December 1944. For the besieged American defenders of Bastogne, time was running out…
Hitler's forces had pressed in on the small Belgian town in a desperate offensive designed to push back the Allies, starting the Battle of the Bulge. So far, the US soldiers had managed to repel waves of attackers and even a panzer onslaught, but as their ammunition dwindled, the weary paratroopers of the 101st Airborne could only hope for a miracle - a miracle in the form of General George S. Patton and his Third Army.
More than a hundred miles away, Patton, ordered to race his men to Bastogne, was already putting in motion the most crucial charge of his career. Tapped to spearhead his counterstrike against the Wehrmacht was the Fourth Armored Division, a bloodied but experienced unit that had fought and slogged its way across France. But blazing a trail into Belgium meant going up against some of the best infantry and tank units in the German Army. Failure to reach Bastogne in time could result in the overrunning of the 101st - a catastrophic defeat that could turn the tide of the war and secure victory for the Nazis.
In Patton at the Battle of the Bulge, Army veteran and historian Leo Barron explores one of the most famous yet little understood clashes of the war, a vitally important chapter in one of history's biggest battles.
©2014 Leo Barron (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
The book could have discussed General Patton's challenges during this battle.
Don't try to sell a book by putting a popular generals name on the cover!
Narration was fine.
The book should have been from the German point of view.
I enjoy history book and especially books on WWII but was a little frustrated with this one, since the title of the book says it is about General Patton. The story spends all its time discussing German troop movements! I will be very careful about buying books that claim there about General Patton in the future.
Dare to dream...
Patton at The Battle of The Bulge - Really? No way! This is a very wordy prattle of inconsequential statistics. So wordy that I'm stunned that the size, type, weight, and number of snowflakes in and around the Battle of The Bulge were not included. I had a very hard time listening to this endless collection of irrelevance. This hodgepodge is NOT about George Patton at The Battle of The Bulge. That name was hijacked to stir interest for the bottom line, money. Your money.
This book is not a retelling of the Battle of the Bulge and many of the most famous participants are not even mentioned here. As examples (on the German side), Sepp Dietrich and Joachim Peiper and (on the Allied Side) Bernard Montgomery are not even mentioned and others like General Hasso von Manteuffel and Field Marshall Walter Model are only mentioned briefly. Nor is this book about the fight of the 102 Airborne Division in Bastogne and their actions are only covered briefly. Rather this book is very detailed description of the drive of Patton’s 3rd Army from around Saarbrucken and Luxembourg up to Bastogne to break through to those trapped there and to cut off the German forces in the south of the Bulge and, as such, it describes in great detail each battle that the 3rd Army engaged in during their drive through Belgium.
As a book about the battles it succeeds very well. It is clear that soldiers from both sides of the fights in all of the small towns along the way were interviewed by the author and their stories are told very well and I certainly came away more fully understanding both the sacrifices of those involved and the intensity of the fighting during the drive north. While I have read many books that covered the war on the Western Front, all of those covered the Battle of the Bulge by covering the actions taken by the German forces trying to fight their way to Antwerp and the Allied forces trying to stop them and none of those books gave the details of Patton’s attempt to relive those at Bastogne. Here we find the stories of the individual soldiers, both officers and enlisted men, of both armies, their attempts to both follow their orders and to stay alive and the fighting tactics of both sides are examined in detail.
The print version of this book contains maps and the prime disadvantage of the Audible version is that it does not. Much of the fighting takes place in small, out of the way, towns in Belgium and I found it very difficult to follow where the individual fighting groups were and how their positions and the terrain affected their decisions. Most online maps cover the larger thrusts and counter-thrusts of the major efforts north of the actions in this book and more modern maps are likely to contain both misleading information (they are 70 years too new and small towns may now be relatively large cities) and routes that did not exist at the time of the fighting. Some Audible history books do very well because they are overviews of what is happening but this book is very detailed in its descriptions and I found it hard to find many of the roads and towns mentioned on maps of the Battle of the Bulge.
On the other hand the stories of those involved are clear, very interesting and encapsulate the larger struggle, and the relative merits of the individual weapons was a big help. Here we find a description of both the advantages and disadvantages of the Sherman tank, why the Stuart tanks were still in use this late in the war, the various different configurations of the tanks and, perhaps in too much detail, the physical weapon makeup of both the US and German divisions. In addition, although much of the book is about how the various weapons affected the battle, the book never loses sight of the people involved, civilians and soldiers.
It is difficult for me to adequately rate this book since I am torn between rating the content of the book itself and the failings of the Audible version because it does not contain any maps or photos. Without maps the timeline and sequence was difficult for me to follow. The book was also a bit of a disappointment because it concentrates on the front line soldiers and there is little of what was happening at a higher level. I personally would have liked to have learned more about what was going on at the headquarters of both sides during this part of the battle and also about how the effort to break through to those at Bastogne affected the strategy of others involved in the fighting in the Bulge. It is easy to get the feeling that Patton just turned his 3rd Army to the north and then let them work it all out on their own since nothing in the book says otherwise. Patton, being who he was, certainly was more involved, but any such involvement does not appear in this book.
Tom Weiner’s narration is very well done. If allowed I would give this book 3 1/2 stars because of the limitations of the Audible version but, since I cannot and since 3 stars seems too low a rating, I have given it 4 stars. For what it is, the book is very well done. I just would have liked a larger picture.
low star rating mostly because of narrator. He doesn't use much inflection or differing voice strength between strong and soft story lines. Can't give much feed back on story because narration is annoying and hurts the overall compression of book.
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