About this item

Joining the ranks of Unbroken, Band of Brothers, and Boys in the Boat, the little-known saga of young German Jews, dubbed The Ritchie Boys, who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s, came of age in America, and returned to Europe at enormous personal risk as members of the U.S. Army to play a key role in the Allied victory.

In 1942, the U.S. Army unleashed one of its greatest secret weapons in the battle to defeat Adolf Hitler: training nearly 2,000 German-born Jews in special interrogation techniques and making use of their mastery of the German language, history, and customs. Known as the Ritchie Boys, they were sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they interrogated German POWs and gathered crucial intelligence that saved American lives and helped win the war.

Though they knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured, the Ritchie Boys eagerly joined the fight to defeat Hitler. As they did, many of them did not know the fates of their own families left behind in occupied Europe. Taking part in every major campaign in Europe, they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions. A postwar Army report found that more than sixty percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys.

Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light. Sons and Soldiers traces their stories from childhood and their escapes from Nazi Germany, through their feats and sacrifices during the war, to their desperate attempts to find their missing loved ones in war-torn Europe. Sons and Soldiers is an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism that will not soon be forgotten.

About the Author

Bruce Henderson

Bruce Henderson is the author or coauthor of more than twenty nonfiction books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller AND THE SEA WILL TELL, which was made into a highly-rated TV miniseries. His latest book, RESCUE AT LOS BANOS: THE MOST DARING PRISON CAMP RAID OF WORLD WAR II, was published by William Morrow in April 2015. General Colin Powell has called the Los Baños raid "a textbook operation for all ages and all armies." Henderson's previous book, HERO FOUND: THE GREATEST POW ESCAPE OF THE VIETNAM WAR, a national bestseller, told the true story of U.S. Navy pilot Dieter Dengler, with whom Henderson served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CVA-61) during Vietnam. Henderson is also the author of TRACE EVIDENCE: THE HUNT FOR THE I-5 SERIAL KILLER and FATAL NORTH: MURDER AND SURVIVAL ON THE FIRST NORTH POLE EXPEDITION. An award-winning journalist and author, he has taught reporting and writing courses at USC School of Journalism and Stanford University. Visit his website: www.BruceHendersonBooks.com.

Discuss with your friends

Report incorrect product information.