Ardennes 1944 - Antony Beevor

Ardennes 1944

By Antony Beevor

  • Release Date: 2015-11-03
  • Genre: Military
Score: 4
4
From 50 Ratings

Description

The prizewinning historian and bestselling author of D-DayStalingrad, and The Battle of Arnhem reconstructs the Battle of the Bulge in this riveting new account
 
On December 16, 1944, Hitler launched his ‘last gamble’ in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes in Belgium, believing he could split the Allies by driving all the way to Antwerp and forcing the Canadians and the British out of the war. Although his generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east. Many were exultant at the prospect of striking back.

The allies, taken by surprise, found themselves fighting two panzer armies. Belgian civilians abandoned their homes, justifiably afraid of German revenge. Panic spread even to Paris. While some American soldiers, overwhelmed by the German onslaught, fled or surrendered, others held on heroically, creating breakwaters which slowed the German advance.
 
The harsh winter conditions and the savagery of the battle became comparable to the Eastern Front. In fact the Ardennes became the Western Front’s counterpart to Stalingrad. There was terrible ferocity on both sides, driven by desperation and revenge, in which the normal rules of combat were breached. The Ardennes—involving more than a million men—would prove to be the battle which finally broke the back of the Wehrmacht.
 
In this deeply researched work, with striking insights into the major players on both sides, Antony Beevor gives us the definitive account of the Ardennes offensive which was to become the greatest battle of World War II.

Reviews

  • Tedious

    3
    By brdinclt
    After trying for years to find out more about this battle, the first my father was in, I find this the most complex and least interesting. Poor job of commenting on suppositions of motives and thoughts of upper echelon officers that he does manage to raise suspicion of incompetency about. Good job of making Hemingway look like the nut job he was. Good job of pointing out that Brit and Americans summarily executed unarmed POWs as did the Germans. War was hell, is hell and will always be hell, but mankind loves it too much to read a book like this and vow to tell his leaders that. Way too many troops moving on poorly drawn maps to really understand the whole picture.

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