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Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton’s Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates

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SOLDIERS OF FREEDOM is the true story of the 1944-1945 War in Western Europe and the final Allied struggle to conquer Nazi Germany. The story is told through the eyes of William McBurney, a tank gunner in the 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit in U.S. history; dynamic General George S. Patton, Jr., commander of the U.S. Third Army; and Angela Lange, SOLDIERS OF FREEDOM is the true story of the 1944-1945 War in Western Europe and the final Allied struggle to conquer Nazi Germany. The story is told through the eyes of William McBurney, a tank gunner in the 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit in U.S. history; dynamic General George S. Patton, Jr., commander of the U.S. Third Army; and Angela Lange, a sixteen-year-old German resistance fighter with the anti-Nazi Edelweiss Pirates in Cologne. While Patton's forces liberate France and Belgium, fight in the grueling Battle of the Bulge, and cross the Rhine to conquer Germany, U.S. tanker William McBurney and his Black Panthers must fight two wars at once: one against the German army, the other against the racism of their fellow white soldiers. Meanwhile, as the Allies drive into Germany, Edelweiss Pirate Angela Lange must survive the Allied bombing of Cologne while she engages in fierce resistance against the Hitler Youth and Nazis and is hunted down by the Gestapo.


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SOLDIERS OF FREEDOM is the true story of the 1944-1945 War in Western Europe and the final Allied struggle to conquer Nazi Germany. The story is told through the eyes of William McBurney, a tank gunner in the 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit in U.S. history; dynamic General George S. Patton, Jr., commander of the U.S. Third Army; and Angela Lange, SOLDIERS OF FREEDOM is the true story of the 1944-1945 War in Western Europe and the final Allied struggle to conquer Nazi Germany. The story is told through the eyes of William McBurney, a tank gunner in the 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit in U.S. history; dynamic General George S. Patton, Jr., commander of the U.S. Third Army; and Angela Lange, a sixteen-year-old German resistance fighter with the anti-Nazi Edelweiss Pirates in Cologne. While Patton's forces liberate France and Belgium, fight in the grueling Battle of the Bulge, and cross the Rhine to conquer Germany, U.S. tanker William McBurney and his Black Panthers must fight two wars at once: one against the German army, the other against the racism of their fellow white soldiers. Meanwhile, as the Allies drive into Germany, Edelweiss Pirate Angela Lange must survive the Allied bombing of Cologne while she engages in fierce resistance against the Hitler Youth and Nazis and is hunted down by the Gestapo.

30 review for Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton’s Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates

  1. 5 out of 5

    Píaras Cíonnaoíth

    A dramatic and riveting tale that resonates on many levels... Award-winning and bestselling author Samuel Marquis weaves a powerful historical fiction (based on a World War II true story). With fascinating twists and turns it will easily captivate the reader from the first page to the last. The author paints a dramatic and riveting tale that resonates on many levels in a very vivid and convincing way. Soldiers of Freedom is a WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates. It’s the tru A dramatic and riveting tale that resonates on many levels... Award-winning and bestselling author Samuel Marquis weaves a powerful historical fiction (based on a World War II true story). With fascinating twists and turns it will easily captivate the reader from the first page to the last. The author paints a dramatic and riveting tale that resonates on many levels in a very vivid and convincing way. Soldiers of Freedom is a WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates. It’s the true story of the 1944-1945 War in Western Europe and the final Allied struggle to conquer Nazi Germany. While I was familiar with Patton's Panthers, the author highlights other aspects of this horrendous time in human history that I was unfamiliar with. Not only was this a great read and an education, it was written in a very balanced and unbiased way. Soldiers of Freedom had every element a good story should have. An interesting plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that make you feel like you are right there in the story, and that’s something I look for in a good book. It’s one of those stories that come along once in a while that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader! I’ll be looking forward to reading more from Samuel Marquis in the future. I would highly recommend this book. A well-deserved five stars from me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ronovan Hester

    In Soldiers of Freedom: The true story WWII Story of Patton’s Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates, Samuel Marquis mixes his ability to capture authentic dialogue with his massive amounts of research to give societal issues and the human condition during the time not only by the obvious racial aspect but by nation and society ruled by a dictator and his self-important official and citizen followers. Marquis gives the experiences of the soldier as a person with thoughts and feelings beyond being in In Soldiers of Freedom: The true story WWII Story of Patton’s Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates, Samuel Marquis mixes his ability to capture authentic dialogue with his massive amounts of research to give societal issues and the human condition during the time not only by the obvious racial aspect but by nation and society ruled by a dictator and his self-important official and citizen followers. Marquis gives the experiences of the soldier as a person with thoughts and feelings beyond being in a war simply to be following orders and killing the enemy, but the rest of his life the experiences of war touches. This carries over to the military command level as well as citizens in the home nation of the Nazi regime. With a book set in WWII Europe and involving the 761st Tank Battalion, there must be sensory loaded descriptions of battles; the roar of guns, the smoke, the smells, the confinement, but more than that, I am given the emotional mindset of a tank gunner, and his comrades-in-arms as they fight against the Nazi regime. Marquis does not stop there, he gives a taste of what it’s like to be a black man in the 1940s and how that translates to being a soldier at war, while at the same time often outranking white soldiers who show disrespect, disregard, and disdain for them. Getting flipped on its head, I then read about the physical and emotional state of a teenage German girl, who is resistance fighter with the Gestapo dogging her every step, a situation more treacherous than any man would face. She shows me not every German in WWII is either a Nazi, a Nazi supporter, or innocent of having blood on their hands. The dialogue and action of the military and resistance fighters draw you in and give you a sense of being a part of a war environment, not just the battlefield of soldiers, but the battlefield of citizens fighting their own government. Marquis uses his research materials of government documents, biographies, interviews, and personal letters to great dramatic effect. Soldiers of Freedom is told through the voices of three people; SARGENT WILLIAM H. BURNEY, a black man from Harlem on Manhattan Island, New York who is a part of the 761st, GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON Jr, commander of the US THIRD ARMY, and 16/17-year-old ANGELA LANGE, daughter of a German Colonel, and member of the EDELWEISS PIRATES, a real German resistance group in Cologne, Germany. While reading I can’t help but feel the frustration of the young black soldiers not just during the war, but from the moment of sitting down with a recruiter and being told that you aren’t allowed to so much as try for what you dreamed of doing in the military and for your country, that you would have to take another route. I am surprised by the honesty of the recruiter considering the times. Frustrations continue wherever McBurney goes, from one camp to another, all in the name of training. The use of the JACKIE ROBINSON’s court-martial hearing is perfect to put an exclamation on the 761st time in the US. Samuel Marquis gives facts of history not taught to me even in my higher-level History courses at university, and that was as a History Education major. For example, the existence of the 761st TANK BATTALION, the reason for their formation, how they end up in Europe, and the impact they make on the war, which is huge. They are a large part of important moments. There are times in McBurney’s journey I want to punch so many people, run over them with my tank, or shot them with my big 76mm gun, preferably with a round of HE. I get to see the reaction of the German soldiers, and German citizens as well, misrepresented in every level from middle school through university. I learned what a HE was, as well as what a 76mm was and what it could do. “But it struck him as ironic that he and his fellow Negro tankers were about to cross the same ocean their African ancestors had crossed in chains; and that, in taking part in the struggle against Nazism, they were about to fight a war in the name of freedoms neither the men of the 761st nor their forbearers had ever enjoyed.”—Sergeant William H. McBurney, Tank Main Gunner, U.S 761st “Black Panthers” What I enjoy a lot is the sharing of the experience the tankers both in battle and in the everyday life of a soldier. The difficulty the drivers and gunners have using these machines is incredible. How although the tanks can be lions, they can also quickly turn into lambs. I haven’t come across another book, of any kind, describing with such honesty what a soldier goes through in the confines of a war machine, regardless of the genre. I don’t know how they did it. I’d still be shaking, rattling, and my eyes would be bopping all around to this day. Then there is what McBurney reveals about German towns and the citizens they come upon. I have never given much thought to that part of the story, at least not down to that level. One reason for not knowing is, history books don’t teach about the black soldiers of WWI and what they did in Germany. You must read to believe. “Lord help us,” [Patton] said, pulling out a fresh cigar. “And Lord help me when this war is over.” “Why’s that, sir? I would think you would celebrate.” “No, Codman. With nothing to do, I’m going to be a [***]damn wreck and an absolute nuisance to my wife.” – Major Charles Codman and General George S. Patton Jr, Freedom Soldiers That sampling of dialogue is just a little taste to help you get in the spirit of General George S. Patton Jr. Patton is as flamboyant and audacious as I thought. Using diaries and letters, Marquis gives me the colorful language and stories Patton liked to tell, but more importantly, his feelings about soldiers under his command, as well as the Generals and commanders he must work with. Those feelings are quite surprising, not only for the tough-as-nails Patton but from a field general at all. I laughed, yes laughed, reading old Blood and Guts Patton’s exchanges with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, as well as other generals, and his thoughts on the British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. And the honest opinions of Eisenhower, at least through research are eye-opening. What is revealed about the politics, perceptions, and egos of war and how they play out on the battlefield is not necessarily surprising, but are brutal when laid in front of you and you can’t help but see it and think about the outcomes. The resulting command structure and atmosphere of the European Theater following Patton’s removal for slapping two shell-shocked soldiers in Sicily are painful to watch with Patton demoted then later given command of the US Third Army. How the war would have been different if not for his believing the soldiers were just trying to avoid fighting. No one had heard of PTSD in the 1940s. The press had a field day, but Patton had a powerful fan and ally waiting in the wings to help get him back in the war. For the ugly truth was that every German was ultimately guilty for allowing Hitler and the Nazis to rise to power and hiding their head in the sand and turning their backs when the regime began singling out Communists, Jews, clergymen, and other racial, political, and social enemies of the Reich. – Angela Lange, Freedom Soldiers Angela Lange is loosely based on real-life Edelweiss Pirate Gertrud Koch, but with elements drawn from events experienced by her comrades. I learn through Angela’s authentic filled voice and view, just how naïve and young these Edelweiss Pirates are in the beginning, but also how fast they grow up. Their main target is the Hitler Youth that patrols the town and enacts harsh punishment on those they deem conducting criminal or disloyal acts. The demented Criminal Commissioner Ferdinand Kütter of the Cologne Gestapo along with his interrogators are nothing but sadistic, rabid dogs who enjoy nothing more than torturing Germans and enemies alike until they get confessions, information, or death. Marquis settles into a groove with Angela’s story as the book continues. I witness the innocence, naivete, love, pain, tragedy, hope, despair, spirit, and determination throughout this young woman’s story and all while battling with the Gestapo. And not just any Gestapo, but some of the most factually brutal in the Nazi Regime, that were historical figures in Cologne. As important as Patton’s story is, the 761st story is bigger and as big as their story is Angela’s story is the one that delivers a reality punch. We don’t think much about resistance within Germany unless we think of the Jews who hid from death and helped others escape it. Here we see German citizens fighting against the Nazis, not to help the Allies, but to take back the Germany they once knew. WHAT I LIKED: • facts about unheard of people • a sensory experience from each view of the war • the action of the tank soldiers • how the 761st put aside bigotry for country • revealing details of the German citizens' attitudes and the towns the 761st encounter • Patton’s loyalty and love for his men • the camaraderie among the US Generals in Europe • learning of and about the Edelweiss Pirates • continuing to learn about the types of Nazis through Marquis’ books (They aren’t cookie-cutter and all fall-in-line Nazis.) • the afterword information and further details of what happened next for these people WHAT I LIKED LESS: • There are a few moments in Angela Lange’s story that don’t ring as emotionally engaging or authentic as they should be. I don’t mean the events don’t occur historically. What I mean is the telling of certain scenes are not as detailed or as emotional as they should be. Those parts that don’t capture the emotion of the scene do not take away from Angela’s experience, they lessen the impact in those specific scenes. It might be the nature of situations that gives hesitation to going deeper. • The book isn’t quite as smooth as I am accustomed to with Sam’s books, (I’ve read all the WWII series books, amazing series.) I put this down to the massive amount of action that takes place during this important period covered. Transitions within the three views sometimes take a moment to become clear as to who is speaking. I know the setting because that is clear at the beginning of each chapter. I just at times don’t know the individual speaking or spoken to. That could be me. • There are one or two, what I will rudely call minor, battles that I could do without the description of the battle, just given the information that the 761st wins and why it is important. This happens with several battles after the war turns heavily into the Allies' favor. I always want the wins, losses, and strategic information. There are simply a few scenes where I feel like I’m reading the same scene from earlier, with minimal differences. Tanks do what tanks do, and similar battles occur, but at times there is a battle, though important, as every battle in WWII is, that can be told with just the telling of its victory and its strategic importance. Sam gives a few hugely important battles brief mentions, but we see their importance. In these cases, if Marquis went into detail, we would have more books to read. COMPARABLE TO: Others have compared Samuel Marquis’ writing style to New York Times #1 Bestselling author, Ken Follett who has seen some of his books turned into movies and TV series. Also, another name mentioned is Adam Makos, another New York Times Best Sellers list author. As for me, there is an author who wrote many historical fiction novels, the late British author John Gardner, an ex-Royal Marine commando, and Anglican Priest before losing his faith. I’ve read over 20 of his books, perhaps that is one reason I enjoy Sam’s books so much. Gardner’s historical fiction work includes the five-book Herbie Kruger Series of action encompassing WWII, the Cold War as well as subsequent events inspired by the two, and there is also the three-book Railton Family Series, which has ties to the Kruger books. If you are a James Bond fan, he wrote 15 novels, beginning in 1981 with License Renewed and ending in 1996 with Cold/Cold Fall. All of us know him for the 007 book GoldenEye, in who’s film adaptation Pierce Brosnan made his Bond debut. I’ve read most of them. As one review states: “Marquis is a student of history, always creative, [and] never boring…A good comparison might be Tom Clancy.”—Military.com RECOMMEND TO: • Obviously for fans of the authors mentioned above. • Those who enjoy digging into the personal details of historical figures. • Those who are interested in untold stories of African American History. • People who want to understand a little more about the imagery of war in ways not normally described in books or shown on film. • For those who like to understand the citizens of war, their struggles, fears, tragedies, and sometimes why they participate in a war. 4.68 out of 5 Stars Character Development 5 World Building 5 Editing 4.5 Believability 5 Enjoyment 5 Clarity 4.25 Flow 4 4.68

  3. 4 out of 5

    Toni Francis

    Marquis has done it again as he tells the tale of the final push by the Allies to conquer Nazi Germany. Bringing in the all too real racism felt by our African-American soldiers through the eyes of William McBurney who served in the first African-American tank unit in United States History, we feel their pain and anger and the injustice of it. We become a voyeur of the bull headed leader, George S. Patton, Jr, commander of the U.S 3rd army who had to constantly go up against his own to fulfill h Marquis has done it again as he tells the tale of the final push by the Allies to conquer Nazi Germany. Bringing in the all too real racism felt by our African-American soldiers through the eyes of William McBurney who served in the first African-American tank unit in United States History, we feel their pain and anger and the injustice of it. We become a voyeur of the bull headed leader, George S. Patton, Jr, commander of the U.S 3rd army who had to constantly go up against his own to fulfill his destiny and vision in this war. Assisting in the anti-Nazi effort we become a member of the Edelweiss Pirates, alongside fierce 16 year old, Angela Lange, who fight from Cologne's streets against the Hitler youth and Nazi Gestapo as well as having to be careful of the Allied bombings on the city. We get a real sense of the bravery, determination, will power, strength and sometimes what seems like almost lunacy of the people and groups who relentlessly gave all of themselves to bring the Nazi's down. I am the reader who wasn't that engaged in my history classes throughout my school career, but have to say, Marquis is the writer who has turned that disinterest into a voracity to learn more. I love his factual fiction style of writing and believe you will too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carolina Solano

    Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates the Samuel Marquis is without a doubt one of the best war books I have been able to read, not only because of the amount of details it offers, but also because it gives me important data regarding these two combat squadrons that were unknown. I am always intrigued to know about the fight of the "Black Panther" Tank Battalion and how the first African American soldiers made their way in World War II, and from the E Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates the Samuel Marquis is without a doubt one of the best war books I have been able to read, not only because of the amount of details it offers, but also because it gives me important data regarding these two combat squadrons that were unknown. I am always intrigued to know about the fight of the "Black Panther" Tank Battalion and how the first African American soldiers made their way in World War II, and from the Edelweiss Pirates who, being just a German resistance group, actively collaborated helping deserters and boycotting the German army. This book recounts the last fight to free Europe from terrorism by Nazi Germany. One of the things I appreciate when reading a book about war, even if it's a science fiction work, is the historical precision of the details and inclusion of real characters which I believe denotes that the author has researched and studied on the subject and I think that he values it, as well as to make a small implicit tribute to the heroes who have participated in this war. It is a very well written novel that constantly catches your attention. I definitely recommend reading this book. I was passionate about it from the first page.

  5. 5 out of 5

    CarlitasFox

    A great true story book. A must-read! There are several books that are about one of the most appalling events in history: WWII, but “Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton´s Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates” (World War Two Series Book 5) is a true and breath-taking story. It was written by Samuel Marquis who is an award-winning author of historical best seller books. This story is told through the eyes of William McBurney and Angela Lange who had different occupations during the war. They A great true story book. A must-read! There are several books that are about one of the most appalling events in history: WWII, but “Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton´s Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates” (World War Two Series Book 5) is a true and breath-taking story. It was written by Samuel Marquis who is an award-winning author of historical best seller books. This story is told through the eyes of William McBurney and Angela Lange who had different occupations during the war. They narrate what happened when Western Europe wanted to conquer Nazi Germany. All the atrocities from this tragic event are expressed by them. In fact, they put emphasis on 3 survivors with different stories that intertwine at some point in the book. Themes such as honor, courage, fear, survival and heroism are present in this great book. The book is very organized when it comes to names and ranks. It is well-developed and has lots of details about this war. I found it very interesting and absorbing; I have learned more about the WWII and, as I always say: “Every day we learn new things”. I truly recommend this book to history fans.

  6. 5 out of 5

    William Bentrim

    Soldiers of Freedom by Samuel Marquis This is historical fiction. The book describes the exploits of Patton who is well known and the Edelweiss Pirates who are pretty much unknown. The author states his motivation for writing the book was to tell the story of Patton’s Black Panthers. The Black Panthers were the 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit in WWII. The book documents how the Black Panthers had to fight both the Germans and the prejudice of their fellow soldiers. Muck Soldiers of Freedom by Samuel Marquis This is historical fiction. The book describes the exploits of Patton who is well known and the Edelweiss Pirates who are pretty much unknown. The author states his motivation for writing the book was to tell the story of Patton’s Black Panthers. The Black Panthers were the 761st Tank Battalion, the first African-American tank unit in WWII. The book documents how the Black Panthers had to fight both the Germans and the prejudice of their fellow soldiers. Mucki, Gertrud Koch Pirate code name describes conditions in Cologne and how she and her friends fought back against the Gestapo. Although race relations aren’t perfect today, reading how poor they were in the 40s is daunting. It is hard to believe the depths of prejudice. Showing the world of a teenager as the German empire collapsed was also eye opening. There courage against overwhelming odds is inspiring. Marquis writes a detailed and fact loaded book that brings to life a period and people who may otherwise be forgotten. History buffs should jump on this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pegboard

    Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates by Samuel Marquis is a mesmerizing novel that will transfer you back seventy-five years ago when this war was beckoning young men to fight. This true story is seen through the eyes of William (Billy) McBurney, an African-Native Indian American. His initial plan was to be a fly boy, but his recruiter convinced him the tank battalion was the place for him. So begins the story of this spirited group of men who made a Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates by Samuel Marquis is a mesmerizing novel that will transfer you back seventy-five years ago when this war was beckoning young men to fight. This true story is seen through the eyes of William (Billy) McBurney, an African-Native Indian American. His initial plan was to be a fly boy, but his recruiter convinced him the tank battalion was the place for him. So begins the story of this spirited group of men who made a name for themselves despite opposition from their own side. I love how Samuel Marquis places his reader's right into the story. You feel the intensity of the war and the camaraderie of the soldiers. Soldiers of Freedom is definitely a book history lovers would enjoy. Though much is about the American military and their involvement in WWII, I enjoyed the story about Angela Lange and her contribution to the novel. The author amazes me with how blind the German people were to what was before their eyes and what fear will allow a people to accept.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Guy Wheatley

    Compelling and disturbing, this is a story of humanity in the face of inhumanity, equity in the face of bigotry, and courage in the face of cowardice. I’m not familiar with either Patton’s Black Panthers or the Edelweiss Pirates, but the parts of the book I was knowledgeable about were accurately portrayed. I feel confident the others parts were also faithfully represented. We start out with the racism and bigotry faced by Black Soldiers from their own troops and country. But we watch as they find Compelling and disturbing, this is a story of humanity in the face of inhumanity, equity in the face of bigotry, and courage in the face of cowardice. I’m not familiar with either Patton’s Black Panthers or the Edelweiss Pirates, but the parts of the book I was knowledgeable about were accurately portrayed. I feel confident the others parts were also faithfully represented. We start out with the racism and bigotry faced by Black Soldiers from their own troops and country. But we watch as they find their reason to fight, and develop the well deserved pride they feel over their service. Concurrently we watch as a 16-year-old girl can’t accept what her country is becoming nor the actions of so many of her countrymen. Disgust turns into resistance and eventually a fight for survival. My only complaint is the the book drags. The author is so determined to get in so many technical details and minutia, that the action drags. Many times it comes off more as a history text rather than an action novel. While it is a bit of a long slog, it is worth the read. I recommend this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sol Tyty

    Based on a World World II true story, Samuel Marquis' historical fiction was a best-seller. Even though all the characters and names are fictional, he did an amazing job to reveal a story which is based on the real events that took place during a time when Western Europe wanted to conquer Nazi Germany. The main character in this book is William McBurney, a tank gunner of the first American tank unit in the U.S history, the 761st Tank Battalion, and the story is written in the third person but thr Based on a World World II true story, Samuel Marquis' historical fiction was a best-seller. Even though all the characters and names are fictional, he did an amazing job to reveal a story which is based on the real events that took place during a time when Western Europe wanted to conquer Nazi Germany. The main character in this book is William McBurney, a tank gunner of the first American tank unit in the U.S history, the 761st Tank Battalion, and the story is written in the third person but through his eyes. Heroism, patriotism and revenge are at play throughout the book, which is well-written and full of well-illustrated scenes. What is really interesting about the writing style of the author is the fact that he portrayed and described the characters in the first pages, something that helps the reading go smoothly along. After reading Soldiers of Freedom, we realise that there are a lot of twists and turns that we did not know about WWII and American history. Highly recommended!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ivana S.

    My favourite type of books are historical ones, so I’m really glad that I have read this amazing story. I really like enjoying a novel and in the meantime learning about history. I think it is the perfect match. “Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates” is a book written by Samuel Marquis. It is the fifth one in the World War Two Series. This non - fiction book is written for a general audience. It is set between the years 1944 -1945 in Western Europe. My favourite type of books are historical ones, so I’m really glad that I have read this amazing story. I really like enjoying a novel and in the meantime learning about history. I think it is the perfect match. “Soldiers of Freedom: The WWII Story of Patton's Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates” is a book written by Samuel Marquis. It is the fifth one in the World War Two Series. This non - fiction book is written for a general audience. It is set between the years 1944 -1945 in Western Europe. Each chapter is more exciting than the last one, so it is impossible for me to choose my favourite one. The illustrations of the war are particularly amusing and vivid but really hard. I am giving this book five stars because it was a great read. I’m really looking forward to reading the previous ones in the series. I highly recommend it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Greg Osborne

    Prolific historical novelist Samuel Marquis tells the tale of a multi-front quest for liberty in “Soldiers of Freedom.” The fifth in his WWII series, delivers the authors’ famously meticulous research and brings alive both real and fictional characters around the events of Patton’s armored roll across Europe. Amidst the struggle is a tank battalion comprised of African American soldiers fighting for respect and freedom within their own country. The third front is the underappreciated internal re Prolific historical novelist Samuel Marquis tells the tale of a multi-front quest for liberty in “Soldiers of Freedom.” The fifth in his WWII series, delivers the authors’ famously meticulous research and brings alive both real and fictional characters around the events of Patton’s armored roll across Europe. Amidst the struggle is a tank battalion comprised of African American soldiers fighting for respect and freedom within their own country. The third front is the underappreciated internal resistance to the Nazi ruin of Germany. Marquis writes with intrigue, suspense, and compelling appreciation for nuance as he describes flawed people striving to overcome incalculable evil. With this book, Marquis will undoubtedly please his legion of devoted fans created since his burst onto the literary scene just several years ago.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frank Pularcheck

    An Unwritten Chapter of WWII History Comes to Life I enjoyed this compelling and accurate account of the liberation of Europe in the latter stages of WWII. The author, Samuel Marquis, brings to life a rich tapestry of characters-- in this book the unprecedented heroism of the 761st “Black Panthers” Tank Battalion, which fought under "Old Blood and Guts" General Patton to liberate Europe. Also fascinating were the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of German youth that formed an internal resistance to com An Unwritten Chapter of WWII History Comes to Life I enjoyed this compelling and accurate account of the liberation of Europe in the latter stages of WWII. The author, Samuel Marquis, brings to life a rich tapestry of characters-- in this book the unprecedented heroism of the 761st “Black Panthers” Tank Battalion, which fought under "Old Blood and Guts" General Patton to liberate Europe. Also fascinating were the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of German youth that formed an internal resistance to combat Nazism. Reading this book helped pass the time while under the COVID quarantine and it opened my eyes to a part of WWII history that is not widely written about or taught in school. Does anyone have a recommendation of movies or other books about the 761st battalion or the Edelweiss Pirates?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mia C.

    “Soldiers of freedom: The WWII Story of Patton’s Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates” is the fifth book in the World War Two series written by Samuel Marquis. This is a good book with an interesting length: it has a bit more than four hundred pages and I consider it to be a good read for the week. This is a true story narrated through the eyes of William McBurney, a tank gunner, about the war fought between 1944 and 1946 in Western Europe and the final struggle to conquer nazi Germany. Fans of th “Soldiers of freedom: The WWII Story of Patton’s Panthers and the Edelweiss Pirates” is the fifth book in the World War Two series written by Samuel Marquis. This is a good book with an interesting length: it has a bit more than four hundred pages and I consider it to be a good read for the week. This is a true story narrated through the eyes of William McBurney, a tank gunner, about the war fought between 1944 and 1946 in Western Europe and the final struggle to conquer nazi Germany. Fans of this type of genre and mostly true facts will love this book as I did. The reading flows naturally and once I started it I could not put it down. Now I am eager to read the complete series. I liked the author’s writing style because the reading flows smoothly and without noticing I finish the book in a few days. I surely recommend reading Soldiers of freedom.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Marquis' storytelling talents blew me away again in "Soldiers of Freedom," the fifth installment in his WWII series. I was fascinated by the Edelweiss Pirates, and felt particularly drawn to the character Angela Lange. It's so rare to see a character like hers -women's voices, especially young women's voices, are too often ignored. Additionally, I think everyone should read a book (preferably this one!) about the unsung heroes in the 761st Tank Battalion. What a remarkable group of people, whose Marquis' storytelling talents blew me away again in "Soldiers of Freedom," the fifth installment in his WWII series. I was fascinated by the Edelweiss Pirates, and felt particularly drawn to the character Angela Lange. It's so rare to see a character like hers -women's voices, especially young women's voices, are too often ignored. Additionally, I think everyone should read a book (preferably this one!) about the unsung heroes in the 761st Tank Battalion. What a remarkable group of people, whose stories need to be shared with the world. This title should be required reading for anyone interested in WWII history!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    The best yet from Samuel Marquis. The author does a great job blending real life characters like Patton and Ike with his fictional characters to create an entertaining and thought provoking read. If you've read other works by Marquis then you'll know there's rarely a dull moment in his books and this read is no exception. From Patton's race to the Rhine vs Monty to the chases throughout the streets of Cologne with the evil Nazi SS on our heroines tail, you will be thoroughly entertained by this The best yet from Samuel Marquis. The author does a great job blending real life characters like Patton and Ike with his fictional characters to create an entertaining and thought provoking read. If you've read other works by Marquis then you'll know there's rarely a dull moment in his books and this read is no exception. From Patton's race to the Rhine vs Monty to the chases throughout the streets of Cologne with the evil Nazi SS on our heroines tail, you will be thoroughly entertained by this fantastic work of fiction.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marissa DeCuir

    Any military history buff will love this thrilling account of WWII told from every side. Marquis's depiction of sixteen-year-old Angela Lange who serves as a German resistance fighter is especially powerful for those who don't think about females being apart of the war. His commitment to historically accurate storytelling is clear, and his delivery left me on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to see what he writes next! Any military history buff will love this thrilling account of WWII told from every side. Marquis's depiction of sixteen-year-old Angela Lange who serves as a German resistance fighter is especially powerful for those who don't think about females being apart of the war. His commitment to historically accurate storytelling is clear, and his delivery left me on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to see what he writes next!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Books Forward

    An incredibly suspenseful book that puts you right in the middle of the action. The back and forth between the viewpoints of the three fighters from different sides of the war gives a unique and unbiased account of what the war was like. Marquis's research into WWII should captivate any history buff and his action-packed writing will thrill any reader! An incredibly suspenseful book that puts you right in the middle of the action. The back and forth between the viewpoints of the three fighters from different sides of the war gives a unique and unbiased account of what the war was like. Marquis's research into WWII should captivate any history buff and his action-packed writing will thrill any reader!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    Once again, Samuel Marquis pulls back the curtain on a little known slice of history to educate as well as entertain us. The prescient timing of this publication lauding the exploits of the first Black tank unit in WWII coincides with the tumult of the present day Black Live Matter protests. Food for thought all around.

  19. 5 out of 5

    les bard

    Great story about Patton and his all black armor soldiers. Another good read about World War 2 in Europe. Stories from the German resistance and the allies trip through Europe to defeat the Germans.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Bannister

    I Enjoyed everything about this book there was nothing I didn't like about the book. I Like the setting,the writing style,the plot,the plot twists and the characters in the book were amazing.I would gladly reread it again.I also like the concept of the book. I Enjoyed everything about this book there was nothing I didn't like about the book. I Like the setting,the writing style,the plot,the plot twists and the characters in the book were amazing.I would gladly reread it again.I also like the concept of the book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kyle H

    Subject matter(s) had great potential but seemed like it was written by a high school underclassman. Dialogue and thoughts were over-simplified and unnatural.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Thomas D. WHite

    Great story Great story good read a little bit long on unnecessary rabbit rabbit Acacian ‘s or amplification‘s rather what’s Joe well worth the read

  23. 4 out of 5

    truenorth

    Good history; poor writing. Would have been more enjoyable as a nonfiction and about 1/3 the length.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    January 30, 2021 A Review by Anthony T. Riggio of the book:“Soldiers of Freedom” by Samuel Marquis This is a novel by an author of other WWII books who is able to weave fiction and truth so seamlessly that the reader is drawn into the history without realizing he is reading a novel. This book entails three separate, yet connected stories of the period 1944-1945 which bring to a close WWII. The First story is about a young 17 year old African American, William H. McBurney, who believes he can be a January 30, 2021 A Review by Anthony T. Riggio of the book:“Soldiers of Freedom” by Samuel Marquis This is a novel by an author of other WWII books who is able to weave fiction and truth so seamlessly that the reader is drawn into the history without realizing he is reading a novel. This book entails three separate, yet connected stories of the period 1944-1945 which bring to a close WWII. The First story is about a young 17 year old African American, William H. McBurney, who believes he can be a useful participant as an aviator during the war against Germany and the Axis powers. At the time he is considering this, he had just graduated high school in Harlem NY and was the son of a WWI army veteran, who had very negative memories of his his experiences. McBurney goes to an Army recruiter to enlist, notwithstanding his fathers discouragement. He is confronted with all the negatives for opportunity for a Negro to be an aviator but is encouraged to try for the Tank Corp. which the Army was seeking Negroes to be part of due to specific needs. His Army experience is less than ideal but through self determination and help of Jackie Robinson, a Lieutenant in the 761st Black Panther's Tank Battalion, he overcomes the horrors of a segregated military and Jim Crow Laws at Fort Hood Texas. Meanwhile in Europe General Patton is building up the Third Army's Tank Corp and is supportive of developing a Negro Battalion as part of a suggested program and feels strongly that if they can fight he did not care about their race. Do to shortages of tank operatives, the Army was willing to experiment and Patton was in agreement as he saw the extensive Tank Corp. needs. After almost three years of training McBurney and the 761st Black Panthers are deployed to Europe and additional training in England before the D Day invasion and the Allied break through into France and Belgium. Once in France, the 761st proves itself as fearless and effective soldiers gaining praise in spite of continuing prejudices in the all white Army. With the thrust into Belgium the 761st continues to show its and McBurney's heroic efforts through the battle of the Bulge and into Cologne Germany. He was awarded a Bronze star and if it wasn't for existing prejudices, it should have been a higher medal. The second hero of Freedom is George Armstrong Patton and his redemption after the incident in Sicily where he slapped a shell shocked soldier and was excoriated by the press and doomed to an obscure position in the Allied Army. He become a valued addition to the leadership of Generals Eisenhower and Omar Bradley and contributes greatly to the tactical military thrust into Germany. Patton's exploits and successes are well documented in this book and he is certainly a “Soldier of Freedom”, as any student of WWII history can attest. The third hero in this saga is a young teenager named Angela Lange a (fictional) character and a representative of an actual resistance group. She is the daughter of a Wehrmacht Colonel who is recovering from serious wounds wounds on the Eastern Front and Tunisia. He has lost an arm and other wounds and is on convalescent leave in Cologne and living with daughter Angela. Angela becomes involved with a young group of the resistance called “The Edelweiss Pirates”. Her adventure with this group become notorious to the SS and she is perused by them but under the protection of her hero father is somewhat insulated. Some of her fellow members of this group are hounded and killed by the SS and Gestapo. The efforts by this group, in advance of the Allied crossing into Cologne, are daring and certainly heroic to the effort to minimize the German resistance to the Allied forces. This book is a worthy read for anyone interested in WWII in Europe and a most thrilling story. I highly recommend this well written saga to interested readers. I gave the book five stars out of five.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie Bilello

    I thoroughly enjoyed this thrilling, eye-opening, and factually-based tale that brings to life the final Allied struggle to conquer Nazi Germany. General George S. Patton marches across the pages in his determined quest to liberate France and Belgium and defeat the Nazis, while sixteen-year-old German resistance fighter Angela Lange secretly works to undermine the Nazi's cause and U.S. tanker William McBurney and his fellow Black Panthers battle not only the German enemy but blatant racism as we I thoroughly enjoyed this thrilling, eye-opening, and factually-based tale that brings to life the final Allied struggle to conquer Nazi Germany. General George S. Patton marches across the pages in his determined quest to liberate France and Belgium and defeat the Nazis, while sixteen-year-old German resistance fighter Angela Lange secretly works to undermine the Nazi's cause and U.S. tanker William McBurney and his fellow Black Panthers battle not only the German enemy but blatant racism as well. An interesting, informative, and engaging read and one of the top WWII books of 2020. Patton, the 761st Tank Battalion, and the German Edelweiss Pirates youth resistance fighters truly were heroic soldiers of freedom.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donald J. Bailey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Linda Hayward

  28. 5 out of 5

    John Higgins

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gene

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bradley D Hoffman

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