Baseball in World War II Europe
During World War II, more than 1 million US servicemen passed through Great Britain and many more reached continental Europe directly. It was undoubtedly a time of great triumphs and incomparable tragedies for all nations, and once American servicemen were overseas baseball served as a fervent reminder of their home and played a vital role as one of the few accessible distractions from the horrors of combat. Through historic images drawn from my own collection and from many private collections throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, I have tried to recapture that era – an era in which the significance of baseball was never more poignant. For the first time I have recounted the stories of everyday men who had one thing in common – they loved to play baseball and created formidable line-ups that played on makeshift diamonds from London to Berlin. Many of these men also served in front-line combat; many suffered career-ending injuries and some tragically lost their lives.
The book has been six years in the making and serves as a tribute to all who made a sacrifice in war. I hope you enjoy it. Gary Bedingfield, Glasgow, Scotland.