Featured Book: The Final Battle—Uncovering a Father’s Real Role in World War II

Rainbowmen in Germany

The “Rainbowmen’s” route through France, Germany, and Austria (Jan.-April 1945)

For author Bill Hansult (The Final Battle: An Untold Story of WWII’s Forty-Second Rainbow Division, Mill City Press), getting to the truth of his father’s service in World War II was a decade-long process.

“Toward the end of a trip [to Germany] . . . my father stopped and a look came over his face I had never seen before, when we visited the bridge spanning the Main River in the city of Wurzburg,” says Hansult, who lives in Central California. “It was the thousand-yard stare of combat veterans. It was then I became convinced that during all of his life he never told the truth to his family about what he really did during the War.”

Hansult had been told his father had typed army forms and guarded prisoners. But over the next ten years, the real facts about Bill Hansult Sr.’s service with the “Rainbowmen” in 1944-45 began to emerge.

“I kept digging and finding bits and pieces,” says Hansult. “Then after ten years, some of these men, being at the end of their lives, began talking. This included my father. Gathering these firsthand accounts was invaluable in being able to write the book.”

The Final Battle tells the incredible story of Bill Sr.’s service as an eighteen-year-old sniper on the front lines of Germany’s “last stand” against the Allies. The Rainbowmen’s thirty-day battle, one of the longest in WWII, brought the men face-to-face with Nazi “true believers” who were instructed to “fight to the last man standing.” The book also depicts Bill Sr.’s experiences liberating Dachau concentration camp at the end of the campaign.

“Unfortunately, [the Rainbowmen’s] service has been an untold footnote in the history books,” says Hansult. “Despite not having the recognition, these men came home and stayed out of the limelight. The Rainbowmen were heroes—true heroes—which should be, and need to be, honored as the heroes they all are. The only way I know to honor them is to see that people know about their story.” To find out more about Bill Hansult and The Final Battle, visit: https://www.thefinalbattle.net/
The Final Battle