Makos, Adam.


Berkley Caliber, New York, 1st ed., 2013. Viii + 392 pp., numerous photo-plates. D.j., 23 x 15cm. FINE. Just before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a twenty-one-year-old Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown. Half his crew lay wounded or dead ' it was their first mission. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt fighter pulled up on the bomber's tail, flown by the German ace Franz Stigler who could have destroyed the young American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called "the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II." The U.S. 8th Air Force would later classify what happened between them as top secret. It was an act that Franz could never mention or else facing a firing squad. It was an encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years until, as old men, they would search the world for each other, a last mission that could change their lives forever. Both Charlie's and Franz's missions are followed here.

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