Only a dramatic offensive victory, he thought, could break the will of the Anglo-Saxons and the unnatural alliance between the Soviets, Americans and British. The Americans could send their machines across the Pacific and the Atlantic, but did they have the stomach for a long war in Europe? Had Hitler known more about the way the war was fought and won in the Pacific, he might have seen this issue differently. The British could land on the continent with the Americans at Normandy, but could they stay? Or could they be seen off again, as at Dunkirk in ? On 17 September , a day after Hitler ordered the offensive in the west, the British attempted the disastrous airborne operation known as Operation Market Garden, losing 14, men to no purpose.
Meanwhile, as Antony Beevor documents, the leading British and American generals on the western front were dividing the imagined spoils of a war that was far from won. By the time the Americans emerged at the other end, they had lost some 33, men. In December , the Germans were preparing for an offensive on the same lines as in , and and no one among the allies seemed to have a clue. On the eve of the German offensive, General von Manteuffel was in disguise doing his own intelligence work, while Montgomery was asking Eisenhower for leave to go home for Christmas on the grounds that Germany was no longer capable of mounting an attack.
So when the blow fell on 16 December, the brass was surprised — but the men fought. The Germans achieved surprise without delivering shock. Like the Red Army in the east, they were beginning to use German tricks and, when they could, German weapons. The Americans held villages and crossroads for as long as they could, which sometimes meant only days or hours — but even this mattered.
Some of the American tank units were manned by African Americans, fighting for the first time on a large scale. The American staff officers, surprised as they had been, had time to see the German advance resolve itself into a certain shape on their maps, and could plan their counterattack.
Given the revival of interest in the political and military history of eastern Europe, to which Beevor himself has contributed, it is no longer possible to write set-piece histories about the western front without the eastern backdrop. The shadow of the east hangs over this entire study. The Americans and the British experienced in December a total failure to see a coming German offensive, just as the Soviets had before Operation Barbarossa in The winter fighting in the shadows of forests recalled the eastern front to many of the Germans who had been there; some of those German veterans were soldiers of the Waffen-SS, who brought the habit of atrocity with them.
The Americans, as Beevor is careful to note in sections of the book that American readers might find startling, reciprocated with similar war crimes. All that said, the scale was completely different. The SS was aiming to punish the Belgian resistance that had welcomed the Americans; although the toll of 8, Belgian civilian dead is horrible, it is far fewer than the , or so Poles murdered a few months earlier in Warsaw. This suggests the greatest contrast between the eastern and the western fronts: the politics of liberation.
They were frustrated as conservative politicians in exile were recognised as legitimate rulers. In the east, these questions would not arise. Local resistance movements, insofar as they survived the far harsher German reprisals, would be overmastered by the Soviets. With the Allies split in half this made coordination of counter-attack difficult to work out. Almost half of the tank brigades Panzer Korps were Waffen SS, and though they were not as good as the Wehrmacht at strategy, they were fanatical at fighting.
Where other troops would have withdrawn from a fight, the SS would cause casualties way out of proportion to what would normally been expected. They would be almost suicidal in holding conquered land that had little or no strategic value. Except for the Paratroopers of the 82nd and st Airborne, few units were able to stop the attacking Germans.
The hold-out at Bastogne proved to be a thorn in the side of the German attack, and blocked the bringing up of replacements and supplies to the troops that had by-passed the city. This more than anything, else slowed down the offensive and allowed the Allies to recover and begin to counter attack with the Third Army under Patton and the Seventh under the control of Montgomery.
With the clearing of the skies, the German Panzer armies were decimated from the air sealing their fortunes. Christer Bergstrom has gone into the archives of all the participating Armies and in his narrative, inserts after action reports, news reports and personal interviews with soldiers from both sides describing the conditions they fought under.
Most impressive is the number of maps showing battles for two or three towns at a time and the movements by units in support of these attacks. Zeb Kantrowitz zworstblog. Mar 05, P. 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. Another the author points out was the lack of information that was getting back to the high command.
About This Game
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. Once Gen. 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. Jan 03, Gina rated it really liked it Shelves: , netgalley. I consider myself a bit of a military history buff. I have read a variety of different World War II accounts.
Primarily it is told from the American perspective. However, in The Ardennes , author Christer Bergstrom provides equal emphasis on both sides of the battle. Not to mention a huge collection of maps, photos, a I consider myself a bit of a military history buff. Not to mention a huge collection of maps, photos, and battlefield insights.
It is obvious to the reader how much research and thought went into writing The Ardennes. The mix of individual soldier accounts adds a human factor to the military tactics discussed throughout the book. There is also a great amount of detail paid to the weapons available and how they were deployed over the course of the battle.
Troop movements are outlined and tracked throughout the course of the book. And each division, both Axis and Allies, are shown in detail providing the reader with knowledge of their leadership, unit history, and capabilities. The book got a little tedious at times. There are a lot of facts and figures packed into this book.
Every aspect of the battle is covered, sometimes in too small of detail. It became easy to lose the big picture of the battle. If someone is looking to do research on or just wants a better understanding of what happened in the Battle of the Bulge, I would highly recommend The Ardennes. This book provides all the information a reader could want about the battle and more. Jul 09, John rated it it was ok. This was one of the most painful history books I have ever read. I think there may be a 4 star book hidden in there somewhere, maybe in its native Swedish. An Amazon reviewer said it best "This book is crying out for an editor and a translator".
I found Snow and Steel to be vastly superior.
- Operative Techniques in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery?
- Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight (Yale Agrarian Studies Series)?
- Ardennes '44, 3rd Edition!
- Ardennen : French » German | PONS.
- ¿Depresión? No, gracias (Spanish Edition).
I can live with differing opinions, so that didn't bother me that much. The Bodenplatte operation to me was the highlight of the book.
German King Tiger Ardennes Front
I didn't note criticism of the SS leadership in this battle until the conc This was one of the most painful history books I have ever read. I didn't note criticism of the SS leadership in this battle until the conclusions of the book. So that was a saving grace. In a nutshell the Allies won because of air power and Monty.
Oh, can't forget, 3rd Army performed poorly. Translation lead to some sentences being unreadable. Abbreviations to me were bizarre at times, maybe fine in Swedish. Time on target artillery was explained well, until the grenades landed almost together. Another sentence had a German general reporting to Von Manstein who was not really on active duty at the time.
He was in disfavor with Hitler. The book was recommended on a historical gaming site and was praised for it's maps. They were decent, but always seemed to be a few pages ahead or behind what I was reading.
BattleRush: Ardennes Assault on Steam
There are some gold nuggets in this book, it's just painful getting to them. I could do pages at a time. And some nights didn't have the willpower to even try. I won't say don't read it, but if you do, be prepared. If it's this book or Snow and Steel, grab Snow and Steel.
- Site Search Navigation;
- The Man Who Wasnt There;
- La nariz y otros cuentos (Clásicos - Tus Libros-Selección) (Spanish Edition).
- Sample Size Calculation Using Standard Deviation and Margin of Error?
- Tamiya - Nr. 35252 - 1:35!
Claes Gefvenberg rated it liked it Nov 02, Tom Sullivan rated it liked it May 23, Tobias rated it really liked it Nov 10, Peter Vandenbempt rated it it was amazing Oct 14, Pete Grebner rated it it was amazing Jan 02, Silvio rated it really liked it Mar 04, Jorge Sanchez rated it liked it Mar 13, Jorge Parada rated it it was amazing Jan 22, David Benito rated it really liked it Feb 09, Thomas J Porto rated it it was ok May 19, Jose Recaman rated it liked it Feb 21, Ezequiel rated it it was amazing Sep 24, Margaret S.
Ruben rated it really liked it Jun 11, Dimitri rated it liked it Nov 29, Ugo Marsolais marked it as to-read Oct 01, Frozenorange marked it as to-read Oct 21, Steve Spencer marked it as to-read Dec 03, John marked it as to-read Dec 18, Nick marked it as to-read Dec 27, Brittany Kay marked it as to-read Feb 10, Pramod Nair marked it as to-read Feb 14, Jonathan marked it as to-read Feb 24, John Williams marked it as to-read Feb 28, Hend marked it as to-read Mar 06, Camille Stein marked it as to-read Apr 24, Francisco Javier marked it as to-read May 12, James marked it as to-read Jul 10, Ellie marked it as to-read Nov 07, John Nellis marked it as to-read Nov 24, Dj marked it as to-read Dec 03,