The personal war stories of many of the Crimson Tide football players who participated in the Good War are told in When Winning Was Everything
, a tribute to all the players who earned our enduring admiration not only on the football field but also in wartime.
More than three hundred former University of Alabama football players and coaches saw military duty during World War II, and many of them played heroic leading roles in the bitter fight against Axis aggression. Their stories are given compelling life by Delbert Reed in When Winning Was Everything: Alabama Football Players in World War II
Alabama football players, like millions of other young men in America, rushed to join the fight soon after the Japanese bombed the US Navy's Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. Six Crimson Tide players joined the Marines at halftime during one Alabama football game. Two others--Paul "Bear" Bryant and George Zivich--literally pushed their way to the front of the line to join up.
Former University of Alabama football players served on every front and in almost every major battle of World War II. They were privates and colonels, pilots and foot soldiers. They served on submarines andcarriers, flew bombers and led pack mules through thick Asian jungles. They were frontline Marines and training instructors and everything in between. They helped make up America's fighting team in wartime, and, as Delbert Reed shows, their victory was far greater than any Rose Bowl win.