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Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Steel Wave: A Novel of World War II by Jeff Shaara

The Steel Wave is the second book in Shaara's World War II series and is a superior book to the first in almost every way. There is a lot more action (hundreds of pages) and it is intense. The political wrangling that Eisenhower had to endure and master is a theme in every book, but is strongest in this one. The title of the book comes from a comment that Rommel makes about the Allied invasion coming in like a wave of steel into France.

Erwin Rommel
Rommel continues on as a major character throughout. It is interesting to note that he was correct to fear an Allied invasion of France (which most of the German high command poo-pooed) but picked the wrong place. Hitler picked the right place, although he doubted it would happen. It is also interesting to note that Rommel thought that D-Day was a feint and failed to respond correctly to it until it was too late. Rommel is still the most interesting "officer" character on either side - he knows that Germany will be ruined by the Nazis and that the Germans will lose the war but we get little sense that he was opposed to the Nazis for any reason other than that they will bring ruin to Germany. Still, the way Shaara deals with the last bits of Rommel's life is compelling reading.

Even more compelling is the way Shaara deals with the ground-level stories of the American soldiers during D-Day. This is riveting stuff - well told and compelling.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on November 6, 2010

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: The Steel Wave by Jeff Shaara.

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