The Battle of the Bulge

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2019

Member Reviews

This book was done very differently than other books that I have read about this battle. Each book always has something different though. One thing remains constant though that the defense that the 99thInfantry Division and the 2nd which were outnumbered 5 to 1 inflicted casualties ratio of 18 to 1 which really slowed down the German push. They also suffered a 20% loss before there could be any help for them. They really held their ground and though are not talked about enough they should be. The author also speaks about a smaller massacre that happened in Saint-Vith where 11 Black American soldiers were killed this happened December 17, 1944, no investigation into this one like there was in Malmedy. Some of the heaviest and hardest fightings occurred in the Saint –Vith area as one German Officer he interviewed talked about and always wondered why you Americans talk about Bastogne when there was other fighting going on. My father with the 82nd Airborne fought there in and around the mountains of Saint –Vith his feet were nasty and I later found out because they froze in a place called the Ardennes, but as a child, I did not know until I got older. He never wore sandals and actually liked living in the desert as opposed to the East Coast where he grew up. The fighting was intense but he would only tell little bits and pieces like other WWII vets. This book though gives you a look at all of the units fighting and even the Germans, and the Germans who that it would fail. A very good book.
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Previously I have had a passing knowledge of this famous battle from late in World War II. This was mostly seen through Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army - better known to TV audiences as a Band of Brothers.
I also remember an earlier movie 1965 Battle of the Bulge.
I was amazed to learn this book is due out as part of the 75th anniversary of this momentous struggle in December 1944.
History is never better when it has first hand contributions and I applaud the author for his diligence and determination to produce the best book he could. To this end he has researched widely and read nearly everything previously written on the subject. Consequently, he has drawn a great deal on first hand memories of the soldiers involved, their recorded statements in earlier publications and personal writing. He has looked to witnesses on the ground and consequently brought clearer understanding on some of the more controversial incidents. The horrors of atrocities on civilians and POWs are reviewed and the author attempts to explain the struggle between command, objectives and deployment of troops on all sides.
I gained fresh insights into the topography of the contested battlefields; especially the contrast to the wide expense on the Russian front for tank warfare. I understand the role the weather played to initially aid the breakout and bring confusion on the ground.
I was also enlightened by the response of the soldiers on the ground and the ability of the US groups to be better able to improvise and adjust accordingly.
Over and above the basic numbers; troops and artillery pieces, for German, the game was up. However, that this once victorious army could boldly go on this offensive is a fascinating read which with the passage of time, l can be more easily understood. So this is an ideal book to review, remember and recall the Battle of the Bulge.
What Martin King sets out to do he achieves well. This is a comprehensive account which details every aspect of this wide battle front and the various struggles and courage shown. 
Where the book is let down is the piecing together of these various aspects. It isn’t well edited together so appears more like the reverse of the tapestry than its front. This jumpy presentation makes it a more difficult read but the subject carries the day.
War is a dark subject; decisions delayed cost lives. Incompetent generals lead to avoidable casualties. What is often failed to be registered is the courage of civilians caught up in the conflict. There are bits here that reinforce these horrible aspects of war. This book has deepened my understanding and I’m grateful for that, since this book, as all good history books should, makes an impact on the present.
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This isn’t my usual type of book. But it was good and I enjoyed it all the same. It was good to read and well written. It flowed well and was easy to read
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Well researched but not very well written. Martin King has obviously accumulated an enormous amount of information about the Battle of the Bulge, but he struggled to write a compelling account. The story jumped around quite a bit, though some of that may be inevitable given the scope of the battle. King often resorted to filling pages with extended quotations from participants rather than editing or restating them for clarity or dramatic power. If you are specifically interested in this battle and want to hear some first-hand accounts of the action, you might be interested in this book, but if you are looking for a more dramatic, Band-of-Brothers-esque narrative, you should probably look elsewhere. I received a digital copy of this book for free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
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A disappointing and confusing account, switching between the sides too often and lacking maps detailed enough to follow the many tactical movements. The issue with the maps may have been down to reading the Kindle version...
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I wont go into detail about the story as i dont want to spoil the book, i see so many reviews that give 80% of the story away and it spoils it for the reader in my opinion. I loved this book, I enjoyed the story and i felt connected with the characters. The story was a real page Turner and infact my other half kept needing to tell me to put it down and go to sleep, I was gripped. Pleaseantly surprised and brilliantly written, highly recommend
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The author's painstaking research and attention to detail is obvious in the writing of this book.  There were many facts that I only discovered after reading this!
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2019 marks the 75th anniversary of Europe freeing itself from the grip of the Nazis so there are many books being written that detail every aspect of World War II. Here, Martin King, one of the world's leading experts on the Battle of the Bulge, who has won several Emmy awards for his documentaries, pens a compelling account of how the battle unfolded and both the sequence of events that led up to it and followed it. It covers all the major points in superb detail and is written in an engaging, accessible and conversational style perfect for those looking for an introduction to the Battle of the Bulge. Of course, it gets quite emotional when describing the horrifying atrocities that occurred frequently on the Western Front. 

It goes through the many different stages of the battle, including the part intelligence played, tanks, tech and terrain, the Allied situation and the German situation, to name a few of the chapters. You can tell how passionate King is about this topic and this seeps into the pages and brings to life the battle right before readers eyes. It's a thorough and absorbing documenting of one of the most important land battles in history, which lasted from 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945, and I learned a lot of fascinating information. However, I feel that those with prior knowledge of this area may require something more in-depth as this probably won't teach them anything new. Many thanks to Arcturus Publishing for an ARC.
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I had hoped this would be better than it was. There were many issues with this work of history about an important aspect of the struggle to free Europe during World War II. The writing style was not easy to follow. The author tends to insert unnecessary commentary with and at the end of paragraphs, apparently trying to add humor. He seemingly jumps around with idea to idea without cohesion. The quotations by soldiers oftentimes do not fit with the scenes being described. A book of this type should have an abundance of maps to keep the reader zeroed in on where the narrative is talking about. There were in fact very few maps and those included were unreadable by a non-army person.  Someone writing about the military should have been aware that the highest decoration given in combat is the Medal of Honor, not the 'Congressional' Medal of Honor.
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Excellent Look at Famous Battle. Volumes upon volumes upon volumes have been written about the Battle of the Bulge, one of the most famous land battles in American history. And one this reader has a personal connection to, as recently received records show that both of his grandfathers were there (though there is no indication they met each other there, despite originating from neighboring counties). It was because of this personal connection that I wanted to read this book, as I've never really studied the battle in depth. And while the particular event I had hoped to find in the tale - a minor clearing of an apparently booby trapped hotel just as the battle was wrapping up in mid January 1045 - was not covered, the entire main battle sequence and its general mopup are and are covered superbly. I may not know exactly where my grandfathers were from reading this tale, but I absolutely got a very good sense of what the land and the time were like and the horrors and atrocities they saw. Which is more than I had known before reading this book. I suspect that if you already know quite a bit about this battle, there will be little new information here for you - but the author's writing style and specific points rebutting commonly held misconceptions or even offering alternate theories on other events of the battle are great and likely things others may not be aware of. An excellent book, and an important one to note, particularly in going into the 75th anniversary of this battle later this year.
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