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I first read this book back in the early 90’s, though under a slightly different title than this present Pen & Sword reincarnation. What isn’t different is the rather franticly paced & action filled narrative, which at times could have you believing you are reading a novel. That’s not to the detriment of the book, but more an acknowledgement of the author’s highly descriptive grammar, and the research he undertook with both military and civilian participants alike.
This book charts a 7 day period in the lives and tribulations of the American 1st, 2nd and 99th Infantry divisions, as they strive against man & nature to hold exposed positions, in the face of a committed and desperate enemy. The enemy in this instance are the fanatical Waffen SS, along with the variable flotsam that the late war Volksgrenadier divisions brought together. The German push along the northern shoulder of what was to become known as the Battle of the Bulge, was one of the most bitterly contested areas, in this the last major German offensive on the western front in December 1944. The fighting here was as bad or if not worse as anything seen in and around the famous siege of Bastogne further to the south.
The book is heavily illustrated with many unseen pictures, and air recce photographs, which help you, paint a vivid picture of the unfolding story. Though only 188pages long, its packs a big punch and one easily packed for the commute to and from work.
3 out of 5 stars