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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

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  222 ratings  ·  37 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 veteran

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Published (first published 2001)
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Paul Harris
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 All of which is based on extensive and painstaking research of published and unpublished histories as w
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Joshua
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
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Dustin
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.
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
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
Jim
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
Kerri
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.
Daniel
Mar 08, 2012 Daniel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.
Melissa
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.
Julia
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.
Camille
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
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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.
Matt
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.
Wendy
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.
Darrell
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.
Avi
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.
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.
Ciara
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.
Sam Norton
Great story. Kind of a real-life version of many of Leon Uris's books. It absolutely amazes me still to read of how Jews were penned up in refugee camps (prisons) after experiencing what they did during the Holocaust. Who in Whitehall was making that decision?
Kate Benayoun
Brilliantly written, this non-fiction work reads like a great historical fiction novel. The story of the first Jewish brigade sent by England from Palestine to fight the Nazi's. I love discovering things that I never knew happened!
Kenneth Wilkinson
An excellent book set at the end of WWII into personal narratives and explains in some small ways how Israel was created in 1948.

I'd recommend O Jerusalem by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins as a companion.
Maurice
A wonderful story about a little-known fact of WOII, one can understand very much what these people must have felt. Despite the historical context the book is as personal as can be to the main characters.
Beth
Amazing story of the Jewish brigade (I had never heard of them) and how they fought in WWII as well as their activities in post war Europe. The subtitle is highly accurate. Hard to put down.
John
The story of a Jewish brigade at the end of WW2. The English didn't want to train them because they knew they would have to fight them in Palestine after the war was over.
Nick Boldrini
Quite a challenging read in that this talks about war crimes against former Nazis - and is morally ambiguous on the acceptability of this.
Janet
Wow!!! a wonderful book about the Israeli army and their efforts to save the Jewish people during WWII.
Jeff Wadler
Nice to hear a story about "tough Jews" at a time when the world was trying to eradicate us.
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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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