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The compelling WWII correspondence and artifacts of Major Dick Winters, commander of the Band of Brothers.
Major Dick Winters of the 101st Airborne gained international acclaim when the tale of he and his men were depicted in the celebrated book and miniseries Band of Brothers. Hoisted as a modest hero who spurned adulation, Winters epitomized the notion of dignified leadership. His iconic World War II exploits have since been depicted in art and commemorated with monuments.
Beneath this marble image of a reserved officer is the story of a common Pennsylvanian tested by the daily trials and tribulations of military duty. His wartime correspondence with pen pal and naval reservist, DeEtta Almon, paints an endearing portrait of life on both the home front and battlefront—capturing the humor, horror, and humility that defined a generation. Interwoven with previously unpublished diary entries, military reports, postwar reminiscences, private photos, personal artifacts, and rich historical context, Winters’s letters offer compelling insights on the individual costs and motivations of World War II service members.
Winters’s heartfelt prose reveals his mindset of the moment. From stateside training to the hedgerows of Normandy, his correspondence immerses readers in the dramatic experiences of the 1940s. Via the lost art of letter writing, the immediacy and honesty of Winters’s observations takes us beyond the traditional accounts of the fabled 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s Easy Company. This engaging narrative offers a unique blend of personal wit, leadership ethics, and broader observations of a world at war. Hang Tough is a deeply intimate, timely reflection on a rising officer and the philosophies that molded him into a hero among heroes.
Hang Tough “will help people better understand the man I knew and respected so much. Folks should know what we all went through during the war.” —Bradford Freeman, Foreword
About the Author
Jared Frederick is the author of a number of books, including Dispatches of D-Day: A People’s History of the Normandy Invasion. Prior to his current position as an Instructor of History at Penn State Altoona, he served as a seasonal park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Frederick has appeared on C-SPAN, PBS, in numerous independent documentaries, and on Turner Classic Movies as a guest host. He has also received awards for his teaching skills and efforts on behalf of student veterans. Learn more about Frederick on his website at www.jaredfrederick.com.
Erik Dorr is the owner of the Gettysburg Museum of History—a structure that witnessed the famous 1863 battle. At an early age, Erik began collecting historical relics from throughout history. This broad range of artifacts has grown into one of the finest privately-owned collections in the United States. Among the treasures in the museum is the largest assortment of Major Dick Winters and Easy Company artifacts in the world. In his wide array of historical adventures, Dorr has led European battlefield tours and has appeared on the History Channel, Syfy, and the Smithsonian Channel. Learn more at www.gettysburgmuseumofhistory.com.
“Stunning! This thoroughly researched and intimate work by Erik Dorr and Jared Frederick, complete with many never-before-published photos and color plates featuring personal artifacts, is a must read for anyone interested in the life, character, and leadership abilities of Band of Brothers hero Major Dick Winters.” — Larry Alexander, bestselling author of Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers
“Ever since the public became aware of Dick Winters’s exceptional leadership, there has been endless curiosity to learn what made him great. Winters left us a legacy of thoughtful and eloquent writings, in both his diary and correspondence. Erik Dorr and Jared Frederick have edited those words into this informative compilation. The book demonstrates that equal parts of courage and intelligence defined Major Winters as a warrior and an exemplary leader of paratroopers. This presentation is enhanced with color photos of Winters memorabilia, currently displayed at the Gettysburg Museum of History. Perhaps we have not seen the last of books on Dick Winters, but it is unlikely that this one will ever be surpassed.” — Mark A. Bando, author of six books on the 101st Airborne Division in World War II
“Hang Tough provides powerful insight into Dick Winters’s military career, meaningfully integrating World War II artifacts now on display at the Gettysburg Museum of History. Following his exciting epic through Europe, from Normandy to Germany, the book skillfully shares the stories of Major Winters that have inspired so many.” — Michel de Trez, founder of the D-Day Experience Museum in Normandy
“What a compelling and absorbing book. Dick Winters’s letters shed fascinating light on his character and motivations, greatly enhancing our understandings of one of America’s most iconic World War II heroes. Expertly edited and framed with a highly knowledgeable contextual narrative, Hang Tough offers perspective and detail of one soldier’s extraordinary wartime career.” — James Holland, bestselling author of Normandy ‘44: D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France