In this age of memoir writing by elderly Holocaust survivors, this biography is a refreshing look at a family that leaves behind comfort in pre-war Vienna to a new life in New York. The young hero of the book sheds the white stockings of his youth to become a decorated WW II veteran. The description of Peter Skala's part in capturing a general in the Battle for Metz is told in thrilling detail. Skala goes on to capture more soldiers and save lives as his regiment moves into the Saar. Skala's memory for detail about these battles gives the book journalistic freshness and excitement.
The author's personal, British, point of view comes through in the pre-war historic section as well as in his descriptions of the young soldier's time off the battlefield. British readers will relate to some of David Hutt's commentary more easily than Americans. Those who have consumed the volumes of World War II non-fiction will find this a pleasant change, giving faces to those at the front and back home.
by G D Polk