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Whatever It Took

Posted by WETSU Airborne Community

 "There'd be a guy walking on the road, going from one point to another. I'd just walk right up; maybe he saw me and thought I was a villager. Maybe he didn't see me because I snuck up, or my clothes, blacked from the mine, made me almost invisible. Pistol, close range. I was a guerrilla, waging war behind the lines as I'd been trained. A Paratrooper on the lam."

Carrying you back into the depths and horrors of World War II, Whatever It Took by Henry Langrehr highlights the personal account of his survival, heroism, and memoir of escape. 

For all paratroopers, Whatever It Took should definitely make its way to your must-read shelf as the firsthand, autobiographical account of one of the most unnatural horrors of human history. As a paratrooper in the last days of the war, Langrehr, a survivor of D-Day, tells all in a behind-the-scenes story of how he was captured and imprisoned in a Nazi work camp. 

Not even believable in our worst nightmares, Whatever It Took describes one of the last WWII stories personally, as one of the few surviving members of his generation. Langrehr leaves no detail out of his firsthand account of his experience as an American paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne in 1944. 

At the young age of 19, the story that takes place begins in his first time in combat. Beginning the story as he and his unit drops in on an occupied France and crash through a glass roof, Langrehr survives the fall only to be captured by the Nazis. 

For any paratrooper or member of the military, this firsthand account told from the inner walls of the Nazisdeath camp and step-by-step toward the horrors of the Final Solution, Whatever It Took unveils the terrors seen from behind the walls of both death and work camps in the 1940s.

A POW, the story follows Langrehr as he is then transported to a work camp, forced to serve in a coal mine in shockingly dreadful conditions. Predicting that they will be worked to death, he and his friend plan a desperate escape, with his friend only to be fatally shot on the way out.

The author then works his way back home to his love, Arlene, as he did Whatever It Took to make it back to his life, hopes, and fears or dreams from before the war—whatever was left. But, of course, as Langrehr describes—nothing would ever be the same. 

Who is the author? Henry Langrehr, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, is also the recipient of the French Legion of Honor, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

 

 


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