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Summary

Four days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Suddenly, a German Messerschmitt fighter pulled up on his tail. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would later be called 'the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.'

This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day: 2nd Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a farm boy from West Virginia, and 2nd Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II.

What happened between them was later classified 'top secret.' It was an act that Franz could never mention or else face a firing squad. It was an encounter that would haunt both Charlie and Franz for forty years...

©2013 Adam Makos (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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George's review

what a book,very powerful i was elated tearfull and exhausted at the end. I could not put it down, true men of honour in a time of hell. brilliant

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing story of courage

Gritty war story and interesting reading Of the war in air, as seen from both sides. As an aircraft fanatic this is a terrific book. Also very heart warming and humbling. Fully recommended.
Keith Traylor

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

holding back tears of joy, sadness, laughter and

heart warming, packed with historical facts, a testament to a generation of amazing courageous people

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Like no other

I have read quite a number of books recently on these fly boys of the war and this is an outstanding account of an incredible story. The german pilots had it hard theres no doubt anout it, this covers the experience of Franz and his commrades vividly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Iconoclastic Take on WW2 Aerial Warfare!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would! A compelling story, well written and well read. Really draws you into the lives, fears, and hopes of the principal protagonists. It also gives a good overview of the politics and military situation that shaped the lives of those we read about.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Without a doubt, the Luftwaffe fighter ace Franz Stigler. The book really pivots around him.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

It has to be the moment where Stigler holds off shooting down the crippled B17 flown by Lt. Charlie Brown. In doing so, he has a personal shift in conscience: sacrificing his hitherto coveted Iron Cross but, by his own later admission, gaining something much more valuable...

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes. Many. Many. But particularly the one described above.

Any additional comments?

My only concern is just how much of the book is actually true. Such is the immediacy of the writing, it reads like a novel. The authors state that the text is based on more than eight years of interviews with the principal participants, but I wonder how much detail can be recalled so many decades after the events. So many WW2 books have come under suspicion recently, particularly those that, like "A Higher Call", have been published after the deaths of those involved, meaning that there's nobody around to either corroborate or refute the facts. There's no denying it's a fantastic read, but if were an author trying to make lots of money - and I understand the film rights have already been sold - I'd try to make it as entertaining as possible, too.

Still, I loved this book, and I hope my doubts are unfounded. Go read it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A must for WW2 aircraft enthusiasts

Fascinating, compelling story about an aspect to WW2 few may be familiar with. Good narration but could have done without the corny German accents

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Compelling read

This story is a must I was drawn to tears by the noble acts of such brave men

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A great story in a difficult time

this book is a detailed experience of what it was like to be on the "other side of the fence" the unspoken code of flyers and the horror of war this book scores 1000/10 for a 100% griping read

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Gives me goose bumps every time

Heard the story 3 times now! I must listen! You won’t regret buying this one! The hero in this storey has an amazing life that spans such an interesting period of history. You must hear the storey if you haven’t done so already. Cannot recommend enough!!!

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A wonderful story

A trutly brillant and enjoyable story, what a life to have lived. Such an amazing story

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  • Alex
  • 16-12-17

Probably one of the best books out there!!!

What made the experience of listening to A Higher Call the most enjoyable?

The book is good, probably one of the best books in the history of the World. The story is remarkable and in todays' times a pleasure to see once upon a time, even in hardship, men were humble and humane...today's people should learn about what it was to me a human...

Who was your favorite character and why?

Off course Franz

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved when he was in Sicily and they were looking down at Trapanni,,,I have been there and seen the field

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely yes...and am listening to it again

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  • Jonathan
  • 04-07-17

MUST READ, great story, very well writen

Would you consider the audio edition of A Higher Call to be better than the print version?

Yes

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Higher Call?

there are many, but the highlight of Stigler escorting the B17 is unbelievable

Which scene was your favorite?

meeting between the pilots in 1992

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

absolutely

Any additional comments?

no

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  • Joao G. D. Santos
  • 01-02-17

Higher Call, an outstanding true story

It was the most emotional story I ever read. The climax, I believe every reader has ideally imagined, never ever reached the real moment they finally met. I have to control my tears from flooding the ambience.

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  • JURANDYR
  • 14-01-15

A Tale So Wonderful - Because It Is Real

This audiobook is a must for anyone addicted to military aviation history. Well researched, written and rendered, it's author, publishers and reader delivered a masterpiece. Thank you very much for this outstanding experience.