In this volume of the series Threads of War, Volume II, Jeremy Strozer looks at war as it is played out in ways we don’t generally think of. Each story has two parts. The first is a factually based account of an incident that happened. The account is referenced for those who want to investigate further. The second is a story of humans trying to exist in a hostile environment that is war. The stories are fiction as thoughts and feelings are ascribed to people who did not survive. Those experiences exist in Strozer’s mind and the author brings them to life in a very entertaining way.
I give the novel five Amazon stars in part because of the pleasing structure and way of presentation, in part because of the referencing which accompanies factual accounts, and finally for the interesting fictional presentations which lend human coloring to a dehumanizing experience.
Following are my immediate comments and reactions to each story.
Honor Thy Love In France, some wives accompanied husbands to the front in WWI. It was not legal, and the women had some horrible choices to make. The men also had to make some decisions that affected the fate of their wives.
High Life A horrible example of men who died after being forced to follow a policy outmoded using a new weapon, “mustard” gas, in WWI France.
Concrete Macaroon The title refers to a piece of preserved bread. Which would break first, the bread or teeth?
In Touch A story about what happens when you are out of touch … with your own body.
Reveal A submarine operating off the coast of North Carolina in WWI? This sub not only operated, it attacked.
Last Men Out An account of escape from Dunkirk.
Tribute In the midst of WWII while in German-occupied territory, a patriot dares to honor fallen comrades from WWI.
Occupation During WWII England was invaded by one German pilot.
Channel Choices The rescue ship’s crew had to decide. Was the floating downed pilot German or British? The answer was literally a question of life and death.
Chemical Reaction Mustard gas unintentionally spread in an Italian town led to the loss of many civilian lives and gave the town of Bari, Italy, a unique distinction in the history of WWII.
Company Dress Being in the correct uniform always promotes attention to detail. The technique used here by a famous general is emulated in US Army field exercises today.
Disconnected Not all the ways one can die in war are from strictly military causes.
Me V Me Defending neutrality is not a passive activity.
Orders Waiting for orders can lead to one’s own destruction.
Mission One part of a successful mission is to return home and thus live to fight another day. Was this mission a success?
Fujiyama Foo-Foo The Vietnam War was not the first war in which Hanoi was bombed.
Friendly Friendly fire is not all that friendly.
Line of Sight Inside the death camps it was all about how you looked at it.