Panther Soup: A European Journey in War and Peace

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9780091921385: Panther Soup: A European Journey in War and Peace
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'A very special piece of travel writing. To journey past familiar European landmarks with someone who knew them in the post-war chaos of the 1940s is both moving and illuminating.' Tim Butcher, author of Blood River

By the end of World War II much of Western Europe was in chaos. The future of our world had been contested here, in the hinterlands of France and across the German plains. But what's become of the battlefields now? Or the people that lived on them? And is there any trace of the 2.7 million Americans who smashed their way into the Reich (or the 12 million that followed)? With questions like these, the award-winning travel writer John Gimlette, guided by WWII veteran Putnam Flint, sets off on an astonishing journey into the past.

'Gimlette has a gift for travel writing with details of the most intimate kind, the small change and ammunition of a soldier's life ... A subtle book, with telling testimony from the survivors of what it was actually like to fight a war with few rules.' Hugh Thomson, Independent

'An important book, reminding us of the links between old and new world, ideals and ideologies, war and peace in our phoenix-like continent. It is at once raw and erudite, deeply moving and strangely leisurely. It's also rich in black humour and insight.' Rory MacLean, Guardian

'One of the quirkiest, most thoughtful and illuminating books to have come my way in a long time ... Gimlette ranges far beyond his original remit into adventurous realms all his own.' Literary Review

Présentation de l'éditeur :

A chance encounter with an American WWII veteran leads John Gimlette on an astonishing journey through France, Germany and Austria.

In a journey that takes the author through the last months of the war, through some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, and through cities that have risen from cinders, Panther Soup is a tale as rich, bleak and absurd as war itself.

There’s a colourful cast of survivors showing the way. But it’s the American veteran, Putnam Flint, who guides the author through the emotions of that time. Now 86, he had been one of nearly three million Americans moving across the face of the continent.

It had been a journey of unimaginable scale and complexity, an armoured migration, a wheeled city rolling through Europe. For most of his life, Flint has lived with the memories of a tank-mangled sludge (the “Panther Soup”) and finds himself once again speeding up the Rhone Valley, re-living the camps, visiting the villages he’d shelled, and meeting the children of the battlefield, now elderly themselves. They find the field where Flint mowed down the flak-crew, and the Austrian village where he dueled with a Nazi fanatic.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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John Gimlette
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ISBN 10 : 0091921384 ISBN 13 : 9780091921385
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