Download E-books The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History PDF

By Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter

Even as Adolf Hitler was once trying to take over the western international, his armies have been methodically looking and hoarding the best paintings treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had all started cataloguing the paintings he deliberate to assemble in addition to the paintings he might smash: "degenerate" works he despised.
In a race opposed to time, at the back of enemy strains, usually unarmed, a different strength of American and British museum administrators, curators, artwork historians, and others, referred to as the Monuments males, risked their lives scouring Europe to avoid the destruction of hundreds of thousands of years of tradition.
Focusing at the eleven-month interval among D-Day and V-E Day, this attention-grabbing account follows six Monuments males and their very unlikely venture to save lots of the world's nice artwork from the Nazis.

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Yours, George bankruptcy eleven a gathering within the box Normandy, France August 1944 An historical crossroads, town of Saint-Lô sat on excessive floor commanding a view of a major east-west street in Normandy. seeing that early June, the twenty ninth Infantry department (the “29ers”) were slowed down there in a dangerous showdown with the German 352nd department. by way of mid-July, hardly ever a guy used to be alive on each side who had fought on D-Day. On July 17, an hour ahead of sunrise, the 29ers all started an all-out attack on Saint-Lô, no reinforcements held in reserve. It used to be a shock assault; the lads jumped into the German trenches utilizing essentially bayonets and hand grenades. They broke during the enemy traces at sunrise and took the excessive floor lower than a mile from city. The Germans counterattacked, yet an important Allied artillery and fire-bomber strike broke their cost. within the smoky haze of a French morning, the 29ers driven over the ultimate hill and observed for the 1st time the target for which they'd fought and died. “St. -Lô were hit by means of B-17s on D-Day, and each transparent day thereafter,” wrote the historian Stephen Ambrose. “The middle of where used to be a dull pile of rubble ‘in which roads and sidewalks may scarcely be unique. ’ ” 1 however the urban wasn’t useless. in the back of each pile of stones, a German soldier used to be ready. The Allied improve quickly become a operating conflict, with a lot of the struggling with founded at the cemetery close to the collapsed church of Sainte-Croix. Bullets shattered headstones as rhino tanks outfitted with do-it-yourself battering rams ran over tombs like hedgerows, forcing the Germans again into the decimated city. while the conflict ultimately led to Allied victory, the 29ers wrapped the physique of significant Tom Howie, a former schoolteacher and one in all its preferred officials, in an American flag and hoisted it to the pinnacle of a pile of stones that had as soon as been the church of Sainte-Croix. town used to be ultimately in Allied arms, yet at an important expense. The twenty ninth department had misplaced extra males at Saint-Lô than that they had on Omaha seashore. James Rorimer used to be despatched to Saint-Lô to evaluate the wear. He came upon a urban in ruins, the useless mendacity unburied within the rubble, the homeless citizens stumbling via piles of splintered wooden and ashes looking for foodstuff and water. “The Germans set fireplace to houses with gasoline,” one guy advised him, as he picked his means in the course of the particles. “They set mines on each significant road. ” someplace within reach a mine exploded; one other construction collapsed. the town architect wept at his first sight of the town’s historical district. The Germans had outfitted trenches and underground concrete forts round and in the city’s most vital monuments, and the Allies had bombed them flat. the most executive structures have been cratered by way of bombs, then gobbled by means of flames. The inn de Ville, whose library contained the constitution of William the Conqueror, used to be gutted. The close by museum and its centuries of amassed treasures have been diminished to dirt. the heart of the church of Notre-Dame was once a pile of rubble twenty ft excessive.

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