring out of their noses and mouths. They had been killed by concussion.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 116 | Loc. 1778-81  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:33 PM

The most effective weapons were the guns of the destroyers, eight American and three British, which sailed in parallel to the shore and dangerously close to bombard German positions. Their guns became so hot that teams of sailors had to play hoses on them to cool them down. Many soldiers on Omaha later believed, with a good deal of truth, that these front-line destroyers saved the day.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 119 | Loc. 1814-18  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:51 PM

Colonel Canham also appeared, having led another group up the bluff. Canham and Cota conferred and decided that these groups from the 1st Battalion of the 116th should push on with the Rangers to Pointe et Raz de la Percée. This mixed force became known as Cota’s ‘bastard brigade’. Men from the 116th said of the Rangers that ‘individually they were the best fighting men we’ve ever worked with, but you couldn’t get them together to work as a team’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 120 | Loc. 1840-43  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:54 PM

Cota returned to his own command post. He was clearly not pleased by some of the sights: ‘Some of the 6th Engineer Special Brigade troops who had dug themselves shallow trenches as protection from the artillery, were calmly eating K rations, while around them were bodies of the dead and dying.’ But nobody could fault the medics, who were carrying back men wounded by anti-personnel mines on the bluff above.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 121 | Loc. 1843-45  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 01:56 PM

The build-up of forces soon accelerated. By 12.30 hours the Americans had landed 18,772 men on Omaha. Half an hour later, a company from the 1st Division’s 16th Infantry Regiment, supported by men from the 29th Division’s 116th Infantry, began to attack Colleville-sur-Mer.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 124 | Loc. 1896-97  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 06:44 PM

Omaha became an American legend, but a crueller truth lay ahead in the fighting to come. The average losses per division on both sides in Normandy were to exceed those for Soviet and German divisions during an equivalent period on the eastern front.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 124 | Loc. 1900-1904  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 06:48 PM

The dawn of D-Day on the Cotentin peninsula brought only a little clarity to the scattered American airborne troops. The tall hedgerows of the Normandy fields made it hard to orientate themselves. For many, daylight meant that they could at last light a cigarette without giving their position away. Finding containers and equipment bundles also became easier. A French boy with a horse and cart helped an airborne staff officer gather them up. German soldiers also profited as a result of the manna from heaven which had rained down in containers during the night. They helped themselves to American K-Rations and cigarettes.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 128 | Loc. 1953-55  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 07:13 PM

For American paratroopers, the sound of the naval bombardment of Utah beach provided the first reassurance that the invasion was proceeding according to plan. But with the loss of so much equipment and ammunition in the drop, and the increasing concentration of German forces against them, everything depended on how quickly the 4th Infantry Division would arrive.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 128 | Loc. 1960-63  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 07:14 PM

The gunfire, while failing to hit many of the German positions, cleared large parts of the minefields on which the enemy had relied. Meanwhile the medium bombers of the Ninth Air Force dropped their loads much closer to the target area at Utah than the Eighth had at Omaha, but even so the effect on German positions was negligible.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 129 | Loc. 1972-75  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 07:16 PM

The first senior officer ashore at Utah was the irrepressible Brigadier General Teddy Roosevelt Jr, son of a former president and a cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Teddy Jr had named his Jeep ‘Rough Rider’ in his father’s honour. On seeing that the 8th Infantry Regiment had landed in the wrong place, Roosevelt rightly decided that it would be stupid to try to redeploy. ‘We’ll start the war from here!’ he announced.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 130 | Loc. 1987-89  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 07:18 PM

The beaches were cleared of Germans in less than an hour, thus creating something of an anticlimax. ‘There was little of the expected excitement and not much confusion.’ Instead of opening fifty-yard channels through the obstacles, the engineers began to clear the whole beach at once. The contrast with Omaha could not have been greater.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 130 | Loc. 1989-92  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 07:19 PM

The only factor the two beaches had in common was Allied air supremacy. The presence of Lightnings, Mustangs and Spitfires almost constantly overhead greatly boosted morale, but they found no Luftwaffe to attack. Only two German aircraft reached the beaches during daylight on D-Day, largely because of the huge Allied fighter umbrella inland, ready to attack any plane which took off.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 133 | Loc. 2030-33  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 07:40 PM

The most extraordinary encounter of the 4th Division’s advance to relieve the paratroopers was American infantry fighting a German cavalry unit made up of former Red Army prisoners. The horsemen had forced their mounts to the ground to take up firing positions behind them, a classic cavalry tactic. ‘We had to kill most of the horses,’ wrote a lieutenant unused to such warfare, ‘because the Germans were using them for shelter.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 136 | Loc. 2072-74  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 07:45 PM

As soon as the air raid started, many had instinctively run out into the countryside, where they sought shelter in barns and farmyards. When they finally summoned the courage to return to Saint-Lô, they were horrified by the smell of corpses still buried beneath the ruins. Some 300 civilians had died. Normandy, they had discovered, was to be the sacrificial lamb for the liberation of France.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 141 | Loc. 2151-55  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 08:04 PM

Major Stanley Christopherson, who commanded the squadron attached to the 2nd Essex, had not found their colonel at the rendezvous. Not wanting to go in search of him in his tank down narrow lanes encumbered with infantry, he left the squadron with his second in command, Keith Douglas, and decided to take a horse, which he found ready saddled outside a house. ‘Never in my wildest dreams,’ Christopherson wrote in his diary, ‘did I ever anticipate that D-Day would find me dashing along the lanes of Normandy endeavouring, not very successfully, to control a very frightened horse with one hand, gripping a map case in the other, and wearing a tin hat and black overalls!
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 142 | Loc. 2164-67  | Added on Saturday, July 02, 2016, 08:05 PM

The Canadians, despite their battledress uniform and regimental system inherited from the British Army, in many ways felt closer to the Americans than to their mother country. They cultivated a certain scepticism towards British Army conventions and referred to Overlord as ‘Operation Overboard’, after being smothered in instructions from British staff officers at Second Army headquarters.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 147 | Loc. 2242-45  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 02:30 AM

Just before landing, an officer with the 41st Royal Marine Commando observed those around him on the landing craft: ‘Some were scared shitless, others fiercely proud just to be a part of it. Anticipation with nervous excitement showed everywhere.’ The first wave of infantry, the 1st Battalion the South Lancashire Regiment and the 2nd East Yorkshires, arrived to find that the first DD tanks were already ashore and firing at strongpoints.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 149 | Loc. 2273-75  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 02:34 AM

Later than planned, Lovat led his force inland on a forced march towards the two bridges at Bénouville captured by John Howard’s company early that morning. Lovat’s conspicuous bravery had prompted his men to refer to him as ‘the mad bastard’. Although a great fighter, he still retained, as 25th Chief of the Clan Fraser, a touch of the grand seigneur.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 149 | Loc. 2278-81  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 02:35 AM

Lovat turned to Millin: ‘Right, Piper. Start the pipes again and keep playing as long as you can until we get to Bénouville. The Airborne are at the bridges there, and when they hear the pipes, they will know we are coming.’ Millin played ‘Blue Bonnets Over the Border’ as they approached their objective. Lovat, with a great sense of occasion, shook hands with Howard and remarked that they had made history that day.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 153 | Loc. 2333-36  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 02:42 AM

Although Sword beach, between Lion-sur-Mer and Ouistreham, was secured rapidly, the advance inland was unnecessarily sluggish. An astonishing number of soldiers, tired from wading in through the waves and relieved to have survived the landing, felt that they had earned the right to a cigarette and a mug of tea. Many started to brew up on the beach, even though it was still under fire. The naval staff yelled at them to get inland and chase the Germans off.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 153 | Loc. 2336-40  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 02:42 AM

Both Canadians and Americans were bemused by the British Army’s apparent inability to complete a task without a tea break. They also noticed a widespread reluctance to help other arms. Infantry refused to help ‘fill a crater or get a vehicle out of difficulties’, and when not engaged on an engineering task, sappers failed to fire at the enemy. Whether this demarcation mentality arose out of the trade union movement or the regimental system - both of which cultivated an ideal of collective loyalty - the basic fault often came from a lack of confidence among young officers.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 153 | Loc. 2341  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 02:42 AM

The failure of the British 3rd Infantry Division to seize their objective of Caen on the first day soon proved critical.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 162 | Loc. 2480-84  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 03:05 AM

But the fighting ahead would make the Allied casualties suffered on D-Day appear light in comparison. Those British formations which felt that they had ‘done it all before’ in North Africa were about to receive a nasty shock when they came up against the Waffen-SS. Allied air power could do comparatively little to help them when it came to fighting skilled and determined defenders, village by village in the cornfields round Caen and field by field in the Normandy bocage.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 163 | Loc. 2496-98  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 12:40 PM

And the entire agglomeration remained there intact without any real interference from the German side. I clearly understood the mood of the German soldier abandoned by the Luftwaffe.’ The embittered cry of ‘Wo ist die Luftwaffe? ’ became a constant refrain of the German army’s experience in Normandy.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 164 | Loc. 2501-3  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 12:41 PM

On the beach, the detritus of war defied description, with burnt-out vehicles, smashed landing craft, abandoned gas masks, Bangalore torpedoes and weapons. The scene did not stop that stickler for discipline General Gerhardt from yelling at a soldier for dropping orange peel on the ground.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 164 | Loc. 2514-20  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 12:44 PM

The beach remained a dangerous place, and not just for civilians. Odd artillery rounds still fell and men from the 6th Engineer Special Brigade were blowing up obstacles and mines. White tape marked the ‘deloused’ areas, but further on bodies could still be seen in minefields which had not yet been cleared. Bulldozer crews worked hard to open routes for the follow-up troops and vehicles landing. Bodies were stacked outside tented casualty clearing centres. A makeshift cemetery was cordoned off. Spare soldiers were assigned to grave registration. ‘We all seemed in a trance,’ noted one of them, ‘removing dog tags and other morbid duties.’ To speed the work, German prisoners were offered double rations if they volunteered to dig graves. Most shrugged and agreed. Later this harrowing work was passed to quartermaster companies of black soldiers.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 166 | Loc. 2534-37  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 12:54 PM

Rudder’s men, having run out of ammunition, were using captured German weapons. Their very distinctive noise confused the relief force and the Shermans from the 743rd Tank Battalion began firing on the Rangers, killing four and wounding another six. ‘Again Colonel Rudder,’ wrote an engineer with his group, ‘displayed his great courage and leadership as he helped the men in his command post hold up an American flag as high as they could, so the troops advancing would know that we were Americans.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 167 | Loc. 2548-51  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 12:55 PM

An air service squadron started to construct a proper landing strip for transport planes above Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer. Finished in record time, it was designated A-1. Soon olive drab C-47 Skytrains were landing ammunition in a constant stream, then taking off again filled with wounded strapped to litters. On her first trip, a flight nurse found that one of her patients had died. To prevent the others finding out, she pretended to check him every few minutes until they landed back in England.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 167 | Loc. 2560-65  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 12:56 PM

Mopping up was slow, dangerous work, because of isolated riflemen and machine guns. A lieutenant desperate to exert his authority soon fell victim. He had deliberately said to his platoon sergeant in front of everyone, ‘Sergeant, I want you to understand that you have my permission to shoot any man who does not obey any order given from here on out.’ When they came under fire, he took the sergeant’s binoculars and rifle. Rejecting advice from his non-coms, he announced that he was going ‘to get those bastards’ and began to climb a prominent tree in a hedgerow. After firing a couple of rounds, he was hit, and fell mortally wounded on the far side of the hedge.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 168 | Loc. 2565-67  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 12:57 PM

That evening, a German pioneer from the 352nd Infanterie-Division found a copy of the American operational plan on the body of a young officer from the 29th Division. He passed it to Oberst Ziegelmann, who could hardly believe his eyes. The key points were conveyed to General Marcks that night, but the documents did not reach Rommel and OB West for another two days.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 168 | Loc. 2567-70  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 12:57 PM

Rundstedt’s chief of staff, Blumentritt, wrote that the plan clearly showed that this was ‘Die Invasion’, but ‘the Führer personally still expected a second cross-Channel invasion against the Fifteenth Army at any time up to the beginning of August’. Plan Fortitude’s deception had proved more effective than the Allies had ever dared imagine.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 168 | Loc. 2573-75  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 12:59 PM

With great bravery and skill, ‘Lieutenant Kermit Miller of E Company crossed the inundated area just north of Colombières with his platoon and killed 46 Germans, knocked out two armored cars and one staff car, wrecked an enemy headquarters and returned with 12 prisoners.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 169 | Loc. 2584-86  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:01 PM

The 115th became even more unnerved when they had ‘trouble from those trigger happy [Texan] boys’ in the 2nd Infantry Division, coming up from behind shooting at everything to their front. ‘One battalion of the 115th Infantry attributed 3% of its casualties to the 2nd Division.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 169 | Loc. 2587-92  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:02 PM

Because radio communications had not improved, Gerhardt designated ‘post-riders’, who were officers in Jeeps, dashing back and forth, reporting on the progress and exact position of the leading troops. They needed to drive fast to avoid the fire of German stragglers. Gerhardt himself, wearing white gloves and a blue scarf round his neck (which matched the blue ribbon round the neck of his dog), wanted to be wherever there was action. And if there was no action, he wanted to know why. Gerhardt did not believe in making himself inconspicuous. He was driven around in a specially adapted Jeep named ‘Vixen Tor’, on which was mounted a red flashing light and siren.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 170 | Loc. 2596-2601  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:03 PM

The commander of the 175th was reluctant to advance further without more artillery support, but Gerhardt did not take kindly to such excuses. He ordered the regiment to continue the advance through the night of 8 June and by midnight it was outside Isigny. Most of the prisoners taken were Polish or Osttruppen. The anti-tank company was astonished when ‘an American on a white horse came down the road with about eleven prisoners’. He called out to them, “‘These are Polish, all but two. They’re Germans.” He then took out his pistol and shot both of them in the back of the head and we just stood there.’
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- Highlight on Page 171 | Loc. 2613-19  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:06 PM

The most serious attack reached the centre of Sainte-Mère-Eglise during the afternoon of 7 June. An artillery officer from the 4th. Division, arriving by Jeep, reported on what he saw: ‘17.00 hours went into Sainte-Mère-Eglise by Jeep from the south. Tank battle going on. Flame throwers. Saw a German soldier, a “human torch”, crawl to the center of the street from the side when a German [panzer] rolled right over him squashing him flat and extinguishing the flames at the same time. American tanks destroyed most of the German tanks, for the loss of three of their own. Fighting moved northwards. Saw a sunken road north of the town which the German tanks had used and also crushed some of their own dead. Part of 8th Infantry took this road and used it for their own defense that night. They had to pull the German bodies aside to dig their foxholes and several of them fell to pieces.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 172 | Loc. 2628-34  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:08 PM

Other pockets of resistance closer to Utah beach were also eliminated. At Saint-Martin-de-Varreville, the elaborate strongpoint included pillboxes linked by underground tunnels ‘and Jerry went from one to another at will often returning to one we thought had been captured’. The fighting on both sides remained just as vicious. An officer with the 4th Infantry Division stated that the bodies of four men from an airborne medical unit had been found: ‘Their throats had been cut almost from ear to ear.’ A trick frequently reported in the bocage fighting was for German soldiers to pretend to surrender. Then, as soon as Americans approached to take them prisoner, they would throw themselves to the ground as a hidden machine-gunner opened fire. The 4th Infantry first encountered this with German paratroopers from the 6th Paratroop Regiment, who apparently killed a lieutenant in this way.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 173 | Loc. 2640-44  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:09 PM

A number of American soldiers appear to have acquired a strong suspicion of the French before even setting foot in the country. ‘France was like enemy country,’ commented a captain in the 29th Infantry Division. Many had never been to another country where a foreign language was spoken and found it hard to see the difference between ‘enemy-occupied’ and just ‘enemy’. Others said openly that they ‘couldn’t trust them in Normandy’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 173 | Loc. 2651-55  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:11 PM

On both sides, mercifully, there were also cases of unexpected humanity. On the northern flank near Sainte-Mère-Eglise, Sergeant Prybowski, a medical non-com, was searching hedgerows for wounded when he came across two injured paratroopers. As he sat there applying bandages to their wounds, one of them whispered to him, ‘You’d better get down. There’s an 88 back of you.’ The sergeant laughingly turned round, only to stare down the barrel of a field gun. In the hedgerow a group of German artillerymen were watching them. But they allowed Prybowski to finish bandaging the two men and take them away.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 174 | Loc. 2662-65  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:13 PM

Surrounded by part of the 1057th Grenadier-Regiment, Shanley’s reduced force was heavily outnumbered. Then they found that the Germans were bringing up artillery. This development was spotted from across the river. A naval gunfire controller radioed back to the bombardment force offshore. Allied warships, at a range of more than twelve miles, proceeded to knock out the German artillery without inflicting serious casualties on the beleaguered paratroopers.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 175 | Loc. 2670-73  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:14 PM

Fighting the 91st Luftlande-Division among the hedgerows proved traumatic for these untested troops. Their performance was so lamentable that the divisional commander and two of his regimental commanders were sacked. American generals were ruthless with subordinate commanders who ‘could not get their troops to perform the task which a division or corps said had to be done’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 175 | Loc. 2678-80  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:15 PM

For Overlord planners, one of the key items in their calculations had been the speed with which German reinforcements would reach the invasion front. Much depended on Allied efforts to seal off the battlefield by the bombing programme of ‘Transportation’, by Allied fighter-bombers and by the sabotage and attacks of the French Resistance groups trained by SOE and the Jedburgh teams.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 175 | Loc. 2681-84  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:16 PM

One of the first formations the Americans were to encounter in the battle for Carentan was the 17th SS Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen. This new division was named after an old warhorse of the sixteenth century who, after losing his right hand in combat, had a blacksmith make him an iron fist as a replacement. The iron fist became the divisional emblem.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 177 | Loc. 2701-2  | Added on Sunday, July 03, 2016, 01:18 PM

Most of the 17th SS Division, however, was held back near Saint-Lô because of fuel shortages, before being allocated to a counter-attack planned against the American paratroopers attacking Carentan.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 177 | Loc. 2714-15  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:28 AM

General Mahlmann’s 353rd Infanterie-Division had even less motorized transport. His most mobile units were two battalions on bicycles designated the Radfahrbeweglichemarschgruppe (the Mobile Bicycle March Group).
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 178 | Loc. 2719-23  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:30 AM

Most notorious of all movements to the Normandy front was that of the 2nd SS Panzer-Division Das Reich. Its commander, SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Lammerding, had been chief of staff to the infamous Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, who would soon be brought in to destroy the Warsaw uprising. The Das Reich Division revelled in its brutality. It had taken part in Partisanenkrieg in the Soviet Union and the mass murder of Jews with Einsatzgruppe B in the region around Minsk. When they moved from the eastern front to the area of Toulouse in April, its officers saw no reason why they should behave any differently.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 179 | Loc. 2739-45  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:35 AM

The achievement of the Resistance in delaying the Das Reich Division was one of its greatest contributions to the battle for Normandy. SOE networks had played a large part, destroying the Das Reich’s fuel dumps before they even started, sabotaging rolling stock, blowing railway lines and organizing sequences of small ambushes. In the Dordogne, twenty-eight members of the Resistance managed to hold up one column for forty-eight hours near Souillac. Almost all were killed in this utterly courageous act of self-sacrifice. The delays inflicted, combined with reports radioed back to London, gave the RAF the opportunity to attack the division on several occasions, most notably in Angoulême. Altogether it took the Das Reich Division seventeen days to reach the front, fourteen more than expected.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 185 | Loc. 2836-39  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:10 PM

Geyr, who believed like Guderian in the importance of a massive panzer counter-attack, was shaken to find how effective the Allied bombing of key towns had been in blocking approach routes. Having strongly opposed the idea of deploying panzer divisions close to the coast, he still refused to acknowledge that Rommel’s healthy respect for Allied air power had been more prescient. Geyr was to suffer for this hubris when Ultra intercepts identified the exact location of his headquarters a few days later.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 186 | Loc. 2840-44  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:10 PM

At the end of D-Day, British commanders in the Sword beachhead had played down their failure to take Caen with the misplaced optimism that ‘we can always take it tomorrow’. The repulse of the 21st Panzer-Division had raised exaggerated hopes. They had not yet come up against the Hitler Jugend and they also failed to appreciate that the most effective weapon in the 21st Panzer’s armoury was not its tanks, but its twenty-four 88 mm anti-tank guns.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 200 | Loc. 3066-69  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:25 PM

As the bloody stalemate in front of Caen became clear, Montgomery decided to send his two ‘best batsmen’ into play on 11 June. Both the 7th Armoured Division and the 51st Highland Division had distinguished themselves under his command in North Africa, but they were to receive a rude shock in Normandy. The 51st was diverted to the east of the River Orne to prepare the left-hook on Caen, while the Desert Rats of the 7th Armoured would mount a right-hook from the American flank near Tilly-sur-Seulles.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 201 | Loc. 3069-73  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:25 PM

The Scots of the 51st Highland Division did not believe in hiding their light under a bushel. Other formations called them the ‘Highway Decorators’, because almost every road junction had a prominently displayed ‘HD’ and an arrow. The 51st moved over the Orne into the 6th Airborne’s bridgehead. There, the heavily outnumbered and outgunned paratroopers had been forced back by relentless counter-attacks. With astonishing resilience, they faced Luck’s Kampfgruppe from the 21st Panzer-Division, the 711th Infanterie-Division and the newly arrived 346th Infanterie-Division.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 201 | Loc. 3078-83  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:26 PM

‘The fury of artillery is a cold, mechanical fury,’ wrote a Highlander, ‘but its intent is personal. When you are under its fire you are the sole target. All of that shrieking, whining venom is directed at you and at no one else. You hunch in your hole in the ground, reduce yourself into as small a thing as you can become, and you harden your muscles in a pitiful attempt at defying the jagged, burning teeth of the shrapnel. Involuntarily you curl up into the foetal position except that your hands go down to protect your genitalia. This instinct to defend the place of generation against the forces of annihilation was universal.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 204 | Loc. 3116-20  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:30 PM

The cavalry regiments of the famed ‘Desert Rats’ had brought their rather insouciant attitude with them to a very different battleground. Unlike the undulating cornfields of the Caen sector, this was bocage country, with sunken lanes and high hedges. ‘You’ll get a shock after the desert,’ a trooper in the Sherwood Rangers warned a newly arrived friend. ‘We could see the buggers in the desert and they could see us. Here they can see us, but I’ll be buggered if we can see them.’ Attacking through the leafy green tunnels, he added, ‘gives you the bloody creeps’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 204 | Loc. 3123-25  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:32 PM

Dempsey told Erskine to push on to Villers-Bocage with the 11th Hussars, an armoured reconnaissance regiment, out in front. But Erskine switched them to the role of flank guards instead. This was to prove a very serious mistake.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 204 | Loc. 3128-31  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:33 PM

‘Bucknall was very weak, and I am certain quite unfit to command a corps.’ His reputation had been boosted by the capture of Bayeux, but he was not highly rated by those who knew him. Dempsey also had his doubts, but did nothing. As the American airborne commander General Maxwell D. Taylor put it, British senior commanders never had the tradition of really pressing subordinates. American generals thought that their British counterparts were far too polite.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 205 | Loc. 3132-33  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:33 PM

Erskine’s failure to provide an armoured reconnaissance screen in front, rather than as a flank guard, led to one of the most devastating ambushes in British military history.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 205 | Loc. 3141-45  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:35 PM

The only enemy presence sighted had been a German eight-wheeled armoured car just before they entered the town, but it disappeared before the nearest Cromwell could traverse its turret. Brigadier Hinde, who accompanied them in a scout car, knew that to hold the town securely, they must occupy the feature on the north-east side known as Hill 213. The commanding officer of the Sharpshooters, Lieutenant Colonel the Viscount Cranley, wanted to carry out a thorough reconnaissance of the area, since more German armoured cars had been sighted, but ‘Loony’ Hinde would accept no delay.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 206 | Loc. 3147-51  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:35 PM

In a small wood close to the road up which the Cromwells advanced, five Tiger tanks from the 101st SS Heavy Panzer Battalion lay hidden. They had just reached the front after a long and complicated journey from near Beauvais, north of Paris. Their commander was Obersturmführer Michael Wittmann, who was already famous as a ‘panzer ace’. Credited with 137 tank ‘kills’ on the eastern front, he had received the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves. Wittmann, enraged by the Allied bombing of German cities, had told his men, ‘We have only one watchword and that is “revenge”!’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 207 | Loc. 3159-62  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:36 PM

Without waiting for his other Tigers to catch up, Wittmann emerged from the wood, swung parallel to the road and opened fire. The Tiger’s 88 mm gun destroyed one Cromwell after another. The Cromwells, badly designed, under-armoured and under-gunned, did not stand a chance. They even found it hard to back out of danger, since their reverse speed was little more than two miles per hour.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 207 | Loc. 3162-66  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:37 PM

Having caused havoc with A Squadron on the hill, Wittmann’s Tiger lumbered down into the town of Villers-Bocage. It rammed aside a Bren-gun carrier of the Rifle Brigade and began to descend the main street. He dealt first with the tanks of the Sharpshooters’ regimental headquarters, then attacked B Squadron. Many crews were dismounted and incapable of replying. But even those who managed to score direct hits on the Tiger found that their low-velocity 75 mm gun had little effect. Wittmann then returned to Hill 213 to finish the battle with A Squadron and the Rifle Brigade detachment.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 208 | Loc. 3180-86  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:39 PM

Aunay-sur-Odon, an important crossroads four miles to the south, had also been smashed in a series of RAF bombing attacks. The first had taken place during Mass. The priest, the Abbé André Paul, recounted how the sound of aero engines overhead, rapidly followed by explosions which made the church shake, threw his congregation into panic. Many tried to crawl under an upturned prie-dieu for protection. As soon as it was over, the Abbé told them to leave quickly in small groups. As they emerged from the church, they were greeted by a vision of the Last Judgement. The bombs had disinterred many of the skeletons in the churchyard. Repeated raids killed 161 villagers and crushed the whole village to rubble. British troops were shocked by the scene when they finally reached the village just before the end of the battle for Normandy.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 208 | Loc. 3187-93  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:40 PM

On 15 June, the day after the British withdrawal, an Unteroffizier with the 2nd Panzer-Division found time to write home. ‘The fighting in the west has now begun. You can imagine how much we are needed and that little time is left for writing. It is all or nothing now, it is about the existence or the end of our beloved Fatherland. How each of us soldiers will come through this is pretty irrelevant - the main thing is and remains that we will achieve a just and lasting peace . . . we have learnt to do without everything regarding ourselves or the future and have often come to terms with our mortality. Yet repeatedly one catches oneself still having yearnings and they uphold our faith and our perseverance - but with the explosion of the next shell one’s entire life could be extinguished in an eternal void. We have stepped up to the highest battle.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 210 | Loc. 3211-15  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:42 PM

Montgomery, in a letter to de Guingand on 12 June, hoped to stamp immediately on any idea of tank inferiority, however true. He did not want his armoured troops to develop ‘a Tiger and Panther complex’. And yet Montgomery himself had criticized British tank design the previous August, when he said, ‘We are outshot by the German tanks.’ But to try to suppress the problem nearly a year later was flying in the face of reality. The German 88 mm gun, both on the Tiger and the flak gun in a ground role, could pick off Allied tanks before they were able to get within range.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 210 | Loc. 3218-21  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:43 PM

The Americans, proud of their technological sophistication, were shaken to find that even German small arms, especially their light machine gun the MG 42, were manifestly superior. Eisenhower’s reaction on hearing how much better German tank guns were could not have been more different from Montgomery’s attempt to suppress the issue. He wrote immediately to General Marshall and sent a senior tank expert back to the States to discuss what could be done to improve their armour-piercing ammunition.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 211 | Loc. 3225-27  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:43 PM

‘I have received the following from U.J. [Uncle Joe],’ he cabled Roosevelt. ‘It looks good. “The summer offensive of the Soviet forces, organised in accordance with the agreement at the Teheran conference, will begin towards the middle of June on one of the important sectors of the front”.’ This was confirmation of Operation Bagration, perhaps the most effective offensive of the whole war.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 212 | Loc. 3241-46  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:45 PM

When they finally returned to Courseulles, they watched an unsuccessful raid by German bombers and then re-embarked on Admiral Vian’s barge for a trip along the coast. Churchill was entranced to see a monitor firing its fourteen-inch guns at targets inland. He announced that he had ‘never been on one of His Majesty’s ships engaging the enemy’ and insisted on going aboard. Fortunately, Brooke noted, it was too difficult to climb up and the over-excited Prime Minister was denied his ‘risky entertainment’. That did not stop Churchill from bragging mendaciously to Roosevelt, ‘We went and had a plug at the Hun from our destroyer, but although the range was 6,000 yards he did not honour us with a reply.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 213 | Loc. 3260-64  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:46 PM

They were met at the beach by officers of Montgomery’s staff, who could not believe the size of the group and the quantity of luggage they were bringing ashore. Montgomery had asked that de Gaulle should bring no more than two people to lunch, but this request had been treated with monarchical disregard. In the event, only General de Gaulle, the French ambassador Viénot and Generals Koenig and Béthouart climbed into the Jeeps provided by 21st Army Group. The other fifteen members of the party and the luggage had to wait at the beach until transport could be found to send them on to Bayeux. De Gaulle even tried to insist at the last moment that the Jeeps should be driven by the French chauffeurs whom he had brought with him.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 213 | Loc. 3265-67  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:46 PM

Montgomery’s dislike of cigarettes was famous, but apparently de Gaulle and his companions filled Montgomery’s caravan with smoke. This, according to the naval liaison officer accompanying the party, ‘did little to ingratiate them with its tenant’. The lunch may have been a diplomatic ordeal for Montgomery, but it clearly gave de Gaulle little pleasure too.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 214 | Loc. 3271-76  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:47 PM

In Bayeux, the General made his way to the Sous-Préfecture. There he was met by the sous-préfet standing self-importantly in his tricolore sash. The official then suddenly remembered to his horror that the portrait of Marshal Pétain still hung on the wall. De Gaulle, who was often so very thin-skinned, could also rise majestically above unintended insults. He continued talking to the embarrassed official as if nothing had happened. And also on that day he revealed his dry wit when an old woman in the crowd became confused in the cheering and cried out, ‘Vive le Maréchal!’ He is said to have muttered to a companion, ‘Another person who does not read the newspapers.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 214 | Loc. 3279-82  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:48 PM

De Gaulle paid scant attention to Churchill’s condition of the visit that there should be no public meetings. He mounted an improvised platform in the square outside the Sous-Préfecture and addressed the crowd. He finished his speech with the declaration, ‘Le gouvernement français salue Bayeux - la première ville française libérée.’ There was no mention of the fact that the gouvernement was provisoire.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 215 | Loc. 3282-84  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:48 PM

The only cloud on his horizon was that, according to a report Churchill had just received, the population seemed perfectly happy to accept the military currency issued by his Allies and denounced by the General as ‘une fausse monnaie’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 215 | Loc. 3292-95  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:49 PM

Roosevelt’s attitude to the leader of the provisional government had certainly not changed. On the same day, he signalled to Churchill, ‘In my opinion we should make full use of any organization of influence he may have in so far as is practicable without imposing him by force of our arms upon the French people as their government or giving recognition to his outfit as the Provisional Government of France.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 215 | Loc. 3297-3301  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:49 PM

He had written to Eden just before his visit to France, ‘There is not a scrap of generosity about this man, who only wishes to pose as the saviour of France in this operation.’ The British press and most members of Parliament, on the other hand, strongly supported de Gaulle. The Times that morning had described Allied relations with the provisional government as ‘intolerable’25 - but for Churchill, relations with ‘this wrong-headed, ambitious and detestable Anglophobe’ had become a resigning matter.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 216 | Loc. 3311-13  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:50 PM

As in a field hospital, a doctor was on hand to carry out an immediate triage and decide who should be operated on first. The strain on the surgeons was immense. One said, ‘I simply cannot look at any more blood.’ Another muttered, ‘I’ve had it. I think if anyone brings me somebody who’s injured I just couldn’t operate.’ They had no idea which day of the week it was.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 217 | Loc. 3317-21  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:51 PM

Another event which shook everyone in the Bon Sauveur occurred after a café owner was brought in with a bullet wound in the thigh. It transpired that, when drunk, he had shot at some soldiers from the Hitler Jugend who had been pillaging his café, a common event. While a surgeon was operating on him, an SS officer appeared armed with a sub-machine gun. The SS officer began hitting him as he lay on the operating table, asking whether he had fired at the soldiers. The café owner was speechless and did not reply. The SS officer fired a burst from his gun into his chest, killing him right there in front of all the medical staff.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 218 | Loc. 3329-31  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:52 PM

The Vichy authorities in Paris made an effort to help Caen. Two trucks loaded with food and blankets and a field kitchen were sent off by Secours National under the direction of Monsieur Gouineau. It was a hazardous journey. German soldiers in Lisieux were obsessed with ‘terrorists’ of the Resistance.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 218 | Loc. 3331-34  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:52 PM

Monsieur Gouineau, knowing that all the banks in Caen had been destroyed, had the authority to draw 100 million francs in Lisieux. There was no time to count the money, so he signed the receipt with his eyes closed and they drove on to Caen. When Allied fighters appeared overhead they waved a white flag frantically and the aircraft veered off.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 218 | Loc. 3338-40  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:53 PM

For those French behind Allied lines, life was at least a little easier. In Lion-sur-Mer a local wrote, ‘The English since their arrival distribute to left and right chocolate, sweets and cigarettes.’ But there was no electricity or water, except from wells, and for food, most survived off their kitchen gardens. Rumour ran riot.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 219 | Loc. 3343-47  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:54 PM

Barter extended to other commodities with an astonishing rapidity. A surgeon with the 2nd Field Dressing Station recorded that on 7 June ‘a senior officer of the Military Police arrived in a Jeep loaded with medical comforts - army-issue chocolate, sweets and cigarettes for the wounded. Earlier that morning the police had raided a brothel set up on the beach in a wrecked landing craft by three ladies on the evening of D-Day and had confiscated the trading currency.’ British sailors, sometimes drunk but still desperate for more alcohol, made a nuisance of themselves, going from house to house on the coast.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 219 | Loc. 3349-53  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:55 PM

On 15 June, a wing of Typhoons arrived to prepare a raid on a German panzer headquarters in a château near Villers-Bocage. The pilots landed to find the airfield under shellfire and they had to dive into slit trenches. The Typhoon aircrews knew how much they were hated by the Germans, so a number of them wore khaki battledress to avoid being lynched in case they were shot down. Considering the rather patronizing attitude of RAF pilots towards ‘brown jobs’, as they called the army, it was ironic that they borrowed their uniform.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 220 | Loc. 3361-63  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:55 PM

O’Brien was kept busy tending to the dead as well as the living. At one of the brief funeral services by an open grave, a newly arrived officer half-fainted beside him, dropped to his knees and began to slide into the hole. The padre caught him by his battledress, saying, ‘Now there’s no need to be in a hurry. All in good time.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 220 | Loc. 3371-75  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:57 PM

Their food, usually cooked over a biscuit tin filled with earth which had been soaked in petrol, was also monotonous. Compo rations came in a fourteen-day pack, with hard tack biscuits, margarine, jam, mixed vegetables, steak and kidney pudding, tins of M&V (meat and vegetables), plum pudding, latrine paper, soup, sweets, cigarettes (seven per man per day), matches and tea ready-mixed with milk powder and sugar for an instant brew-up. Oatmeal blocks could be crumbled into water to make porridge for breakfast as a change from the tins of over-salted and glutinous bacon and powdered egg. It was not surprising that barter for fresh produce became such an obsession.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 221 | Loc. 3381-86  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:58 PM

The majority in the middle just followed the brave ones, but, faced with sudden disaster, they could equally run with the shirkers. The first study of behaviour under fire had been made in Sicily in 1943. A horrified Montgomery suppressed the report, fearing its effects on morale, and the career of the officer who wrote it suffered. More evidence emerged later to support his thesis.26 Even in the Red Army officers were certain that six out of ten soldiers never fired their rifles in battle. This prompted one of their commanders to suggest that weapons should be inspected afterwards and anyone with a clean barrel should be treated as a deserter.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 221 | Loc. 3389-91  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:58 PM

The difference between the soldiers of a democracy and those of a dictatorship could hardly have been clearer. Yet the morale of the German Landser in Normandy was vulnerable. So much had been promised by the propaganda ministry and their own officers. Many had welcomed the invasion as an opportunity to settle scores over the Allied bombing and, by crushing it, to bring the war to an end.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 222 | Loc. 3392-94  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:58 PM

‘The whole world now anticipates the further course of the invasion,’ wrotean Untersturmführerofthe 9th SS Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen on 6 June. ‘When I heard the news on the radio at noon today, I was honestly pleased, because by this measure we seem to be nearing the end of the war quite considerably.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 222 | Loc. 3397-3402  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 04:59 PM

Every time an assurance of the propaganda ministry proved false, another one quickly took its place. The Atlantic Wall was impregnable. The Allies would not dare to invade. The Luftwaffe and U-boats would smash the invasion fleet. A massive counter-attack would hurl the Allies back into the sea. The secret Vengeance weapons would bring Britain to her knees, begging for peace. New jet fighters would sweep the Allied aircraft from the sky. The more desperate the situation became, the more shameless the lie. The relentless inventions of Goebbels served as a form of morale-benzedrine for the soldier at the front, but when the effect wore off, he would be left truly exhausted. For SS soldiers especially, belief became nothing short of an addiction.
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- Highlight on Page 223 | Loc. 3405-8  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:16 PM

Like the British during the last seven days, the American First Army had also feared a major counter-attack from the south. Allied intelligence had not appreciated the success of its air forces and the Resistance in slowing the arrival of German reinforcements. Nor did they foresee that the German high command would throw the vast majority of its panzer divisions against the British Second Army.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 223 | Loc. 3418-22  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:17 PM

The build-up of forces was already proceeding apace. In a triumph of American organization and industry, Omaha beach had been transformed. ‘Within a week after D-Day,’ wrote a naval officer, ‘the beach resembled Coney Island on a hot Sunday. Thousands of men were at work, including Sea-Bees, Army engineers and French labourers. Big and little bulldozers were busy widening roads, levelling ground and hauling wreckage.’ Before the end of June, Omaha beach command had a total strength of just over 20,000 officers and men, the bulk of them in the 5th and 6th Engineer Special Brigades.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 224 | Loc. 3424-26  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:17 PM

‘Jeeps bearing staff officers were as common as yellow cabs in the heart of New York,’ wrote the same naval officer. And ‘large groups of German prisoners could be spotted here and there awaiting removal via LST’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 224 | Loc. 3431-36  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:18 PM

Unfortunately, wounded American airborne troops were evacuated on the same vessels as prisoners. An officer on LST 134 recorded, ‘We had an incident where we had some paratroop soldiers and prisoners aboard, and I don’t know what happened but I understand one or two Germans got killed.’ On LST 44, a pharmacist’s mate experienced a similarly tense encounter: ‘One of our ship’s officers started to herd these prisoners into the same area where I was helping tend some shell-shocked and wounded American soldiers. The immediate reaction of our troops was frightening and fierce. The situation was explosive. For the first and only time, I refused entry and demanded our officer stop sending the captured troops into this area. Our lieutenant looked surprised and extremely angry, but grudgingly complied.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 225 | Loc. 3442-44  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:20 PM

Both at Utah and at Omaha, rear troops and sailors were as desperate as front-line soldiers to get their hands on war souvenirs. According to a Coast Guard officer on the USS Bayfield, souvenir hunters bartered away furiously for German medals and badges of rank. Many prisoners of war, still fearing execution as their commanders had warned them, handed them over with little protest.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 225 | Loc. 3446  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:20 PM

fell’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 225 | Loc. 3445-48  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:20 PM

the most eagerly sought trophies were Luger pistols. If anyone wanted a Luger, one officer remarked, he had to ‘shoot the German himself and catch him before he fell’. Back at the beach sailors were paying $135 and there was talk of offers as high as $250, a great deal of money at the time. An enterprising sergeant from the 2nd Armored Division brought back to the beach a truck-load of captured weapons and bartered them for 100 pounds of instant coffee, a commodity which American tank troops regarded as body fuel.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 227 | Loc. 3470-71  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:23 PM

American sailors and beach personnel called the Luftwaffe ‘Hermann’s vermin’ in honour of its commander-in-chief.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 227 | Loc. 3470-74  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:23 PM

American sailors and beach personnel called the Luftwaffe ‘Hermann’s vermin’ in honour of its commander-in-chief. But the wildly over-enthusiastic response of ‘literally thousands’ of anti-aircraft gunners on the ships anchored offshore created considerable problems when Allied aircraft arrived to intercept the attackers. One report stated that on the evening of 9 June, while it was still light, ships off Utah beach shot down four Mustangs, fired at four Spitfires, then fired again at another patrol of Spitfires, bringing one down, damaged two Typhoons and engaged another two Spitfires, all in the course of less than two hours.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 227 | Loc. 3479-80  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:24 PM

US warships did have a ‘trained aircraft recognition officer’ on board, ‘but apparently they were only good at American types of aircraft’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 227 | Loc. 3480-82  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:29 PM

Anti-aircraft fire from ships was so intense in reaction to a small Luftwaffe raid that six Allied fighters coming to intercept them were shot down. One of the pilots retrieved from the water could not stop cursing for four hours afterwards.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 228 | Loc. 3484-86  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:30 PM

Two days later, Bradley had to cancel a meeting with Montgomery. He had heard that General George C. Marshall, Eisenhower and Admiral King were coming to visit him the next morning. They landed at Omaha early on 12 June, when part of the artificial harbour was already in position.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 228 | Loc. 3486-88  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:31 PM

Bradley took them on a tour to Isigny. They travelled in staff cars escorted by armoured cars and viewed the effect of naval gunfire on the town. Bradley, concerned about such an extraordinary concentration of senior commanders, remarked later that ‘an enemy sniper could have won immortality as a hero of the Reich’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 228 | Loc. 3488-90  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:31 PM

After seeing the big guns of the USS Texas firing its shells inland at the 17th SS Division south of Carentan, they lunched on C-Rations in a tent at First Army headquarters. There, Bradley briefed his visitors on the operation by Collins’s VII Corps to take Cherbourg.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 228 | Loc. 3490-92  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:31 PM

Major General Lawton Collins was only forty-eight years old. Quick and energetic, he was known as ‘Lightning Joe’, and had proved himself in the clearing of Guadalcanal in the Pacific. Bradley trusted him completely and the feeling was mutual.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 228 | Loc. 3495-98  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:52 PM

The 90th also learned the hard way that taking items from dead Germans was dangerous. A soldier from another division came across the body of a second lieutenant from the 90th with his hands tied behind his back, a German P-38 pistol thrust down his throat and the back of his head blown off. The second lieutenant was still wearing the German leather holster on his belt. ‘When I saw that,’ the soldier remarked, ‘I said no souvenirs for me. But, of course, we did it too when we caught them with American cigarettes on them, or American wristwatches they had on their arms.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 229 | Loc. 3502-6  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:52 PM

Hitler had given the strictest instruction that the maximum number of troops on the peninsula should fight in retreat towards Cherbourg. The commander of the 77th Infanterie-Division, however, decided to disobey the order. He saw no point in staying with the trapped and doomed forces, now under the command of General von Schlieben. He managed to slip through with part of his forces, just as the American 9th Division reached Barneville. The 91st Luftlande-Division also retreated to the south, having lost most of its equipment and nearly 3,000 men since 6 June.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 229 | Loc. 3511-14  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:57 PM

The American southern flank of the corridor became the responsibility of the 82nd Airborne and the hapless 90th Division. To oversee this sector, Bradley appointed Major General Troy H. Middleton, one of the most impressive commanders at his disposal, to command VIII Corps. Middleton, who had made his name in Italy, was said to look like ‘a burly professor with his steel-rimmed glasses’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 230 | Loc. 3514-16  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:58 PM

Opposing Middleton, the LXXXIV Corps finally received its new commanding general on 18 June. Generalleutnant Dietrich von Choltitz may have been ‘a pudgy man who looked like a night club comedian’, but he had learned his skills in the ruthless school of the eastern front, especially in the fighting for Sebastopol.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 230 | Loc. 3525-26  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:59 PM

As soon as the peninsula was cutoff, Collins wanted to give the Germans no time to reorganize. General Manton Eddy, the commander of the 9th Division, had to turn his whole formation round in less than twenty-four hours to be ready to advance north up the west coast.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 231 | Loc. 3531-33  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 07:59 PM

Montgomery’s own reliance on artillery was revealed in a ghastly joke when he wrote to de Guingand, ‘Montebourg and Valognes have been “liberated” in the best 21st Army Group style, i.e. they are both completely destroyed!!!’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 231 | Loc. 3535-39  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:00 PM

On 16 June, ‘a Cub plane reported to division artillery that a column of troops was crossing a bridge. Artillery phoned it in. Corps contacted a squadron of fighter-bombers in the area and directed it onto the column. In 15 minutes they had a report they had strafed the column. Reports have come in that American prisoners being marched down the road by Germans escaped in the course of strafing by our planes.’ This early attempt at ground-air cooperation was an important start in what would become a devastatingly effective combination later in the campaign.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 231 | Loc. 3539-42  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:01 PM

the Allies were hit by an unforeseeable disaster. On 19 June, the most violent storm for forty years began to blow up in the Channel, combined with a spring tide. Locals had never seen anything like it. The gale force winds along the coast were, in the Norman saying, enough ‘to take the horns off a cow’. Temperatures dropped to the equivalent of a cold November.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 232 | Loc. 3544-50  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:02 PM

Landing craft were hurled by the waves high on to the beaches, smashing against each other. Flat Rhino ferries sliced into their sides. Even landing ship tanks were thrown ashore. ‘The only chance we had of keeping our landing craft from being beaten to bits,’ wrote a US Navy officer, ‘was to anchor a long way off the beach out in the Channel and hope we could ride the storm out.’ For ships en route to England, the crossing was unforgettable. ‘It took us about four days to do the 80 nautical miles in very rough seas to Southampton,’ wrote an officer on an LST. ‘The seas were so rough that the skipper was afraid that the ship would crack in two; therefore he ordered the mooring cables to be strung fore and aft and tightened up on the winches to give extra support to two of the deck plates. That ship was strung like a mountaineer’s fiddle.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 232 | Loc. 3550-52  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:02 PM

The storm continued until the evening of Thursday, 22 June. The destruction on the beaches defied belief. More ships and materiel had been lost than during the invasion itself.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 232 | Loc. 3552-54  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:02 PM

Yet those involved in the planning of D-Day could not help remembering with grateful relief the decision to go ahead taken on 5 June. If the invasion had been postponed for two weeks, as had been feared, the fleet would have sailed into one of the worst storms in Channel history. Eisenhower, after he had seen the damage on the beaches, took the time to write a note to Group Captain Stagg: ‘I thank the gods of war we went when we did.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 233 | Loc. 3559-64  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:13 PM

The storm badly delayed the build-up, hampered the return of casualties to England and forced the cancellation of air operations. This absence of Allied fighter-bombers from the sky allowed the Germans to accelerate their reinforcement of the Normandy front. At the same time, many Allied divisions, either already embarked for France or ready to cross, were delayed by a week or more. The most immediate effect was on supplies, especially artillery ammunition. General Bradley had a difficult choice, but decided to maintain full support for Collins’s attack on Cherbourg. His other two corps - Gerow’s V Corps to the south-east and Middleton’s VIII Corps on the south side of the peninsula - would receive only a minimum of artillery shells, even though Bradley knew that this would allow the Germans time to prepare defences south of the Douve marshes.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 234 | Loc. 3577-82  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:15 PM

On 22 June, the Americans launched a massive air raid on Cherbourg late in the morning. The alarms rang in the flak positions manned by German teenagers from the Reichsarbeitsdienst, recruits engaged on construction projects who were not yet proper soldiers. They ran to their guns as the first waves of fighter-bombers came in. ‘We fired back like madmen,’ wrote one of them. Then came a rumbling drone over the Channel as formations of American heavy bombers appeared, glinting in the sun. ‘An inferno descended - roaring, shattering, shaking, crashing. Then quiet. Dust, ash and dirt made the sky gray. A horrific silence lay over our battery position.’ There had been several direct hits. The boys’ bodies were taken away in trucks later.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 234 | Loc. 3584-96  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:16 PM

A Polish deserter led MacMahon and a reconnaissance party close to it. It looked as if the guns had been destroyed, either by air attack or by the Germans themselves. MacMahon ordered a newly arrived loudspeaker truck to be brought up. He then ordered forward some artillery and announced over the loudspeakers in German that a full divisional assault was about to be launched. They had ten minutes to surrender, then ‘any part of the garrison not surrendering would be blasted out of existence’. He kept repeating the message, ‘feeling rather foolish because his talking seemed to have produced no results’. Suddenly he heard yells: ‘Here they come!’ Large numbers of German soldiers could be seen advancing, some with white flags and the rest with their arms raised. But they represented only a portion of the garrison. A group of five German officers appeared next, as delegates sent by the garrison commander. They asked MacMahon to have his guns fire one phosphorus shell at the position so that their commander could feel he ‘had satisfied his obligation to the Führer and surrender’. MacMahon had to admit that he had no phosphorus shells. Would ‘German honor be satisfied’ if five phosphorus grenades were thrown? After discussion of this counter-proposal, the senior German officer agreed with more saluting. But only four grenades could be found in the whole company. There was more haggling, then these four grenades were thrown into a cornfield. The German officers inspected the results and agreed that they were indeed phosphorus, and returned to inform their commander that he could surrender the rest of the garrison and the field hospital attached.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 235 | Loc. 3596-99  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:16 PM

MacMahon found that they had taken 2,000 prisoners. Later, when he and his divisional commander went to inspect the German field hospital, the senior officer there requested that they be allowed to keep eight rifles. Unless their Russian and Polish ‘voluntary’ helpers were held under guard, he explained, they would not work. The American divisional commander retorted that the Russians and Poles were now under American protection and the Germans could do the work themselves.
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- Highlight on Page 235 | Loc. 3600-3602  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:17 PM

Because the heavy bombers had failed to smash their ferro-concrete emplacements, Bradley asked Admiral Kirk to help speed the capture of the port. Kirk felt that Bradley was becoming rather too fond of naval gunfire support, but agreed.
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- Highlight on Page 236 | Loc. 3606-11  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:17 PM

we were lulled into a false sense of security.’ They took their bombardment positions at about 13.00 hours. Suddenly a coastal battery which they had failed to see opened fire. A shell hit the conning tower of the Texas, severely damaging the captain’s bridge and the flag bridge. ‘Immediately we opened fire,’ wrote an officer on the Nelson, ‘we got salvos screaming over from [the coastal batteries] and the first salvo straddled us.’ The Nevada also received near misses, while apart from the Texas, HMS Glasgow and several other ships were hit. None were crippled, but Rear Admiral Bryant rightly decided that discretion was the better part of valour and withdrew his task force behind a smoke screen.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 236 | Loc. 3614-15  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:18 PM

Occasionally, a display of strength would persuade a garrison commander to surrender. According to one extraordinary report, Private Smith in the 79th Infantry Division, who ‘had drunk enough Calvados to make him reckless’, captured one strongpoint single-handed.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 236 | Loc. 3616-22  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:18 PM

Smith, armed only with a .45 automatic pistol and accompanied by a similarly inebriated friend who had no weapon at all, ‘staggered up to the entrance of the fort’. Smith and his companion, on seeing that the steel doors were ajar, slipped inside and shot dead the German soldiers standing around in the entrance. Smith, ‘who was in truth stewed to the ears’, went from room to room, ‘shooting and shouting, and as he appeared at each door, the Germans inside, thinking the whole American army was in the fort, gave up’. He herded his prisoners together and marched them out into the open, where they were handed over to his battalion. Smith then returned to the fort and discovered another room in which there were wounded Germans. ‘Declaring to all and sundry that the only good German was a dead one, Smith made good Germans out of several of them before he could be stopped.’
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- Highlight on Page 237 | Loc. 3630-33  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:19 PM

‘Some of the boys,’ wrote an officer in the 4th Infantry Division, ‘could not understand why the Germans had given it up as quickly as they had.’ Schlieben, who seemed to be something of an epicure, was not impressed by the K-Rations he received. One of Bradley’s officers thought it highly amusing that he was about to face English cuisine as a prisoner when sent back across the Channel.
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- Note on Page 237 | Loc. 3622  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:21 PM

wwwwow 
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- Highlight on Page 238 | Loc. 3637-41  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:26 PM

Over 600 German wounded were found in the Pasteur hospital. Captain Koehler, a battalion surgeon with the 22nd Infantry Regiment and a fluent German speaker, was put in charge. Although he had excellent cooperation from the German colonel and his medical staff, Koehler was appalled at the high death rate, largely due to the lack of preparation of patients before surgery. The unnecessary number of amputations also shocked him. ‘The Teutonic tendency to operate on a surgical case and disregard the outcome on the life of the patient was very apparent,’ he wrote.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 238 | Loc. 3641-46  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 08:27 PM

Engineers from the 101st Airborne, who had been brought up to help with the reduction of strongpoints, joined in the general merriment of victory as the town returned to a version of normal life. ‘That was quite an experience,’ one of them wrote, ‘because the houses of prostitution were open, the taverns were open, MPs were in there, military government, rangers, paratroopers, dog leg infantry, artillery officers, and we had our first experience of using sidewalk urinals.’ The combat historian Sergeant Forrest Pogue saw nearly 100 soldiers queuing outside a former Wehrmacht brothel. A Frenchman warned him that they should be careful: ‘The Germans have left much disease.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 239 | Loc. 3657-60  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:22 PM

Shortly before the fall of Cherbourg, Hitler made his last visit to France. He was in an unforgiving mood. His orders to sweep the Allies back into the sea had not been carried out and he regarded his senior commanders in the west as defeatist. Hitler complained openly at OKW headquarters that ‘Field Marshal Rommel is a great and inspiring leader in victory, but as soon as there is the slightest difficulty, he becomes a complete pessimist.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 239 | Loc. 3662-66  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:22 PM

One day, he noticed in a report that the number of anti-aircraft guns in the Channel Islands had apparently been reduced by two. He demanded that the officer responsible should be punished for reducing the defences, but in fact somebody had miscounted the first time round. Hitler, without ever having visited the area of Caen in his life, continually pestered the OKW staff about the positioning of two units of multi-barrelled mortars: the 7th and 8th Nebelwerfer Brigades. He insisted that they would decide the outcome in the British sector if they were placed at a specific spot east of the River Orne.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 240 | Loc. 3676-80  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:24 PM

The next morning, Rundstedt and Rommel arrived as instructed. ‘[Hitler] looked unhealthy and overtired,’ noted Speidel, Rommel’s chief of staff. ‘He played nervously with his spectacles and the coloured pencils he held between his fingers. He sat on his chair bent forward while the Field Marshals remained standing. His former suggestive power seemed to have disappeared. After brief and cool greetings, Hitler, speaking in a loud voice, sharply expressed his displeasure over the success of the Allied landings, tried to find fault with the local commanders and ordered the holding of Fortress Cherbourg at any price.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 241 | Loc. 3683-86  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:25 PM

He predicted the fall of Cherbourg and attacked the whole of Hitler’s policy, which had designated some sixteen fortresses along the Channel and Brittany coasts to be held to the last. Altogether some 200,000 men and precious materiel were tied up in their defence and, in most cases, the Allies would simply bypass them. The Allies were landing two to three divisions a week, he continued,
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 241 | Loc. 3690-94  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:26 PM

An outraged Hitler, refusing to face the facts, made ‘a long auto-suggestive speech’. He predicted that the V-1, which had been used in quantity for the first time the day before, would ‘have a decisive effect on the outcome of the war against England’. He then broke off the discussion to dictate an announcement about the V weapons to the representative of the Reich Press Chief. The two field marshals had to stand there listening to a frenzied Hitlerian monologue. Hitler refused to have the V weapons targeted at the beachheads or the south coast ports of Britain. He insisted that they must all be aimed at London, to bring the British to their knees.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 242 | Loc. 3696-99  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:27 PM

An increasingly angry Rommel demanded that representatives of the OKW should visit the front and discover the situation for themselves. ‘You demand that we should have confidence,’ he told Hitler, ‘but we are not trusted ourselves!’ Hitler apparently turned pale at this remark, but remained silent. As if to bear out Rommel’s arguments about Allied superiority, an air raid warning at this point forced them to descend into the bomb shelter.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 242 | Loc. 3705-8  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:28 PM

Rundstedt and Rommel left Margival, having been told by Hitler’s chief adjutant, General Schmundt, that the Führer would visit La Roche-Guyon to talk to field commanders himself in two days’ time. But on returning to their respective headquarters, they heard that a V-1 missile, whose gyros had gone wrong, had exploded above the bunker soon after their departure. Hitler returned rapidly to Berchtesgaden that night. He never left the Reich again.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 243 | Loc. 3716-20  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:29 PM

Fast fighter aircraft proved a better way of dealing with the threat of ‘Divers’, as they were codenamed. The most effective weapon of all on ‘anti-Diver’ operations was the wing of Tempests based at Dungeness. Brought to readiness on 16 June, they shot down 632 V-1s with their 20 mm cannon, more than a third of the total destroyed by Allied fighters during the next three months. A Belgian pilot, René van Learde, shot down forty-two. ‘These things,’ wrote their leader, Wing Commander R. Beamont, ‘would be tearing across at night making noises like asthmatic motorbikes with streams of flame out of the back.’
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- Highlight on Page 243 | Loc. 3720-22  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:29 PM

The Tempest was just faster than the V-1. Once, having run out of ammunition, Beamont flew alongside one. Applying the boundary layer of air over the wing of his Tempest on to the underside of the V-1’s wing, he managed to lift it without even touching it. This rolled the V-1 over and sent it crashing to earth.
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- Highlight on Page 243 | Loc. 3726-28  | Added on Tuesday, July 05, 2016, 09:30 PM

Yet despite their inaccuracy and the great achievement of Allied ‘anti-Diver’ squadrons, enough V-1s landed on London to cause great concern. One landed on the Guards Chapel, close to Buckingham Palace, during a Sunday service, killing 121 people.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 244 | Loc. 3728-34  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:05 PM

On 27 June, according to Field Marshal Brooke, a War Cabinet meeting finished ‘with a pathetic wail from Herbert Morrison [the Home Secretary] who appears to be a real white-livered specimen! He was in a flat spin about the flying bombs and their effects on the population. After five years of war we could not ask them to stand such a strain etc etc!’ Brooke noted in his diary that Morrison wanted the whole strategy in France to be changed. ‘Our one and only objective should be to clear the north coast of France. It was a pathetic performance. There were no signs of London not being able to stand it, and if there had been it would only have been necessary to tell them that for the first time in history they could share the dangers their sons were running in France and that what fell on London was at any rate not falling on them. Thank heaven Winston very soon dealt with him.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 244 | Loc. 3734-41  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:06 PM

Since most of the rockets were falling short of London, the Double-Cross committee was told to find a way to encourage the Germans to maintain their present targeting. Using one of their tame agents, ‘Lector’, a message was passed via Madrid to his controllers in Berlin, ‘Ludwig’ and ‘Herold’. ‘Destructive effect of new German weapon devastating,’ the signal stated. ‘In spite of soft pedalling counter propaganda, the bombardment has created a feeling of panic among the population such as has never before existed . . . The opinion had been expressed in governmental and military circles that if this and new weapons are intensively employed, they would find themselves sooner or later forced to come to a compromise peace with Germany . . . In highly placed and influential circles, apparently serious peace tendencies are perceptible, in which connection the name of Rudolf Hess in the role of intermediary is mentioned.’ This was perhaps a case of over-egging the pudding, since such news could only encourage the Germans to persist, but it was deemed justifiable in the circumstances.
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- Highlight on Page 244 | Loc. 3741-43  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:07 PM

Hitler’s blind belief that his new Vengeance weapon would knock Britain out of the war undoubtedly strengthened his determination not to give up any territory in Normandy.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 246 | Loc. 3761-65  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:21 PM

On 22 June, the third anniversary of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the first phase of Operation Bagration began. This was the massive Red Army attack in Belorussia to encircle the Wehrmacht’s Army Group Centre. Having drawn German attention to a possible offensive in the Ukraine, with a brilliant exercise in maskirovka comparable to Plan Fortitude, the Soviet armies achieved surprise. Within three weeks they would kill or capture 350,000 Germans. Bagration would take the Red Army to the gates of Warsaw by the first week in August.
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- Highlight on Page 246 | Loc. 3766-69  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:21 PM

yet Montgomery refused to be hurried and 21st Army Group headquarters provided SHAEF with exasperatingly little information. Apparently Montgomery said to Dempsey on several occasions, ‘There’s no need to tell Ike.’ Monty liked to keep his objectives vague, often with Delphic cricketing metaphors, so that if there was a breakout he could claim credit for it and if the operation ran into the sand he could say that they had simply been tying down German forces to help the Americans.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 247 | Loc. 3788-92  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:29 PM

The fighting was also bitter round Tessel. There, a battalion from the ‘Polar Bears’, as the 49th Division was called from its shoulder badge, came up against the Panzer Lehr Division at close quarters. ‘The order came to us while we were at Tessel Wood, “No Prisoners”,’ claimed a member of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. ‘That is why we were called the Polar Bear butchers by Lord Haw-Haw.’29 An Ultra intercept picked up Panzer Lehr’s report that it had suffered ‘heavy losses’ on the first day of the battle.
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- Highlight on Page 248 | Loc. 3800-3804  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:30 PM

The Greys, attached to a newly arrived brigade of the 43rd Division, ‘were much amused over our infantry. This was evidently their first battle and they were doing everything according to the book: their faces were blackened; they had cut off all badges of rank; and they talked in whispers. ’But the two fresh divisions were proving rather more effective than the veterans. By dusk, the 15th Scottish had almost reached the Odon in its thickly wooded valley. A Frenchman watching the battle that night from Fleury, on the southern edge of Caen, wrote, ‘It’s a vision out of Dante to see the whole horizon lighting up simultaneously.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 249 | Loc. 3811-15  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:31 PM

Rommel was reluctant. He had hoped to keep the 9th SS Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen and the 10th SS Panzer-Division Frundsberg back for the great armoured counter-attack which had so far failed to get off the ground. But on 28 June, Rommel was summoned to Berchtesgaden by Hitler, an extraordinary interruption in the middle of a battle. And a desperate Generaloberst Dollmann, just a few hours before he committed suicide, ordered the II SS Panzer Corps to attack north-westwards on either side of the River Odon to smash the western flank of the British salient.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 251 | Loc. 3835-39  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:33 PM

VIII Corps had lost just over 4,000 men in five days. Over half the losses had been suffered by the 15th Scottish Division, which had proved its bravery beyond all doubt. That Dempsey missed a great opportunity through his caution is almost unquestionable. The delays in launching Epsom meant that VIII Corps ended up fighting the greatest concentration of SS panzer divisions which had been assembled since the Battle of Kursk. Yet the impressive performance of the British troops involved was let down at the last minute by the hesitation of their army commander.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 251 | Loc. 3840-47  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:33 PM

Eisenhower’s frustration with Montgomery over strategy is not hard to understand. The confident messages Montgomery had been sending out about a ‘show-down’ simply did not tally with what he said in private. An intelligence officer with the 7th Armoured Division had recorded with amazement in his diary on 22 June what he heard from Major General Erskine on his return from a conference at 21st Army Group headquarters prior to Epsom. ‘General talked about what Monty had said to him,’ he wrote. ‘Complete change so far as we are concerned as Monty doesn’t want us to make ground. Satisfied Second Army has drawn all enemy panzer divisions, now wants Caen only on this front and Americans to press on for Brittany ports. So VIII Corps attack goes in but we have very limited objective. Monty reckons he lost the battle of the build-up - five days behind on account of weather.’ So perhaps Dempsey’s caution was dictated by Montgomery.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 252 | Loc. 3852-54  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:34 PM

He told Rommel that the newly arrived infantry divisions should be used to hold the line while the panzer forces were withdrawn and reorganized for a proper blow. Rommel refused. ‘The infantry cannot do this any more and is not prepared to do it,’ was his reply.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 252 | Loc. 3854-57  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 12:34 PM

He did not believe that the newly arrived infantry divisions were capable of holding the British. This attitude happened to fit in with Hitler’s obsession of not yielding any ground. Geyr railed against ‘the armchair strategists of Berchtesgaden’ and their ‘lack of knowledge of panzer warfare’. He despised Jodl, an artilleryman: ‘The artillery developed the unfortunate characteristic of the Bourbons - neither to learn nor to forget - and was in many respects more backward than the infantry.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 252 | Loc. 3862-65  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 01:54 PM

Generalfeldmarschall von Rundstedt as well as Rommel had been summoned back to the Berghof on 28 June, at the height of the battle for the Odon crossing. Rundstedt ‘returned in a vile humour’, according to his chief of staff. Having driven over 600 miles from Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Berchtesgaden, he was kept waiting from three in the morning until eight the next evening, ‘and then was given the opportunity to exchange only a few words with the Führer’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 253 | Loc. 3865-70  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 01:55 PM

Just after his return, Rundstedt, with Blumentritt listening in, rang Keitel. He ‘told him bluntly that the whole German position in Normandy was impossible’. Allied power was such that their troops could ‘not withstand the Allied attacks, much less push them into the sea’. ‘What should we do?’ ‘You should make an end to the whole war,’ the old field marshal retorted. Next day at noon, Keitel rang to say that he had reported their telephone conversation to the Führer. Another call from Jodl warned that Hitler was considering a change in command in the west.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 253 | Loc. 3870-74  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 01:55 PM

Rundstedt’s endorsement of Geyr’s report was a key factor. Hitler announced that Rundstedt was retiring for reasons of ill health and sent an officer to Paris to present him with a polite letter and the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves. He would be replaced by Generalfeldmarschall Hans-Günter von Kluge. Rommel was also furious. Without informing him, Hitler had appointed Obergruppenführer Hausser to take over the Seventh Army because he preferred to trust Waffen-SS commanders.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 254 | Loc. 3885-92  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 01:57 PM

Kluge visited Rommel’s headquarters at La Roche-Guyon on the afternoon of 5 July. ‘After a rather frosty exchange of courtesies’ with Rommel and Speidel, he addressed the Army Group staff in the salle des gardes of the château. He announced that the removal of Generalfeldmarschall von Rundstedt should be seen as an expression of the Führer’s dissatisfaction with the leadership in the west. Hitler also considered Generalfeldmarschall Rommel to be too easily impressed by the ‘allegedly overwhelming effect of enemy weapons’, and thus to suffer from an over-pessimistic view of the situation. Kluge even went on to say to Rommel’s face in front of the assembled staff officers that he had displayed an obstinate attitude and carried out Hitler’s orders only half-heartedly. ‘From now on,’ Kluge concluded, ‘you too, Generalfeldmarschall Rommel, will have to obey without reservations! I am giving you good advice.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 256 | Loc. 3913-14  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:01 PM

high command was coping with the Red Army’s offensive in Belorussia and the pressure in Normandy. ‘The effect of the major conflicts in the west and the east was reciprocal,’ stated Jodl, when he was interrogated with Keitel at the end of the war.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 256 | Loc. 3917-21  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:02 PM

A liaison officer from the Red Army, Colonel Vassilievsky, was brought on a visit to the headquarters of 7th Armoured Division. With true Soviet diplomacy, he expressed the view that the British advance was very slow. Apparently a British officer asked him to show on a map of the eastern front where his own division was fighting. It transpired that there were nine German divisions on that sector, which was over 600 miles long. The British pointed out that they were facing ten divisions, including six panzer divisions, along a front of only sixty-two miles.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 258 | Loc. 3948-52  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:06 PM

The paratroopers of the 101st had saturated the newcomers ‘with tall tales about the toughness and fighting ability of Jerry’. The fight for Sainteny proved a bloody baptism. The 83rd Infantry Division suffered 1,400 casualties. They had a lot to learn, as they heard from the few Germans they had taken. ‘The prisoners we captured,’ a sergeant reported, ‘told us we were green troops, because they knew every move we were going to make. They saw us light cigarettes and heard us clanking metal against metal. If we use basic principles, we will live longer.’ The Germans, on the other hand, were keen to take Allied prisoners if only to get hold of their excellent maps, which they themselves lacked.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 259 | Loc. 3961-63  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:07 PM

Just over a week before the American attack started, they had received mail for the first time since the invasion. After the costly battle for Carentan, many letters had to be returned to families and sweethearts in Germany with the official stamp on the envelope: ‘Fallen for Greater Germany’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 259 | Loc. 3967-69  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:08 PM

Wehrmacht losses in Normandy up to 25 June had reached 47,070 men, including six generals. Yet their effectiveness in defence provoked a bitter admiration among their opponents. ‘The Germans haven’t much left,’ one American officer said, ‘but they sure as hell know how to use it.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 260 | Loc. 3975-84  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:18 PM

Choltitz’s men, most of whom had been in action for just over a month, were exhausted. ‘After having been without sleep for three days,’ an Obergefreiter with the 91st Luftlande-Division wrote home, ‘I could sleep through for 10 hours today. I am sitting in the ruins of a bombed-out farmhouse that must have been really large before it met its fate. It is a dreadful scene: cattle and poultry are lying about, killed by blast. The inhabitants have been buried next to it. Our Russians are sitting amidst the rubble, having found Schnapps, and are singing Es geht alles vorüber (“Everything will pass”) as well as they can. Oh, if only this could be over and done with and humanity would see reason. I cannot come to terms with this confusion and this cruel war. In the east it affected me less, but here in France it just won’t register. The only good thing here is that there is enough to eat and drink . . . The foul weather continues and is a real hindrance. Yet it doesn’t hinder the war, except for reducing the number of enemy aircraft. At last we now have flak so the Americans won’t see their flying as quite as much of a sport as they did in the first weeks of the invasion. That was just dreadful.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 261 | Loc. 3999-4002  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:21 PM

there was often the odd German soldier desperate to surrender. A combat engineer with the 3rd Armored began to urinate into a thick bush on the edge of an orchard. To his alarm, a soaked German emerged. He grabbed his rifle, which he had leaned against a tree trunk, but the German was extracting from his wallet photos of his wife and children in an attempt to persuade him not to shoot him. He kept saying, ‘Meine Frau und meine Kinder!’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 263 | Loc. 4030-35  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:25 PM

General Barton, the commander of the 4th Division, wrote, ‘The Germans are staying in there just by the guts of their soldiers. We outnumber them 10 to 1 in infantry, 50 to 1 in artillery and an infinite number in the air.’ He wanted unit commanders to convince their men ‘that we have got to fight for our country just as hard as the Germans are fighting for theirs’.32 One report on interviews with prisoners of war stated that the Germans ‘have no regard for the fighting qualities of the average American’. Rangers and airborne troops were respected. The Germans were deeply indoctrinated by propaganda.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 264 | Loc. 4037-41  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:26 PM

To create hatred, the German equivalent of Soviet commissars, the National Socialist Leadership Officers, emphasized the destruction of German cities and the killing of German women and children by ‘terror attacks’. Their basic theme was that the Allies intended to wipe out ‘the German race’. Defeat would mean the annihilation of their Fatherland. Their propaganda leaflets addressed to Allied troops demanded, ‘What do you want to do in Europe? To defend America? . . . To die for Stalin - and Israel?’ This was all part of a basic Nazi theme that ‘Amerikanismus’ allied the ‘Jewish plutocrat’ of the United States with the ‘Jewish Bolshevik’ of the Soviet Union.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 264 | Loc. 4047-50  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:27 PM

As in all armies, the combat performance of American troops in every battalion varied greatly. During the bocage battles, some GIs began to get over their terror of German panzers. Private Hicks of the 22nd Infantry with the 4th Division managed to destroy three Panthers over three days with his bazooka. Although he was killed two days later, confidence in the bazooka as an anti-tank weapon continued to increase.
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- Highlight on Page 265 | Loc. 4051-54  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:27 PM

‘Colonel, that was a great big son-of-a-bitch. It looked like a whole road full of tank. It kept coming on and it looked like it was going to destroy the whole world. I took three shots and the son-of-a-bitch didn’t stop.’ He paused, and Teague asked him what he did next. ‘I ran round behind and took one shot. He stopped.’ Some junior officers became so excited by the idea of panzer hunts that they had to be ordered to stop.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 265 | Loc. 4062-67  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:34 PM

Panzer Lehr had started as the best equipped and most highly trained of all German formations in Normandy, but it had lost over two-thirds of its strength fighting the British on the Caen front.33 Bayerlein’s men were also exhausted, having never been pulled out of the line for a rest. When he had protested to Seventh Army headquarters, he was told not to worry because the Americans were poor soldiers. Bayerlein then warned Choltitz that the Panzer Lehr ‘was not in a position to make a counterattack’. Choltitz apparently retorted that he was a liar, ‘like all panzer commanders’, and that he must attack anyway.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 266 | Loc. 4078-82  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:37 PM

A few miles to the west, other groups of tank destroyers managed to ambush Panthers as they approached. Even though several rounds were often needed to knock out a Panther completely, the tank destroyer crews fought with impressive self-control. Altogether, they destroyed twelve Panthers and one Mark IV. The Panzer Lehr offensive came to a complete halt after the central Kampfgruppe was sighted south of Le Dézert and then bombarded by 9th Division artillery and attacked by P-47 Thunderbolts and P-38 Lightnings. The Panzer Lehr had been badly mauled, losing twenty tanks and assault guns as well as nearly 700 men.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 267 | Loc. 4086-91  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:38 PM

This brief outline cannot convey the reality of fighting in the bocage. The Germans described it as a ‘schmutziger Buschkrieg’ - a ‘dirty bush war’ - but they acknowledged that the great advantage lay with them, the defenders. Fear aroused by fighting in the bocage produced a hatred which had never existed before the invasion. ‘The only good Jerry soldiers are the dead ones,’ a soldier in the 1st Infantry Division wrote home in a ‘Dear Folks’ letter to his family in Minnesota. ‘I’ve never really hated anything quite as much. And it’s not because of some blustery speech of a brass-hat. I guess I’m probably a little off my nut - but who isn’t? Probably that’s the best way to be.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 268 | Loc. 4099-4105  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:39 PM

Their instinct, when bracketed by German artillery or mortar fire, was to throw themselves flat or run back to safety, rather than charge forwards, which was far less dangerous. A shot from a single German rifleman in a tree all too often prompted a whole platoon to drop to the ground, where they offered a much easier target. The Germans were adept at provoking this deliberately, then rapidly firing a barrage of mortar rounds on to them as they lay in the open. ‘Keep moving if you want to live’, was the slogan adopted by Bradley’s headquarters in a general instruction. Officers and non-coms were told that they must not throw themselves to the ground, because the rest of the platoon would follow their example. Aggressive action led to fewer casualties because the Germans were rattled if you kept coming at them. And the importance of ‘marching fire’ was continually emphasized. This meant firing constantly at likely hiding places as you advanced, rather than waiting for an identifiable target.
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- Highlight on Page 268 | Loc. 4106-7  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:40 PM

Soldiers were advised to lie still if wounded by a sniper. He would not waste another round on a corpse, but would certainly fire again if they tried to crawl away.
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- Highlight on Page 269 | Loc. 4112-15  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:41 PM

Most German units had very few trained snipers with telescopic sights, but that did not stop the conviction of frightened infantrymen that every concealed rifleman was a ‘sniper’. ‘The sniper menace ought not to be exaggerated,’ the headquarters of the First US Army insisted in a circular. Snipers should be dealt with by snipers and not by ‘indiscriminate fire’. Similar fears turned every German tank into a Tiger and every German field gun into an 88 mm.
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- Highlight on Page 270 | Loc. 4128-30  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:45 PM

Time and again, Allied troops were caught out. Exhausted from the attack and complacent from success, soldiers did not find the idea of frantically digging a new foxhole very appealing. It took a long time and many unnecessary deaths for British and American infantry to learn to follow the German Army dictum that ‘sweat saves blood’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 270 | Loc. 4130-37  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 02:45 PM

Fighting against the Red Army had taught German veterans of the eastern front almost every trick imaginable. If there were shell holes on the approach to one of their positions, they would place anti-personnel mines at the bottom. An attacker’s instinct would be to throw himself into it to take cover when under machine-gun or mortar fire. If the Germans abandoned a position, they not only prepared booby traps in their dugouts but left behind a box of grenades in which several had been tampered with to reduce the time delay to zero. They were also expert at concealing in a ditch beside a track an S-Mine, known to the Americans as a ‘Bouncing Betty’ or the ‘castrator’ mine, because it sprang up when released to explode shrapnel at crotch height. And wires were strung taut at neck height across roads used by Jeeps to behead their unwary occupants as they drove along. The Americans rapidly welded an inverted L-shaped rod to the front of their open vehicles to catch and cut these wires.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 272 | Loc. 4163-68  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:27 PM

The perfect solution was finally discovered by Sergeant Curtis G. Culin of the 102nd Cavalry Reconnaissance with the 2nd Armored Division. Another soldier came up with the suggestion that steel prongs should be fitted to the front of the tank, then it could dig up the hedgerow. Most of those present laughed, but Culin went away and developed the idea by welding a pair of short steel girders to the front of a Sherman. General Bradley saw a demonstration. He immediately gave orders that the steel from German beach obstacles should be cut up for use. The ‘rhino’ tank was born. With a good driver, it took less than two and a half minutes to clear a hole through the bank and hedgerow.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 273 | Loc. 4177-80  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:29 PM

American military bureaucracy handled the whole ‘replacement’ system with a brutal lack of imagination. The word itself, which suggested the filling of dead men’s shoes, was ill-chosen. It took several months before the term was changed to ‘reinforcement’. But the basic problem remained. These new arrivals were poorly trained and totally unprepared for what lay ahead.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 273 | Loc. 4182-84  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:29 PM

‘Practically all of the replacements,’ stated a report from the 4th Infantry Division, ‘had come direct from replacement training centers.’ They had received no unit or field training and, unlike those prepared in England for the invasion, they had never been put under overhead artillery fire.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 274 | Loc. 4191-94  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:30 PM

Replacements joined their platoon usually at night, having no idea where they were. The old hands shunned them, partly because their arrival came just after they had lost buddies and they would not open up to newcomers. Also everyone knew that they would be the first to be killed and doomed men were seen as somehow contagious. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy, because replacements were often given the most dangerous tasks. A platoon did not want to waste experienced men.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 274 | Loc. 4199-4203  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:31 PM

Replacements were also the most likely to try to escape the front line by resorting to a self-inflicted wound. They usually shot themselves in the left foot or left hand. The cleverer ones used a sandbag or other material to prevent tell-tale cordite burns around the entry point, but the pattern of left foot and left hand was so obvious, as General George Patton observed, that there was ‘a high probability that the wound was self-inflicted’. Those who took this way out were sectioned off in special wards in hospitals as if cowardice was infectious. As soon as they were discharged, they faced a sentence of six months in the stockade.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 275 | Loc. 4204-6  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:32 PM

The real heroes of the bocage were the aid men. They had to tend the wounded in the open and try to evacuate them. Their only defence was a Red Cross brassard, which was usually respected, but often not by snipers. Aid men did not expect much help from the fighting soldiers, who were told to keep going even when a comrade was hit.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 275 | Loc. 4208-13  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:32 PM

An aid man with the 30th Infantry Division recorded his experiences: ‘To get down fast you needed to learn to buckle your knees and collapse rather than make a deliberate movement to the prone position.’ He wrote of the ‘light of hope’ in the eyes of wounded men when he appeared. It was easy to spot those about to die with ‘the grey-green color of death appearing beneath their eyes and fingernails. These we would only comfort. Those making the most noise were the lightest hit, and we would get them to bandage themselves using their own compresses and Sulfa [powder].’ He concentrated on those in shock or with severe wounds and heavy bleeding.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 275 | Loc. 4214-16  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:33 PM

His main tools were bandage scissors to cut through uniform, Sulfa powder, compresses and morphine. He soon learned not to carry extra water for the wounded but cigarettes, since that was usually the first thing they wanted.
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- Highlight on Page 276 | Loc. 4218-21  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:33 PM

The stench was unbearable, especially at the collection point. ‘Here the smell was even worse, but most of the men working there were apparently so completely under the influence of alcohol that they no longer appeared to care.’ He once had to fill out ‘Killed in Action’ tags for a whole squad wiped out by a single German machine gun. And he never forgot an old sergeant who had died with a smile on his face.
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- Highlight on Page 276 | Loc. 4222-23  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:34 PM

Tall big men were the most vulnerable, however strong they might be. ‘The combat men who really lasted were usually thin, smaller of stature and very quick in their movements.’
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- Highlight on Page 276 | Loc. 4224-25  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:34 PM

He even noted how sentimental GIs from farming communities would cover the open eyes of dead cows with twists of straw.
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- Highlight on Page 276 | Loc. 4226-28  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:34 PM

A soldier from a farm caught a cow, tied her to the hedgerow and began to milk her into his helmet. The city boys in his platoon came over and watched in amazement. They were also impressed when he put dried weed and branches out in front of their positions so that Germans could not creep up at night silently to throw grenades.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 278 | Loc. 4254-58  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:37 PM

Instead of sending replacements forward to a platoon during darkness on the day they arrived, they should be held back and put into the training programme until the regiment to which they were allotted came back into reserve. This would allow the opportunity to train them with machine-gun and artillery fire going overhead and explosions set off around them to simulate shellbursts. Replacements also needed to be integrated better. They should be given the division’s blue and grey patch to wear on their uniforms before they joined their platoons. Almost all of Weintrob’s innovations were later brought into general use by the US Army by that autumn.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 278 | Loc. 4258-62  | Added on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, 03:37 PM

German officers, on the other hand, would have shaken their heads in amazement. Their hard-pressed divisions in Normandy never had the luxury of a few days’ training behind the lines. New soldiers arrived at the point of a boot. And if they shot themselves through the hand or foot, they were executed. The Obergefreiter with the 91st Luftlande-Division wrote home on 15 July to say that ‘Krammer, a capable and brave lad, stupidly shot himself through the hand. Now he is to be shot.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 279 | Loc. 4269-73  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:08 AM

Eisenhower’s deputy, Air Chief Marshal Tedder, and Air Marshal Coningham even discussed the possibility of having Montgomery relieved. Coningham, who commanded the Tactical Air Force supporting 21st Army Group, had loathed Montgomery since the North African campaign. He had never been able to forgive Montgomery’s compulsion to take all the credit. Now he was infuriated by Montgomery’s pretence that his strategy was proceeding according to plan when he had manifestly failed to take the ground needed for airfields.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 279 | Loc. 4273-75  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:08 AM

American officers were becoming scornful of what they saw as inexcusable caution on the British front. By 30 June, the British Second Army had suffered 24,698 casualties since the invasion began, while the Americans had lost 34,034 men, nearly half as many again. (German losses for the same period were 80,783.)
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 280 | Loc. 4286-88  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:11 AM

Increasingly, the Second Army in Normandy preferred to rely on the excellent support provided by the Royal Artillery and on Allied air power. The idea that high explosive saved British lives became almost addictive. But it certainly did not save French lives, as Montgomery’s next offensive showed in the most shocking way.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 280 | Loc. 4289-93  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:12 AM

The battle for Caen began on 4 July with Operation Windsor, a preliminary attack by the Canadian 8th Infantry Brigade to seize the village and airfield of Carpiquet to the west of the city. Carpiquet was defended by a small detachment of their most hated enemy, the 12th SS Panzer-Division Hitler Jugend. This battle, with the Régiment de la Chaudière, the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, the North Shore and the Winnipeg Rifles out for revenge, was to be one of the most vicious of the whole Normandy campaign.
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- Highlight on Page 281 | Loc. 4301-2  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:13 AM

Canadian artillery and the warships had also pounded the airfield itself. The SS artillery observer died, skewered with ‘a twenty-five centimeter long fragment of a ship’s artillery shell sticking in his back’.
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- Highlight on Page 282 | Loc. 4313-15  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:15 AM

According to one Canadian source, the French Canadians of the Régiment de la Chaudière went berserk around dawn, cutting the throats of any SS men they could find, ‘wounded as well as dead’. Officers with drawn pistols eventually brought them back under control. An officer with the regiment wrote, ‘No prisoners are taken this day on either side.’
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- Highlight on Page 282 | Loc. 4323-24  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:16 AM

And on 25 June, Eisenhower had written to him, ‘Please do not hesitate to make the maximum demands for any air assistance that can possibly be useful to you. Whenever there is any legitimate opportunity we must blast the enemy with everything we have.’
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- Highlight on Page 283 | Loc. 4330-34  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:17 AM

When the massed formations of Lancasters and Halifaxes appeared that evening at 20.30 hours, British and Canadian infantry jumped out of their slit trenches to cheer. Tank crews climbed on to their turrets to get a better view. ‘There was high cloud and the sun was reddening [the Lancasters] all across the sky,’ wrote an artillery officer in his diary. ‘An incredible barrage of flak’ went up from German anti-aircraft batteries. British and Canadian artillery immediately began firing on their positions to help the RAF.
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- Highlight on Page 283 | Loc. 4334-36  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:18 AM

‘We could see when the Lancasters released their bombs because they suddenly lifted several feet in the air,’ a medical officer wrote. ‘More and more bombers go in through the flak,’ wrote the same artillery officer. ‘A cloud of smoke starts to rise over the target, dirty grey white, blowing over to the north east.’
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- Highlight on Page 283 | Loc. 4339-41  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:18 AM

An officer in the Guards Armoured Division described the bombing of Caen as ‘a magnificent spectacle’. Most spectators evidently assumed that French civilians had been evacuated.
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- Highlight on Page 284 | Loc. 4342-44  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:18 AM

While most cheered at the sight, a few had misgivings. ‘The awful thing was,’ wrote a captain in the Coldstream Guards, ‘that as an infantryman one was thinking: Why on earth are they knocking it to bits because it will be so easy to defend?’
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- Highlight on Page 284 | Loc. 4349-50  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:19 AM

One elderly man was asked later what it had felt like during the bombing raid of 7 July. He thought for some time before answering, ‘Imagine a rat sewn up inside a football during an international match . . .’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 285 | Loc. 4359-62  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:20 AM

When the bombing finished, young civil defence volunteers arrived at the convent, urging them to depart immediately. They left by the only door which could be opened. The Mother Superior led the way along the Fossés Saint-Julien, carrying the sacred ciborium, ‘a grandiose procession in an unforgettable setting under a magnificent sky dotted with stars, fires all around giving off a red glow, sparks falling all around and delayed action bombs still exploding’.
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- Highlight on Page 287 | Loc. 4400-4403  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:29 AM

Soldiers did far more damage moving those with severe fractures rather than leaving them where they were until trained stretcher-bearers could splint them up. ‘All the lessons of the First World War seemed to have been forgotten,’ wrote the same doctor with 210th Field Ambulance. Like the rest of his exhausted colleagues, he was afraid that his judgement was impaired by lack of sleep.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 289 | Loc. 4424-27  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:33 AM

An officer from civil affairs told André Heintz that they intended to set up their headquarters in the Hôtel d’Angleterre. Heintz guided them to it, knowing that the only evidence of its former identity was a remnant of the royal arms with ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’. He resisted the temptation to say that the British should not have destroyed it, but the officer himself recognized the black irony.
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- Highlight on Page 289 | Loc. 4427-29  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:33 AM

but then asked if they would be able to have a bath. Heintz explained that Caen had been without water since the first bombing on 6 June. The liberators still seemed to have no idea what the city had suffered, despite the evidence around them.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 290 | Loc. 4438-42  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:34 AM

Colonel Usher’s groups set to work rapidly, clearing routes with bulldozers and trying to set up an emergency water supply. Most basic services were not restored until September. A convoy of army trucks with food had been prepared ready for the entry into Caen. Mine clearance was a slow and arduous task, and so was the recovery of bodies from under the rubble of ruined buildings. The stench from decomposing corpses was terrible. In fact, many people in Caen, however hungry, could not face a ripe Camembert for a long time because of the horrible memories evoked by the smell.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 290 | Loc. 4442-46  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:35 AM

On 10 July, a ceremony to raise the tricolore on the façade of the Eglise Saint-Etienne was held in the presence of Monsieur Daure, the new préfet appointed by de Gaulle’s provisional government. Tears ran down the cheeks of many of those present. Three days later, the British Second Army held what was supposed to be a victory parade in the Place Saint-Martin. A Scottish pipe band struck up, as another tricolore was raised. The bewilderment on the faces of the French crowd was plain. They had never heard the ‘Marseillaise’ played on bagpipes.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 291 | Loc. 4457-59  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:39 AM

The fighting for Hill 112 became pitiless. Germans of the 9th SS Panzer-Division Hohenstaufen soon called the place ‘Kalvarienberg’, the hill of Calvary. The name came from the Croix des Filandriers, a shrine of the crucifixion, which seemed to take on a new significance.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 292 | Loc. 4466-67  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:40 AM

Whenever they encountered wounded Germans in the corn, there was little they could do except remove the bolt from their Mauser rifle and fling it far away.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 292 | Loc. 4467-71  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:41 AM

After losing most of their men, they became pinned down by heavy machine-gun fire in the corn. The platoon commander ordered Partridge to hurl a smoke grenade so that they could advance again. Partridge thought it a stupid idea, but complied. As soon as he had thrown it, the platoon commander jumped to his feet before the smoke billowed and was shot. He gasped, ‘Sarn’t Partridge,’ then expired. Partridge rounded up the other four survivors and crawled back through the corn some way, dug a pit and made a cup of tea, which they shared between them.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 292 | Loc. 4473-76  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:42 AM

The 502nd SS Heavy Panzer Battalion equipped with Mark VI Tiger tanks, the largest and most formidable fighting machine seen on the western front, was converging on the same spot. Unable to see what was ahead, the Tigers of one company smashed through the hedgerow in front and found themselves facing four Shermans. The Tigers’ 88 mm guns turned three of them into blazing wrecks in a moment. The fourth escaped using high reverse.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 293 | Loc. 4481-84  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:43 AM

At 17.00 hours, the 5th Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry was sent on through the Somersets in another attempt to reach the top. Their advance just over the brow of the hill reached a small wood of chestnuts. There they were cut to pieces by machine-gun fire from the German positions on the reverse slope, then attacked by panzers. Part of the Cornwalls ran back in disorder. A wounded officer tried to halt this retreat: ‘He had been hit in the jaw, so that part of his face had dropped, and he was waving a pistol and trying to shout, making terrible sounds.’
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- Bookmark on Page 293 | Loc. 4486  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:44 AM


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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 293 | Loc. 4487-92  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:44 AM

With Nebelwerfer mortar shells exploding continuously, the crews of their supporting armour remained closed down. But one officer was so desperate to relieve himself that he jumped out of his Sherman, grabbed a shovel off the back and raced across to a knocked-out tank nearby, where he proceeded to drop his trousers. Meanwhile, British artillery continued to hammer the summit. ‘Not a metre of ground escaped being ploughed up by shells,’ a member of the SS Hohenstaufen wrote. After nightfall, each company colour sergeant brought up hot food in containers and supplies of cigarettes for the infantry in the forward positions. For once there was more than enough to go around, because ‘no allowance had been made for casualties’. Their only complaint was that the tea tasted of petrol.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 293 | Loc. 4492-4500  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:46 AM

Dawn on 11 July did not improve visibility because of a thick mist - ‘eine Milchsuppe’, as the Hohenstaufen described it. But high overhead a British artillery spotter plane appeared just as the 19th and 20th SS Panzergrenadier-Regiments were about to attack. The crews of the Tiger tanks with them feared the worst. They quickly realized that the safest place would be in among their enemy. They charged the British positions, rolling over trenches. With an ironic admiration, they saw British anti-tank crews trying to bring their ineffective guns to bear. ‘They’re brave, the Anglo-Saxons!’ one of them noted. The monster panzers suddenly emerged from the bank of mist. ‘We had a scene in front of us of which every Tiger dreams,’ a crew member wrote. Barely a hundred yards away was a forward replenishment point with ammunition trucks and other vehicles, including tanks. ‘Our commander called out: “Armour-piercing! Open fire!”.’ Two Churchill tanks in front of them were traversing their turrets towards them, but the Tigers blasted them at close range and they both exploded into flames.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 294 | Loc. 4503-11  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:47 AM

After dusk, D Company of the Somersets received orders to ‘infiltrate the enemy position’. ‘The despair I felt when this order reached me can be imagined,’ wrote Sergeant Partridge, who had taken over command of his platoon after the death of their lieutenant the day before. Weapons were cleaned and ammunition distributed. At 01.00 hours, they rose out of their slit trenches and advanced silently. But as soon as they reached the barbed wire on the summit which the SS panzergrenadiers had erected, a murderous fire opened. The platoons threw themselves flat. ‘The tracer bullets,’ wrote Sergeant Partridge, ‘were arcing their way almost lazily through the air, winging their way to pre-selected targets chosen during daylight, and now being fired on “fixed lines”.’ Any attempt to breach the wire ended when a section commander attempted to scramble through. A German bullet hit a phosphorus grenade in his ammunition pouch. ‘Struggling in desperation,’ wrote a corporal watching, ‘he became entangled in the barbed wire and hung there, a living screaming human beacon.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 295 | Loc. 4511-16  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:48 AM

Sergeant Partridge heard the man’s ‘anguished cries of “Shoot me, shoot me!”’. ‘A single well-aimed bullet from a compassionate but no doubt appalled officer,’ the corporal continued, ‘put the lad out of his blazing hell. Even in death the horror continued as the phosphorus burned into the now mercifully lifeless body.’ Everyone who witnessed the scene was determined never again to carry a phosphorus grenade in their webbing pouches. An order was given to pull back, but that was not the end of the horror. Some men became lost in the dark on their way down the hill and were shot as they reached the positions of other companies who did not know who they were.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 296 | Loc. 4527-31  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:49 AM

People who had refused the British offer of evacuation a few days earlier now rushed for the trucks. An ancient Benedictine nun, who had never stepped outside the convent since her novitiate at the beginning of the century, was astonished to see trucks for the first time in her life, and even more thrilled to ride in one. But civilians trapped behind German lines, who had been sheltering in the damp caves by the village of Fleury, were in a terrible state. SS troops would not allow them out. Their chance of rescue would not come until later in the month.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 296 | Loc. 4531-34  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:49 AM

In Caen, the French authorities and British civil affairs section became increasingly concerned about the danger of cholera. After the destruction of the city, the task of reconnecting the water supply was far harder than even the most pessimistic had imagined. Starving dogs had also become a menace and the préfet issued orders to shoot any found in the streets.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 296 | Loc. 4536-40  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:50 AM

On 15 July, Montgomery wrote to Brooke about one of his favourite divisions from North Africa: ‘Regret to report it is considered opinion Crocker, Dempsey and myself that 51st [Highland] Division is at present not - NOT - battleworthy. It does not fight with determination and has failed in every operation it has been given to do.’ Montgomery sacked the commander for weakness and even considered ordering the whole division back to Britain for retraining. Word of their disgrace rapidly spread round the Second Army and soon a letter was sent out instructing officers ‘not to criticise the 51st Highland Division’.
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- Highlight on Page 297 | Loc. 4545-46  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 01:51 AM

Their losses became a vicious circle. While most of the best NCOs had been promoted to command platoons, the rest often showed a lack of initiative. This forced officers to take extra risks to get their men to attack, or they had to stand up conspicuously to stop a panic.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 299 | Loc. 4571-72  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:26 PM

Infantrymen appear to have suffered the most because of the effects of German mortars and Nebelwerfer batteries firing concentrated salvoes at unexpected moments.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 299 | Loc. 4573-76  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:26 PM

‘Two of them during an attack did not stay in their slit trenches, but just ran around wildly screaming “Get me out of here!”.’ Another contributing factor to the sense of helplessness and disorientation was the lack of information. In the words of one soldier, they suffered from ‘ignorance, stupefying, brutalizing ignorance. You never knew where you were or where the enemy was, or what you were supposed to be attempting to achieve.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 299 | Loc. 4579-81  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:27 PM

A subaltern sent as replacement to the Somerset Light Infantry after its mauling on Hill 112 described how a moustached major at their reinforcement camp near Bayeux addressed the new officers: ‘Gentlemen, your life expectancy from the day you join your battalion, will be precisely three weeks.’
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- Bookmark on Page 299 | Loc. 4585  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:28 PM


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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 299 | Loc. 4584-88  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:28 PM

General George S. Patton arrived in France. He was to command the Third US Army as soon as it was activated on Eisenhower’s order. Stuck in England for a month since the invasion, he had been ‘awfully restless’. ‘It is Hell to be on the side lines and see all the glory eluding me,’ he had written to his wife on D-Day. He started wearing his shoulder holster ‘so as to get myself into the spirit of the part’, then packed for France even though there was no immediate prospect of being called over.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 300 | Loc. 4589-93  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:29 PM

Patton was grateful to Eisenhower for having twice given him another chance. The first time was after he had slapped a soldier suffering from combat exhaustion in Sicily, the second being his gaffe in a speech in England, saying that the Americans and the British were destined to rule the world. But he never respected Ike ‘as a soldier’. When he accompanied the supreme commander on a tour of divisions in the south-west of England, he described his friendly manner with the troops as that of ‘an office seeker rather than that of a soldier’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 300 | Loc. 4598-4603  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:31 PM

Patton, who followed events in Normandy with intense frustration, felt that Bradley’s attempt to advance on a broad front was wrong. Constant minor attacks to win ground, in his view, led to far more casualties in the long run than a concentrated offensive. German commanders agreed. ‘I cannot follow the reasoning,’ wrote Generalleutnant Schimpf of the 3rd Paratroop Division, ‘that these tactics were supposed to have helped avoid bloodshed, as I was told by captured American officers. For although losses on the day of attack could be kept comparatively low, on the other hand the total losses suffered through the continuous minor attacks launched over a long period, were surely much heavier than would have been the case if a forceful attack had been conducted.’
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- Highlight on Page 301 | Loc. 4605-6  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:32 PM

With impressive foresight, Patton wrote on 2 July that they should be attacking down the west coast towards Avranches with ‘one or two armored divisions abreast’, supported by air power.
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- Highlight on Page 301 | Loc. 4606-9  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:32 PM

At last on 4 July, his Third Army headquarters began to embark. Patton himself flew over two days later in a C-47 to the landing strip above Omaha beach. His plane was escorted by four P-47 Thunderbolts, the fighter-bomber which would later support his astonishing advance across France. As soon as he reached French soil, Patton was on exuberant form. News of his arrival spread instantly among the soldiers and sailors of Omaha beach command.
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- Highlight on Page 301 | Loc. 4610-12  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 12:32 PM

Patton stood up in the Jeep sent for him and addressed them in his inimitable style: ‘I’m proud to be here to fight beside you. Now let’s cut the guts out of those Krauts and get the hell on to Berlin. And when we get to Berlin, I am going to personally shoot that paper-hanging son of a bitch, just like I would a snake.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 304 | Loc. 4647-51  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 02:38 PM

The 2nd Division had been planning this operation since 16 June. On 1 July, taking advantage of the German tendency to withdraw the bulk of its front-line strength at night to avoid casualties from an early-morning bombardment, one of its battalions slipped forward during darkness and occupied all the German trenches. This was a calculated risk, because the Germans always had their own front-line positions registered as mortar and artillery targets. But it proved well worthwhile. This sudden advance provided the division with a good line of departure for the operation which they had been forced to postpone on several occasions. Time had not been wasted during the long wait.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 306 | Loc. 4686-91  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 02:49 PM

Just to the east on the 1st Division’s sector south of Caumont, an interesting contrast to the bitter fighting for the Bayeux road had just taken place. The Americans arranged a truce on 9 July with the 2nd Panzer-Division to hand over a second group of German nurses captured in Cherbourg. ‘This second transfer and the chivalrous treatment of these nurses,’ wrote their commander, Generalleutnant Freiherr von Lüttwitz, ‘made at that time a deep impression upon the entire division.’ Lüttwitz informed Rommel, who then decided that this would be the place to make contact with the Americans to negotiate a ceasefire in Normandy should Hitler continue to refuse to end the war.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 306 | Loc. 4691-92  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 02:49 PM

Rommel’s discussions with his commanders on taking unilateral action against the regime was running in parallel, but separately from preparations for the assassination of Hitler at Rastenburg.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 307 | Loc. 4696-4701  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 02:51 PM

Machine-gun emplacements in the cemetery walls and in the church itself pinned down the battalion trying to attack it. When it was finally stormed the next day after another bombardment, ‘only three prisoners, two of them wounded, were taken on this hotly contested ground’. Yet according to General Bayerlein, the 17th SS Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen was ‘in a poor state and had no will to fight’. Only the paratroopers and the Das Reich Kampfgruppe were dependable. This was perhaps helped by the way a Das Reich commander, Obersturmbahnführer Wisliczeny - ‘a giant, brutal man’, according to Bayerlein - stood behind the line with a stick and beat anyone who tried to run back.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 308 | Loc. 4714-15  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 02:52 PM

German Seventh Army headquarters was already extremely concerned at the situation on that western sector, because General von Choltitz lacked any reserves and the Mahlmann defence line had now been outflanked.
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- Highlight on Page 308 | Loc. 4717-20  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 02:52 PM

‘The population has to evacuate now and it’s a complete mass migration,’ wrote the Obergefreiter in the 91st Luftlande-Division. ‘The fat nuns sweat profusely as they push their carts. It is hard to watch this and to go along with this accursed war. To continue to believe in victory is very hard since the USA is gaining more and more of a foothold.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 308 | Loc. 4720-23  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:23 PM

Allied fighter-bombers continued to attack not only front-line positions, but also any supply trucks coming up behind with food, ammunition and fuel. The almost total absence of the Luftwaffe to contest the enemy’s air supremacy continued to provoke anger among German troops, although they often resorted to black humour. ‘If you can see silver aircraft, they are American,’ went one joke. ‘If you can see khaki planes, they are British, and if you can’t see any planes, then they’re German.’
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- Highlight on Page 309 | Loc. 4723-25  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:23 PM

The other version of this went, ‘If British planes appear, we duck. If American planes come over, everyone ducks. And if the Luftwaffe appears, nobody ducks.’
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- Highlight on Page 310 | Loc. 4740-44  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:28 PM

On 14 July, the weather was so bad that the American attack halted and for the first time the Germans found it ‘possible to relieve units during daylight’. But XIX Corps was planning an attack for the next day. General Corlett called it his ‘Sunday punch’. Corlett’s XIX Corps headquarters was made more colourful by its British liaison officer, Viscount Weymouth (soon to become the 6th Marquess of Bath), ‘a tall Britisher who had gained a reputation for eccentricity because of some of his trips through the German lines and his habit of leading two ducks around on a leash’.
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- Highlight on Page 311 | Loc. 4763-66  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:31 PM

French families who refused to leave their farms remained at great risk during these battles. ‘I remember one poignant scene that hurt all of us there,’ recorded an officer with a chemical battalion. ‘A family came through our position carrying a door on which was the body of a young boy. We did not know how he was killed. The pain on the faces of the innocent family affected each of us and made us feel for the people of the area and what they must be suffering.’
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- Highlight on Page 311 | Loc. 4766-70  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:31 PM

Sometimes French farmers and their families, on finding a dead soldier, would lay the body by a roadside crucifix and place flowers on it, even though they were trapped in an increasingly pitiless battle. Near Périers, a small American patrol was captured. According to a battalion surgeon with the 4th Division, a German officer demanded to know the whereabouts of the nearest American signals unit. Receiving no answer, he shot one of the prisoners in the leg. ‘Then, he shot the commander of the patrol through the head when he refused to talk.’
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- Highlight on Page 312 | Loc. 4775-80  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:32 PM

What is astonishingly impressive is how the vast majority stayed the course. A captain in the 100th Evacuation Hospital calculated that in three and a half months he performed over 6,000 operations: ‘I got so I can tell from the type of wound whether our troops are advancing, falling back or stationary. I can also detect self-inflicted wounds.’ Green troops were more likely to suffer from booby-traps and mines. ‘Self-inflicted wounds generally roll in just as a battle starts. On the advance it’s mortar, machinegun and small arms. After breakthrough or capture of a position we get mine and booby trap cases. When stationary, all claim it’s an 88 that hit them.’
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- Highlight on Page 312 | Loc. 4780-82  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:32 PM

the chief of the X-Ray department of the 2nd Evacuation Hospital expressed amazement at how uncomplaining the wounded usually were: ‘It’s such a paradox, this war,’ he wrote, ‘which produces the worst in man, and also raises him to the summits of self-sacrifice, self-denial and altruism.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 313 | Loc. 4785-89  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:33 PM

Nothing, however, seemed to reduce the flow of cases where men under artillery fire would go ‘wide-eyed and jittery’, or ‘start running around in circles and crying’, or ‘curl up into little balls’, or even wander out in a trance in an open field and start picking flowers as the shells exploded. Others cracked under the strain of patrols, suddenly crying, ‘We’re going to get killed! We’re going to get killed!’ Young officers had to try to deal with ‘men suddenly whimpering, cringing, refusing to get up or get out of a foxhole and go forward under fire’.
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- Highlight on Page 313 | Loc. 4791-92  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:34 PM

Many needless accidents were caused by a combination of exhaustion and raw Calvados, which GIs called ‘applejack’ or sometimes ‘white lightning’ because of its strength.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 313 | Loc. 4793-96  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:34 PM

The over-salted contents of K-Rations were hated. Even the lemonade powder with Vitamin C was used instead for cleaning and scouring. A running joke developed that German prisoners of war were claiming that forcing them to eat K-Rations was a breach of the Geneva Convention. Men dreamed of ice cream, hot dogs and milkshakes. Their only hope of such comforts came when they were in reserve and the American Red Cross doughnut wagon turned up, run by young women volunteers.
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- Highlight on Page 314 | Loc. 4802-4  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:35 PM

To preserve anything from the rain that July required ingenuity. A sergeant in the 1st Infantry Division recounted that he always kept a dry pair of socks and some toilet paper in the top of his helmet liner.
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- Highlight on Page 314 | Loc. 4804-5  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:36 PM

Soldiers also needed to hang on to their kit, because fascinated children were often trying to make off with their own souvenirs. Little French boys pestered them, requesting ‘cigarettes pour Papa’, only to go off and smoke them themselves.
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- Highlight on Page 314 | Loc. 4808-10  | Added on Thursday, July 07, 2016, 07:36 PM

One of his main tasks was to cope with soldiers searching cellars for wine and Calvados. He and his men had the idea of scrawling ‘Mines’ on the walls by the entrance.
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- Highlight on Page 314 | Loc. 4811-13  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 04:46 PM

Looting by the townsfolk made him look at his fellow citizens afresh. ‘It was a great surprise to find it in all classes of society. The war has awakened atavistic instincts and transformed a number of law-abiding individuals into delinquents.’
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- Highlight on Page 316 | Loc. 4838-42  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 04:51 PM

Bradley Holbrook, a war correspondent from the Baltimore Sun, attached to the 29th Division, had observed Gerhardt’s longing for publicity as the battle for Saint-Lô progressed. ‘I remember going up there one morning where he was standing,’ he recounted later. ‘The casualties were mounting and it just seemed useless as hell to me. And I asked him why are we taking so many casualties when we can just go around this place and go on. And he turned and looked at me and said, “Because that’s a name everybody is going to remember.” And I thought, “Oh, shit, what kind of a war are we fighting?”.’
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- Highlight on Page 319 | Loc. 4877-80  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 04:56 PM

they rallied under the leadership of Peterson and another soldier, a full-blooded Native American ‘known simply as “Chief”’. Peterson then stalked the tank with rifle grenades, which were hardly armour-piercing. He scored six hits on the exterior, and the noise alone must have convinced the crew of the tank that it was better to turn around and scuttle back to Martinville.
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- Highlight on Page 319 | Loc. 4881-85  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 04:56 PM

That night, Peterson gave the order that one soldier in each two-man foxhole should stay awake while the other slept. Early next morning, he crept off to check on the other foxholes. In some of those where both men had fallen asleep, he found that their throats had been cut. The enemy raiding party of paratroopers, some fifteen strong, was still nearby and Peterson attacked with grenades. He was forced back, but then managed to site two light machine guns and a bazooka to keep the German paratroops pinned down. In fact their fire cut the enemy, in some cases quite literally, to pieces. Every German was killed. During all of this time, battalion headquarters had no idea that Peterson was in command.
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- Highlight on Page 320 | Loc. 4892-97  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 04:57 PM

maintain surprise, he ordered his men to rely on the bayonet. Only two men per platoon were authorized to shoot in an emergency. Howie’s battalion ‘jumped off’ on 16 July when there was only a pre-dawn glimmer of light. It advanced rapidly in column of companies. They were lucky to be shrouded by an early-morning summer mist, but, presumably reacting to sound, German machine-gunners opened fire in their direction. As instructed, Howie’s soldiers did not fire back. Good discipline and rapid footwork took them through to their objective next to Bingham’s battalion by 06.00 hours.
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- Highlight on Page 323 | Loc. 4938-41  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:30 PM

Brigadier General ‘Dutch’ Cota was wounded by shell fragments, having shown as much disregard for his personal safety as he had on Omaha beach. ‘Cota was hit by a shell fragment in his arm,’ wrote a lieutenant with the cavalry reconnaissance troop. ‘I can remember the blood running from his sleeve and dripping off his fingers. Not a bad wound but he just stood there talking. It didn’t bother him in the least.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 323 | Loc. 4943-45  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:31 PM

The general advance from 7 to 20 July had cost the Americans some 40,000 casualties. But in Bradley’s view, it had finally secured the left flank for Cobra and ground down the German forces to such a point that the breakthrough being planned stood a far greater chance of success.
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- Highlight on Page 325 | Loc. 4972-76  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:36 PM

on 14 July, Montgomery wrote to Field Marshal Brooke, saying that ‘the time has come to have a real “showdown” on the eastern flank’. Then, the very next day, Montgomery gave Dempsey and O’Connor a revised directive. This was more modest in its objectives. He wanted to advance only a third of the way to Falaise and then see how things stood. This may well have been a more realistic assessment of what was possible, yet Montgomery never told Eisenhower and he never even informed his own 21st Army Group headquarters. The consequences would be disastrous for Montgomery’s reputation and credibility.
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- Highlight on Page 326 | Loc. 4985-87  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:38 PM

‘There is a nice cool breeze now moving the ripening corn,’ wrote a captain near Fontenay-le-Pesnel. ‘Amongst the corn one can just see the tops of guns and tanks, the spurts of flame and clouds of dust as they fire ... another gloriously hot day. Dusty, hazy, with gunfire smoke hanging low over the corn like a November fog.’
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- Highlight on Page 327 | Loc. 5008-11  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:43 PM

They soon encountered very young SS panzergrenadiers in camouflage uniforms, ‘outstandingly well-equipped’ in comparison to their own infantry. ‘They were not, however, to be envied,’ he felt. ‘They were ambitious and were splendid soldiers. We all respected them.’ But ‘for us the war had been lost for some time. What counted was to survive.’ That was certainly the opinion of the older soldiers. ‘They were more mature, concerned, fatherly and humane. They did not want any heroics.’
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- Highlight on Page 327 | Loc. 5011-12  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:43 PM

Beck and his comrades sometimes had to go forwards with a two-wheeled handcart to collect the wounded, who told them that, as artillerymen, they were lucky not to be in the front line: ‘Up there it is hell.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 328 | Loc. 5021-23  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:45 PM

During the night of 16 July, Ultra intercepted a signal from Generalfeldmarschall Hugo Sperrle, the commander-in-chief of the Third Air Fleet. In it he predicted a major attack ‘decisive for the course of the war to take place south-eastwards from Caen about the night of 17-18th’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 328 | Loc. 5025-26  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:45 PM

Yet this clear warning from Ultra that the Germans were well aware of the main British thrust did not make Dempsey re-examine his priorities.
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- Highlight on Page 329 | Loc. 5032-35  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:46 PM

Rommel asked Meyer for his assessment of the impending British attack. ‘The units will fight and the soldiers will continue to die in their positions,’ Meyer said, ‘but they will not prevent the British tanks from rolling over their bodies and marching on to Paris. The enemy’s overwhelming air supremacy makes tactical manoeuvre virtually impossible. The fighter-bombers even attack individual dispatch riders.’
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- Highlight on Page 329 | Loc. 5035-38  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:47 PM

Rommel became impassioned on the subject. He vented his exasperation with the OKW, which still refused to listen to his warnings. ‘They don’t believe my reports any more. Something has to happen. The war in the West has to end . . . But what will happen in the East?’ As Rommel took his leave, Sepp Dietrich urged him to avoid the main road on his return to La Roche-Guyon. Rommel apparently waved away the idea with a smile.
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- Highlight on Page 329 | Loc. 5038-42  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:47 PM

Less than an hour later, Rommel’s open Horch was attacked by two Spitfires on the road near Sainte-Foy-de-Montgommery. He was thrown from the car and badly injured. A Frenchwoman on her way to buy meat had been forced to duck in panic as the fighters came in. She recounted that the locals found it ironic that the attack should have taken place next to a village with a name so similar to that of his opposing commander. Rommel was taken first to a pharmacy in Livarot and then to a hospital at Bernay. He was out of the war.
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- Highlight on Page 330 | Loc. 5055-58  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:48 PM

Of all the offensives in Normandy, Operation Goodwood was the most obvious to the enemy. Attempts to conceal it with deception measures, including ‘pre-recorded wireless traffic’ to simulate an attack towards Caumont, were doomed to failure. Even if the Germans had not known in advance from photo-reconnaissance and their observation posts in Colombelles, the dust clouds in the unusually hot weather indicated the movement of tank formations.
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- Highlight on Page 330 | Loc. 5060-62  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:49 PM

Goodwood also represented a failure in military intelligence. Even with RAF Mustangs flying photo-reconnaissance missions, Dempsey’s staff assumed that Eberbach’s defences had a depth of less than three miles.In fact there were five lines going all the way back to the rear of the Bourguébus ridge, over six miles away.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 332 | Loc. 5083-85  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:54 PM

Every senior commander on the Allied side was praying for Montgomery to make a breakthrough at last. Even his foes in the RAF, including ‘Bomber’ Harris, made no objection to his request for heavy bomber support. The commander of the tactical air force, Air Marshal Coningham, who loathed Montgomery most of all, was desperate for success so as to have room to build the forward airfields.
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- Highlight on Page 332 | Loc. 5087-90  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:54 PM

At 05.30 hours on 18 July, the first wave of bombers flew in from the north to attack their targets. Over the next two and a half hours, 2,000 heavy and 600 medium bombers of the RAF and the USAAF dropped 7,567 tons of bombs on a frontage of 7,000 yards. It was the largest concentration of air power in support of a ground operation ever known. Warships of the Royal Navy off the coast also contributed a massive bombardment.
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- Highlight on Page 332 | Loc. 5090-95  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:55 PM

The waiting tank crews climbed out to watch the spectacular dust clouds thrown up by the seemingly endless explosions. For those watching, it was unthinkable that anyone could survive such an onslaught. Germans who endured the man-inflicted earthquake were stunned and deafened. The wounded and those driven mad screamed and screamed. Some, unable to bear the noise, the shock waves and the vibration of the ground, shot themselves. Heavy Tiger tanks were flipped over by the blast or half buried in huge craters. But with the target areas obscured by dust and smoke, the British could not see that the bombing had been far from accurate. And they still had no idea that Eberbach had formed five lines of defence.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 334 | Loc. 5118-22  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:57 PM

The 13th/18th Hussars, advancing on the east flank towards Touffréville with the 3rd Infantry Division, machine-gunned trenches until prisoners emerged with their hands up. ‘Prisoners are streaming in past us, most of them paralysed by our bombing effort,’ wrote a major with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion back in the Orne bridgehead. Even the commander-in-chief of Panzer Group West, General Eberbach, wrote that ‘a breakthrough appeared unavoidable’. Most of the 16th Feld-Division had been smashed by the bombing and was ‘completely overrun’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 335 | Loc. 5127-29  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 08:58 PM

‘At 10.00 hours,’ wrote Eberbach, ‘came the terrible news that the enemy had broken through to a depth of ten kilometres.’ The 3rd Royal Tank Regiment soon found, however, that Goodwood was not going to be ‘a day at the races’.
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- Highlight on Page 336 | Loc. 5145-49  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 09:01 PM

The 2nd Armoured Battalion of the Grenadiers headed for Cagny, where the Fife and Forfar had received such a battering. They too lost nine Shermans to the 88s. This setback unaccountably held up the advance of the Guards Armoured, which should have pushed on to Vimont and not waited for their infantry to come up. General Eberbach could not believe his luck. With slight exaggeration, he wrote, ‘What happened was incomprehensible to an armoured soldier: the enemy tanks remained stationary during the decisive hours of 10.00 to 15.00!’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 338 | Loc. 5173-78  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 09:03 PM

O’Connor, well aware that the whole offensive had faltered, asked for a renewed bombing of the Bourguébus ridge, but this was refused. Yet even after the Leibstandarte entered the battle, Montgomery, with catastrophic bad timing, claimed success. At 16.00 hours he signalled Field Marshal Brooke, ‘Operations this morning a complete success. The effect of the bombing was decisive and the spectacle terrific . . . situation very promising and it is difficult to see what the enemy can do just at present. Few enemy tanks met so far and no (repeat) no mines.’
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- Highlight on Page 338 | Loc. 5181-82  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 09:04 PM

The British had lost nearly 200 tanks that day. Fortunately, they had nearly 500 replacements in reserve.
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- Highlight on Page 339 | Loc. 5186-88  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 09:05 PM

German tank recovery teams, meanwhile, towed their damaged panzers back to workshops concealed in the Fôret de Cinglais. Knowing how few replacements they could expect, they worked with dedication and ingenuity, making as many vehicles serviceable as possible. ‘We were fighting a poor man’s war,’ wrote Eberbach.
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- Highlight on Page 340 | Loc. 5202-4  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 09:06 PM

The only major benefit from Operation Goodwood was that Eberbach and Kluge became even more convinced that the major attack in Normandy would still come on the British front and head for Paris. This was confirmed by Ultra intercepts a few days later.
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- Highlight on Page 341 | Loc. 5215-16  | Added on Friday, July 08, 2016, 09:07 PM

Next day, Dempsey’s chief of staff made another attempt to explain away the situation using impenetrable military jargon. An American correspondent caused roars of laughter by demanding a translation.
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- Highlight on Page 341 | Loc. 5220-25  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:33 AM

An infantry officer with the 7th Armoured Division was bivouacked with his battalion near Démouville in ‘a field strewn with German dead’. ‘Countless flies swarmed over the corpses. Maggots seethed in open gash wounds. It was revolting, yet I could not take my eyes off a lad who could not have been much more than sixteen years of age; only fluff on his chin. His dead eyes seemingly stared into infinity, his teeth bared in the agony of death. He would not have hesitated to kill me, yet I was saddened.’ For some the strain had been too great. The squadron leader with the 3rd Tanks recorded that three senior sergeants asked to be relieved from tank duties. ‘There comes a time when the bank of courage runs out,’ he observed.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 341 | Loc. 5226-29  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:33 AM

‘Either it was just gross bad handling on the part of senior commanders,’ Major Julius Neave in the 13th/18th Hussars wrote in his diary, ‘or else very bad “crystal gazing”. They may have thought there was only a thin crust and once through it they could bum on. However, I feel it is monstrous that a division trained for three years - very highly - should lose two thirds of its tanks in its second battle.’
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- Highlight on Page 342 | Loc. 5237-38  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:34 AM

The British and Canadians had suffered 5,537 casualties during the brief operation. This took their losses in Normandy to a total of 52,165.
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- Highlight on Page 342 | Loc. 5240-42  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:35 AM

O’Connor’s biggest mistake was not to have accepted that they could never have hoped to hide the operation from the Germans. They should have cleared the whole minefield. Only then, with a greatly accelerated advance, could they have fully exploited the shock effect of the heavy bombers.
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- Highlight on Page 343 | Loc. 5245-47  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:35 AM

Tedder,Harris and Coningham felt that they had been badly misled by Montgomery. He had promised a dramatic breakthrough to secure the support of their heavy-bomber squadrons, yet secretly he was considering only a very limited offensive. The row continued long after the war was over.
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- Highlight on Page 343 | Loc. 5250-52  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:36 AM

War-weariness had encouraged an attitude of ‘let the machine win the battle’. The British were stubborn in defence, as the Germans acknowledged in their reports. But there was what Liddell Hart termed ‘a growing reluctance to make sacrifices in attack’. ‘When one goes deeply into the Normandy operations, it is disturbing and depressing to find how poor was the performance of the attacking force in many cases.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 343 | Loc. 5253-55  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:36 AM

But for our air superiority, which hampered the Germans at every turn, the results would have been much worse. Our forces seem to have had too little initiative in infiltration, and also too little determination - with certain exceptions . . .
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 343 | Loc. 5260-65  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:38 AM

In the main base hospital near Bayeux, Colonel Ian Fraser recounted how he used to make his rounds of the wounded German prisoners. They all smiled back when he greeted them. Then one morning they all turned their backs on him. The chief nursing sister told him that a wounded SS soldier had been brought in and they were now afraid of showing any friendliness to their enemy. Fraser examined this SS soldier, who was in such a serious condition that he needed a blood transfusion. ‘But once the needle was in, the passionate young Nazi suddenly demanded: “Is this English blood?” When told that it was, he pulled it out, announcing: “I die for Hitler.” Which is what in fact he did.’ Fraser noted that the other German prisoners soon became friendly again.
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- Highlight on Page 344 | Loc. 5265-69  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:38 AM

Badly wounded prisoners from the 12th SS Panzer-Division Hitler Jugend behaved in a similar way. Churchill’s aide, Jock Colville, serving as a Mustang photo-reconnaissance pilot, heard from a young British nurse about her experiences. ‘One boy of about sixteen had torn off the bandage with which she had dressed his serious wound, shouting that he only wanted to die for the Führer. Another had flung in her face the food she had brought him. She had quelled a third by threatening to arrange for him to have a transfusion of Jewish blood.’
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- Highlight on Page 346 | Loc. 5291-94  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:42 AM

the tyrannicides grouped round Generalmajor Henning von Tresckow and Colonel Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg rejected that course as doomed to failure. The SS and the Nazi Party would resist all the way. It would risk a civil war. Only the sudden decapitation of the Nazi regime in a coup d’état would allow them to form an administration which they hoped, with deeply misplaced optimism, that the western Allies might recognize.
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- Highlight on Page 346 | Loc. 5297-5301  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:43 AM

encouragement. When Speidel reached La Roche-Guyon two weeks later, Rommel spoke with bitterness about his experiences in Africa ‘and above all about Hitler’s constant attempts at deceit’. He added that the war should be ‘finished as quickly as possible’. Speidel then told him about his contacts with Generaloberst Ludwig Beck, a former chief of the army general staff, and the resistance movement in Berlin who were ‘ready and determined to do away with the present regime’.
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- Highlight on Page 347 | Loc. 5313-14  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:45 AM

Both believed that Rommel’s involvement was essential to gain the confidence of the German people as well as that of the Allies.
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- Highlight on Page 347 | Loc. 5318  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:46 AM

Rommel insisted that Hitler should be tried by a German court. He did not want to be the leader of the new regime.
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- Highlight on Page 348 | Loc. 5322-25  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:47 AM

They had no plans for the revival of a full parliamentary democracy, in fact their solution appeared to be basically a resurrection of the Second Reich, but without the Kaiser. Such a formula would have been greeted with incredulity by the American and British governments, as well as by the vast majority of the German people.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 348 | Loc. 5329-31  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:49 AM

After Rommel’s humiliating visit with Rundstedt on 29 June to Berchtesgaden, he came to the conclusion that they would have to act. Even Keitel, the worst Hitler lackey of them all, admitted to him in private, ‘I also know that nothing can be done any more.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 349 | Loc. 5343-46  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:51 AM

Rommel and Kluge met on 12 July to discuss the military situation and the political consequences. Rommel would also sound out his corps commanders one last time, then prepare an ultimatum to be presented to Hitler. While Rommel consulted corps commanders, Speidel went to see Stülpnagel, who was already preparing to eliminate the Gestapo and SS in France. Two days later, Hitler moved from Berchtesgaden to the Wolfsschanze in East Prussia.
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- Highlight on Page 350 | Loc. 5358-61  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:52 AM

‘Would it not then lead to a civil war,’ Eberbach asked, ‘which is worse than anything else?’ This was the great fear of most officers. It brought back memories of November 1918 and revolutionary uprisings in Berlin, Munich and the mutiny of the fleet in Wilhelmshaven. An hour later, Rommel suffered a fractured skull during the attack by Spitfires near Sainte-Foy-de-Montgommery. He had no idea that an assassination was planned for three days later.
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- Highlight on Page 350 | Loc. 5364-67  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:53 AM

The British were far from convinced that removing Hitler would be an advantage. His direction of military affairs since just before the Battle of Stalingrad had been disastrous for the Wehrmacht. Six weeks before D-Day, 21st Army Group summed up the position: ‘The longer Hitler remains in power now, the better are Allied chances.’
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- Highlight on Page 351 | Loc. 5371-73  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:54 AM

more importantly, Churchill became convinced that this time Germany had to be utterly defeated in the field. The Armistice in November 1918, and the consequent failure to occupy Germany itself, had provided the opportunity for the stab-in-the-back myth among nationalists and Nazis.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 351 | Loc. 5374-79  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:54 AM

In 1943, Stalin had cancelled his own plans to assassinate Hitler, although for rather different reasons.46 After Stalingrad, the Soviet Union no longer faced defeat, and he had suddenly begun to fear that if Hitler were removed, the western Allies might be tempted to come to a separate peace with Germany. There is absolutely no evidence that this was ever considered, but right up to the end of the war Stalin, who tended to judge others by himself, was haunted by the idea of a Wehrmacht rearmed by American industry, turning back the victorious advance of the Red Army. In fact, Churchill and Roosevelt were totally committed to the principle of forcing unconditional surrender on Germany.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 352 | Loc. 5386-88  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:55 AM

But, as Stauffenberg put it, ‘Since the generals have up to now managed nothing, the colonels have now to step in.’ It was their duty to attempt to salvage the honour of Germany and the German Army, despite the danger of laying down another stab-in-the-back legend for the future.
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- Highlight on Page 355 | Loc. 5433-34  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:00 AM

In the meantime, an officer, Leutnant Hans Hagen, who was even more suspicious than Remer of what was afoot, had been to see Goebbels to find out the truth.
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- Highlight on Page 355 | Loc. 5436-41  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:00 AM

‘What do you know about the situation?’ Goebbels asked. Remer recounted what he had been told. Goebbels told him it was not true and put a call through to the Wolfsschanze. A few moments later, Remer found himself talking to Hitler. The voice was unmistakable. ‘Now we have the criminals and saboteurs of the eastern front,’ Hitler said to him. ‘Only a few officers are involved and we will eliminate them by the roots. You have been placed in a historic position. It is your responsibility to use your head. You are under my command until Himmler arrives to take over the Replacement Army. Do you understand me?’
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- Highlight on Page 356 | Loc. 5450-54  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:01 AM

At 20.10 hours, Ultra intercept stations picked up a signal from Generalfeldmarschall von Witzleben, ironically marked with the ultimate priority of ‘Führer-Blitz’. It began, ‘The Führer is dead. I have been appointed commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht, and also . . .’ At this point the text ceased. Thirty minutes later, Kluge received a signal from the OKW in East Prussia: ‘Today at midday, a despicable assassination attempt against the Führer was committed. The Führer is perfectly well.’ Kluge rapidly ordered Stülpnagel to release all the Gestapo and SS officers who had been arrested in Paris.
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- Highlight on Page 356 | Loc. 5455-56  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:02 AM

News that Himmler had been appointed commander-in-chief of the Replacement Army was received with horror by army officers, who sometimes referred to him as the ‘Unterweltsmarschall’, the marshal of the underworld.
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- Highlight on Page 357 | Loc. 5463-66  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:03 AM

Back in Berlin, there was chaos in the Bendlerblock. Generaloberst Fromm, in a doomed attempt to save himself from suspicion, ordered the arrest and instant court martial of four of the other officers involved. He allowed Generaloberst Beck to keep his pistol, provided he used it immediately on himself. Presumably because his hand was shaking, Beck shot himself twice in the head. He grazed his scalp the first time, then inflicted a terrible wound with the second shot. An exasperated Fromm ordered a sergeant, some accounts say an officer, to finish him off.
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- Highlight on Page 357 | Loc. 5467-70  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:04 AM

The four, including Stauffenberg, who tried to take all the responsibility for the attempted assassination on himself, were executed in the courtyard of the Bendlerblock by the light of automobile headlights. A detachment of Remer’s men, who had just arrived, provided the firing squad. When it was Stauffenberg’s turn, illuminated by the headlights, he called out, ‘Long live holy Germany!’ Fromm, as desperate as ever to save himself, gave a grotesque speech over their bodies in praise of Hitler and ended with a triple ‘Sieg Heil!’
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- Highlight on Page 357 | Loc. 5471-76  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 07:44 AM

In France, Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge ordered the arrest of Stülpnagel at 01.25 hours on the morning of 21 July. That afternoon, Stülpnagel was put in a car to be taken back to Berlin for interrogation by the Gestapo. Because of his seniority, his escort had not taken away his pistol. When the car had stopped en route, presumably to give the occupants a chance to relieve themselves, Stülpnagel attempted to commit suicide, but managed only to shoot both his eyes out. He was taken to a hospital in Verdun to be patched up for the journey on to Berlin, where he would be tried and hanged. At 22.15 hours, it was announced that ‘the Military Commander of France, General von Stülpnagel, has been ambushed and wounded by terrorists’.
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- Highlight on Page 358 | Loc. 5484-90  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 07:46 AM

Eberhard Beck with the 277th Infanterie-Division, recorded what happened when the news reached his artillery battery. ‘Our signaller heard over the radio that an attempt at assassination had been made against Adolf Hitler. His death could have been a turning point for us and we hoped that this pointless war would find its end.’ Their battery commander, Oberleutnant Freiherr von Stenglin, came over and announced that the attempt had failed. Hitler was alive. The order had been given that from now on every soldier must make the ‘German greeting’ (the Nazi salute), instead of the military one. Stenglin made his own sympathies very clear by promptly bringing ‘his hand up to the peak of his cap in the military salute’. Beck recorded that all his comrades were disappointed at the unlucky outcome.
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- Highlight on Page 359 | Loc. 5493-96  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 07:47 AM

Some were curiously shocked that Stauffenberg had placed a bomb and then left the scene. An assassination by pistol, during which the assassin had been gunned down, seemed to them more in keeping with the honour of the German officer corps. What depressed them most, however, was that the failed attempt handed all power to the fanatics and eliminated any possibility of a compromise peace.
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- Highlight on Page 359 | Loc. 5499-5500  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 07:47 AM

In London, hopes were raised that the failed bomb plot ‘might well be the proverbial pebble which starts the avalanche’. But Hitler’s belief that providence had saved him made him even more convinced of his military genius, to the despair of his generals.
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- Highlight on Page 360 | Loc. 5509-11  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 01:56 PM

Tensions between Waffen-SS and the German Army also grew rapidly in the field in Normandy over the coming month. As rations were drastically reduced because of Allied air attacks on supply transport, SS foraging parties looted without compunction and threatened any army soldiers trying to do the same.
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- Highlight on Page 360 | Loc. 5512-16  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 01:57 PM

The one thing on which army and Waffen-SS seemed to agree in Normandy was their continued exasperation with the Luftwaffe. General Bülowius, the commander of II Air Corps, regarded this as very unfair. Allied air supremacy meant his aircraft were intercepted as soon as they took off, and bombers were forced to drop their loads long before they reached the target area. He suffered from the army’s ‘daily reports which even reached Führer headquarters that their own Luftwaffe and own aircraft were nowhere to be seen’. As a result he received ‘many unpleasant reproaches and accusations’ from the highest quarters.
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- Highlight on Page 360 | Loc. 5517-20  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 01:57 PM

Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob, a fighter group commander with fifty-nine victories, often found himself being pursued by eight or ten Mustangs. He survived only by using all his flying skills, twisting and turning almost at ground level round small woods and church towers. He claims he was helped greatly by the intense competition between American pilots, each desperate to shoot him down and thus getting in each other’s way.
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- Highlight on Page 362 | Loc. 5538-42  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:00 PM

perhaps the most horrific story of SS discipline came from an Alsatian drafted into the 1st SS Panzer-Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. A fellow Alsatian in the 11th Company of the 1st SS Regiment of the Leibstandarte, who had also been forcibly recruited, deserted and tried to escape in a column of French refugees. He was spotted by members of their regiment and brought back. Their commander then ordered members of his own company to beat him to death. With every bone in his body broken, the corpse was thrown into a shell-hole. The captain declared that this was an example of ‘Kameradenerziehung’, an ‘education in comradeship’.
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- Highlight on Page 362 | Loc. 5548-49  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:01 PM

In the shadow world of signal intercepts, the Allies enjoyed a vast advantage. General Bradley knew from Ultra that the overstretched German forces were close to collapse. The moment for the breakthrough had at last arrived.
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- Highlight on Page 363 | Loc. 5557-58  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:03 PM

The delays weighed heavily on many. An officer in the 3rd Armored Division was more philosophical. ‘War is about 90% waiting,’ he wrote in his diary, ‘which is not so bad as long as the reading material holds out.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 365 | Loc. 5583-86  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:06 PM

Journalists jostled impatiently as they waited. The Soviet war correspondent Colonel Kraminov, who had a spiteful word for almost everyone, described Ernest Hemingway, looking over everyone’s head. ‘The flamboyant, red-headed Knickerbocker, ’ he added, ‘was recounting anecdotes as tedious as his numerous and superficial pieces.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 366 | Loc. 5605-13  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 02:59 PM

Nobody seemed to have imagined that things could go wrong a second time. General McNair had left his command car behind a tank and went forward on foot to see better. There was a breeze blowing from the south, whose effect had not been taken into account. The first bombs were dropped on target, but the wind blew the smoke and dust north across the Périers-Saint-Lô road, so subsequent waves began to drop their loads short. The forward companies, realizing the danger, threw orange smoke grenades as a warning, but the quantity of drifting smoke and dirt covered them. There was no radio link between the ground and heavy bombers. Tank crews jumped back into their vehicles and closed the hatches, but the infantry and General McNair were left in the open. In the forward infantry regiments a total of 101 men were killed and 463 wounded. One of the medics who went to help was astonished to find that ‘the faces of the dead were still pink’. This was presumably because they had been killed by blast rather than by shrapnel penetration. McNair was one of those killed. His body was taken back to a field hospital and all the personnel there sworn to secrecy.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 367 | Loc. 5613-16  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:00 PM

Apart from the casualties, the effect on the men about to attack was devastating. A lieutenant recorded how his men were buried in their foxholes: ‘Many of them only got an arm or leg up through the dirt and had to be dug out.’ The 4th Infantry Division reported that ‘all men and officers who were under the bombing testify to the terrific shock effect. A great number of the men were in a daze for a while, just staring blankly and unable to understand when spoken to.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 367 | Loc. 5623-25  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:00 PM

Bayerlein had pulled back the bulk of his forces, which placed them right in the target area for 25 July. Some German commanders even believed that they had managed to repel the aborted attack the day before, so the postponement by a day had in fact confused the Germans and not revealed the American plan.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 367 | Loc. 5627-30  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:00 PM

Montgomery, with perfect timing, launched Operation Spring the following dawn, just four hours before Cobra began in earnest. This was the attempt by II Canadian Corps to seize the Verrières ridge beside the Caen-Falaise road. Although the offensive failed dismally, the result could hardly have been better. Kluge became even more certain that Falaise was the key Allied objective.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 368 | Loc. 5634-36  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:01 PM

The full bombing on 25 July had a devastating effect on both German soldiers and vehicles. ‘The whole place looked like a moon landscape; everything was burned and blasted,’ wrote Bayerlein. ‘It was impossible to bring up vehicles or recover the ones that were damaged. The survivors were like madmen and could not be used for anything. I don’t believe hell could be as bad as what we experienced.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 368 | Loc. 5636-37  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:01 PM

Bayerlein, who was
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 370 | Loc. 5659-61  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:05 PM

In one case, three Panther tanks were surrounded by infantry and their crews surrendered. One platoon was amused to discover in a tank abandoned by the Panzer Lehr ‘quite a collection of women’s clothes including silk stockings and step-ins’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 370 | Loc. 5664-67  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:06 PM

Meanwhile Brigadier General Rose’s combat command of the 2nd Armored Division was to attack on the left, first with the 30th Division, then pushing on alone due south towards Saint-Gilles. Rose’s intensive training beforehand to ‘marry up’ infantry and armour in combined tactics paid off. He had the 22nd Infantry from the 4th Division riding the tanks, eight men to a Sherman and four to a light tank. Their third battalion followed behind in trucks.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 370 | Loc. 5671-77  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:07 PM

The 2nd Armored Division, proudly known as ‘Hell on Wheels’, had been shaped by General Patton himself. It prided itself as a hard-drinking, hard-fighting formation. These ‘tankers’ were patronizing towards the infantry, whom they called the ‘doughs’, and the Patton spirit of recklessness was also reflected in their taste for gambling. One officer acknowledged that they went in for ‘a lot of looting’. Tank troops in all armies tend to be the worst looters, if only because they are there first with the infantry, but have better opportunities to stow their booty. Another officer observed, however, that few of their men ran out of control in battle. ‘The number of kill-lusty people is fortunately, very small,’ he wrote. ‘They are treacherous, unskillful and dangerous to have around.’ In any case, the professionalism and the gung-ho attitude of the 2nd Armored were exactly what was needed in exploiting the opportunity provided by Operation Cobra.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 372 | Loc. 5692-94  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:09 PM

Each combat command had an air support party riding in tanks provided on Bradley’s orders for air force liaison officers. An exceptionally effective working relationship had been established with Lieutenant General Elwood R. Quesada, the chief of IX Tactical Air Command.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 373 | Loc. 5712-13  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:10 PM

The decisive American breakthrough had a marked effect on German morale. Soldiers began speaking among themselves in a way they would not have dared before.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 373 | Loc. 5715-18  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:10 PM

A corporal with the German Cross in Gold for having destroyed five tanks on the eastern front said to him, ‘I tell you one thing, Sani, this is no longer a war here in Normandy. The enemy is superior in men and materiel. We are simply being sent to our deaths with insufficient weapons. Our Highest Command [Hitler and the OKW] doesn’t do anything to help us. No airplanes, not enough ammunition for the artillery . . . Well, for me the war is over.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 373 | Loc. 5718-20  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:11 PM

An infantryman wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel said, ‘This piece of iron which hit me, should have hit the Führer’s head on 20 July, and the war would be over already.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 373 | Loc. 5720-21  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:11 PM

Another soldier who helped Klein carry the wounded said, ‘I am beyond caring. Two of my brothers were sacrificed in Stalingrad and it was quite useless. And here we have the same.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 374 | Loc. 5731-33  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:13 PM

German commanders suddenly comprehended the enormity of the disaster which they faced. Their reactions had been slow largely due to the American tactic of cutting all cables and telephone lines. In many places, German troops had no idea that a breakthrough had occurred. They were often astonished when they found American troops far behind what they thought was the front line.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 376 | Loc. 5752-57  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:16 PM

On his return, he found Oberstleutnant von Kluge, the son of the field marshal, waiting impatiently at his headquarters along with Generaloberst Heinz Guderian, the new chief of the general staff. Kluge sent his son ‘from staff to staff as what he called a “front traveller”,’ wrote Meindl, ‘but what we in our manner of speaking called a spy, to collect his impressions for the old man’. Meindl, in a black mood, told the younger Kluge to inform his father that it was no longer possible to hold on in Normandy and that the attack by the two panzer divisions would achieve nothing. Instead the panzers should be used to build up an anti-tank defence, ‘instead of throwing them away on imaginary goals as if in tank manoeuvres on a map’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 379 | Loc. 5799-5810  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:23 PM

Seventh Army headquarters suddenly feared that Choltitz’s corps in the west would be completely isolated. Choltitz received an order from Generalmajor Pemsel, the chief of staff of Seventh Army, to counter-attack towards Percy to cut off the American spearhead. Choltitz knew that this would cause chaos and expose them to fighter-bomber attacks once dawn came. It would also leave the coastal route open all the way down to Avranches. But Hausser insisted that the order be obeyed. That evening, when Kluge at La Roche-Guyon heard of the Seventh Army’s decision to break out to the south-east, he lost his temper. He telephoned Oberstgruppenführer Hausser and ordered him to revoke the order immediately. Hausser replied that it was probably too late, but he would try. A message sent by an officer on a motorcycle finally reached Choltitz at midnight, but he had no communications with his divisions. They continued their attack towards the south-east, away from the coast. Kluge, fearing to sack Hausser for this mistake because he belonged to the Waffen-SS, ordered that Pemsel should be replaced. General von Choltitz, who was summoned back to take over as commander of the Parisian region, was to hand over LXXXIV Corps to General Elfeldt. Hitler was also furious to hear that the road to Avranches, and thus to Brittany, lay exposed. OKW issued orders for a counter-attack immediately. Kluge demanded urgent reinforcements. He asked for the 9th Panzer-Division in the south of France and more infantry divisions. OKW accepted this request with unusual speed.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 380 | Loc. 5820-24  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:25 PM

The armoured infantry of the 3rd Armored Division climbed on to the tanks so that their half-tracks could be filled with cans of gasoline, ammunition and other supplies. The 6th Armored Division on the coast had also decided that this was no time for supply dumps or distributing rations in bivouac areas. ‘Hell, within a couple of days,’ one officer remarked, ‘we were passing out rations like Santa Claus on his sleigh, with both giver and receiver on the move.’ The Sherman crews seldom halted to cook or relieve themselves. They kept going on boiled eggs and instant coffee. A medical officer said of their pudding-basin tank helmets, ‘they crapped in them and cooked in them’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 380 | Loc. 5824-26  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:25 PM

Another medical officer with the 2nd Armored Division noted an additional advantage of the rapid advance. There were very few casualties from mines and booby-traps. The Germans had had little time to leave behind any of their nasty surprises.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 381 | Loc. 5832-37  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:27 PM

A column of tanks from Rose’s combat command, with their attached infantry from the 4th Infantry Division, advanced into the small town of Moyon, while Captain Reid led a patrol from his company round the east side. Reid’s men shot down an anti-tank gun crew, then found themselves being fired at by a German tank. Private Sharkey, a ‘bazooka hound’, stalked it from the far side of a hedgerow and knocked it out with their second-last round. Another tank appeared close to the first one and began firing its machine gun. Captain Reid crept back along the hedgerow, stood up and lobbed a white phosphorus grenade on to the top of the tank and another underneath it. The tank was soon ablaze.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 381 | Loc. 5837-47  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:27 PM

In Moyon itself, however, another German tank knocked out one of the Shermans. The tank battalion commander decided to pull out of the town and shell the place with high-explosive rounds. He told the infantry platoons in front to withdraw too. Just before they pulled back, Private Sharkey fired their last bazooka round at another German tank, the lead vehicle in a column with infantry approaching the town. He scored a direct hit on the turret ring. Captain Reid called out, ‘Let’s get out of here before they zero in on us!’ But Sharkey’s blood was clearly up. He remained standing at the hedgerow, firing with his carbine at the German infantry. A burst of machine-gun fire from one of the other tanks ripped off the side of his face, but Sharkey was able to retreat with the others, ‘the flesh hanging down over his chest’. He walked standing upright, while the others crawled back. They were cut off by another German column led by tanks. Reid had only two white phosphorus grenades left, but he managed to set the lead tank ablaze. The smoke acted as a screen and the patrol slipped back across the road. Sharkey collapsed from his terrible wound, but recovered after a rest and rejoined the rest of the company a little later, holding his two fingers up in a victory salute. ‘Sharkey made the greatest display of guts I’ve ever seen,’ Reid said later.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 382 | Loc. 5856-59  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:28 PM

Further to the west, during that afternoon of 29 July, P-47 Thunderbolts of the 405th Fighter Group spotted a huge jam of German vehicles on the road east of Roncey. For six and a half hours they bombed and strafed in relays. The pilots claimed sixty-six tanks, 204 vehicles and eleven guns destroyed, as well as fifty-six tanks and fifty-five vehicles damaged. This was wildly optimistic, but the carnage was in any case considerable.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 383 | Loc. 5868-75  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:30 PM

Soon afterwards, the command post of the 2nd Armored’s reserve was nearly overrun in a surprise attack, but the defenders, mostly clerks and rear-echelon personnel, held their nerve. With the help of a bright moon and the light from burning vehicles, they picked their targets at short range as the German infantry charged. This was clearly demonstrated later that morning when officers went out to examine the corpses of the attackers. The Germans had been killed ‘by single rifle shots rather than machinegun bursts’. Another report cited the bravery of Sergeant Bishop, whose body was found with seven dead Germans around him, and Staff Sergeant Barnes, who cut the throats of three German attackers with a trench knife. ‘Action during the fight was so mixed up that an aid man looked up to find a German aid man sharing his slit trench. For a few minutes both men frantically pointed at their Red Cross armbands, then frisked each other for possible weapons.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 384 | Loc. 5887-90  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:32 PM

A badly damaged M-10 tank destroyer had come to a halt by the side of the road from Saint-Denis to Lengronne. The crew inside played possum as the German column passed, then, as soon as the last half-track had gone by, they brought their three-inch gun to bear and began knocking them out, one by one, firing twenty-eight rounds altogether.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 385 | Loc. 5890-99  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:34 PM

The main force at the crossroads had to pull back to higher ground, where infantry could protect the Shermans from German foot soldiers trying to stalk them with Panzerfaust launchers. The first vehicle in the German column, a Mark IV tank towing an 88 mm gun, advanced towards the defensive position and was destroyed by a tank shell. ‘Then the organized slaughter started,’ an officer reported. The mortar platoon began rapid fire down the line of the convoy, ‘a ratio of one white phosphorus to three high explosive’. The vehicles set ablaze by the white phosphorus lit up the scene, aiding the tank gunners and mortar crews, who dropped high-explosive rounds into the open backs of the German half-tracks. While their gunners continued to engage targets, tank commanders were having to fight off German infantry with the .50 machine gun mounted over their hatch. One officer recorded that ‘as daylight broke, about 300 German infantrymen tried to advance through a swamp to the north of the Grimesnil road . . . the tanks went after them and killed nearly all. Close to 300 bodies were found in and around this swamp.’ Another 600 dead were found along the road which had been shelled - ‘a bloody mass of arms and legs and heads, [and] cremated corpses . . . at least three German women were found in various stages of decapitation’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 385 | Loc. 5901-3  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:35 PM

The American graves registration service retrieved 1,150 German dead from the convoy of ninety-six vehicles. ‘The whole area was raw meat splattered on burned and ruined vehicles,’ observed one officer.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 386 | Loc. 5918-23  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:36 PM

There was consternation at La Roche-Guyon and at the Wolfsschanze in East Prussia. General Warlimont at Führer headquarters recorded that Kluge was given ‘urgent orders to prevent any penetration into Avranches. Everybody saw that the whole front in Normandy was breaking up.’ Hitler was also concerned about the fate of the 17th SS Panzergrenadier-Division Götz von Berlichingen, which appeared to have been ‘virtually swallowed up’ during the retreat. ‘Nobody ever knew or could figure out what happened to it, despite frantic enquiries. Naturally we were especially interested in this division because the subject of the fighting qualities of an SS division was a “hot iron” - something you could not touch.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 387 | Loc. 5925-29  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:37 PM

On one small country lane, the sergeant in the lead Jeep spotted some German soldiers creeping behind a hedgerow. ‘Pour it to them!’ he yelled to the soldier standing in the back, manning the .50 machine gun. The gunner swept the line, killing most of them with ‘incinerator’ (tracer) bullets. He joked afterwards that the bullets were humane, as they sterilized the wound going in and the one going out the other side. Many soldiers saw it as payback time after all the hard fighting in the bocage.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 388 | Loc. 5944-46  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:38 PM

One of the 13th/18th’s squadron leaders heard a rumour from headquarters and recorded it in his diary: ‘Monty is determined to make us catch up on the Yanks who are doing magnificently. The only difference between us is (a) that their army is twice as big and (b) that we have double the opposition against us.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 390 | Loc. 5968-74  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:41 PM

The failure of XXX Corps to advance on the left when blocked by a stream with steep banks left VIII Corps with a very exposed flank. This was what Eberbach wanted to attack, but by the time Oberst Oppeln-Bronikowski had assembled the 21st Panzer, their counterattack was too late. It went in at 06.00 hours on 1 August, with three panzergrenadier battalions, each down to 200 men, the last 14 Mark IV tanks of the 1st Battalion of its panzer regiment and the last eight Tigers of the 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion. The British counter-attacked, reaching the 21st Panzer’s divisional command post. The headquarters staff had to flee, abandoning all their vehicles. The 21st Panzer withdrew, having lost almost a third of its strength. A furious row ensued at their corps headquarters over the failure.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 392 | Loc. 6001-4  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:45 PM

At 01.00 hours on 31 July, Feldmarschall von Kluge received a call from Generalleutnant Speidel, the chief of staff of Army Group B. Speidel warned the Commander-in-Chief West that the LXXXIV Corps had fallen back towards Villedieu, but they could not contact them: ‘The situation is extraordinarily serious. The fighting strength of the troops has declined considerably.’ The High Command, he added, should be informed that the left flank had collapsed. The threat to Brittany and the west coast ports was all too clear.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 392 | Loc. 6004-5  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:45 PM

Many officers and soldiers would have put it more strongly. They described the sense of disaster as ‘Weltuntergangsstimmung’ - a feeling that their whole world was collapsing.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 393 | Loc. 6011-13  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:46 PM

At 02.00 Kluge issued an order that ‘under all circumstances the Pontaubault bridge [south of Avranches] must remain in our hands. Avranches must be retaken.’ Kluge was still furious with Hausser because the ‘fatal decision of the Seventh Army to break out to the south-east has led to the collapse of the front’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 393 | Loc. 6017-19  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:47 PM

flying air support for the column took out any German columns flushed out by Doane’s rapid advance. Doane was in direct radio communication with them and could direct the pilots on to any target ahead. The soldiers in the armoured vehicles below were fascinated by the spray of empty cartridge cases as the Thunderbolts roared over them, strafing likely positions.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 393 | Loc. 6023-26  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:48 PM

The support from the P-47s was so close that one pilot radioed to Doane that he was going to bomb a German tank only fifty yards to his left and that he had better take cover. Air-tank cooperation could not have been closer. Another Thunderbolt pilot flying shotgun over Task Force Z ‘facetiously suggested’ to its commander ‘that he had better draw in his antenna’, because he was attacking right over their heads.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 393 | Loc. 6026-30  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:48 PM

As they came to the outskirts of Brécey, Doane, who was in the lead tank, told the Thunderbolts to hold off, since there seemed to be no enemy present. But as his Sherman turned the corner into the main street of the town he saw ‘crowds of German soldiers lounging along the curb’. Unable to fire at that moment because his radio operator was in the gunner’s seat, Doane began taking potshots at the German infantry with his Colt .45 pistol. It was ‘practically a Hollywood entry’, the report stated. The following tanks, however, traversed their turrets left and right, raking the street and houses with machine-gun fire.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 394 | Loc. 6037-42  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:49 PM

In Brécey, the fighting was extremely confused. Captain Carlton Parish Russell of the 36th Armored Infantry left his half-track to stride back down the column to find out what was going on. He saw some Jeeps with their camouflage netting on fire. Then he saw a soldier trying to rip the burning material away. He shouted at him that if he did not get out of that camouflage uniform, he would be taken for a German. The man turned and he saw that he really was part of the Waffen-SS. This German detachment, which had been cut off, was trying to seize the vehicles they had ambushed for their escape. The SS soldier knocked the pistol from his hand and was bringing up his rifle when Russell seized it from him and knocked him out. He used it in the ensuing firefight with the Germans in the middle of the village.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 395 | Loc. 6046-54  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 03:51 PM

When another column of the 3rd Armored Division also reached Avranches, Ernest Hemingway was just behind the spearhead. His accompanying officer, Lieutenant Stevenson, remarked that staying close to Hemingway was ‘more dangerous than being [Brigadier General] Roosevelt’s aide’. Hemingway, who had attached himself to General Barton’s 4th Infantry Division, persuaded Stevenson to accompany him on risky trips in either a Mercedes convertible or a motorcycle with sidecar, both abandoned in the German retreat. He wrote to his next-in-line wife, Mary Welsh, describing ‘a very jolly and gay life full of deads, German loot, much shooting, much fighting, hedges, small hills, dusty roads, green country, wheatfields, dead cows, dead horses, tanks, 88s, Kraftwagens, dead US guys’. He was soon joined by Robert Capa and nearly got him killed as well when they lost their way and ran into a German anti-tank gun. Hemingway, who had to shelter in a ditch under fire, afterwards accused Capa of failing to help in a crisis so that he could ‘take the first picture of the famous writer’s dead body’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 397 | Loc. 6075-77  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 08:20 PM

On the evening of 31 July, Patton drove to the VIII Corps command post to see Middleton. Middleton’s 4th Armored Division had secured the line of the River Sélune south of Avranches, as ordered, but he could not get in touch with Bradley to see what he should do next. Patton, apparently controlling his exasperation, told him that ‘throughout history it had always been fatal not to cross a river’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 397 | Loc. 6081-84  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 08:21 PM

Patton went to bed at one in the morning of 1 August knowing that, eleven hours later, the Third Army would be fully operational under his command with four army corps, Middleton’s VIII Corps, Haislip’s XV Corps, Walker’s XX Corps and Cook’s XII Corps. The XV Corps immediately issued to its three divisions a warning order which clearly revealed the Patton style: ‘As many troops as possible to be motorized and tanks to lead throughout.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 397 | Loc. 6086-89  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 08:21 PM

On 1 August, Kluge was at Seventh Army forward headquarters with Hausser and his new chief of staff, Oberst von Gersdorff, when they heard of the American seizure of Avranches. According to his aide, Oberleutnant Tangermann, he said, ‘Gentlemen, this breakthrough means for us and the German people the beginning of a decisive and bitter end. I see no remaining possibility of halting this ongoing attack.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 398 | Loc. 6091-94  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 08:21 PM

As soon as the news reached the Wolfsschanze in East Prussia, Hitler issued an order to Kluge: ‘The enemy is not under any circumstances to break out into the open. Army Group B will prepare a counter-attack with all panzer units to thrust as far as Avranches, cut off the units that have broken through and destroy them. All available panzer forces are to be released from their present positions without replacement and employed for this purpose under the command of General der Panzertruppen Eberbach. The future of the campaign in France depends upon this counter-attack.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 398 | Loc. 6099-6101  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 08:22 PM

Hitler, obsessed with his maps but with no idea of the reality on the ground, had begun to plan Operation Lüttich, the great counter-attack from Mortain towards Avranches. But the enemy was breaking out into the open. By noon, the American 4th Armored Division was across the Sélune and ‘round the corner into Brittany’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 400 | Loc. 6126-39  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:07 PM

While some Germans fought ruthlessly in retreat, others respected the rules of war. Captain Ware, the battalion surgeon, reported that two men hit on patrol had not been found. Four medics, led by Corporal Baylor, set out in a Jeep with a large red cross flag to find them. ‘One man stood on the hood and held the flag open so it could not be overlooked. The jeep rounded the bend of the road [and] reached the first casualty. He was dead. As the aid man was examining him the Germans fired a machinegun which hit Cpl Baylor in the chest. The other three crawled back under fire dragging the wounded man and leaving the two bodies and the jeep.’ Captain Ware decided to abandon the attempt. ‘But just as this decision was reached a German wearing a Geneva [Red Cross] brassard and carrying a white flag came round the bend of the road walking toward them. He was promptly covered. All the American weapons present were pointed at him but fortunately no shot was fired. As the German came up we could see that he was sweating profusely. But he did not falter. He handed me the attached note which no one present could read. A German speaking soldier of the anti-tank platoon was sent for. The German told him that he had been sent by his lieutenant to apologize for his soldiers firing on the American medics. The German was still sweating [and] kept removing his helmet to mop his brow. He said he had volunteered for this mission. He also told us that both the American casualties were dead. The German said that the note from his Lieutenant assured us that we might return and remove our casualties as well as the jeep and that the Germans would not fire again. We asked the German if he would like to stay with us now that he was across the lines. He laughed and said he supposed it made no difference which side he stayed with, but he pointed out that if he did stay it would look bad for the Americans since the Germans would think he had been detained by force.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 402 | Loc. 6153-54  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:18 PM

By the end of June the Gaullist-led Resistance in the FFI and the Communist-led FTP mustered a total of 19,500 men. By the end of July they had 31,500, of whom 13,750 had weapons.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 402 | Loc. 6159-65  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:19 PM

The American capture of Avranches on 1 August took staffs in London by surprise. Two days later, at 18.00 hours, the BBC gave the coded message to launch guerrilla warfare throughout Brittany. On the morning of 4 August, Koenig took Eon on one side to ask if he would agree to his whole headquarters parachuting together en bloc, whether or not they had undergone parachute training. Eon, who had never made a parachute jump before, agreed and so did the other untrained officers and men. The British authorities, nevertheless, insisted that Eon, as he was being driven to the airfield, should sign ‘a written declaration accepting all responsibility for making a parachute jump without training’. Fortunately, only parachutes attached to arms containers failed to open and the party landed safely. One of the containers held nine million francs. When it was found two miles from the drop zone, one million was already missing.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 403 | Loc. 6168-71  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:22 PM

By the time Eon and his party landed, 6,000 members of the FFI had occupied the area north of Vannes and seized the railway line. And on the night of 4 August, a reinforced squadron of 150 French SAS from the 3rd Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes dropped behind German lines to protect the railway lines east of Brest on the north side of the peninsula. In fact, the FFI and FTP were to do much more than Bradley asked of them.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 403 | Loc. 6172-78  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:23 PM

Patton’s charge into Brittany with the 6th and 4th Armored Divisions soon became confused, if not chaotic. This was due partly to bad communications. The radio sets were simply not good enough for the distances involved, while Patton and Middleton, the commander of VIII Corps, had utterly different approaches. Patton, the brash yet secretly thin-skinned cavalryman, believed in bold advance and the rapid exploitation of any opportunity. Middleton was an excellent corps commander, but he was an infantryman. Every advance in his book needed to be carefully planned. He was unprepared for Patton’s style of warfare. Patton’s thinking was shared by General John Wood of the 4th Armored Division, ‘a second General Patton if I ever saw one,’ observed an officer in the 8th Infantry Division.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 404 | Loc. 6180-84  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:24 PM

In Rennes itself, mixed groups of German troops, mainly remnants of the 91st Luftlande-Division, prepared their escape and destroyed equipment and files. Meanwhile the American 8th Infantry Division had arrived and began to bombard the city. Members of the French Resistance had slipped through the lines and told them of the exact position of Gestapo headquarters in Rennes. They did not say that it was just opposite the hospital where American and British prisoners of war were held, but fortunately there were few injuries.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 404 | Loc. 6195-98  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:26 PM

On 4 August, Patton himself, escorted by an armoured car, drove down into Brittany. He was following the advance of the 6th Armored Division commanded by Major General Grow, whom he had ordered to rush for Brest, the main port of Brittany, bypassing all resistance. Patton whooped with joy every time they ran off a map and had to open a new one. This was warfare as he loved it.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 405 | Loc. 6198-6205  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:27 PM

Grow then received a signal from Middleton, ordering him not to bypass Saint-Malo, on the north coast of the peninsula, and to attack it the next day. Grow requested that the order should be cancelled, but Middleton was firm. Grow was about to sit down with a cup of coffee outside his tent in a wheatfield, when Patton suddenly appeared. ‘What in hell are you doing sitting here?’ he demanded. ‘I thought I told you to get to Brest.’ Grow explained his order from Middleton and his chief of staff produced the written order. Patton read it, then folded it up. ‘And he was a good doughboy, too,’ Patton murmured to himself. ‘I’ll see Middleton,’ he said to Grow. ‘You go ahead where I told you to go.’ The confusion continued, but Patton settled the problem of communicating with divisions spread out over hundreds of miles. He allocated the 6th Cavalry Group to report on the exact position of all his divisions and armoured columns as well as on the enemy.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 405 | Loc. 6205-7  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:35 PM

Its thirteen reconnaissance platoons, each with six armoured cars and six quarter-ton trucks, had high-powered radios which could also act as a back-up if the Signal Corps network failed. The 6th Cavalry was soon known as ‘General Patton’s Household Cavalry’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 406 | Loc. 6214-17  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:41 PM

The 6th Armored put the FFI into reconnaissance Jeeps, known as ‘Peeps’, to lead the way. And the leading tank battalion placed sandbags on the front of their Shermans to absorb the blast of 50 mm anti-tank rounds. If a village was deserted, it usually meant that the Germans were there: ‘The first thing we did was to blow off the church steeple in order to get rid of possible [observation posts] and sniper fire.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 406 | Loc. 6217-19  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:42 PM

With German stragglers roaming the countryside behind their advance, Jeeps had to dash through like the ‘pony express’. Snipers and bands of Germans desperate for food tried to ambush supply vehicles. ‘The trucks were like a band of stage-coaches making a run through Indian country.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 406 | Loc. 6221-24  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:42 PM

Patton was faintly dismissive of the French Resistance. He later said that their help was ‘better than expected and less than advertised’. Yet their contribution in Brittany was indeed considerable. ‘They aided in loading heavy ammunition,’ an officer with the 6th Armored reported, ‘and they cleared snipers, while our columns kept going.’ They also secured bridges, provided intelligence and harassed Germans at every turn.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 407 | Loc. 6228-33  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:47 PM

On 6 August, Colonel Eon’s force secured the surrender of a battalion of Osttruppen at Saint-Brieuc. But when Eon and Passy returned to their headquarters exhausted that evening, their camp was attacked by 250 Germans from the 2nd Paratroop Division. After six hours of fighting they managed to force them back. Passy and a small group were surrounded, but they eventually fought their way out. When they met up with the rest of the headquarters group they heard that their loss had been reported to London. But soon the FFI and FTP attacks forced the Germans to withdraw into coastal towns, which could be more easily defended. Further south, other FFI detachments helped Wood’s 4th Armored Division, even clearing a minefield by hand.  
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 407 | Loc. 6241-42  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:51 PM

The FFI came begging for arms and gasoline, but they were also bringing in prisoners. The 8th had to set up a stockade to hold 600 of them. One of their officers was very pleased ‘to get a Hermann Goering ceremonial dagger off one of the paratroopers’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 408 | Loc. 6242-44  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:51 PM

The 8th Infantry hardly knew what to expect in this very unconventional quarter of the war. At one moment a British special forces officer who had been dropped behind enemy lines turned up wanting fuel, the next they found themselves embroiled in French political rivalries.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 408 | Loc. 6256-59  | Added on Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10:53 PM

‘I would not say this to anyone but you,’ he confessed to Patton, ‘and [I] have given different excuses to my staff and higher echelons, but we must take Brest in order to maintain the illusion of the fact that the US Army cannot be beaten.’ Patton agreed strongly with this view. ‘Any time we put our hand to a job we must finish it,’ he noted in his diary.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 409 | Loc. 6270-73  | Added on Monday, July 11, 2016, 11:55 PM

Like de Gaulle, he felt bitter that, since the disaster of 1940, the British had accumulated so much more power while France had declined dramatically. Both were inclined to suspect that the British took every opportunity to exploit this. In their resentment, they could not see that Britain, despite her apparent strength, had bankrupted herself, physically and economically, during five years of war.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 410 | Loc. 6279-80  | Added on Monday, July 11, 2016, 11:56 PM

It was the Americans, with their military-industrial cornucopia, who had clothed, equipped, armed and trained the 2ème DB (Americans were later irritated when French civilians asked them why the US Army did not have ‘a uniform different from ours’.)
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 411 | Loc. 6289-92  | Added on Monday, July 11, 2016, 11:57 PM

While Patton’s two armoured divisions were charging into Brittany, the British continued with Operation Bluecoat. Roberts’s 11th Armoured Division advanced brilliantly towards the town of Vire, with infantry mounted on tanks. Armoured cars of the 2nd Household Cavalry were halted at one village by the mayor running out, waving his arms. Ahead they saw the road covered with pieces of paper. The inhabitants had watched the Germans lay mines, then as soon as they left they had rushed out to mark each one.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 415 | Loc. 6358-63  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:07 AM

Since Goodwood, the Guards Armoured had also greatly improved its infantry-tank cooperation. This had been helped by the installation of a handset on the back of a tank. The telephone allowed an infantry officer to talk directly to the tank commander, without having to climb on to the turret under enemy fire to direct the troop on to an enemy position. But a captain in the 5th Coldstream, who cranked the telephone wildly while bullets whistled around him, did not appreciate the compulsive flippancy of his brother officer from the 1st Battalion inside the Sherman: ‘The tank commander would always say on picking up his handset: “Sloane 4929”. Funny for him, but not so bloody funny for me.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 416 | Loc. 6372-73  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:09 AM

the British frequently killed SS soldiers out of hand. ‘Many of them probably deserve to be shot in any case and know it,’ a XXX Corps report stated baldly.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 417 | Loc. 6383-85  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:43 AM

In another small town, a soldier from the 4th Somerset Light Infantry went off to relieve himself. His hobnailed army boots slipped when crossing a pile of rubble. As he fell, his hand encountered something soft. It was the severed hand of a girl. Just then came the call from their patrol commander: ‘Fall in you lads, it’s time to move on.’ All he could do was scratch a cross on the slab and RIP.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 417 | Loc. 6386-88  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:43 AM

Soldiers, often sentimental about animals, were also touched by the plight of abandoned livestock. Unmilked cows were in agony. They stood still to avoid the pain of any movement which would make their udders swing. Those from farming backgrounds would milk them straight on to the ground to ease the pressure.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 418 | Loc. 6398-6404  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:45 AM

‘Our intention is to capture M[ont].P[inçon] - the biggest feature in Normandy - with a very depleted infantry brigade and a tired armoured regiment.’ Even during their orders group at brigade headquarters they found themselves under a ‘fierce stonk’ from German mortars. The infantry were even more depressed by the prospect. ‘The nearer we got to our objective,’ wrote Corporal Proctor, ‘the more awesome our task appeared. The lower slopes were cultivated farmland divided into small fields by huge hedgerows. Higher up was woodland. The top appeared to be covered in gorse. Out of sight over the brow of the hill were German radar installations and these had to be destroyed. At the foot of the hill was a small stream we would have to cross.’ The day was oppressively hot.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 419 | Loc. 6410-13  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:46 AM

There he heard that Major Thomas, the commander of B Company, had been killed while single-handedly rushing a German machine gun. ‘Very gallant,’ observed Partridge, ‘but I had long since learned that dead soldiers do not win battles, and my prime duty was to stay alive and preserve the lives of as many others as possible.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 419 | Loc. 6413-17  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:47 AM

A sharp order arrived from their commanding officer saying that there were too many NCOs back at the aid post. ‘Please rejoin your troops.’ Partridge acknowledged that it was a well-deserved rebuke. He returned to 17 Platoon to find ‘four fellows in an abandoned trench crying their eyes out’. These newcomers were not striplings, but men in their late thirties - ‘far too old to live our kind of life’. They came from a disbanded anti-aircraft unit and had been sent forward without infantry training as part of the desperate attempt to man front-line battalions.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 420 | Loc. 6429-31  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:53 AM

By the morning of 7 August, the most dominant feature in Normandy was finally in British hands. In fact, the Germans had melted away. Their withdrawal formed part of a desperately needed attempt to shorten their lines, partly to make up for the transfer of the 1st SS Panzer-Division for the counter-attack being prepared at Mortain.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 420 | Loc. 6436-38  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:54 AM

The next day, when on Hitler’s order Panzer Group West officially became the Fifth Panzer Army, Eberbach reported that there were just ‘three tanks still serviceable’ in the 10th SS Panzer-Division. He had to withdraw it from the line. The ‘fighting spirit’ of his army was ‘unsatisfactory’ as a result of ‘losses, withdrawals and exhaustion’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 420 | Loc. 6439-41  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:54 AM

Even Kluge warned that ‘it was already a grave decision to take away the 1st SS Panzer-Division’. That day, Army Group B reported that since the invasion they had suffered 151,487 casualties, dead, wounded and missing. They had received fewer than 20,000 replacements.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 421 | Loc. 6445-52  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:56 AM

‘Situation still more acute,’ Eberbach reported. ‘Allies trying to join up wedges of penetration on western flank and centre of front.’ The night before Warlimont left the Wolfsschanze, he and Jodl had been summoned by Hitler. They discussed the option of withdrawal to the lower Seine, but its twists and turns made it a difficult line to defend. Hitler was in two minds. He was extremely reluctant to lose contact with Spain and Portugal, dreading the consequent interruption to supplies of raw materials. Pulling back would also mean the end for the submarine bases on the Atlantic coast. Hitler showed himself more realistic than Warlimont had expected, yet he gave him the strictest instructions not to discuss the matter with Kluge. ‘Whenever a line of defence is prepared to the rear of the front line,’ Hitler remarked, ‘my generals think of nothing but pulling back to that line.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 422 | Loc. 6460-66  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:58 AM

Since his meeting with Jodl and Warlimont, Hitler’s mood had stiffened and he now rejected any idea of withdrawal. The gambler in him, combined with his taste for the dramatic, had inspired one of his map fantasies. He had been gazing at the divisional symbols on his map, while refusing to acknowledge that most were reduced to a fraction of their theoretical strength. For him, the idea of cutting off Patton’s Third Army proved irresistible. He also justified his idea of holding on in Normandy on the grounds that almost all the infantry divisions were without mechanized transport. Retreat would leave them at the mercy of the American armoured divisions and the Allied air forces. At the same time he refused to take Allied air power into consideration when planning Operation Lüttich. This was typical of his compulsion to see only what suited him.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 422 | Loc. 6471-75  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 11:59 AM

Patton had been scathing about the 90th when he encountered them on the road east of Avranches just three days before. ‘The division is bad, the discipline poor, the men filthy and the officers apathetic, many of them removing their insignia and covering the markings on helmets. I saw one artillery lieutenant jump out of his Peep and hide in a ditch when one plane flew over at high altitude firing a little.’ But under its new commander, Major General Raymond McLain, the 90th rapidly showed how a formation with low morale could be turned round dramatically by good leadership and a change in circumstances.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 423 | Loc. 6485-89  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:00 PM

‘Approximately 13,000 trucks, tanks, jeeps, half-tracks and howitzers crossed over the Pontaubault bridge, averaging one vehicle every thirty seconds.’ The Luftwaffe, ordered to make any sacrifice to attack the Avranches route, launched raids by day as well as by night with bombers and fighter-bombers. But the Americans, having overestimated their needs for anti-aircraft artillery battalions in Normandy, were able to concentrate a formidable firepower around the key bridges south of Avranches.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 424 | Loc. 6492-94  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:01 PM

By the morning of 4 August, the 1st Division had taken Mortain and secured the dominant feature above it, Hill 314, known as the Rochers de Montjoie. When his corps commander, General Collins, reminded him of its importance, Huebner was able to make the satisfying reply, ‘Joe, I already have it.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 427 | Loc. 6534-36  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:13 PM

Kluge saw the Avranches offensive as a means of wrong-footing the Allies before withdrawing to the Loire in the south and the Seine in the east. Hitler, on the other hand, with his manic optimism, saw it as the first step towards re-establishing the front held in Normandy at the beginning of July.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 427 | Loc. 6536-39  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:14 PM

OKW promised 1,000 fighters in support of the operation, but none of the senior commanders believed this. ‘They had been deceived so many times in the past and they felt that they would be deceived again,’ Warlimont acknowledged after the war. Yet he himself had been one of Hitler’s deceivers, convincing generals that the situation was better than it really was.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 427 | Loc. 6539-43  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:15 PM

Operation Lüttich was to be led by General der Panzertruppen Hans Freiherr von Funck, the thoroughly disliked commander of XLVII Panzer Corps. Generalleutnant Gerhard Graf von Schwerin, the intellectually arrogant commander of the 116th Panzer-Division, had already had a series of furious rows with Funck over his handling of the counter-attack west of the Vire on 28 July. Funck had accused the 116th Panzer-Division of ‘passive resistance, cowardice and incompetence’. Schwerin was now involved in another bitter argument with Funck over the fighting to maintain the start-line for Operation Lüttich.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 427 | Loc. 6547-50  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:15 PM

At 15.20 hours on 6 August, less than four hours before the offensive was due to begin, Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge received a signal which began in characteristic fashion: ‘The Führer has ordered . . .’ Operation Lüttich, it stated, was not to be led by General von Funck, but by General Eberbach. Hitler loathed Funck because he had been a personal staff officer of Generaloberst Werner Freiherr von Fritsch, whom Hitler had dismissed in 1938. In 1942, Funck had been destined to command the Afrika Korps, but Hitler appointed Rommel instead.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 429 | Loc. 6566-69  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:17 PM

On 6 August, the division’s 12th Infantry Regiment finally pulled back to rest in ‘a beautiful bivouac near the picturesque little town of Brécey. Arrangements for showers, shows, movies and Red Cross “doughnut” girls have hurriedly been made. For the first time since D-Day the hollow-eyed, gaunt-cheeked men of the 12th combat team could relax.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 429 | Loc. 6569-73  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 12:17 PM

That afternoon and evening, the code-breakers at Bletchley Park began to work on a flurry of intercepts. The Luftwaffe was asked to provide night-fighter protection for the 2nd SS Panzer-Division for an attack on and beyond Mortain. The 2nd and 116th Panzer-Divisions and the Leibstandarte were also identified for an attack whose start-line was between Mortain and Sourdeval. Bradley, although more sceptical of Ultra intelligence than most commanders, was left in no doubt about the seriousness of the attack.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 429 | Loc. 6578-81  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 01:10 PM

The start of the attack, originally scheduled for 18.00 hours, was delayed several times due to the SS Leibstandarte’s late arrival. Changes were also made to the formations at the last moment, mainly because other units to reinforce the operation failed to arrive as a result of Allied pressure on other parts of the front. Kluge, who wanted to make last-minute alterations to the plan, was persuaded to leave things as they were. Finally, at midnight, the advance began without any artillery preparation. The plan was to infiltrate as far as possible before daybreak.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 431 | Loc. 6596-6601  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 01:15 PM

Eight Panthers entered Saint-Barthélemy and halted in the main street, just outside the advance headquarters of Lieutenant Colonel Frankland of the 1st Battalion of the 117th Infantry. One of his officers looked out of the window to see a Panther just below. They then heard noises at the rear of the house. Frankland went to investigate and found two of his signallers being marched out with their hands above their heads. He shot down two of the SS troopers who had called them out and saw another Panther in the street at the back of the house. Astonishingly, Frankland’s command group managed to escape out of a window and rejoin one of the companies. Under the onslaught of the SS panzergrenadiers, most of Frankland’s battalion had to withdraw, jumping hedges and scuttling down ditches.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 432 | Loc. 6613-17  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 01:17 PM

While most of the roadblocks were quickly overrun, the defensive position near the Abbaye Blanche, just outside the northern edge of the town, inflicted heavy casualties on its SS Das Reich attackers. Lieutenant Springfield’s tank destroyer platoon with its three-inch guns fired at comparatively close range as each German half-track emerged from the fog. ‘A loud clang followed by a red glow announced each direct hit. As the occupants of the armored personnel carriers tumbled out of their stricken machines, they were sprayed with machinegun fire.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 433 | Loc. 6631-35  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 01:18 PM

In need of rapid support to halt the German panzers, General Bradley and General Hodges contacted General Quesada’s headquarters. As soon as the mist lifted at around 11.00 hours, P-47 Thunderbolts went into action. But the Americans, accepting that the RAF’s rocket-firing Typhoons offered the most effective weapon against tanks, contacted Air Marshal Coningham’s 2nd Tactical Air Force. Coningham and Quesada agreed that the Typhoons ‘should deal exclusively with the enemy armoured columns’ while American fighters would provide a screen and American fighter-bombers would attack transport in the German rear areas.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 433 | Loc. 6639-42  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 01:19 PM

‘This is the moment we have all been waiting for, Gentlemen,’ Wing Commander Charles Green told them, having had confirmation of the mission from Coningham’s headquarters a few moments before. ‘The chance of getting at Panzers in the open. And there’s lots of the bastards.’ They were to attack in pairs, not in squadron formation. Flight time to target was no more than fifteen minutes. This meant that the whole wing could create a ‘continuous cycle of Typhoon sorties’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 435 | Loc. 6657-61  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 01:21 PM

Within twenty minutes of take-off, the Typhoons were on their way back to rearm and refuel in a veritable production line. On the ground, the pilots sweated impatiently in the terrible heat of their cockpits under the bubble Perspex canopy. The propellers powered by the Typhoon’s Sabre engine blasted dust in clouds everywhere, so ground-crew and armourers, stripped to the waist in the August heat, had to wear handkerchiefs tied over their face like bandits. As soon as the pilot received the thumbs-up sign, he could taxi round ready for take-off again. And so the shuttle went on.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 435 | Loc. 6662-65  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 01:24 PM

American fighter squadrons played their part superbly. Very few of the Luftwaffe’s promised 300 fighters arrived within forty miles of Mortain. The Luftwaffe later rang Seventh Army headquarters to apologize: ‘Our fighters have been engaged in aerial combat from the time of take-off and were unable to reach their actual target area. They hope, however, that their aerial engagements helped just the same.’ The Seventh Army staff officer replied stiffly, ‘There was no noticeable relief.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 436 | Loc. 6673-76  | Added on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 01:25 PM

This time, the first things the Germans had taken from them were water purification tablets, morphine and other medical supplies for their own wounded. Usually, German captors were more interested in grabbing cigarettes or any candy from their prisoners to relieve a craving which their own rations seldom satisfied.


September

Daemon (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 5 | Loc. 144-49  | Added on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 06:33 PM

For average working folks, America was becoming a puzzle. Who was buying all these two-hundred-dollar copper saucepans, anyway? And how was everyone paying for these BMWs? Were people shrewd or just stupefyingly irresponsible? Pete Sebeck thought television held some clues. Channel surfing late at night, unable to sleep, Sebeck considered the commercials aimed at him. Was he their demographic? Had they correctly deduced him? And what did that say about him? The History Channel seemed to think he was either a Korean War veteran looking for a truly capable brush mower, or that he was desperately in need of a career change. He had a nasty suspicion they were right about one of them. 
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Daemon (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 22 | Loc. 412-17  | Added on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 07:01 PM

Gragg had compromised the workstation days ago, first obtaining a network IP address from the router, and then gaining access to the broker’s machine through the most basic of NetBIOS assaults. The ports on the workstation were wide open, and over the course of several evening visits to the café, Gragg had escalated his privileges. He now owned their local network. Clearing the router’s log would erase any evidence that he had been there. But all that was child’s play compared to how he would use this exploit. In the past year, Gragg had evolved beyond simple credit card scams. He no longer prowled bars passing out portable magstripe readers to waiters and busboys and paying a bounty for each credit card number. 
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Daemon (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 343 | Loc. 5310-16  | Added on Thursday, September 15, 2016, 09:16 PM

He was a poster child for overdesigned American culture. His square-toed dress shoes had the soles of hiking boots, as though intended to navigate an urban cliff face. His draping dress pants concealed six pockets pleated into its folds, each one with a trademarked name (e.g., E-Pouch), giving him the cargo capacity of a World War I infantryman. Yellow-tint sunglasses wrapped his face, unaccountably designed to withstand the impact of a small-caliber rifle bullet while filtering out UV rays and maximizing visual contrast in a wide range of indoor and outdoor lighting conditions. In all, his outfit required nearly two thousand man-years of research and development, eight barrels of oil, and sixteen patent and trademark infringement lawsuits. All so he could possess casual style. A style that, in logistical requirements, was comparable to fielding a nineteenth-century military brigade. 
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Daemon (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 374 | Loc. 5786-88  | Added on Thursday, September 15, 2016, 11:06 PM

Watching it, he realized for the first time that the world had really changed—that a line was being drawn in society and which side of the line you stood on would determine your future. He realized more than ever that technological prowess had become a survival skill. "It’s getting bad, isn’t it?" 
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Daemon (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 415 | Loc. 6467-72  | Added on Thursday, September 15, 2016, 11:48 PM

"They were never going to let us stop the Daemon, Natalie." "You’re talking crazy! The government created the Task Force. We were betrayed by private industry." "Private industry is your government. I thought you knew that." "How can you say that to me?" "Because it’s true. Sobol knew it. The Daemon isn’t attacking us, Nat. This is a struggle between two artificial organisms. The Daemon is just a new species of corporation." They sat for a moment listening to the distant sirens. "The old social order is dissolving, Nat. It happens every few centuries." He looked out across the burning city, then turned back to her. "I won’t let Loki be our future." 
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Daemon (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 426 | Loc. 6629-32  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 12:56 AM

"You want to destroy the Daemon—but you offer nothing in its place. How can you expect to handle the future if you can’t even handle the present? I’ll tell you what the Daemon is: the Daemon is a remorseless system for building a distributed civilization. A civilization that perpetually regenerates. One with no central authority. Your only option is what form that civilization takes. And that depends on the actions of people like you." 
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Daemon (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 426 | Loc. 6633-36  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 12:57 AM

"There are those who resist necessary change. Even now they think only of protecting their investments. I am at war with them. A war that you’ll never see on the evening news. And to my mind, the outcome of this war will decide whether civilization flourishes—or collapses into a thousand-year dark age. Perhaps even with the eclipse of the human race as the dominant species on this planet." 
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Daemon (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 426 | Loc. 6638-41  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 12:57 AM

Sobol’s spectre sat on the edge of the desk near Sebeck. "I suspect that democracy is not viable in a technologically advanced society. Free people wield too much ability to destroy. But I will give you the chance to determine the truth of this. If you fail to prove the viability of democracy in man’s future, then humans will serve society—not the other way around. Either way, a change is coming. I see it. As plainly as I see you sitting there." 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 18 | Loc. 319-26  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 05:35 AM

BCM: “Gentleman, let’s not forget what’s at stake here. Yes, it’s regrettable that people have died—and will die—but we must defend the core of our civilization: which is commerce. And commerce requires capital. That no longer means gold bars in a vault; it means ones and zeros in a database. Purely financial transactions moving through global markets on any given day outweigh transactions for real world goods and services by twenty-to-one, and that money moves automatically and instantaneously across borders. By disrupting the world financial system, the Daemon could destroy fiduciary trust. It could create global economic chaos in minutes. From that point of view the real-world manifestations of the Daemon—like these razorbacks and its human followers—are minor; dangerous only insofar as they threaten the public’s belief system. But if we kill the digital core of the Daemon, then its physical manifestations disappear along with it. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 39 | Loc. 659-61  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 05:56 AM

As a cop, he found it difficult to accept that the law was an illusion. If the powers that be identified you as a threat, right or wrong, you were destroyed. Was that the lesson Matthew Sobol had taught him by destroying the person Sebeck once was? 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 48 | Loc. 790-802  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:09 AM

“These people give you comfort, Sergeant? Walking among them like a regular person? Does it bring back the good times?” Sebeck cast a look back at Price. “What if it does? Maybe it’s good to see how normal the world is. That there are still people who just want to go shopping.” “Yeah.” He took another bite of his churro and spoke around it. “Too bad this place will probably be an empty shell ten years from now.” Sebeck cast a frown back at Price. “How do you figure?” “You heard Sobol. Modern society is heading off a cliff, and John Q. Public is out here stomping on the accelerator.” “Have another churro, pal.” “I’m just saying. So you dig all this?” He gestured to the overhead jumbotrons displaying clothing ads of fashion models flying through rainbows. “It doesn’t matter what I think. Everything here exists because people want it. What gives Sobol the right to decide for them?” Price shrugged. “Well, the public doesn’t really decide anything now—they just select from the options they’re given.” He stuffed the last of the churro into his mouth and chewed furiously. “Factions have a slang term for the general public. They call them NPCs—as in ‘non-player-characters’— scripted bots with limited responses.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 48 | Loc. 805-15  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:10 AM

“Okay, I think I know what’s going on here.” He balled up the churro wrapper and tossed it into the orifice of a trash can shaped like a robot. “You think these people are free, and that the Daemon is gonna take that freedom away.” Sebeck kept strolling through the crowd. “Enough, Laney. Just let me walk in peace.” Price stayed with him. “You, sir, are walking on a privately owned Main Street—permission to trespass revocable at will. Read the plaque on the ground at the entrance if you don’t believe me. These people aren’t citizens of anything, Sergeant. America is just another brand purchased for its goodwill value. For that excellent fucking logo.” “Yeah, I’m sure it’s all a big conspiracy. . . .” “No conspiracy necessary. It’s a process that’s been happening for thousands of years. Wealth aggregates and becomes political power. Simple as that. ‘Corporation’ is just the most recent name for it. In the Middle Ages it was the Catholic Church. They had a great logo, too. You might have seen it, and they had more branches than Starbucks. Go back before that, and it was Imperial Rome. It’s a natural process as old as humanity.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 49 | Loc. 819-21  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:10 AM

“That’s right. I’m crazy. But stand up in here with a protest sign and find out how quickly you get your ass tased by security. You want to see the world the way it really is, Sergeant? Forget your cultural indoctrination for a moment.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 51 | Loc. 849-55  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:13 AM

Price turned to the mall again and drew circles on his layer of D-Space—highlighting sensors bolted to the walls at intersections in the mall’s traffic flow. “Storing data is so cheap it’s essentially free, so data brokers record everything in the hopes that it will have value to someone. The data is aggregated by third parties, linked to individual identities, and sold like any other consumer data. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s an economy, but an economy these people know nothing about. They’re tagged like sheep and have about as much say in the matter as sheep.” Sebeck gazed at the data whirling around him. “What do we look like to a computer alogrithm, Sergeant? 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 52 | Loc. 866-70  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:14 AM

Price leaned close. “Imagine how easily you could change the course of someone’s life by changing this data? But that’s control, isn’t it? In fact, you don’t even need to be human to exert power over these people. That’s why the Daemon spread so fast.” Sebeck clutched the balcony railing in silence, watching the march of data. The public walked on, shopping and talking, completely oblivious to the cloud of personal information they gave off. That governed their lives. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 52 | Loc. 870-72  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:14 AM

Price followed Sebeck’s gaze. “So you stand there and tell me that the Daemon is invasive and unprecedented. That it’s a threat to human freedom. And I tell you that Americans are fucking ignorant about their freedom. They’re about as free as the Chinese. Except the Chinese don’t lie to themselves.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 53 | Loc. 879-82  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:15 AM

Price then reached up to his call-out and slid the virtual layer over to Sebeck’s HUD display. A layer named Suckers appeared in Sebeck’s listing. “I want you to have this layer. In case you ever need to remember the world you left behind. The one you keep pining away for.” Sebeck looked back up at the profusion of data above them. Beyond that loomed the Thread, still beckoning. For the first time he thought it might actually lead someplace he’d want to go. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 56 | Loc. 940-43  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:18 AM

Sebeck tossed the food in the car and took over the refueling. “That was something Sobol knew, wasn’t it?” “What’s that?” “That people will do whatever a computer screen tells them. I swear to god, you could run the next Holocaust from a fucking fast-food register.” He pantomimed aiming a pistol. “It says I should kill you now.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 65 | Loc. 1091-94  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:15 PM

“I did the finding, but it wasn’t the Daemon I found. It was the darknet. The encrypted wireless network Sobol created. Only later did I discover how much blood Sobol shed establishing this network. And yet, I can’t help but wonder, just as evil sometimes arises from good intentions, if good can’t sometimes grow from evil. It’s a distasteful notion, but human history makes me wonder.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 65 | Loc. 1094-98  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:15 PM

Sebeck gritted his teeth. “I may be on this quest, but that doesn’t mean I agree with Sobol. I accepted it because I had no choice, and I was concerned that unless I did so, he would enslave humanity. Matthew Sobol killed friends of mine. Police and federal officers—people with families.” She held up a hand. “I’m not defending Sobol, Sergeant. I’m saying that Sobol was willing to be our villain to force necessary change. So that we didn’t have to.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 65 | Loc. 1100-1112  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:18 PM

she said, “Do you feel any guilt for what your ancestors did to the Indians?” Sebeck was taken aback. “You know, for the genocide that was perpetrated against Native American people by the U.S. government and the settlers?” “That’s not the same as what Sobol did.” “Why?” “Because the theft of tribal lands occurred a hundred and fifty years ago. Things were different then.” “Statute of limitations, then?” She concentrated on the road then turned an eye back on him. “I’m just making a point. You probably don’t feel guilt because you’re not the one who did it. You bear native people no ill will, and aren’t prejudiced against them.” “Yes, exactly.” “But then, we’re not getting the land back either, are we?” A slight smile creased her face. Sebeck folded his arms. “It could never be sorted out even if we tried. That was a different time, Riley.” “We’re not all that different from our ancestors, Sergeant. And even though the land Matthew Sobol grabbed was virtual real estate—computer networks—I don’t think anyone’s going to get that back either.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 68 | Loc. 1139-46  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:21 PM

Then the road was smooth—and suddenly quiet. “The Daemon financed this.” Sebeck turned to her. “Didn’t it?” “The Daemon’s economy is powered by darknet credits, Sergeant. Imaginary credits are all that money is.” “But there’s a theft at the heart of it.” She thought about it and nodded slightly. “Yes, the darknet economy was seeded by real world wealth. Wealth that was questionable in origin to begin with. Here, it’s being invested in people and projects that have begun to return value—not in dollars, but in things of intrinsic human worth. Energy, information, food, shelter.” “But originally from theft.” “That could be said of a lot of things that are now admired.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 69 | Loc. 1166-68  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:23 PM

“So it creates its own wind.” She nodded. “Even at night.” She pointed at what looked to be rectangular cisterns arrayed at intervals around the perimeter of the canopy. “Covered saltwater ponds gather heat energy during the day and release it at night—continuing the wind cycle.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 69 | Loc. 1169-72  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:23 PM

Sebeck didn’t know what to think. There was no dismissing the scale and ambition of this—but what was it for? “Why do you need so much electrical power?” “To transform our environment. To power equipment, micro-manufacturing plants, chemical and material reactions. This tower—and other solar installations—will provide clean, sustainable energy and freshwater from the elemental building blocks of matter.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 70 | Loc. 1175-87  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:24 PM

“Seriously. How do you know this is not complete bullshit?” “The design has existed for decades. The technology has been proven. My technical familiarity comes from dealing with the darknet engineers and architects handling the construction. I make it a point to understand, so I can convey the information to our people. This is a big deal for us.” “No doubt. But, Riley, if this was economically feasible, don’t you think everyone would be doing it? Besides, I thought the Laguna nation already had water.” “At present, yes, but darknet communities are founded on long-term thinking. In coming decades we anticipate water stress due to climate change and depleted aquifers. Sustainable water independence increases our darknet resilience score.” He gazed upon all the construction. “But doing all this to irrigate fields can’t be anything close to cost-effective.” “Water isn’t the product, Sergeant. Water is the waste.” In D-Space she pointed to highlight a line of small buildings being constructed down a road leading off to their right. “Those will be reverse-hydrolysis fuel cell stations. They’ll consume hydrogen to produce heat and electricity—leaving behind freshwater as the only waste product. We can produce a third of a liter of freshwater with every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced from hydrogen.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 71 | Loc. 1199-1212  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 06:25 PM

Likewise, it sequesters carbon out of the atmosphere—making it carbon negative. It just requires energy, Sergeant—and solar energy is something my people have plenty of.” Sebeck was speechless. “What did you think we were building out here, a casino?” “But what you’re describing—creating water and pulling liquid fuel out of the air—” “The sun is what made life on Earth possible to begin with. Oil is just ancient solar energy stored in hydrocarbons. The CR5 technology was developed nearby in Sandia National Labs. It stands for ‘Counter Rotating Ring Receiver Reactor Recuperators.’ The details are available to anyone on the darknet, if you’re really interested.” He was still shaking his head. “Then why isn’t this being done everywhere?” She turned off her D-Space layer and the lofty tower and virtual buildings disappeared. “Many things are possible, Sergeant, but not economically feasible. Of course, that all depends on how you calculate costs. Darknet communities factor in loss of economic independence as a cost. They factor in the cost of forcibly defending distant energy resources. They also factor in lack of sustainability and disposal of pollutants. That more than balances the equation. With this facility we’ll use solar energy as the foundation of a long-term, sustainable, energy-positive holon. And that’s the goal.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 76 | Loc. 1271-74  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:22 PM

Riley considered this. Her expression lost its hard edge. She stood up. “A few years ago, I was riding near El Morro. I saw a coyote on a ridgeline, trying to keep up with his pack. He was missing a leg. He looked thin. But he was keeping up. That always stuck with me. It’s something we can learn from animals. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 77 | Loc. 1292-97  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:24 PM

Sebeck leaned back in his chair. “Useful to whom?” “Humanity, Sergeant. This is big-picture stuff. Repositories of human knowledge and technology are being designed and built by various curator factions around the world. The spec is simply that these repositories be durable, inspire awe, and be equipped with automated systems that can teach people useful knowledge to empower the more rational among the population so that they can achieve leadership positions. That way, should human civilization be lost in a region, this system could put locals back on a path to regain knowledge in a generation or two. It could also be useful in resisting a downward spiral to begin with.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 78 | Loc. 1302-3  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:24 PM

If false magic or a white lie about the god-monster in the mountain will get people to stop killing one another and learn, then the truth can wait. When the time is right, it can be replaced with a reverence for the scientific method.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 80 | Loc. 1327-32  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:27 PM

Sebeck considered the Daemon’s virulence. Riley had explained to him that the Daemon grew less virulent the more it spread. And that it became more ruthless as it contracted. It was designed like a natural organism to resist its own eradication with lethal force if necessary. It did explain the bloody origins of the Daemon, but Sebeck still couldn’t accept it. It was basically a parasite on human society, one trying to achieve symbiosis. A balance between what it took and what it gave. Yes, it drove them toward preserving civilization, but it diminished free will. And did they really want a cybernetic organism designed by a madman hanging over their heads? 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 82 | Loc. 1365-66  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:29 PM

The entire concept of a daemon stems from the guardian spirits of Greek mythology—spirits who watched over mankind to keep them out of trouble, and that’s become real enough.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 82 | Loc. 1366-69  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:29 PM

Sebeck shrugged. “Okay. What do these myths say about a Cloud Gate?” “It was the gateway to the heavens and guarded by the Horae—the goddesses of orderly life. The Horae were also known collectively as the Hours and the Seasons. Their mother was Themis—the goddess of justice and order.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 82 | Loc. 1376-78  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:30 PM

She placed her hand on Sebeck’s shoulder. “Follow your Thread. I believe your heart is in the right place, even if you don’t agree with Sobol’s vision. Question everything. But don’t be surprised if the world you thought you knew never existed.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 84 | Loc. 1403-7  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:33 PM

His firm would get the contract. It would be for an infrastructure security assessment or a market risk analysis, or something similar. Korr Business Intelligence Services did not advertise, and they did not submit proposals. They were the junior partners of a security consultant to the engineering department of a construction division of a real estate subsidiary of a financial group. They had no signage out front and no listing for their firm in the lobby directory. Most of their employees were economists, researchers, and mathematicians. And very few of them had any idea what they were really doing here: preserving the global economy. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 85 | Loc. 1415-19  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:34 PM

The Major had cut his teeth on a Panama operation like that back in the late eighties, using cocaine and sex workers to generate potentially career-ending imagery that made the business world go round. Photoshop had pretty much ended the still picture side of the business by making photographs meaningless. High-def video was the only way to go now, and sooner or later computer graphics would do that in, too. Someone really had to come up with a solution, or the entire blackmail industry was doomed. Thankfully, The Major had long ago moved on to more serious operations. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 86 | Loc. 1422-27  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:35 PM

He still remembered the musty smell of the La Paz hotel room. The bray of a two-stroke engine whining past outside while he stood with a bloody knife in his hand. The young trade unionist on the floor, her wide eyes staring at him as she clutched her throat, gurgling. Nothing stopped. The universe didn’t care. He might as well have been slicing bread. And that began his awakening—his realization that the Western world was a bedtime story of comforting humanistic bullshit. Slavery existed everywhere—even in the United States. We were all slaves in one way or another. Slavery was just control, and control kept things running in an orderly fashion. It was what made progress possible. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 86 | Loc. 1428-34  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:35 PM

But now the problem he’d been waiting on suddenly appeared on screen. A bar graph labeled “Decline in U.S. Agricultural Subsidy Applications.” He turned away from the window and tuned in to the Pakistani MBA’s presentation. “. . . in certain counties, we’re looking at a ninety percent drop—unprecedented in the history of modern American agriculture. Farmers in these counties have basically decided en masse to stop growing subsidized crops—even though there is no distribution system available for anything else. Something is causing this, and causing it all at once on a local basis in defiance of market conditions.” The Major saw it. Nothing else had the scope to do this—and with such suddenness. It had to be the Daemon. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 87 | Loc. 1441-49  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:36 PM

“No, it’s not a glitch. Agribusiness and biotech firms have a comprehensive network of private investigators, researchers, and surveyors throughout the Midwestern United States to enforce their seed patents. They’ve documented population movements, unexplained capital inflows, and infrastructure investments in alternative energy technologies, high-tech equipment, heirloom seed stock, and—” “I assume this isn’t confined to the United States.” The two MBAs looked at each other with some dismay. The Pakistani nodded. “We were, in fact, going to cover that later in our presentation.” He started clicking through interminable bullet points and diagrams. “We also project reductions in export crops such as cotton in Asia and Russia. Security services in various countries are reporting labor unrest in both the agricultural and industrial sectors. The number of container ships being placed into warm and cold layup from lack of cargo is rising.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 88 | Loc. 1455-57  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:37 PM

The Major had to hand it to Sobol. The dead bastard was clever. They’d been too focused on the digital threat to see it coming. By physically changing the economy of rural America, the Daemon could render their investment reallocation moot. They could no longer simply wait for a digital countermeasure to the Daemon. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 91 | Loc. 1469-72  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 08:42 PM

Biotech companies spread patented genetic sequences via the natural ecosystem—much like a computer virus. Then they use the legal system to claim ownership of any organism their patented genetic sequences invade. They are raiding communal seed banks, obtaining patents for naturally occurring apples, sugar beets, corn, and a host of other plants and animals. They have immorally seized control of the food system and stand poised to claim ownership of life itself unless we take action. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 104 | Loc. 1688-90  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 11:49 PM

“Just look at corn and soybeans, subsidized with taxpayer money—creating a market that wouldn’t otherwise make sense. Why? So agribusiness firms have cheap inputs to make processed food. The taxpayers are basically subsidizing corporations to make crap, when we could have grown real food on our own. But, of course, they’ve made growing food illegal now. . . .” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 104 | Loc. 1691-1700  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 11:50 PM

“Dad, there was a reason you didn’t want me or Dennis to go into farming. You wanted us to go to college and get away from here. Do you remember why? Do you remember what you said to me?” He stopped. He didn’t face her, but nodded. “I said that there’s no future in farming.” “Food is the very heart of freedom. Don’t you realize that? If people don’t grow the food, we both know who will: biotech companies like Halperin Organix. How can people be free if they can’t feed themselves without getting sued for patent violations?” He looked around the warehouse as workers passed by. “Look, your mother and I did the best we could for—” She came up and put a hand on his shoulder. “I know you did. You’re honest. So was granddad. And so am I. But they’ve rigged the game. It was like this during the Gilded Age of the 1890s. And then again in the late 1920s. It’s nothing new. We’re just trying to break the cycle.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 104 | Loc. 1703-6  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 11:50 PM

He shrugged. “You know, I worry about you. You and your brother. I know it hasn’t been easy. I . . . there’s no real jobs anymore. I feel like we’ve let you down.” Fossen started to tear up. She hugged him tightly. “Dad, you didn’t let me down.” She looked back up at him. “You taught me everything I need to know: self-reliance, self-respect, community. Just don’t be surprised if I actually put it to use.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 105 | Loc. 1718-27  | Added on Friday, September 16, 2016, 11:51 PM

“It was the Daemon.” “What is the Daemon?” “It’s a digital monster that eats corporate networks. They’re scared to death of it—because it has no fear.” He turned to face the dark television screen again. They sat in silence for several moments. “What happens now?” “That depends on whether you want to continue running this place as part of their system.” Fossen looked up at the framed photograph of his eldest son in dress uniform on a nearby bookshelf. He nodded. “I didn’t realize we had two warriors in the family.” He turned around to face her. “What do we do?” She smiled. “The first thing we do is stop planting corn.” “And plant what?” “What people need.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 126 | Loc. 2016-20  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 12:08 AM

Ross knew that the same migration was occurring all around the world. In a land of borderless markets, individual farmers could no longer compete with industrial farms on price. The land was being depopulated, landholdings aggregated for efficient management by farm machinery, leaving the surplus labor little choice but to depart to the cities and seek work in industry. The same was true in India, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Even America. It was the largest migration in human history. All in the pursuit of high-efficiency, low-cost production. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 127 | Loc. 2020-24  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 12:08 AM

And it was that very efficiency that made the system vulnerable to the Daemon. The same uniform networks that moved money and information between markets in fractions of a second also allowed the simple bots of the Daemon to masquerade as high-level management strategy, ordering the manufacture and delivery of goods—and deleting the evidence. State-of-the-art, just-in-time management systems had enabled a silent revolution in more ways than one. Such was the post-Sobol world. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 147 | Loc. 2345-50  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 12:31 AM

“What happens if someone takes your money away?” Shen cast a wary look at Ross. Ross continued, “Because that’s what we’re talking about here, isn’t it? Someone has threatened to confiscate your company if you don’t perform. Is that how a free person lives, Liang? In fear of the powerful?” “Freedom is overrated. You can be completely free and starving in an igloo in Antarctica. Business is what makes people’s lives better, not democracy. The world is filled with dysfunctional democracies, paralyzed by idiots with votes.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 147 | Loc. 2351-58  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 12:31 AM

“Jon, do you know that the World Bank said that over half the Chinese people lived in poverty in 1980? You know what it is now? Care to take a guess? It’s four percent, Jon. Four. Economic development did that, not democracy.” Ross nodded. “But that’s the deal they offer, isn’t it? They’ll bring economic development in exchange for you not participating in politics—but that economic development is hollow and has no longevity. Have you seen the markets? It’s already fraying at the edges. Believe me, by the time it ends, you’ll realize they have all the power and you don’t matter. Prosperity is not prosperity if they can just take it from you.” “So you prefer America then? Like they’re prosperous? They owe us more money than there is on the planet. America is finished. Why are you helping them?” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 165 | Loc. 2643-55  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 12:53 AM

“So he arrived, but he didn’t leave?” “That’s what we’ve been wondering about.” They all just sat there without talking for several moments. That was when Shen remembered Ross’s words as he held up the ring. This is a magic ring. A hot flash of fear came over him. It couldn’t be. . . . The control board operator was clicking from camera to camera now. Inside and outside the building. He brought up a 3-D model of the city block. It was wrapped with security camera images. “This is running backward from the moment of your departure from the table, Captain Shen.” Half a dozen video insets showed as many scenes in front of the building, the lobby, the rear exit, and the surrounding streets—people and cars were everywhere. The video played, and people moved about, but Ross was absolutely nowhere to be seen. Haverford shook his head. “See, it certainly doesn’t seem like he left the table, now, does it, Captain?” Then it occurred to Shen that everyone was looking at him. And then it started to dawn on him that Zhang might seriously be suspecting him of some collusion with Ross—which would be crazy considering he was the one who brought Ross to the table to begin with. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 168 | Loc. 2698-2710  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 12:56 AM

Shen pointed to the cameras. “Mr. Ross is invisible here to a dozen cameras. Show me a camera where he reappears. Blocks away? Hours later? I’ll bet you cannot find him. Because your system has been defeated.” General Zhang studied the screen. “How, Shen? How did he do it?” “There are two million digital cameras. They are all unified with layers of digital image-processing software. With camera firmware. Someone has created a system where points on the screen are replaced with the background image.” “The background?” “Yes. Somewhere along the chain of custody between where the image is recorded and where it’s seen on our monitors, the empty background imagery of each camera’s sweep is substituted for the image of a person who is wearing some sort of electronic tag—to identify their movements through space.” “But how could the camera know the location of that person in three-dimensional space relative to the camera?” Shen was nodding as he said it. “The camera’s position is probably already known, but it could also be derived from a geometric analysis of surrounding landmarks. Software, General. It could all be done with software.” Haverford was still shaking his head. “But that would . . . it’s just not possible.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 170 | Loc. 2722-25  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 12:57 AM

“Excellent work.” He replied in Mandarin. “It was my pleasure, General.” Shen continued toward the buttonless elevator, and all he could think of was the great game that was now under way out there in the world. A game an old friend told him about. One that he had just now resolved to join. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 174 | Loc. 2772-75  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 01:24 AM

Local faction leadership had no doubt pooled their resources to call down a construction kit from the network. They’d have to return it to the network pool when they were done, but there were a hundred operatives out there in the fields building homes, businesses, and setting up farms to serve as the center of a new holon. Trying to recolonize America with something that didn’t have a 30 percent interest rate and a forty-five-minute commute attached to it. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 180 | Loc. 2867-70  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 01:30 AM

Sobol understood it, and yet he chose to become a devil, and here as if part of the natural order, a mythic hero arose in the network—dead but more alive than ever. While Loki, possibly the most powerful Daemon operative in the world, with each passing day felt smaller and more isolated as the darknet population grew around him. He suddenly felt truly alone. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 191 | Loc. 3032-37  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 01:40 AM

She recalled scoffing at Morris’s three golden rules of computer security: do not own a computer; do not power it on; and do not use one The subtlety of it had escaped her at the time. It wasn’t meant as a surrender. It was a meditation on risk versus benefit. Did these systems give us more than they took from us? It was an admission that we will never be fully secure. We must instead strive for survivability. Then perhaps Sobol was right. . . . 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 192 | Loc. 3046-51  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 01:41 AM

And yet, the American economy didn’t seem to have much forward momentum on anything. The dot-coms had melted down just as she got out of school, and later the real estate markets had tanked. Now the main industry of America seemed to be moving paperwork around in circles. Basically, she’d just been breaking even over the last eight years, despite the fact that she’d put a lot of money away. She’d invested it, and those supposedly safe investments had gone sour. She’d purchased this three-bedroom, two-bath condo near Washington, and now four years and forty-eight payments later it was worth slightly less than what she bought it for. Factoring in tax deductions for interest, but then also plumbing and improvements, she figured she was just about even. That is, if the market held. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 193 | Loc. 3054-55  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 01:42 AM

Daemon operatives had said it provided medical care. Retirement. Debt relief. No wonder. It was essentially a tax on corporations—one the corporate attorneys couldn’t dodge by moving their headquarters to Bermuda. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 193 | Loc. 3064-66  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 01:42 AM

It was in Sobol’s online game world, and he’d designed his avatar to look like her: facial geometry is a code the human mind is uniquely suited to decipher. He’d used the trick to sneak past her group’s automated filter system. To find her before she found him. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 242 | Loc. 3806-9  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 07:26 PM

“This is just a big green desert. You’d starve to death out here. This corn is inedible—it’s just starch; it needs to be processed in an industrial stomach, with acids and chemicals, to break it down into processed food additives. We’re up to our eyeballs in corn here in Iowa and we can’t even feed ourselves.” “I gather that’s the plan.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 242 | Loc. 3809-19  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 07:27 PM

Fossen nodded. “Damned right. Big business was screwing over farmers in the 1890s, too, and my grandfather’s father didn’t put up with it back then, either. There was an uprising. You might not think it, but it was always the farmers who raised hell in this country. They worked for themselves, were self-reliant, and weren’t about to take shit from anybody. But then some clever bastard figured out how to make crops inedible. My family’s been doing industrial farming for forty years and all it produces is debt, pollution, and water shortages. It ruins the land and the people on it.” Ross nodded to the uniform fields out the window. “You think these other farmers will change?” “They’ll have no choice. Gas is, what—eighteen bucks a gallon now? Industrial farming and the global supply chain gobble up fossil fuel.” He peeled off each item with his fingers. “Natural gas in the fertilizers, petroleum-based pesticides, fuel for the tractors, more fuel for transport to food processors, fuel to process the raw crops into food additives, then to manufacture them into products, and then to transport the products across the country or world to be consumed—thirteen hundred miles on average.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 243 | Loc. 3820-24  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 07:27 PM

“When I started educating myself on why farming no longer made sense. We basically used oil and aquifer water to temporarily boost the carrying capacity of the land, all for economic growth demanded by Wall Street investors. It’s a crazy system that only makes sense when you foist all the costs onto taxpayers in the form of crop subsidies that benefit agribusiness, and defense spending to secure fossil fuels. We’re basically paying for corporations to seize control of the food supply and dictate to us the terms under which we live.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Bookmark on Page 255 | Loc. 3999  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:09 PM


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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 255 | Loc. 3999-4001  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:09 PM

Lots of folks on the darknet resent the random fMRI brain scans. Even though they’re administered by remote operator in a double-blind format, I frequently hear complaints about invasion of privacy. The issue is whether citizens of a democracy claim the right to lie on matters of material significance. Individual privacy must be weighed against the corrosive effect of lies in the public discourse. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 262 | Loc. 4113-14  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:15 PM

“It’s Russian. Look, one advantage of the darknet is that no one needs to know who you were. Because they know who you are.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 263 | Loc. 4124-27  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:16 PM

It reminded Sebeck of something Riley said to him months ago in New Mexico about social interactions where race and gender didn’t matter. They were all members of the network here, and Sebeck had found himself increasingly looking at people’s call-outs to really know who they were. Reputation mattered more than physical appearance, and he was shocked at how quickly his brain had made that transition. Everyone had the same color call-out in the darknet. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 263 | Loc. 4128-30  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:16 PM

Sebeck dialed down the number of layers he was looking at and reduced the range of his D-Space vision to prevent call-out overload. He wondered how long it had been going on like this. Judging by the scaffolding and ongoing construction, it hadn’t been long. Most of these folks were probably new arrivals from suburbs and cities. Or perhaps returning from suburbs and cities. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 263 | Loc. 4137-41  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:17 PM

“And that convinced you to join the darknet? I’d expect the opposite reaction.” “If this new network is going to have a future, it can’t be ruled by bloodthirsty sociopaths like Loki. And there was another person on that task force—a man they call The Major—who made me realize the existing order is even worse.” Sebeck nodded. “I’ve heard of The Major. Hell, people are looking all over for that guy. He’s the one who shot Roy Merritt—the Burning Man.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 264 | Loc. 4144-48  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:17 PM

“Here’s what I’m worried about, Pete: the darknet is an encrypted wireless mesh network—constantly changing—but it’s got to have some elements that tie it together, and I’m worried that some very advanced minds are working on a means to hack into the Daemon and take control of it.” “You think that’s possible?” He nodded. “This new spring of freedom might be short-lived if that’s the case. And I’ve lived through false springs before.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 264 | Loc. 4149-57  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:18 PM

“So this Major guy is . . .” “Part of a financial system that rules behind the scenes. They seem to know the global economy is faltering, and they view the Daemon as a way to retain control. Darknet news feeds are recording a rise in violent repression around the world—focused on resilient darknet communities. They don’t want people to be like this. . . .” He gestured to the town. “You mean self-reliant.” “Exactly. Democracy is a rare thing, Pete. You hear how democracies are all over the place, but it isn’t really true. They call it democracy. They use the vocabulary, the props, but it’s theater. What your Founding Fathers did was the real thing. But the problem with democracies is they’re hard to maintain. Especially in the face of high technology. How do you preserve your freedom when the powerful can use software bots to detect dissent and deploy drone aircraft to take out troublemakers? Human beings are increasingly unnecessary to wield power in the modern world.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 265 | Loc. 4160-64  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:18 PM

“See, in medieval Europe a mounted knight in armor could defeat almost any number of peasants.” He jabbed a fork in Ross’s direction. “The modern elite warrior is much the same—they can mow down mass conscripted armies with superior technology. So what happens when small elite forces can overwhelm citizen forces of almost any size? We return to feudalism—landless serfs and a permanent ruling class. Just look at the fortified upscale neighborhoods now being built with their own private security forces. It’s neofeudalism, man.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 265 | Loc. 4166-69  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:18 PM

“Democracy requires active participation, and sooner or later someone ‘offers’ to take all the difficult decision-making away from you and your hectic life. But the darknet throws those decisions back onto you. It hard-codes democracy into the DNA of civilization. You upvote and downvote many times a day on things that directly affect your life and the lives of people around you—not just once every few years on things you haven’t got a chance in hell of affecting.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 265 | Loc. 4172-75  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:19 PM

“Can you name anything else that’s as battle tested? It’s been attacked nine ways to Sunday by every leet hacker on the planet. Sobol basically used an army of teen gamers to beta test the operating system for a new civilization. I guess all those hours gaming weren’t a waste of time, after all.” Price laughed. “Right on, man.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 266 | Loc. 4178-83  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:20 PM

“I’ve been noticing this. Dial it back to look at the global distribution of darknet power.” Ross did so, and Sebeck already knew what he was seeing; the Scale of Themis had moved dramatically to the right—nearly three-quarters of the way. It meant that darknet power in much of the world was concentrated in relatively few hands. “Is this really an improvement over what we have now? You’ll find the reputation ranking per level is below average also—two stars out of five. So there’s a concentration of power among people of questionable character.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 268 | Loc. 4212-18  | Added on Saturday, September 17, 2016, 08:21 PM

Ross pondered the question. “This Thread has been leading you to events—not places? Correct?” “Yeah. For the last seven months Price and I have found ourselves at the center of just about every major change now under way. I’ve seen the rise of the new power infrastructure, the new economy, the new fMRI legal system—you name it. That’s how my reputation grew so fast. We just always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.” “Well, then we do know one thing.” “What’s that?” “Something big is about to happen in Greeley.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 287 | Loc. 4516-21  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 02:45 AM

To the uninitiated it no doubt seemed odd to hear a colonel giving deference to a major—but The Major’s nom de guerre was just that. He had long ago outstripped his last formal rank. “Your undergarments are showing, sir.” He pointed. The Major glanced back into the cargo hold at the closest of ten identical pallets covered in green canvas tarps. A corner clasp had broken during landing, revealing the bricks of twenty-dollar bills beneath, wrapped in cellophane. One hundred and eighty million dollars a pallet—one point eight billion dollars in all. The Major nodded. “Get some forklifts out here.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 293 | Loc. 4605-9  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 02:50 AM

The Major sat down on the edge of the desk. “Rules of Engagement for darknet communities are as follows: kill everyone you find, burn every structure, and destroy every vehicle. Without exception. The knowledge and equipment that makes these communities work must be eradicated. The cultural memory that they ever existed must be erased. Is that understood?” The Colonel nodded, poker-faced. “Yes, sir.” “Don’t forget storm cellars and culverts. Any hiding place.” The Colonel nodded solemnly. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 294 | Loc. 4626-34  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 02:53 AM

The Australian talked with passionate intensity. “When the Daemon infected our networks, I saw it for what it was, yes? A bloody opportunity.” Sebeck raised his eyebrows. “Even though it was stealing from you?” “Stealing? Yes, but it was a wake-up call, too. It changed the game for everyone, didn’t it? Not just me. I realized I couldn’t have long supply chains. It would punish me—and my competitors—for doing that. That’s a level playing field. The Destroy function it installed in our network is like a hand grenade pin that anyone can pull—a ticking clock forcing us to migrate to a more sustainable, less complex system. And besides . . .” He gestured to the machines around them. “This is the future. It makes no bloody sense to transport parts thousands of miles. Creating them to-order like this from raw materials—metal powders or Arboform granules—that’s the market, mate. There are other machines that can produce circuitry from printed, flexible material. It’s a bloody third Industrial Revolution, isn’t it?” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 347 | Loc. 5494-98  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 03:37 AM

Philips looked back up at the cable news playing on the television. Now in addition to the fighting in the Midwest, a series of major Internet outages had begun to “grip the nation”—or so the media claimed. It was being blamed on sabotage. On domestic “terrorists” blowing up critical fiber-optic lines at vulnerable junctions. The very things they were doing to stifle dissent were being used as the justification for making draconian measures permanent. And everywhere was video of smartly attired private security forces rushing to rescue besieged towns, to restore service. How was it possible that they could do all this? How could they possibly get away with it? 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 370 | Loc. 5878-86  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 03:55 AM

Connelly kept his eyes on the screen. The world lay before him. “On my mark.” “Standing by.” “Commence Operation Exorcist.” “Commencing Operation Exorcist.” It was a facet of the modern world that the most important events now occurred unseen by human eyes. They were electronic bits being flipped from one value to another. Connelly knew that somewhere in this command center one of the network analysts was now, with a single keystroke, destroying the data of almost 80 percent of the world’s most powerful corporations. It was a command script that sequentially invoked the Daemon’s Destroy function using as a parameter the local tax ID of thousands of Daemon-infected corporations throughout the world. The net effect was that they were using the Daemon’s own followers to destroy that data along with the backups. Sobol had warned his Daemon would do this if they tried to retake control. But why wait for the Daemon? 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 371 | Loc. 5889-92  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 03:56 AM

Why not be the first? That’s what finally convinced Connelly to join this effort. Nuclear war was unthinkable—but all-out cyber war was not. They could finally unify the world under a single all-encompassing economic power. One that could achieve miraculous things. Countries didn’t matter anymore. The world was just a big market. It needed to be unified. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 371 | Loc. 5892-99  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 03:56 AM

At the same moment Weyburn Labs was invoking the destruction of vast amounts of corporate data, they were also running a second script—one that invoked the Destroy function with a malformed parameter. It was all Latin to Connelly, but the big brains in Weyburn Labs had come up with a way to overstuff the Destroy function somehow, putting it into an infinite loop that would prevent it from destroying data, even if Daemon operatives somewhere in the data center tried to invoke it later manually. This malformed command would make these companies—and these companies alone—immune to the Daemon’s wrath. And it was these companies in which they had invested their wealth. It was a mix of corporations that would give them control of nearly every productive commercial activity and the right to rule since they alone had been smart enough to survive “Cybergeddon.” There would be a period of civil chaos in most countries, but they’d already taken steps to physically secure their facilities. 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 376 | Loc. 5983-88  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 04:03 AM

“The blackout isn’t meant to cripple the Daemon, General. We already eliminated it as a threat with the Destroy function calls. No, the blackout is a psyops action. It’s a demarcation between the old order and the new one for the general public. People need to be shocked into accepting their new situation. Revealing just how vulnerable they all are accomplishes that. They will seek protection.” “But three days without power?” “Our social psychologists told us the panic should make people eager for strong leadership.” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 382 | Loc. 6072-74  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 04:07 AM

The cavorting corporate Muzak returned, along with manic studio audience applause. Sobol waved. “Thanks for invoking this event, and remember, if you’re not playing the game, it’s playing you. Bye-bye now!” 
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Freedom (TM) (Daemon Book 2) (Daniel Suarez)
- Highlight on Page 395 | Loc. 6284-91  | Added on Sunday, September 18, 2016, 04:17 AM

Sobol gazed directly at Sebeck’s eyes. “When I realized what our world had become, how humanity had become cogs in its own machine, I resolved to do something terrible . . . perhaps one of the worse things ever done. To exploit the automation of our world in order to plant the seed of a new system is reckless and irresponsible. But I didn’t see any other way we would change. Or could change. “But now that humans have accomplished this quest, and you have arrived to tell me of their success, the question I need to ask you is this: was I right or wrong, Sergeant? Should I destroy the Daemon? Should I undo everything I’ve done? Yes, or no?” Sebeck felt the shock work through him. He was speechless. “You of all people would know, Sergeant. Should the Daemon be ended? Yes, or no? I will wait for your answer.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 8 | Loc. 205-6  | Added on Monday, September 19, 2016, 05:29 AM

Basically they were just assholes, though, and took it as the measure of God’s satisfaction with them that everybody else thought they were assholes. For 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 9 | Loc. 222-23  | Added on Monday, September 19, 2016, 05:31 AM

Camera down giving her the white rectangle of the van, shrinking in the street below. Camera up, the building towered away forever, a cliff the size of the world. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 12 | Loc. 251-53  | Added on Monday, September 19, 2016, 05:35 AM

Her head was perfectly still, eyes unblinking. He imagined her ego swimming up behind them, to peer at him suspiciously, something eel-like, larval, transparently boned. He had its full attention. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 42 | Loc. 612-14  | Added on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 01:09 PM

Something she’d gotten from Burton and the Corps, that you didn’t do things in the clothes you sat around in. You got yourself squared away, then your intent did too. When she’d been Dwight’s recon point, she’d made sure she got cleaned up. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 103 | Loc. 1380-83  | Added on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 02:31 PM

“But why do you?” she asked, as Ossian poured her tea. “Call them that. It sounds short. Nasty. Brutish. Wouldn’t one expect the fork’s new branch to continue to grow?” “We do,” said Lev, “assume exactly that. Actually I’m not sure why enthusiasts settled on that expression.” “Imperialism,” said Ash. “We’re third-worlding alternate continua. Calling them stubs makes that a bit easier.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 144 | Loc. 1868-72  | Added on Saturday, September 24, 2016, 03:28 AM

“Indeed,” said Lowbeer. “The use of explosives is unusual, and we prefer to keep it so. Too much like asymmetric warfare.” “Terrorism,” said the rental. “We prefer not to use that term,” said Lowbeer, studying her candle flame with something that looked to Netherton to be regret, “if only because terror should remain the sole prerogative of the state.” She looked up at him. “Someone has made an attempt on your life. It may also have been intended to intimidate any associates who might survive you.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 265 | Loc. 3323-25  | Added on Sunday, September 25, 2016, 03:38 PM

“Flynne’s brother arrived,” he said, “unexpectedly.” “He was rigorously selected by the military,” she said, “for an unusual integration of objective calculation and sheer impulsivity.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 271 | Loc. 3405-8  | Added on Sunday, September 25, 2016, 05:57 PM

“Markets are full of predatory trading algorithms. They’ve evolved to hunt in packs. Ash has people with the tools to turn those packs to Coldiron’s advantage, nobody the wiser. But whoever else is up there, with their own backdoor to now, they’ve got the same tools, or near enough.” “So what’s it mean?” “I think it’s like an invisible two-party world war, but economic. So far, anyway.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 282 | Loc. 3534-36  | Added on Sunday, September 25, 2016, 06:08 PM

“I personally recall that world, which you can only imagine was preferable to this one,” she said. “Eras are conveniences, particularly for those who never experienced them. We carve history from totalities beyond our grasp. Bolt labels on the result. Handles. Then speak of the handles as though they were things in themselves.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 283 | Loc. 3550  | Added on Sunday, September 25, 2016, 06:09 PM

If you fancy resenting the tedious, I recommend intentional communities, particularly those led by charismatics.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 319 | Loc. 3990-95  | Added on Sunday, September 25, 2016, 11:39 PM

and he’d started to explain what he called the jackpot. And first of all that it was no one thing. That it was multicausal, with no particular beginning and no end. More a climate than an event, so not the way apocalypse stories liked to have a big event, after which everybody ran around with guns, looking like Burton and his posse, or else were eaten alive by something caused by the big event. Not like that. It was androgenic, he said, and she knew from Ciencia Loca and National Geographic that that meant because of people. Not that they’d known what they were doing, had meant to make problems, but they’d caused it anyway. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 321 | Loc. 4010-15  | Added on Sunday, September 25, 2016, 11:41 PM

No comets crashing, nothing you could really call a nuclear war. Just everything else, tangled in the changing climate: droughts, water shortages, crop failures, honeybees gone like they almost were now, collapse of other keystone species, every last alpha predator gone, antibiotics doing even less than they already did, diseases that were never quite the one big pandemic but big enough to be historic events in themselves. And all of it around people: how people were, how many of them there were, how they’d changed things just by being there. The shadows on the lawn were black holes, bottomless, or like velvet had been spread, perfectly flat. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 321 | Loc. 4015-22  | Added on Sunday, September 25, 2016, 11:42 PM

But science, he said, had been the wild card, the twist. With everything stumbling deeper into a ditch of shit, history itself become a slaughterhouse, science had started popping. Not all at once, no one big heroic thing, but there were cleaner, cheaper energy sources, more effective ways to get carbon out of the air, new drugs that did what antibiotics had done before, nanotechnology that was more than just car paint that healed itself or camo crawling on a ball cap. Ways to print food that required much less in the way of actual food to begin with. So everything, however deeply fucked in general, was lit increasingly by the new, by things that made people blink and sit up, but then the rest of it would just go on, deeper into the ditch. A progress accompanied by constant violence, he said, by sufferings unimaginable. She felt him stretch past that, to the future where he lived, then pull himself there, quick, unwilling to describe the worst of what had happened, would happen. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 321 | Loc. 4023-27  | Added on Sunday, September 25, 2016, 11:42 PM

None of that, he said, had necessarily been as bad for very rich people. The richest had gotten richer, there being fewer to own whatever there was. Constant crisis had provided constant opportunity. That was where his world had come from, he said. At the deepest point of everything going to shit, population radically reduced, the survivors saw less carbon being dumped into the system, with what was still being produced eaten by these towers they’d built, which was the other thing the one she’d patrolled was there for, not just housing rich folks. And seeing that, for them, the survivors, was like seeing the bullet dodged. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 322 | Loc. 4029-37  | Added on Sunday, September 25, 2016, 11:43 PM

“What about China?” The Wheelie Boy’s tablet creaked faintly, raising the angle of its camera. “They’d had a head start,” he said. “At what?” “At how the world would work, after the jackpot. This,” and the tablet creaked again, surveying her mother’s lawn, “is still ostensibly a democracy. A majority of empowered survivors, considering the jackpot, and no doubt their own positions, wanted none of that. Blamed it, in fact.” “Who runs it, then?” “Oligarchs, corporations, neomonarchists. Hereditary monarchies provided conveniently familiar armatures. Essentially feudal, according to its critics. Such as they are.” “The King of England?” “The City of London,” he said. “The Guilds of the City. In alliance with people like Lev’s father. Enabled by people like Lowbeer.” “The whole world’s funny?” She remembered Lowbeer saying that. “The klept,” he said, misunderstanding her, “isn’t funny at all.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 324 | Loc. 4060-62  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 10:05 AM

He remembered Flynne’s face, luminous in the moonlight, stricken. He hadn’t liked having to tell her about the jackpot. He disliked the narrative aspects of history, particularly that part of it. People were so boringly deformed by it, like Ash, or else, like Lev, scarcely aware of it. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 325 | Loc. 4077-85  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 10:09 AM

“Recognize this?” asked Lowbeer, indicating the tray. “No,” he said. He saw the words CLANTON BICENTENNIAL in a clumsy font, a pair of years two centuries apart, small drawings or vignettes, the printing faded, worn. “Your peripheral happened to record one of these in her house,” Lowbeer said. “We compared the various objects there to the catalogs of Clovis’s cooperative of dealers. This one was under Ladbroke Grove. Assemblers brought it up.” “Just now?” “While you were out.” “I don’t recognize it.” He vaguely knew that former tube tunnels in the vicinity were packed with artifacts, the combined stock of many dealers, minutely cataloged and instantly accessible to assemblers. It struck him as sad, somehow, that this thing had been down there, just moments before. He hoped it wasn’t literally the one from Flynne’s house. “Hers was on a mantelpiece,” Lowbeer said, “pride of place.” “Been to Clanton,” said Mrs. Fearing. “Shot a man there. Lounge of the Ramada Inn. In the ankle. I was always a decent shot, at the range, but it’s how you do when you aren’t that counts.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 327 | Loc. 4098-4101  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 10:10 AM

I must have you and Flynne ready for Daedra’s party, Tuesday evening.” “You had so little time with her, back there,” Netherton said. “I thought you needed information.” “I do,” she said, “but she’ll need time to retrieve and decrypt it. It’s nothing she literally remembers.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 327 | Loc. 4105-7  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 10:11 AM

“No. Not that it can’t be done, of course, though our connection in the stub is slightly makeshift, perhaps not entirely up to it. I’ve seldom found the results particularly useful, myself, as thematically interesting as primary oneirics can be. Though mainly in how visually banal they generally are, as opposed to the considerable glamor we all seem to imagine they had, as we remember them.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 329 | Loc. 4121-22  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 10:36 AM

“No sense in that.” “Conspiracy theory’s got to be simple. Sense doesn’t come into it. People are more scared of how complicated shit actually is than they ever are about whatever’s supposed to be behind the conspiracy.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 331 | Loc. 4148-51  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 10:40 AM

They just told us he’ll be back soon. Then he gets to meet his hot nurse.” “What hot nurse?” “Griff sent her,” said Janice. “Nurse,” said Carlos, “my ass.” “Carlos thinks she’s an operator,” Macon said. “She says she’s a paramedic. No reason she can’t be both.” “Stone killer,” said Carlos, like that might be his favorite flavor of pie. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 334 | Loc. 4200-4202  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 10:45 AM

“You quit being so whiny-assed special,” Clovis advised Conner, having stepped closer to his bed, “like every other butt-hurt Haptic Recon pussy it’s been my misfortune to meet, and maybe I’ll get you a nice cup of coffee.” Conner looked up at her like he’d discovered a kindred spirit. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 341 | Loc. 4288-90  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 11:38 AM

Why they call it that, anyway, Luke 4:5?” “’Cause that’s one spooky-ass Bible verse, probably.” “It’s a white people thing, Luke 4:5? Never paid ’em any attention.” “‘And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.’” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 384 | Loc. 4808-9  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 10:20 PM

“Who thought that thing up?” asked the peripheral, now very clearly Flynne’s brother’s friend, Conner, lounging against the jamb in a way Pavel would never have done. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 414 | Loc. 5154-55  | Added on Monday, September 26, 2016, 11:52 PM

But she still didn’t get what the United States did either, in Wilf’s world. He made it sound like the nation-state equivalent of Conner, minus the sense of humor, but she supposed that might not be so far off, even today. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 419 | Loc. 5214-17  | Added on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 12:00 AM

“we think we’ve solved the problem of Flynne’s lacking the gift of neoprimitivist curatorial gab.” “How is that?” Netherton asked. “I suppose you could call it fecal transplant therapy.” “Really?” Netherton looked at her. “A synthetic bullshit implant,” Ash said, and smiled. “A procedure I don’t imagine you’ll ever be in need of.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 422 | Loc. 5255-59  | Added on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 12:05 AM

I’m unable to act on most of them, else I attract too much attention, become suspect myself. But possession of that information has already had a very beneficial effect on my career.” “When was this?” “Thursday,” he said. “It hasn’t been very long.” “I’ve barely slept. But it was nothing professional that convinced me. It was that she knew me as no one else could. Thoughts and feelings I’ve had constantly, all my life, but had never expressed, not to anyone.” He looked away, then back, shyly. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 443 | Loc. 5500-5502  | Added on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 10:51 AM

“Lowbeer says say hello,” she said to Burton. “She’s glad you can come with us. So am I.” “Cross between a trunk monkey and a fancy jack,” said his infomercial voice. “What I joined the Marines for.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 444 | Loc. 5509-10  | Added on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 10:52 AM

The hood was only fractionally longer than the rear deck, both of which could easily be imagined as tennis courts for the use of rather large homunculi. It had no rear window whatever, which gave him the sense that it had turned up its collar. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Bookmark on Page 470 | Loc. 5825  | Added on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 01:59 PM


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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 470 | Loc. 5825-28  | Added on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 01:59 PM

“Hey, Henry,” said a smoothly upbeat male voice, from the head of the stairwell, “sorry I broke your car.” The exoskeleton stepped through the arch, the homunculus on its massive shoulders, under the bell jar. It stopped, seemed to look at the man in the hat, except it didn’t have any eyes you could see. “Red,” said the man, softly. “Sorry I killed your driver and your security detail,” said the infomercial voice, like it was apologizing for not having 2-percent milk. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 474 | Loc. 5871-72  | Added on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 02:03 PM

Lowbeer’s sigil appeared. “You did very well, Mr. Netherton,” she said. “I scarcely did anything.” “Opportunities to do very badly were manifold. You avoided them. The major part in any success.” 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 481 | Loc. 5963-70  | Added on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 02:30 PM

She’d told Ainsley, earlier, walking on the Embankment, how she sometimes worried that they weren’t really doing more than just building their own version of the klept. Which Ainsley had said was not just a good thing but an essential thing, for all of them to keep in mind. Because people who couldn’t imagine themselves capable of evil were at a major disadvantage in dealing with people who didn’t need to imagine, because they already were. She’d said it was always a mistake, to believe those people were different, special, infected with something that was inhuman, subhuman, fundamentally other. Which had reminded her of what her mother had said about Corbell Picket. That evil wasn’t glamorous, but just the result of ordinary half-assed badness, high school badness, given enough room, however that might happen, to become its bigger self. Bigger, with more horrible results, but never more than the cumulative weight of ordinary human baseness. 
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The Peripheral (William Gibson)
- Highlight on Page 486 | Loc. 6016-17  | Added on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 10:12 AM

Meredith Yayanos kept a careful eye on Inspector Lowbeer throughout, an acute and articulate tunnel canary amid some issues I know little about. 
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 412 | Loc. 6305-13  | Added on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 10:39 AM

The American 5th Infantry Division, advancing just to the right of Roberts’s division, had begun to be squeezed into a narrower sector when Roberts seized the opportunity offered by the capture of ‘Dickie’s bridge’. Like the British, they too had encountered difficult hilly country and woods. It was a curious advance, with bouts of intense fighting, then moments of uneasy calm. The commander of one company described a strange experience as they advanced along a forest track. ‘The woods seemed to cast an eerie spell over us as though we were the subjects of a fairy enchantment,’ he wrote. He and his men suddenly heard a soft, gentle clapping. ‘As we came closer we could see the shadowy forms of French men and women and children, lining the roadway, not talking, some crying softly, but most just gently clapping, extending for several hundred feet on both sides of the road. A little girl came alongside me. She was blonde, pretty and maybe all of five years old. She trustingly put her hand in mine and walked a short way with me, then stopped and waved until we were out of sight.’ Even fifty years later he could still hear the sound of soft clapping in a wood.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 413 | Loc. 6330-32  | Added on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 10:41 AM

Only a handful of experienced men were left in each platoon. The rest were all replacements. The padres were among the hardest-worked, evacuating the wounded and carrying out brief funeral services during the hours of darkness. ‘I could not help thinking of the line of poetry from the Burial of Sir John Moore,’ wrote the chaplain with the 4th Dorsets. “‘We buried him darkly, at the dead of night”.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 414 | Loc. 6339-44  | Added on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 10:42 AM

Stanley Christopherson, commanding the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, was well aware of the strain on his men. ‘To be the leading tank of the leading troop of the leading squadron of the leading regiment of the leading brigade, with an axis of advance along a narrow lane leading into a village known to be held by enemy armour and infantry was then, as at all times, a most unattractive position. It almost invariably resulted in your tank being brewed up by an anti-tank gun or enemy tank which had seen you first. It must have been equally unpleasant for the leading infantry, but they could at least dive into a ditch and make themselves small, but not even the Almighty could diminish the size of a Sherman tank waddling down a narrow lane.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 416 | Loc. 6376-79  | Added on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 10:45 AM

‘Apart from the church spire and three shells of houses it is razed to the ground,’ a cavalry officer noted in his diary. An artillery officer was appalled by his own part in it. ‘You really had to disassociate yourself from that because there was no way you could carry out your military duties,’ he observed later. ‘The only thing you could do was to shell and hope to God the French had gone away.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 441 | Loc. 6762-70  | Added on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 10:04 PM

The frenzy of the fighting is indicated by this extraordinary report from the 12th Infantry. Private Burik of E Company, 2nd Battalion, heard a tank approaching from the north. ‘The tank he could see was coming down the road toward the orchard. Grabbing his bazooka he loaded it and stepped out onto the road. On his first attempt to fire the bazooka it did not go off. He found that the safety was stuck. While the tank continued to approach him, [Burik] released the safety and fired point-blank at the tank.’ The tank then fired directly at him, knocking him down and seriously injuring him. He arose, loaded the bazooka, took direct aim and fired again. The tank fired another round, knocking him down again. ‘Dragging himself up to a firing position, [Burik] loaded the bazooka a third time and from his shaky position fired at the tank. Jerry had had too much and withdrew up the hill. [Burik] with utter disregard for his own safety then tried to push another injured soldier into a foxhole.’ Burik turned and called for more bazooka ammunition, then fell unconscious along the side of the road. Later he died from his wounds.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 442 | Loc. 6774-83  | Added on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 10:05 PM

There was a particular hedgerow which the Shermans had to break through to continue the advance. After a ‘rhino’ tank made an opening, Lieutenant Wray, who had acknowledged that it was a suicide mission, led the charge through the gap. As his Sherman broke out into a wheatfield, a concealed German Panther scored a direct hit. Several of the crew died instantly. Wray himself jumped from the blazing tank, his body badly burned. He fell to his hands and knees, while the supporting infantry platoon, commanded by Lieutenant Edward Arn, watched in horror. ‘Then he pulled himself to his feet,’ Arn recounted, ‘and started back towards the hedgerow he had just busted through. It seemed as if he remembered something because he went back to the tank. He helped get another man out and they both started to run, but the Jerries cut them down with a burst of machinegun fire.’ Arn’s platoon had pulled back into the nearest hedgerow, but to their surprise they were able to exact a rapid revenge. A group of Germans walked up to inspect Wray’s burning tank. ‘They came out in a little bunch and stood around it,’ said Arn. ‘Curiosity, I guess.’ Arn and his men ‘mowed them down’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 445 | Loc. 6818-22  | Added on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 10:09 PM

The withdrawal did not escape the attention of Lieutenant Weiss up on the Rochers de Montjoie. He called down fire on the troops and vehicles heading east and soon five artillery battalions were bombarding their exit. The ‘Lost Battalion’ was finally relieved. Trucks with food and medical supplies followed the troops as they trudged up the hill. The 2nd Battalion of the 120th Infantry on Hill 314 had suffered nearly 300 casualties out of 700 men. The battalion received a presidential citation for its outstanding resilience and bravery. Its heroic defence had been an essential element in the victory.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 452 | Loc. 6916-20  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 10:33 AM

Meyer watched Wittmann’s Tigers roll forwards as fast as they could go towards Saint-Aignan, even though the Allied artillery had begun its bombardment. Waldmüller’s panzergrenadiers followed rapidly in their half-tracks. A machine-gunner yelled to Meyer, pointing to the north. The American bombing force was approaching. Meyer claims that one of his young SS soldiers, a Berliner, called out, ‘What an honour! Churchill is sending one bomber for each of us!’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 453 | Loc. 6933-35  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 10:36 AM

The Sherman tank crews from the Northants Yeomanry could hardly believe that they had managed to knock out three Tigers for no losses.62 But there was no time for jubilation. Mark IV tanks and panzergrenadiers from Kampfgruppe Waldmüller could be seen advancing through the cornfields ahead.  
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 453 | Loc. 6943-48  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 10:38 AM

The Canadian and Polish troops which found themselves under attack from their own side rapidly threw yellow smoke grenades to mark their positions. But due to an appalling case of bad liaison between ground and air forces, the Americans were using yellow markers for their bombing. As a result, 315 Canadians and Poles were killed or wounded. The Poles, with considerable self-restraint, described the incident as ‘unfortunate support given by own aircraft’. But the blow to morale and the confusion were to slow the second phase of Simonds’s offensive, with fatal effect. The bombing itself had achieved nothing save to handicap the subsequent advance.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 458 | Loc. 7012-21  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 10:52 AM

The United States Army was the most mechanized force that the world had ever seen, but that brought its own problems. A single tank on average consumed 8,000 gallons of fuel a week. The 3rd Armored Division estimated that just following the road, the division required 60,000 gallons a day. If the division had to go across country, the figure soared. (One 3rd Armored quartermaster calculated 125,000 gallons for the whole division to move 100 yards.) On top of the fuel, an armoured division required thirty-five tons of rations per day for 21,000 men, including all those attached to it, and, depending on the intensity of the fighting, a far greater tonnage of ammunition. The Americans met the challenge with ruthless prioritization. ‘Supply trains’ with fuel and oil received absolute priority. Each M-25 transporter carried 16,000 gallons. They even used ammunition trucks from the artillery to haul more gasoline. Military police and Piper Cubs were employed to monitor the progress of every convoy, and engineers worked round the clock to improve roads and bridges. At Le Mans, they built the biggest Bailey bridge so far in France and called it ‘Miss America’. It was hardly surprising that the Germans were enviously amazed by what they called ‘a rich man’s war’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 462 | Loc. 7079-82  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 11:04 AM

Leclerc’s division continued that day to clear the Forêt d’Ecouves, nearly capturing General von Lüttwitz in the process. One detachment came across two ‘badly disguised’ civilians pushing a cart. On the cart were two sacks filled with their Wehrmacht uniforms. The French soldiers roared with laughter at their prisoners, who seemed to be relieved that the battle was over for them. ‘Guerre kaputt!’ they said.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 463 | Loc. 7086-89  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 11:05 AM

A deadly game of hide-and-seek developed in this forested area, with neither side clear where the enemy was. American recce groups would take up ambush positions round a crossroads and wait to see what turned up. On one occasion, a senior German officer who was clearly lost halted his staff car and climbed out with his map to study a signpost. The ambushers took great pleasure in making him jump by blowing up his staff car just behind him.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 467 | Loc. 7155-58  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:00 PM

Bombers were also used, despite the mishaps during Totalize. This time most of the medium bomber force of 811 aircraft were accurate, although seventy-seven of them dropped their loads on Canadian and Polish troops to the rear, causing 391 casualties.Unbelievably, the same mistake was made of using yellow target markers from the air and yellow smoke grenades on the ground to identify their own troops.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 468 | Loc. 7165-70  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:02 PM

‘The fighting morale of the German troops had cracked,’ wrote Eberbach. ‘They were not just exhausted and weak from hunger. The propaganda promises had all proved false - the invincibility of the Atlantic Wall, the V weapons which would bring Britain to its knees, and the talk of new aircraft and submarines which assured final victory.’ Eberbach became aware of machine guns being thrown away and tanks being abandoned without cause, or even without being blown up. ‘Stragglers without arms were numerous. “Catch lines” to the rear of the front had to be inaugurated [to seize deserters and those fleeing without authorization]. Even the SS was no exception to this rule. The 1st SS Panzer-Division had never before fought so miserably as at that time.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 469 | Loc. 7181-83  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:04 PM

The unshaven tank crews of the Third Army had become heroes to the supply troops and others in the rear. ‘A few of the enlisted men even tried to raise beards emulating the combat outfits,’ wrote a doctor with the 2nd Evacuation Hospital, ‘but our commanding officer soon put a stop to that.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 469 | Loc. 7183-85  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:04 PM

Some people became too carried away by the air of excitement at the apparently unstoppable advance. An American war correspondent, determined to beat his rivals, turned up in Chartres so as to witness the capture of the city. Unfortunately, he was two days early. The German 6th Security Regiment promptly took him prisoner.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 470 | Loc. 7202-7  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:06 PM

The invasion of southern France, Operation Anvil, had been key to American planning ever since August 1943. Churchill had fought the idea with relentless obstinacy. He did not want to divert troops from the Italian front, mainly because he dreamed of invading Austria and the Balkans to prevent a post-war Soviet frontier running all the way down to the Adriatic. President Roosevelt, irritated by what he saw as Churchill’s excessive mistrust of Stalin, outmanoeuvred the British at the Teheran Conference in November 1943. Without warning Churchill, he told Stalin about the plan to invade southern France as well as Normandy. The British were appalled. Stalin approved the idea immediately. He even said that the Swiss were ‘swine’, and suggested that they ‘invade the country on [their] way up the Rhône valley’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 471 | Loc. 7209-12  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:07 PM

To the exasperation of Roosevelt, Marshall and Eisenhower, the British never stopped trying to divert Anvil, renamed Operation Dragoon, away from southern France. The heated arguments did more to strain the Anglo-American relationship than almost any other disagreement on strategy. Eisenhower also believed that Dragoon, making use of French divisions from Italy and North Africa, would justify the huge American investment and also bring the French in as partners.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 471 | Loc. 7217-23  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:08 PM

Events proved the Americans resoundingly right. The landings of 151,000 Allied troops along the Côte d’Azur from Nice to Marseilles were practically unopposed, the major port of Marseilles was secured and the invasion provoked a rapid German withdrawal from central and south-western France. Even Hitler was forced to recognize the necessity, wrote General Warlimont, ‘especially when the first paratroop and airborne operations proved immediately successful. This was the only occasion I can recall when Hitler did not hesitate too long before deciding to evacuate territory.’ But the sudden German retreat produced a savage cycle of violence in France. The Resistance, scenting victory, increased its attacks, and the Germans, especially the SS, responded with cruel and indiscriminate reprisals. Security police and the Gestapo in many places massacred their prisoners before pulling out.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 472 | Loc. 7231-38  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:10 PM

The reprisals were barbaric, as the British official history of SOE in France recorded: ‘One woman was raped by seventeen men in succession while a German doctor held her pulse, ready to stop the soldiers when she fainted. Another was eviscerated and left to die with her guts round her neck.’ The Resistance targeted the Gestapo and SS wherever they could. On 6 August, Sturmbannführer Ludwig Kepplinger of the 17th SS Panzergrenadier-Division was ambushed at Villiers-Charlemagne, south of Laval. The next day, the head of the Gestapo in Châteauroux was gunned down. On the evening of 10 August, German authorities announced that ‘128 terrorists were eliminated in fighting on French territory’ that day. Three days later at Tourouvre in the Orne, eighteen men were executed and the main street was set on fire, almost certainly by members of the Hitler Jugend. The artillery regiment of the Hitler Jugend Division issued an order stating that ‘reprisals cannot be harsh enough’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 473 | Loc. 7238-40  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:10 PM

The massacres continued until almost the end of August, even after any hope of holding on to France had gone. Only a savage bitterness remained. In Buchères near Troyes (Aube), an SS uni tkilled sixty-eight civilians, including women, children and infants.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 474 | Loc. 7266-68  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:23 PM

‘In the face of these barbarous acts, the whole region trembles. The peasants hide in the woods and scouts signal the arrival of any German vehicles. The country experiences at one and the same time the violence of the enemy, of the Maquis, and of the Milice. There is no longer any legal authority.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 475 | Loc. 7269-71  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:23 PM

There was much to avenge, but the moral outrage of vengeance also concealed a degree of political and personal opportunism. Some private scores were settled and rivals for post-war power done away with. Resistance groups killed some 6,000 people before the German withdrawal. Then, in what became known as the épuration sauvage, or ‘unofficial purges’, at least 14,000 more were killed.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 475 | Loc. 7271-73  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:23 PM

A few British and American troops also killed French collaborators, but most preferred to look away, feeling that, having not experienced German occupation, they were in no position to judge. Perhaps the most shocking statistic is that in Brittany a third of those killed were women.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 475 | Loc. 7276-78  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:24 PM

Many more were young mothers whose husbands were in German prisoner of war camps. They often had no means of support, and their only hope of obtaining food for themselves and their children in the hunger years had been to accept a liaison with a German soldier.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 475 | Loc. 7281-85  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:25 PM

In Bayeux, Churchill’s private secretary, Jock Colville, recorded his reactions to one such scene: ‘I watched an open lorry drive past, to the accompaniment of boos and cat-calls from the French populace, with a dozen miserable women in the back, every hair on their heads shaved off. They were in tears, hanging their heads in shame. While disgusted by this cruelty, I reflected that we British had known no invasion or occupation for some nine hundred years. So we were not the best judges.’ The American historian Forrest Pogue observed of the victims that ‘their look, in the hands of their tormentors, was that of a hunted animal’.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 476 | Loc. 7291-94  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:25 PM

Elsewhere some men who had volunteered to work in German factories had their heads shaved, but that was an exception. Women almost always were the first targets. It was jealousy masquerading as moral outrage. The jealousy was mainly provoked by the food they had received as a result of their conduct.68
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Bookmark on Page 476 | Loc. 7293  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:26 PM


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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 476 | Loc. 7291-95  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:26 PM

Elsewhere some men who had volunteered to work in German factories had their heads shaved, but that was an exception. Women almost always were the first targets. It was jealousy masquerading as moral outrage. The jealousy was mainly provoked by the food they had received as a result of their conduct.68 Quite simply, these young women were the easiest and most vulnerable scapegoats, particularly for men who wished to hide their own lack of Resistance credentials.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 477 | Loc. 7302-3  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:27 PM

Supposedly useful gambits were also provided in the daily lessons published by Stars and Stripes, such as the French for ‘My wife doesn’t understand me.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 477 | Loc. 7306-8  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:27 PM

The French were amused by the Creole accent of Cajuns from Louisiana, but in their turn were taken aback when they found that the Americans ‘clearly considered us to be backward. One of them asked me in English if I had ever seen a cinema.’ She replied that the cinema had been invented in France, and also the motorcar. ‘He was left stunned, and not entirely convinced.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 478 | Loc. 7316-18  | Added on Thursday, September 29, 2016, 05:30 PM

For their own political purposes, they deliberately made no distinction between those people from all classes of society who had supported Marshal Pétain after the débâcle of 1940 and those who had actively helped the Germans.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 481 | Loc. 7361-63  | Added on Friday, September 30, 2016, 04:49 PM

Vehicles were pushed off the road if they broke down and the Feldgendarmerie exerted a strict traffic discipline. Nothing was allowed to slow the withdrawal. Panzer troops aroused anger among the Landser of the infantry by the way they simply drove over corpses, crushing them flat with their tracks.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 484 | Loc. 7419-24  | Added on Friday, September 30, 2016, 05:09 PM

By chance on that same day, Thursday, 17 August, stories of Eisenhower and Bedell Smith’s renewed irritation with Montgomery had filtered back to Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. Sir Alan Lascelles, King George VI’s private secretary, had a long talk with general ‘Pug’ Ismay, Churchill’s military adviser, and recorded his thoughts in his diary: ‘Ismay takes a sane and broad-minded view of the Americans - they have won their spurs, and the days are past when we could treat them as green and untried soldiers; in fact he went so far as to say that we might well have something to learn from them, and that maybe we have been a bit too “staff collegey” in our conduct of the war.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Bookmark on Page 485 | Loc. 7425  | Added on Friday, September 30, 2016, 05:10 PM


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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 485 | Loc. 7426-29  | Added on Friday, September 30, 2016, 05:10 PM

‘Leclerc of the 2nd French Armored Division came in, very much excited,’ Patton wrote in his diary. ‘He said, among other things, that if he were not allowed to advance on Paris, he would resign. I told him in my best French that he was a baby, and I would not have division commanders tell me where they would fight, and that anyway I had left him in the most dangerous place. We parted friends.’
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 485 | Loc. 7434-38  | Added on Friday, September 30, 2016, 05:11 PM

While 16 August had been a great day for Patton, Hitler declared that ‘the 15th August was the worst day of my life’. He had become convinced that Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge was entering into secret negotiations with the Allies in Normandy. ‘Hitler suspected that Field Marshal von Kluge was guilty of such treachery,’ General Warlimont recorded. Hitler already regarded Kluge as an accomplice of the July plotters. Now he had become convinced that the stab-in-the-back of the Second World War was coming not from Jews and revolutionaries, as in 1918, but from the aristocrats of the German general staff.
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D-Day (Antony Beevor)
- Highlight on Page 486 | Loc. 7439-46  | Added on Friday, September 30, 2016, 05:11 PM

Soon after dawn on 15 August, Kluge set off westwards into the Falaise pocket for a meeting with the two army commanders, Generals Hausser and Eberbach. Kluge rode in his Kübelwagen, accompanied by his aide, Oberleutnant Tangermann, another officer on a motorbicycle and a signals vehicle. This small convoy was soon spotted by RAF Typhoons, which swooped into the attack. Their cannon fire destroyed the signals vehicle, seriously wounding its occupants, one of them mortally. The numbers of Allied fighter-bombers overhead made any further movement by road extremely dangerous. Kluge, already in a state of nervous exhaustion, seems to have suffered some sort of breakdown. He was settled in the shade of a tree to rest. One can only speculate about his state of mind, except to say that he found it hard to accept that his name would forever be associated with the collapse of the German armies in the West.
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October

1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2496-99  | Added on Saturday, October 01, 2016, 05:07 PM

The terrible thing that the Party had done was to persuade you that mere impulses, mere feelings, were of no account, while at the same time robbing you of all power over the material world. When once you were in the grip of the Party, what you felt or did not feel, what you did or refrained from doing, made literally no difference. Whatever happened you vanished, and neither you nor your actions were ever heard of again.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2500-2502  | Added on Saturday, October 01, 2016, 05:08 PM

What mattered were individual relationships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself. The proles, it suddenly occurred to him, had remained in this condition. They were not loyal to a party or a country or an idea, they were loyal to one another.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2671-74  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 03:47 AM

Goldstein himself, if he fell into the hands of the Thought Police, could not give them a complete list of members, or any information that would lead them to a complete list. No such list exists. The Brotherhood cannot be wiped out because it is not an organization in the ordinary sense. Nothing holds it together except an idea which is indestructible. You will never have anything to sustain you, except the idea.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2842-46  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 03:59 AM

Secondly, there is no longer, in a material sense, anything to fight about. With the establishment of self-contained economies, in which production and consumption are geared to one another, the scramble for markets which was a main cause of previous wars has come to an end, while the competition for raw materials is no longer a matter of life and death. In any case each of the three super-states is so vast that it can obtain almost all the materials that it needs within its own boundaries. In so far as the war has a direct economic purpose, it is a war for labour power.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2854-57  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 04:01 AM

The inhabitants of these areas, reduced more or less openly to the status of slaves, pass continually from conqueror to conqueror, and are expended like so much coal or oil in the race to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, to control more labour power, to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, and so on indefinitely.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2865-68  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 04:02 AM

The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2871-76  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 04:03 AM

In the early twentieth century, the vision of a future society unbelievably rich, leisured, orderly, and efficient—a glittering antiseptic world of glass and steel and snow-white concrete—was part of the consciousness of nearly every literate person. Science and technology were developing at a prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to assume that they would go on developing. This failed to happen, partly because of the impoverishment caused by a long series of wars and revolutions, partly because scientific and technical progress depended on the empirical habit of thought, which could not survive in a strictly regimented society.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2879-81  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 04:04 AM

From the moment when the machine first made its appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2884-92  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 10:35 AM

But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction—indeed, in some sense was the destruction—of a hierarchical society. In a world in which everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a motor-car or even an aeroplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form of inequality would already have disappeared. If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction. It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2900-2902  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 10:37 AM

The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2902-5  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 10:37 AM

The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2905-8  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 10:37 AM

Even when weapons of war are not actually destroyed, their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labour power without producing anything that can be consumed. A Floating Fortress, for example, has locked up in it the labour that would build several hundred cargo-ships. Ultimately it is scrapped as obsolete, never having brought any material benefit to anybody, and with further enormous labours another Floating Fortress is built.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2910-12  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 10:38 AM

It is deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2915-17  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 10:38 AM

The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where the possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the difference between wealth and poverty. And at the same time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2918-21  | Added on Sunday, October 02, 2016, 10:39 AM

War, it will be seen, accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labour of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 2999-3004  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:16 AM

In past ages, a war, almost by definition, was something that sooner or later came to an end, usually in unmistakable victory or defeat. In the past, also, war was one of the main instruments by which human societies were kept in touch with physical reality. All rulers in all ages have tried to impose a false view of the world upon their followers, but they could not afford to encourage any illusion that tended to impair military efficiency. So long as defeat meant the loss of independence, or some other result generally held to be undesirable, the precautions against defeat had to be serious. Physical facts could not be ignored. In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3016-18  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:17 AM

Cut off from contact with the outer world, and with the past, the citizen of Oceania is like a man in interstellar space, who has no way of knowing which direction is up and which is down. The rulers of such a state are absolute, as the Pharaohs or the Caesars could not be.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3024-27  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:18 AM

War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3029-33  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:19 AM

The effect would be much the same if the three super-states, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This—although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense—is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3094-98  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:22 AM

principal, underlying cause was that, as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, human equality had become technically possible. It was still true that men were not equal in their native talents and that functions had to be specialized in ways that favoured some individuals against others; but there was no longer any real need for class distinctions or for large differences of wealth. In earlier ages, class distinctions had been not only inevitable but desirable. Inequality was the price of civilization. With the development of machine production, however, the case was altered.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3114-17  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:24 AM

What kind of people would control this world had been equally obvious. The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3121-24  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:25 AM

Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3124-26  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:25 AM

Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3131-32  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:26 AM

The so-called “abolition of private property” which took place in the middle years of the century meant, in effect, the concentration of property in far fewer hands than before: but with this difference, that the new owners were a group instead of a mass of individuals.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3139-43  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:27 AM

But the problems of perpetuating a hierarchical society go deeper than this. There are only four ways in which a ruling group can fall from power. Either it is conquered from without, or it governs so inefficiently that the masses are stirred to revolt, or it allows a strong and discontented Middle group to come into being, or it loses its own self-confidence and willingness to govern. These causes do not operate singly, and as a rule all four of them are present in some degree.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3199-3202  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:30 AM

Nothing that he does is indifferent. His friendships, his relaxations, his behaviour towards his wife and children, the expression of his face when he is alone, the words he mutters in sleep, even the characteristic movements of his body, are all jealously scrutinized. Not only any actual misdemeanour, but any eccentricity, however small, any change of habits, any nervous mannerism that could possibly be the symptom of an inner struggle, is certain to be detected. He has no freedom of choice in any direction whatever.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3202-5  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:32 AM

On the other hand his actions are not regulated by law or by any clearly formulated code of behaviour. In Oceania there is no law. Thoughts and actions which, when detected, mean certain death are not formally forbidden, and the endless purges, arrests, tortures, imprisonments, and vaporizations are not inflicted as punishment for crimes which have actually been committed, but are merely the wiping-out of persons who might
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3216-20  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:33 AM

The first and simplest stage in the discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called, in Newspeak, crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3223-28  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:33 AM

The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3240-43  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:35 AM

The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3243-45  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:35 AM

It also follows that though the past is alterable, it never has been altered in any specific instance. For when it has been recreated in whatever shape is needed at the moment, then this new version is the past, and no different past can ever have existed.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3248-54  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:36 AM

To make sure that all written records agree with the orthodoxy of the moment is merely a mechanical act. But it is also necessary to remember that events happened in the desired manner. And if it is necessary to rearrange one’s memories or to tamper with written records, then it is necessary to forget that one has done so. The trick of doing this can be learned like any other mental technique. It is learned by the majority of Party members, and certainly by all who are intelligent as well as orthodox. In Oldspeak it is called, quite frankly, “reality control”. In Newspeak it is called doublethink, though doublethink comprises much else as well.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3255-56  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:36 AM

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3256-58  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:36 AM

The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3261-63  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:37 AM

To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3267-68  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:37 AM

Ultimately it is by means of doublethink that the Party has been able—and may, for all we know, continue to be able for thousands of years—to arrest the course of history.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3311-12  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:38 AM

He had still, he reflected, not learned the ultimate secret. He understood how; he did not understand why.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3358-59  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:41 AM

If there was hope, it lay in the proles! Without having read to the end of the book, he knew that that must be Goldstein’s final message. The future belonged to the proles.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3361-64  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:41 AM

Sooner or later it would happen, strength would change into consciousness. The proles were immortal, you could not doubt it when you looked at that valiant figure in the yard. In the end their awakening would come. And until that happened, though it might be a thousand years, they would stay alive against all the odds, like birds, passing on from body to body the vitality which the Party did not share and could not kill.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3390-95  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:42 AM

“The house is surrounded,” said Winston. “The house is surrounded,” said the voice. He heard Julia snap her teeth together. “I suppose we may as well say good-bye,” she said. “You may as well say good-bye,” said the voice. And then another quite different voice, a thin, cultivated voice which Winston had the impression of having heard before, struck in; “And by the way, while we are on the subject, ‘Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head’!”
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3396-98  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:43 AM

Something crashed on to the bed behind Winston’s back. The head of a ladder had been thrust through the window and had burst in the frame. Someone was climbing through the window. There was a stampede of boots up the stairs. The room was full of solid men in black uniforms, with iron-shod boots on their feet and truncheons in their hands.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 3423-28  | Added on Monday, October 03, 2016, 03:44 AM

Mr Charrington was still wearing his old velvet jacket, but his hair, which had been almost white, had turned black. Also he was not wearing his spectacles. He gave Winston a single sharp glance, as though verifying his identity, and then paid no more attention to him. He was still recognizable, but he was not the same person any longer. His body had straightened, and seemed to have grown bigger. His face had undergone only tiny changes that had nevertheless worked a complete transformation. The black eyebrows were less bushy, the wrinkles were gone, the whole lines of the face seemed to have altered; even the nose seemed shorter. It was the alert, cold face of a man of about five-and-thirty. It occurred to Winston that for the first time in his life he was looking, with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 4279-86  | Added on Thursday, October 06, 2016, 07:57 PM

Anything could be true. The so-called laws of Nature were nonsense. The law of gravity was nonsense. “If I wished,” O’Brien had said, “I could float off this floor like a soap bubble.” Winston worked it out. “If he thinks he floats off the floor, and if I simultaneously think I see him do it, then the thing happens.” Suddenly, like a lump of submerged wreckage breaking the surface of water, the thought burst into his mind: “It doesn’t really happen. We imagine it. It is hallucination.” He pushed the thought under instantly. The fallacy was obvious. It presupposed that somewhere or other, outside oneself, there was a “real” world where “real” things happened. But how could there be such a world? What knowledge have we of anything, save through our own minds? All happenings are in the mind. Whatever happens in all minds, truly happens.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 4511-18  | Added on Thursday, October 06, 2016, 08:11 PM

They did not speak again. She did not actually try to shake him off, but walked at just such a speed as to prevent his keeping abreast of her. He had made up his mind that he would accompany her as far as the Tube station, but suddenly this process of trailing along in the cold seemed pointless and unbearable. He was overwhelmed by a desire not so much to get away from Julia as to get back to the Chestnut Tree Cafe, which had never seemed so attractive as at this moment. He had a nostalgic vision of his corner table, with the newspaper and the chessboard and the ever-flowing gin. Above all, it would be warm in there. The next moment, not altogether by accident, he allowed himself to become separated from her by a small knot of people. He made a half-hearted attempt to catch up, then slowed down, turned, and made off in the opposite direction. When he had gone fifty metres he looked back. The street was not crowded, but already he could not distinguish her. Any one of a dozen hurrying figures might have been hers.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 4527-33  | Added on Thursday, October 06, 2016, 08:12 PM

But it had become the element he swam in. It was his life, his death, and his resurrection. It was gin that sank him into stupor every night, and gin that revived him every morning. When he woke, seldom before eleven hundred, with gummed-up eyelids and fiery mouth and a back that seemed to be broken, it would have been impossible even to rise from the horizontal if it had not been for the bottle and teacup placed beside the bed overnight. Through the midday hours he sat with glazed face, the bottle handy, listening to the telescreen. From fifteen to closing-time he was a fixture in the Chestnut Tree. No one cared what he did any longer, no whistle woke him, no telescreen admonished him. Occasionally, perhaps twice a week, he went to a dusty, forgotten-looking office in the Ministry of Truth and did a little work, or what was called work.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 4538-41  | Added on Thursday, October 06, 2016, 08:13 PM

But there were other days when they settled down to their work almost eagerly, making a tremendous show of entering up their minutes and drafting long memoranda which were never finished—when the argument as to what they were supposedly arguing about grew extraordinarily involved and abstruse, with subtle haggling over definitions, enormous digressions, quarrels—threats, even, to appeal to higher authority. And then suddenly the life would go out of them and they would sit round the table looking at one another with extinct eyes, like ghosts fading at cock-crow.
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1984 (George Orwell)
- Highlight Loc. 4750-56  | Added on Thursday, October 06, 2016, 08:22 PM

In the Ministry of Truth, for example, the Records Department, in which Winston Smith worked, was called recdep, the Fiction Department was called ficdep, the Teleprogrammes Department was called teledep, and so on. This was not done solely with the object of saving time. Even in the early decades of the twentieth century, telescoped words and phrases had been one of the characteristic features of political language; and it had been noticed that the tendency to use abbreviations of this kind was most marked in totalitarian countries and totalitarian organizations.
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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Stephen Kinzer)
- Highlight Loc. 164-65  | Added on Sunday, October 09, 2016, 05:17 PM

This made John Watson Foster the first American secretary of state to participate in the overthrow of a foreign government. Others would follow—including, more than a half century later, his grandson. 
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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Stephen Kinzer)
- Highlight Loc. 168-71  | Added on Sunday, October 09, 2016, 05:18 PM

American farmers and manufacturers had so effectively mastered the techniques of mass production that they were producing far more than the United States could consume. They needed foreign markets to fend off ruin. Many also coveted resources from overseas. This required a muscular, assertive foreign policy that would force weaker countries to trade with Americans on terms Americans considered fair. 
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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Stephen Kinzer)
- Highlight Loc. 210-12  | Added on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 01:12 AM

Foster became rich and powerful, but remained nearly friendless and often seemed ill at ease. Allie developed into a witty raconteur whose genial manner could beguile almost anyone. He was, as one biographer put it, “the romantic and adventurous member of the family” but also “a much darker, more ruthless and unscrupulous man than his brother.” 
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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Stephen Kinzer)
- Highlight Loc. 260-62  | Added on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 01:16 AM

With typical precision, he made a date to take her canoeing on the same day his bar exam was scheduled in Buffalo; if he felt confident he had passed, he would propose. The exam went well. A few hours later, while paddling, Foster asked Janet to marry him. She accepted immediately. 
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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Stephen Kinzer)
- Highlight Loc. 272-73  | Added on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 01:18 AM

From his new office at 48 Wall Street—the firm occupied the nineteenth and twentieth floors of the Bank of New York Building—he could see the portico of Federal Hall, where President George Washington was inaugurated in 1789. 
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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Stephen Kinzer)
- Highlight Loc. 284-94  | Added on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 01:19 AM

Algernon Sullivan and William Nelson Cromwell founded their law firm in 1879 to pursue a new business art: bringing investors and enterprises together to create giant corporations. Sullivan & Cromwell played an important role in the development of modern capitalism by helping to organize what its official history calls “some of America’s greatest industrial, commercial, and financial enterprises.” In 1882 it created Edison General Electric Company. Seven years later, with the financier J. P. Morgan as its client, it wove twenty-one steelmakers into the National Tube Company and then, in 1891, merged National Tube with seven other companies to create U.S. Steel, capitalized at more than one billion dollars, an astounding sum at that time. The railroad magnate E. H. Harriman, whom President Theodore Roosevelt had denounced as a “malefactor of great wealth” and “enemy of the Republic,” hired the firm to wage two of his legendary proxy wars, one to take over the Illinois Central Railroad and another to fend off angry shareholders at the Wells Fargo bank. It won the first with tactics that a New York newspaper called “one of those ruthless exercises of the power of sheer millions,” and the second with complex maneuvers that, according to a book about the firm, amounted to “deceit, bribery, and trickery [that] was all legal.” 
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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Stephen Kinzer)
- Highlight Loc. 311-15  | Added on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 01:22 AM

Aboard the steamship that took him from France to India, Allie read and was captivated by Kim, Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel about the “great game” of big-power conflicts and the clandestine maneuvers that shape them. Its hero is an Irish orphan who is reared as a Hindu in the teeming bazaars of Lahore, learns eternal truths from a Tibetan lama, and finally becomes a secret agent for the British, who are described as “the sort to oversee justice” because “they know the land and the customs of the land.” 
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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Stephen Kinzer)
- Highlight Loc. 318-20  | Added on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 01:23 AM

Kim is about the glory of empire and the nasty things that must sometimes be done in secret to defend it. In an introduction to a later edition, the critic and activist Edward Said called it “a master work of imperialism.” To Allie it was beyond inspirational. He never parted with his copy. It was on his bedside table when he died. 
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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Stephen Kinzer)
- Highlight Loc. 346-49  | Added on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 01:26 AM

Few in Washington had ever paid much attention to collecting intelligence about other countries, either because they believed the United States did not need it or because of the notion that, as a previous secretary of war, Henry Stimson, memorably put it, “gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” 
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