This book brought tears to my eyes and left me speechless. This is by far one of the best WWII related books I've read. It's powerful and heart-wrenching, and it had a profound impact on me. Kershaw does a wonderful job of helping the reader get to know each of the "Bedford Boys". You end up feeling like you've known them for years, and as a result, the story is that much more captivating and unbelievable. Kershaw really helps the reader to better understand what the soldiers went through...and what they're families went through. His story of D-Day is fascinating - I could not put this book down, and after I finished, I went on to do more reading/research on D-Day. I even ordered more of Kershaw's books. He gives a lot of background and history, but this book is not dull or difficult to follow at all.
This is more than another WWII story it circles your whole being by involving the history of the town of Bedford, VA and its families who raised the men that were the first to be slaughtered on the beach of Omaha on June 6, 1944. You get a look of how the metal in these men was forged into fighting men possessing strong determination, love of country, and bond of brotherhood which caused them to face the German machine guns and body ripping shrapnel. We realize these weren't professional soldiers, but hometown boys that played baseball, dated the girls they knew from childhood, worked on the local farms and in the stores of this small town who wanted to live like you and I. They would rise to the call of their nation when called to defend it if it cost them their lives. Some had premonitions about their death, but this didn't deter them of their duty and desire to return to their families and loved ones in the little town of Bedford, VA. The author also allows us a tragic glimpse into the lives of those who shall never see them again. Kershaw at his best, I recommend it with vigor.