Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 25 Dec 2015
Full Title: Shot Down: The True Story of Pilot Howard Snyder and the Crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth
In Shot Down, author Steve Snyder told the story of the B-17G bomber "Susan Ruth", serial number 42-31499, piloted by his father Howard Snyder. On 8 Feb 1944, the aircraft crashed near Macquenoise, Belgium, and the survivors met various fates. Snyder captivatingly told of the courage of Belgian resisters, the poor treatment at prisoners of war camps, and the emotional roller coaster experienced by the mothers and wives of the missing airmen. While memoirs make poor history due to the lack of objectivity, this book was more so due to the bias of family connection and an entirely American-centric perspective. Nevertheless, the author made up for that weakness by providing information, if cursory, on a wide array of topics, ranging from the basic responsibilities of each B-17 crewman to the development of German fighter tactics against American multi-engined bombers. The author's simple language and concise chapters made this book an easy read, while the book was handsomely bound in hard cover. All in all, I had enjoyed Shot Down very much. Although it offered little new knowledge on the air war over Europe, Howard Snyder and his comrades' collective experience was a story worth telling. The airmen's sense of duty and the Belgian resisters' selflessness reminded me that while war was the single most terrible thing man could inflict on one another, such nightmares also brought out the best in us.
Back to Main | Back to Book Reviews Index
Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.
Share this article with your friends:
Stay updated with WW2DB:
A review copy or review sample of this product was provided by the publisher or vendor to WW2DB; opinions expressed in this review are not influenced by this fact.
» Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities
» B-17 Flying Fortress
- » 1,062 biographies
- » 331 events
- » 36,878 timeline entries
- » 1,042 ships
- » 333 aircraft models
- » 185 vehicle models
- » 345 weapon models
- » 104 historical documents
- » 192 facilities
- » 463 book reviews
- » 25,756 photos
- » 299 maps
Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939