Military history

Behind Hitler's Lines: The True Story of the Only Soldier to Fight for both America and the Soviet Union in World War II

Behind Hitler's Lines: The True Story of the Only Soldier to Fight for both America and the Soviet Union in World War II

As the twentieth century closed, the veterans of its defining war passed away at a rate of a thousand per day. Fortunately, D-Day paratrooper Joseph Beyrle met author Thomas H. Taylor in time to record Behind Hitler's Lines, the true story of the first American paratrooper to land in Normandy and the only soldier to fight for both the United States and the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. It is a story of battle, followed by a succession of captures, escapes, recaptures, and re-escapes, then battle once more, in the final months of fighting on the Eastern Front. For these unique experiences, both President Bill Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin honored Joe Beyrle on the fiftieth anniversary of V-E Day. Beyrle did not strive to be a part of history, but history kept visiting him. Twice before the invasion he parachuted into Normandy, bearing gold for the French resistance. D Day resulted in his capture, and he was mistaken for a German line-crosser - a soldier who had, in fact, died in the attempt. Eventually Joe was held under guard at the American embassy in Moscow, suspected of being a Nazi assassin. Fingerprints saved him, confirming that he'd been wounded five times, and that he bore a safe-conduct pass written by marshal Zhukov after the Wehrmacht wrested Joe, at gunpoint, from execution by the Gestapo. In the ruins of Warsaw his life was saved again, this time by Polish nuns. Some of Joe's story is in his own words - a voice that will be among the last and best we hear firsthand from World War II.

FOREWORD

Chapter 1: THE EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS

Chapter 2: JUMPIN'JOE

Chapter 3: ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL

Chapter 4: D NIGHT EVE

Chapter 5: HIDE-AND-SEEK

Chapter 6: IN THE ORCHARD

Chapter 7: HIGHWAY 13

Chapter 8: GOOD COPS, BAD COPS

Chapter 9: MUSKEGON

Chapter 10: ANGELS DON'T SPEAK GERMAN

Chapter 11: THE STALAGS

Chapter 12: IV-B

Chapter 13: MARKET-GARDEN

Chapter 14: A DOG AND A MOLE

Chapter 15: BERLIN

Chapter 16: BASTOGNE

Chapter 17: GESTAPO VERSUS WEHRMACHT

Chapter 18: AMERICANSKI TOVARISH!

Chapter 19: BACK TO III-C

Chapter 20: EVERYONE IN HELL IS GRINNING

Chapter 21: TO MOSCOW

EPILOGUE