THE ARDENNES: 1944-1945

THE ARDENNES: 1944-1945                   CHRISTER BERGSTROM
Posted:  March 7, 2015

The Ardennes, 1944-1945 (Hitler's Winter Offensive)In December 1944, just as World War II appeared to be winding down, Hitler shocked the world with a powerful German counteroffensive that cracked the center of the American front. The attack came through the Ardennes, the hilly and forested area in eastern Belgium and Luxembourg that the Allies had considered a quiet sector. Instead, for the second time in the war, the Germans used it as a stealthy avenue of approach for their panzers.Much of U.S. First Army was overrun, and thousands of prisoners were taken as the Germans forged a 50-mile bulge into the Allied front. But in one small town, Bastogne, American paratroopers, together with remnants of tank units, offered dogged resistance. Meanwhile the rest of Eisenhower s broad front strategy came to a halt as Patton, from the south, and Hodges, from the north, converged on the enemy incursion. Yet it would take an epic, six-week-long winter battle, the bloodiest in the history of the U.S. Army, before the Germans were finally pushed back.Christer Bergstrom has interviewed veterans, gone through huge amounts of archive material, and performed on-the-spot research in the area. The result is a large amount of previously unpublished material and new findings, including reevaluations of tank and personnel casualties and the most accurate picture yet of what really transpired.The Ardennes Offensive has often been described from the American point of view; however, this balanced book devotes equal attention to the perspectives of both sides. With nearly 400 photos, numerous maps, and 32 superb color profiles of combat vehicles and aircraft, it provides perhaps the most comprehensive look at the battle yet published."

Hubby's Review:
This book about the Ardennes or the battle of the bulge. The author takes a through look into entire battle from both sides and gives you details of the size of troops and the history. While some of ours were green, never been in battle the Germans had troops from the Western and Eastern fronts and some of the German troops were battle tested. Also the only American that even thought of this being a possibility was a staff member on Patton’s staff and so that is one reason why Patton already had plans for an attack in place. Another the author points out was the lack of information that was getting back to the high command. They the high command were still thinking that the officers were over reacting to troop size and to the number of Panzer tanks. Ordering troops to hold ground not to give ground or hold at all costs. With that last order being followed, many units either ran out of gas, or ammo, or both. That is one of the reasons for so many units being captured and over run. Most of the units did fight until they had no more ammo. That was one part of the story that I had never heard before. This is a through look at the entire battle not just Bastogne which everyone talks about. For their other troops surrounded and 11 African American soldiers from 333rd artillery unit that was executed by the s/s troops. Once Gen. Gavin, activated the 82nd and 101st and then Patton’s now supplied they had to retake what was lost, hold Bastogne and the 82nd to the north had to stop the Germans from the Allied fuel depot. Those along with the Germans running out of gas and the clouds lifting were their down fall. A good book in seeing both sides of the battle and the mistakes that were made and advantages that each side took when they could. A lot of information from both sides well researched. Really liked this book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 5 stars.

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