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Meeting of Generals by Tony Foster

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Softcover book, some staining on edge of book, Methuen, 560 pages, 


Dual biographies of two WWII generals. Their troops meet in Normandy; the generals meet in a courtroom after the war. One sentences the other to death for war crimes. D-Day Normandy, 1944. Twenty thousand, five hundred strong, the 12th Waffen-SS Hitler Youth Division marched into battle against Allied Forces. They were the last cream of the German youth, 17- and 18-year-old lads trained and led by a cadre of battle-hardened officers and NCOs who had survived four years of war in Europe and on the Russian front. With only a year of training, they were nevertheless ferocious fighters. At one critical point in the battle the depleted 12th SS Division fought three Canadian and three British divisions to a standstill. Eighty-five days after the landings, at the Battle of Falaise Gap, less than 500 of the 12th Division's front line troops remained. The rest were dead, wounded or captured. Meeting Of Generals is the study of a terrible war viewed from the two sides of a battlefield on which different moral and political ideologies struggled to prevail. Parallel biographies trace Generals Meyer and Foster's careers--their youth, their ambitions, their sweethearts, their sorrows and personal tragedies--and show how each reflected the values of the nation that he served. In the end, both generals realize at Meyer's War Crimes court-martial that in war there are no winners or losers--only victims.