Monday, October 12, 2009

Douglas Jacobson on Why I Love War Stories

We are very pleased today to welcome Douglas W Jacobson, author of Night of Flames. This is his entry in our ongoing Why I Love series of posts. You can read my review of Douglas' book here.

I must correct myself straight off. I don’t really love war stories as much as I do stories about the people caught up in them. War is as much a part of the human experience as breathing. Throughout history there have always been conflicts among people and there always will be. It is part of our nature as fallible human beings.

War is an extension of conflict taken to the extreme. And the ultimate tragedy of war is that the people who suffer the most are the common people swept up in it, those who had nothing to do with starting it and whose only desire is for the strength and good fortune to live through it.

In his book, World Crisis, Winston Churchill wrote, “Thus when all the trumpets sounded, every class and rank had something to give . . . but none gave more, or gave more readily than the common man or woman.” In those eloquent words lie the essence of the story I endeavored to tell in writing Night of Flames. Through the characters in the story—Anna Kopernik, a university professor in Krakow, Poland and her husband, Jan, a cavalry officer—I have attempted to pay tribute to the countless acts of nobility and courage performed by common people caught up in the catastrophe of humanity’s darkest hour. What Anna and Jan endured during the long night of Nazi occupation is exactly what hundreds of thousands of real life people endured during this greatest and most damaging of all wars. I have tried, through this work of fiction, to honor their bravery and their memory so that future generations may know the real tragedy of war.

In closing I would repeat the quotation from the legendary general of the 1st World War, Ferdinand Foch, which has served as an inspiration in my writing; “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul of fire.”

Douglas W. Jacobson is an engineer, business owner and World War Two history enthusiast. Doug has traveled extensively in Europe researching stories of the courage of common people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. His debut novel, Night of Flames: A Novel of World War Two was published in 2007 by McBooks Press, and was released in paperback in 2008. Night of Flames won the 2007 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD from the Wisconsin Library Association. Doug has also published articles on Belgium’s WW2 escape organization, the Comete Line; Poland’s 1st Armored Division; and the liberation of Antwerp. Doug has just completed his second novel set in Europe at the end of WW2. You can visit his blog at


  1. This is a greta post. I enjoyed reading Douglas Jacobson's thoughts on war related stories

  2. I love war stories too, especially those set in WWII. My grandfathers both fought in the Pacific theater, and getting stories out of them was like pulling teeth. It wasn't until I was older that I realized why they might not want to talk about the war so much.

  3. Thank you for an interesting review. I have read a number of articles on Mr. Jacobson's NIGHT OF FLAMES, and am looking forward to reading this novel. As an author in the same genre, I fully agree with his comments about why "war stories" remain so fascinating for so many: it's about the people caught up in such crises, and how they deal with their challenges that intrigues. Best of luck to Mr. Jacobson with this and all future writing projects!

    My new novel is entitled THE FUHRER VIRUS. It is a WWII spy/conspiracy/thriller for adult readers and can be found at,,, on Google Review, and on PODBRAM (where Celia Hayes of "The Deepening" has written a recent review.


    Paul Schultz

  4. This is a great post, i'll have to add this author to my TBR.

  5. we've linked to your guest post at the War blog here: