A Father’s Arms: Close to Death, Across Hitler’s Path—and Home at Last
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As incoming artillery screamed closer, the three soldiers dove for a shallow ditch: Robert Maynard first, with two comrades piling on top. The earth trembled from an exploding shell. Dirt and leaves covered the men. When quiet returned, only Maynard was alive, shielded by the bodies of his companions.
The year was 1945, in the closing months of World War II. Maynard was a captain in a U.S. Army Tank Destroyer battalion helping to push Adolf Hitler’s military back along the Western Front. Maynard would come home with stark memories of times and places where survival was too-often determined by the simple winds of fortune. But those memories would remain locked inside for half a century.
A Father’s Arms was his effort, 53 years after the end of World War II, to help his children understand what happened to America — and to him — in the journey from Pearl Harbor to “Victory in Europe.”
Maynard’s 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion was engaged in more than 300 days of continuous combat: from the Anzio Beachhead in Italy, through southern France, across the Siegfried Line and — as the war ended — all the way to Hitler’s retreat in the Austrian mountains.
There would be other brushes with death before he returned home to his wife and daughter, born while Maynard was away. Like many in his generation, he would try to set aside his war experiences and get on with raising his family. Finally, near the end of the 20th Century, he compiled this volume, which his children have now chosen to share.
- Publisher : Mission Point Press (November 1, 2023)
- ISBN : 978-1-961302-21-1 (Hardcover)
- ISBN : 978-1-961302-22-8 (Softcover)
- Retail price : Hardcover: $39.95; Softcover: $29.95
- 8.5 x 11 inches
- 126 pages