Thursday, December 21, 2017

Book Review - Yeager: An Autobiography

General Yeager is in a class of individuals that includes historical figures like Horatius and Leonidas. Fewer and fewer men are entering that class. There are still men like Chesley Sullenberger but more men like Francesco Schettino, the Captain of the Costa Concordia, are being produced. Yeager showed courage and character in everyday life as well as in combat. The item that interested me the most about this book was his admission that he was a war criminal. This is an example of his courage and character and I am certain his editor suggested that he remove the information. Yeager writes, “We were ordered to commit an atrocity. I’m certainly not proud of that particular strafing mission against civilians. But it is there, on the record and in my memory." “If it occurred to anyone to refuse to participate (nobody refused, as I recall) that person would have probably been court-martialed. I remember sitting next to (Major Donald H. Bochkay) Bochkay at the briefing and whispering to him: ‘If we’re gonna do things like this, we sure as hell better make sure we’re on the winning side.’” Respected historian have done their best to ignore items like this. It does not conform to the crusader narrative.

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