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The Brigade: An Epic Story of Vengeance, Salvation & World War II
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The Brigade: An Epic Story of Vengeance, Salvation & World War II

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  293 ratings  ·  46 reviews
An epic true story of three remarkable men and one woman who set out to fight a war and in the process help to create a nation.

November, 1944. The war in Europe is drawing to a close when the British government finally agrees to send a brigade of five thousand Jewish volunteers from Palestine to Europe to fight the German army. Among these soldiers are Israel Carmi, a vete
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 6th 2001 by Harper (first published 2001)
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Artfully written account of the Jewish Brigade's history during the Second World War fighting as part of the British Eighth Army in the Italian campaign against the Germans towards the war's end. I found this to be a real page turner as the book's exciting episodes unfolded.

Blum's skill lies with his merging of both the Brigade's own history and the individual stories of three of its members. All of which is based on extensive and painstaking research of published and unpublished histories as w
Kent Horner
The true story of a British brigade (5000 troops) made up entirely of Jewish soldiers, (Israel was not a nation yet) being able to fight against the Germans in WWII sounded interesting to me. The opportunity given these soldiers to go into combat with the Third Reich, the nation who had every intention in annihilating their existence, was short lived because they were not given that opportunity until the war was all but over. However when the war was over they set out to find and kill the SS “b ...more
Interesting and entertaining non-fiction about the 5,000 or so Jews who fought at the end of WW2 against the Nazis. While they only got into a few combat missions at the end of the war--it's what some of them did AFTER the war that really makes this a worthy read for WW2 buffs.

A small group of men post-war did two things: smuggled thousands and thousands of Jews out of Europe and into Palestine (soon to become Israel) and formed a death squad that would locate Nazis in hiding and then execute th
One of the best books about WW2 Ive ever read. I love how the Jewish people can finally be recognized for helping destroy the third Reich.
David Stark
Howard Blum’s The Brigade follows three soldiers of the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group through the late part of World War II and into 1948 as the Israeli Defense Forces fought to protect the new State of Israel. The Brigade also follows the changing roles of the main characters from soldiers, to assassins, and finally to rescuers of Jewish refugees, and finally to defenders of the State of Israel. One of the biggest themes in the book was that of redemption, especially in the case of Captain Jona ...more
Kurt W. DeAngelis
How a war ends and a nation begins ... The Brigade should not be missed.

First hand account by leaders of the Jewish Brigade offers a unique view of life under British rule, Anti-Semitism within the ranks of the British Army, the final battles of WWII, the creation of the nation of Israel and the daring exploits undertaken to bring it about. I have great respect for the three heroes the book centers around and the thousands of others who risked so much.

Wonderful read ... time well spent.
Students of Zionist history will have heard of the British organized Jewish Brigade, recruited in Palestine and deployed to Italy in 1944 and 1945. Thousands of Jewish soldiers trained under the British and played a combat role in the Italian campaign against the Germans. Their training and experience would prove a valuable asset to the Haganah in 1947 and 1948 as the new State fought for its existence. Howard Blum's telling of this chapter of pre-State Jewish history is built on the narratives ...more
The end of the nineteenth century brought the rise of the Zionist movement that inspired Jews from Europe to immigrate to Palestine. This did not sit well with the Ottoman Turks who controlled the area, but it was supported by Great Britain, who would push the Ottoman Empire out of Palestine during the First World War. After WWI, the League of Nations awarded Britain a formal mandate to administer the region. This “British Mandate” was in effect from 1922 until the state of Israel declared indep ...more
May 21, 2014 Kerri rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
About 2.5 stars. While the story of a brigade of 5,000 Jewish soldiers fighting the Nazis at the end of World War 2 was interesting, I enjoyed the more personal stories of their family members and why so many felt the need for a homeland after the war. This story also relays the brigade's secret plans to move the Jewish survivors to Palestine despite the British prohibition on settling in Palestine.
Susan Corwin
Avenging Angels...

I read this book in two days. This is a riveting real-life story of horror, rebirth and justice. The mission, politics, and profound sorrow and bravery are portrayed through the viewpoints of inspired searchers. Their struggles, development into true heroes and survival and victory are redemptive as well as an inspiration.
Nikki Crosby
If this book was just about the Brigade, I probably would have given it 4 stars. But there were parts about the soldiers family, particularly Leah Pinchuk, that I thought were far more interesting than the main book. I found myself disappointed when the chapter flipped back to the Brigade and left Leah. That being said I think everyone should give this book a chance. Not many know there was a Jewish Brigade fighting the Nazis, and this book educates on the matter in a comprehensive and interesti ...more
Mar 08, 2012 Daniel marked it as to-read
Sounds like it will be good! The description is:

"November 1944. The British government finally agrees to send a brigade of 5,000 Jewish volunteers from Palestine to Europe to fight the German army. But when the war ends and the soldiers witness firsthand the horrors their people have suffered in the concentration camps, the men launch a brutal and calculating campaign of vengeance, forming secret squads to identify, locate, and kill Nazi officers in hiding. Their own ferocity threatens to overw
Robert Davidson
Another World War Two story not widely known. A Jewish Army Brigade part of the British Army and sent to fight in Italy and eventually Germany. Many differing characters emerge throughout the book and one is amazed by their exploits. Many members of the Brigade go on to help and fight for the new State of Israel after the War which to their credit remains a Democracy to this day. Very good read.
Reverend Stanleigh Chapin
Absolutely compelling

Extensive research and brilliantly compiled, it should be read by those interested in military actions, religious and history buffs for a better understanding of the world we live in
Ronnie Rohn
Amazing account of little known, but critical aspect owes

II and post war history. I could never find enough superlatives to do it just have to read it!
You'd think you were reading a thriller or watching a movie. Only the things in this book actually happened. A great picture of a little known piece of Jewish history.
I really enjoyed the content of this book. The true story of this group's attempt to smuggle the Jews of our Europe in the last days of WWII was something I had not heard much about before. I liked the fact that the author decided to tell the story from the perspective of three individuals, it made the reader connect more with the story. The author did very good research and obviously paid a lot of attention to getting the facts correct.

I did think that the writing style lacked somewhat. It was
This was a great book that lets you see parts of history you were never told in school. The story of the Jewish Brigade and even the back story of how the author stumbled upon the idea for the book was really interesting. This is a factual historical book written in the style of a thriller/mystery. It was a captivating read and I would suggest it to all of those who are interested in WWII and the Holocaust.
Aashish Dhakan
You just can't stop reading this book is an understatement for this book.
The reason that the author wrote this book is the exact reason I was drawn to read it. He mentioned that he had never heard of the Jewish Brigade Army in WWII, so decided to research it. I came across this title as I was looking for a book to read and I am very happy I did. I had never heard of the Jewish Brigade Army and learned a lot of things that I did not previously know about from reading this book. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend that everyone should read it.
Dana Woodaman
This was an amazing and inspiring book about the Jewish Brigade that fought the Nazis at the end of WWII - and no, I had never heard about them either.
But there is a lot more to this book than just the fighting, there is also the story of how, after the end of the war, members of the Brigade saved thousands of displaced Jews from rotting and probably dying in displaced person camps.
I could not put this book down, and can't recommend it highly enough.
Quite a book. I've read several books by Howard Blum and have enjoyed them all. This one, like the others, is an amazing story well told. The book follows three men in the Jewish Brigade of the British army during WWII. It's amazing to follow their path into combat, revenge and finally redemption. It's always difficult to read about the Holocaust, but reading about how it affected these men and how they dealt with it is surprising and powerful.
This book is PG-13 due to two "f" words but I didn't really mind since it was a true account. Maybe I should have but that is just me. This was a very interesting account of a small Jewish brigade that was finally allowed to fight the Nazis towards the end of the war. I would have given it 5 stars but, since I've read historical accounts by Erik Larson, other authors just don't seem to bring the same spark to the narrative.
Great book. This book is about a Brigade of Jewish soldiers from Palestine that fought with the British in WWII. At the time, there were major tensions between the British and the Palestinians. The second half of the book is about how the leaders of the Brigade, after the war, went around Europe executing Nazis and helping Jews migrate to Palestine. Remarkable story.
A 7.5. As with The Gold of Exodus, the story line chosen is fantastic, but again, more details in certain areas (and less in others) would have made the book phenomenal. Blum is an expert at choosing great topics to write about, particularly because the stories are true, with plots better than any fiction which could have been imagined.
Christine O'dell
Before I read this book, I read a 650 page account of WW II, Europe and Pacific theatres. The Jewish Brigade was not mentioned, to my recollection, in that book. This is a great book that gives an amazing account of the impact this Brigade had on the Jewish survivors of WW II. I recommend it to anyone who is a WW II history buff.
Frances Fuller
I had some knowledge of this brigade before I started the book, the author, by using only four characters, was able to give it a depth and a personalization that is not easy to achieve. Arming the Jews and sending them to Europe on the eve of WWII had predictable and astonishing results. A recommended read.
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I read this in April, 2006. It was a very good book about a Jewish brigade in the British Army during World War II. They were brave and had nerve. I didn't remember learning earlier that they were at such odds with the British government. Recommended if you like reading about that war.
A remarkable account of a brigade I ignorantly never knew existed. I firmly believe this part of WW2 should be taught in school globally so that people learn the power of the human spirit and the inevitability of justice.
I found this book we researched and well written. Commendable work.
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HOWARD BLUM is the author of the New York Times bestseller and Edgar Award winner American Lightning, as well as such bestsellers as Wanted!, The Gold Exodus, and Gangland. He is currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. While at the New York Times, he was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. The Floor of Heaven: A True Story of the old West and the Yukon Gold Ru ...more
More about Howard Blum...
American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood & the Crime of the Century The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America The Gold of Exodus Gangland: How the FBI Broke the Mob

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“Now was the moment for the Jews to turn the tables. To repay not just the Nazis, but all the centuries of persecution. Perhaps the time had finally come for Jewish soldiers to unleash all restraints.” 0 likes
“Deutschland Kaput! Kein Reich, Kein Volk, Kein Führer! Die Juden Kommen!” Trucks veered out of line to smash into men bicycling on the other side of the road. At night, soldiers looking for revenge sneaked into villages, assaulting women, burning houses.” 0 likes
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