Left for Dead at Nijmegen

The True Story of an American Paratrooper in World War II

Marcus A. Nannini

The true story of an American paratrooper who had a unique encounter during Operation Market Garden and his experiences as a POW.
Publication date:
April 2019
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Illustration :
60 black and white photographs and illustrations
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612006963

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
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Regular Price: £25.00

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• The true story of an American paratrooper who became a POW after Operation Market Garden and had a unique interrogation by Heinrich Himmler himself
• Remarkable record of the wartime experiences of a paratrooper from the 508th

Left for Dead at Nijmegen recalls the larger-than-life experiences of an American paratrooper, Gene Metcalfe, who served in the 82nd Airborne during WWII. From his recruitment into the military at Camp Grant to his training with the 501st Paratroop Infantry Regiment at Camp Toccoa, it wasn't until D-Day itself that he first arrived in England to join the 508th PIR. Nannini records Gene's memories of being dropped during Operation Market Garden in Nijmegen, Holland. Gene was listed as KIA and left for dead by his patrol, who presumed the worst when they saw his injuries from a shell explosion.

In the climax of the story, Gene is captured by German SS soldiers and, with absolutely no protection, found himself standing before a senior officer, whom Gene recognized as Heinrich Himmler himself, behind enemy lines in a 16th century castle. Gene's subsequent interrogation is fully recounted, from the questioning of his mission to the bizarre appearance of sausages, mustard, marmalade and bread for his "dinner." This would be his last proper meal for eight months.

The rest of his story is equally gripping, as he became a POW held outside Munich, being moved between various camps ridden with disease and a severely undernourished population. Eventually, after making an escape attempt and being captured within sight of the snow-capped Swiss mountains, his camp was liberated by American troops in April 1945.

Gene's story is both remarkable for his highly unusual encounter, and his subsequent experiences.


The author has researched and studied this subject in great depth, his knowledge and ability to engage and keep the interest of the reader is accomplished and proficient.
Army Rumour Service

… an extraordinary and simply riveting memoir.
Midwest Book Review

Left for Dead at Nijmegen: The True Story of an American Paratrooper is an important work, one that exemplifies the sacrifices made by our military and reveals the reality of the POWs' struggle to survive under the harshest of situations. It's most highly recommended.
Readers Favorite Book Reviews

This is an important biography worthy of inclusion in World War II themed collections. The book portrays military sacrifices and the reality of the struggle of POW as reported by a survivor.