15 March 2019
The Battle of the Bulge was Hitler’s last throw of the dice in the west and one that recreated the savagery of the Eastern Front.
Author: NIGEL DE LEE
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
The Battle of the Bulge was Hitler’s last throw of the dice in the west and one that recreated the savagery of the Eastern Front. This then is the story of the battle, told as a general overview, but interspersed with testimony from over 70 on the people involved, from generals to soldiers in the dugouts. The first chapter sets the scene by running through the entire battle, then settles into giving voice to those who fought in it. Some of the recollections are interesting, some won’t really tell you anything you didn’t already know, while others are quite graphic. However, there’s an obvious limitation to this. It’s not a truly authentic record because most of the recollections are from the Americans, plus no-one is going to admit to some of the questionable things that they did.
The German ranks were full of fanatical SS members and they committed scores of war crimes, as well as the Malmedy Massacre which gets an airing here. One of the American GIs, recalls reports that the Krauts were coming through and weren’t taking prisoners. What isn’t recounted is that following Malmedy, the US troops did much the same with regards to SS troops in the counteroffensive. So, an interesting but not balanced insight into the battle.
• Greenhill Books
• 290 pages • Softback • £14.99
As reviewed in The Armourer March 2019
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