Compassionate Soldier illuminates fascinating yet largely unknown stories of men and women whose humanity led them to perform courageous acts of mercy and compassion amid the chaos and carnage of war. Arranged by war from the American Revolution to the Iraq War and global in perspective, it features extraordinary stories of grace under fire from valiant soldiers and noncombatants who rose above the inhumanity of lethal conflict and chose compassion, even knowing their actions could put their lives and liberty at risk.
Included are the stories of Patrick Ferguson, a British officer during the American Revolution who had the chance to kill George Washington but refused to shoot a man in the back; Richard Kirkland, a Confederate soldier during the Civil War who took water to wounded Union soldiers during the battle of Fredericksburg; and Oswald Boelcke, a German WWI flying ace who was one of the most influential tacticians of early air combat and was known for making sure the airmen he shot down made it to the ground alive.
These and other inspirational stories illustrate that even in the midst of the unspeakable horrors of war, acts of kindness, mercy, compassion, and humanity can prevail and, in doing so, expand our conventional thinking of honor and battlefield glory.
|Size||6 x 9|
|Published||Shadow Mountain 2017|
By Aimee Brown, Submitted on 2017-05-18
I love history and I love true stories in history- especially ones that inspire me and bring hope. This book is full of stories of people who showed compassion, kindness or mercy during the struggle of war.
The author goes into some depth to describe the events surrounding each person and their circumstances. This really helps set the tone for what made their acts so profound. I received an ARC copy of this book so mine didn't have the photos that I think are included in the final copy. I wish I could see those pictures.
War brings such devastation and loss. These stories brought this out but I love reading about people who, in the midst of such devastation and loss, still found a way to extend kindness. I loved the story of Richard Kirkland who heard the cries of the wounded and dying during an ongoing battle and just had to do something to help. At the risk of his own life, he carried water to men on both sides of the battle. He was a young man and died later in a battle but his kindness and mercy will always be remembered. The other story I really loved was about Edith Cavell who was a nurse and helped wounded men recover and then escape the enemy during WWI. She put her life at risk and was executed for it. I loved her integrity because at the end, even though she was warned that people were coming for her, she continued on with her nursing and care. She didn't run, she didn't lie and she didn't apologize for helping save people. She died with her head held high, full of confidence and truth. These are only two of the stories but probably my favorites though all of them are good.
This book was hard to read in many ways, but also brought the hope that good things can still happen in the middle of awful events because of good people who care. I love that this collection of stories honors a few of those people.
Content: Some description of war and violence
- I received a copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.
By Cathy J, Submitted on 2017-05-17
This is a really great book! I really loved reading stories that I'd never heard from some of these battles that I've heard of in history classes all of my life. I loved the new perspective that this book gave me.
I wanted to share a little bit about one of the stories that really touched me. It's about a woman named Edith Cavell, she was a young British nurse. She believed in the Florence Nightingale method of nursing. That was basically having a clean hospital, nurses being clean and letting in the outside air. All of these things were kind of rare at the time. She was matron of a hospital in Belgium, which ended up being on the wrong side of the German lines in World War I. Anyway, Edith was a brave woman. She ended up using the hospital to hide a lot of soldiers from the other side of the war and not only did she hide them, she ended up helping them get to Holland and eventually to England. And we're not talking just a few soldiers either, the number was somewhere around 1000. The Germans got suspicious and started taking out the underground network. Something I found amazing about Edith was that as she saw members of the network, who I'm sure were her friends, be arrested and dealt with by the Germans, she did not go into hiding or try to get away at all. She stood her ground and continued on with her normal activities. She ended up being executed by a German firing squad for her part in getting these soldiers to safety. What an amazing woman! I hope I can be a little like her and try to always stand up for what I believe is the right way to be or the right way to act.
I really enjoyed all of the stories in this book! Jerry Borrowman has a way of writing historical events in a way that makes it seem almost as if you were there. Make sure you make the time to read this one!
By Heidi G., Submitted on 2017-05-16
War is such a horrible thing and yet millions of people have experienced the horrors of it. But stories like the ones told in this book give one hope that despite "man's inhumanity to man" there is still hope for the human race. Borrowman starts with an intriguing story from the Revolutionary War about a time when George Washington could have been killed but because of the honor of a British soldier was not. Some of the stories here are familiar to me such as the one about the Angel at Fredricksburg, the Confederate soldier who risked his life to provide water to dozens of wounded Union soldiers, as well as the story about a group of German teenagers who risked their lives to oppose Hitler. Additional stories about a nurse, a German fighter pilot, a Nazi prison guard, and a German general all tell remarkable tales of people who had the courage as well as compassion to help others when it would have been so much easier not to. Borrowman does a nice job of providing context for each of his stories so it's easier to understand just how much each of these individuals risked and sometimes lost their lives for. A powerful collection of stories that I highly recommend for reading when the bad news threatens to win the day.
By Becca (aka Paij Slater), Submitted on 2017-05-01
War stories are always hard for me to read. My heart aches for what the soldiers and other go through during war. This was a different kind of book. Yes there are terrible things that happen, but in the midst of all the terrible there are some heart warming stories. These kind of stories make me realize that even in the worst of times we can show our best character.
One of my favorite stories (and not just because she is a women) is about Edith Cavell. She was compared to Florence Nightingale, so you know she is going to be an amazing woman. Edith was a nurse who helped soldiers escape to safety. It was hard for her because she had to trust her other nurses, and do it while the soldiers weren't watching. When she was captured and sentenced to death, she told Reverend H. Stirling Gahan "I want my friends to know that I willingly give my life for my country. I have no fear or shirking. I have seen death so often that it is not strange or fearful to me".
It is so wonderful to read about those doing good, even if it meant loosing their own life for it. I want to think I would be that brave.
Another story that seemed to hit me right in the heart was about Kim Phuc. She was photographed by Nick Ut right after a napalm attack. The Cao Dai Temple was suppose to be a safe haven for families, but it was a mistaken target. Phuc watched as her Aunt's baby was thrown from her arms, and Phuc was hit with such force that she didn't wake up until she fire enveloped her. The photographer took her to a hospital in Siagon. He story goes on to tell about meeting the Pilot who coordinated the attack on the village. The pilots name was John Plumber and he asked Phuc for her forgiveness.
She being kind, and compassionate told him she forgave him. She goes on to say "Faith has helped me, give me thankful heart.....to be here in this life and to have another chance in my life, it's a miracle. I was suppose to be dead"
I am amazed at these stories. They are amazing. You get to see the good and the bad side of war. People who put their own lives in danger to rescue others. Those who were ordered to kill, but didn't out of respect of combat rules. People who helped other escape at the expense of their own lives. It's such a great book.