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Book Review - Bootprints, An Infantryman's Walk Through World War II by Hobert Winebrenner and Michael McCoy


Bootprints, An Infantryman's Walk Through World War II
by Hobert Winebrenner and Michael McCoy 

List Price: $27.95  Hardback: 320 Pages
Publish Date: February, 2005

Review by Brian Williams  

Bootprints, An Infantryman's Walk Through World War II is the "tell-it-like-it-was" memoir of Sergeant Hobert Winebrenner.  We follow Winebrenner from Utah Beach, through Normandy, across France (including the Falaise Gap), into the Rhineland, and into Czechoslovakia as part of the 90th Infantry Division.

Right from the beginning I found it difficult to put this book down.  I think the thing that really stands out with this book is Winebrenner's honesty.  He doesn't shy away from telling you exactly what he was thinking.  In fact, the style of this book comes across as very personal; as if Winebrenner is reminiscing about the war with an old buddy.

I personally enjoy reading memoirs because they give you that one-of-a-kind perspective on war that no historian can provide.  There is nothing that can replace the actual eye-witness accounts -- the anecdotes and the little things that occur in battle that make all the difference.  Bootprints falls right in line with expectations and doesn't disappoint.  Winebrenner brings the reader back in time to a place many vets will not easily go and it is wonderful that he takes the time (along with McCoy) to share those experiences with us.  By doing so, he ensures that the memory and sacrifice of those he served and fought with are not forgotten.

The book itself contains numerous photos of Winebrenner and scenes of war.  It is quite amazing to see so many wartime photos of one particular individual.  I'm not sure how he was able to acquire so many photos of himself during wartime, but it really brings the memoir to life even more.    Also, nearly every person mentioned in the book has an accompanying photo -- which is a testament to the thoroughness to preserve the memory of these soldiers.  Again, it lends greatly to bringing the account fully to life.  Older readers should also note that this book has a larger typeface making it much easier to read.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in World War II or to those who had a relative who fought in the war.  It brings a greater understanding to us of what it was like to fight in the war and also teaches us of the veterans' countless sacrifices.

Review by Brian Williams (militaryhistoryonline@hotmail.com)



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