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The final volume of Gardner's critically acclaimed biography of the Third Battalion 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment - the sister company to the famed Band of Brothers - this book traces the battalion's actions in the frantic final days of the war in Europe. Exhausted and battered following the disastrous Market-Garden campaign, the 506th were due three months of R&R, but were rushed back in to halt the desperate German attack during the Battle of the Bulge. When the offensive was finally halted after months of fighting the 506th pushed on into Germany where Ed Shames was the first Allied soldier to enter Dachau before the unit were sent to occupy Hitler's mountain retreat at Berchtesgarden. Based on extensive interviews and first-hand accounts, this volume relives the struggles of the paratroopers of the renowned 'Screaming Eagles' in some of the toughest fighting of World War II, bringing the story of their defiant unit to its conclusion.


Ian Gardner served for five years in Support Company, 10th Battalion, the Parachute Regiment as a medic before leaving the Territorial Army in 1993 due to injury. Always enthusiastic about military history, several years after leaving 10 Para Ian became interested in World War II US Paratroopers. After a visit to Normandy in 2000 he decided to focus on the 101st Airborne Division, and in particular the 3rd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which led to the critically acclaimed Tonight We Die As Men, co-written with Roger Day. This, his second historical work, continues their story. Currently self-employed, he is married with two grown up children and lives near Aldershot in Hampshire.Col. Ed Shames is a 'Band of Brothers' veteran. He received a battlefield commission into E ('Easy') Company of the 506th PIR on 13 June 1944 in Carentan, France. He survived the war before eventually retiring as a Colonel. He is an active member of veterans' societies.


Foreword by Ed Shames
Preface by George Koskimaki
Introduction by James "Pee Wee” Martin

  1. "Johnny we hardly knew you”
    Camp Châlons, Mourmelon-le-Grand - November 28-December 18, 1944
  2. "Ghost front”
    December 17-19, 1944
  3. "Today is the only reality”
    December 20, 1944
  4. "Epitaph for a generation”
    December 21-24, 1944
  5. "The deep six”
    The worst winter in 50 years
  6. "Steel whirlwind”
    Post-Christmas breakthrough
  7. "Hell night”
    Clearing the Fazone Woods - January 9, 1945
  8. "Salute the new dawn”
    The final attacks on Foy and Noville - January 13-17, 1945
  9. "After the storm”
    Alsace Lorraine and the Colmar Pocket - January 21-February 25, 1945
  10. "Home alive in '45”
    Return to Mourmelon - February 26-April 2, 1945
  11. "Setting sons”
    The Ruhr, western Germany - April 3-24, 1945
  12. "Striking back”
    The plight of the 3rd Battalion POWs - June 1944-May 1945
  13. "Candle for the dead”
    Southern Bavaria - April 28-May 3, 1945
  14. "The roaring silence”
    Berchtesgaden, Austria, and France - May 4-November 30, 1945