After the success of the Normandy invasion, the Allied commanders are buoyantly confident that the war in Europe will be over in a matter of weeks, that Hitler and his battered army have no other option than surrender. But despite the advice of his best military minds, Hitler will hear no talk of defeat.
In mid-December 1944, the Germans launch a desperate and ruthless counteroffensive in the Ardennes forest, utterly surprising the unprepared Americans who stand in their way. Through the frigid snows of the mountainous terrain, German tanks and infantry struggle to realize Hitler's goal: divide the Allied armies and capture the vital port at Antwerp. The attack succeeds in opening up a wide gap in the American lines, and for days chaos reigns in the Allied command.
Thus begins the Battle of the Bulge, the last gasp by Hitler's forces that becomes a horrific slugging match, some of the most brutal fighting of the war. As American commanders respond to the stunning challenge, the German spear is finally blunted.
Though some in the Nazi inner circle continue the fight to secure Germany's postwar future, the Führer makes it clear that he is fighting to the end. He will spare nothing - not even German lives - to preserve his twisted vision of a "Thousand Year Reich". But in May 1945, the German army collapses, and with Russian troops closing in, Hitler commits suicide.
As the Americans sweep through the German countryside, they unexpectedly encounter the worst of Hitler's crimes - the concentration camps - and young GIs find themselves absorbing firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust.
Presenting his riveting account through the eyes of Eisenhower and Patton and the young GIs who struggle face-to-face with their enemy, and through the eyes of Germany's...
Listen to another Novel of World War II by Jeff Shaara.
©2009 Jeff Shaara; (P)2009 Random House
A few books are good enough to listen to every 5-7 years. After some time passes, you remember that you enjoyed it very much, but you have forgotten those parts that made the story so engaging. This is one such book, which I will return to.
I really got a picture of the foot soldier's predicament. Shaara placed me THERE with them in the Ardennes, shivering in the foxhole, going out on my first patrol, wondering about the noises coming through the woods, cowering before enemy artillery bombardments, amazed at the war machine coming toward me with the intention of killing my just-arrived butt. I've read several of Shaara's books, and they all are excellent. The first two books of this trilogy were very fine, but I was particularly struck by following these foot soldiers as they fought the Battle Of The Bulge. At last I have a feel for what they went through.
Again, his research with survivors, beyond documents, resulted in a narrative I could not put down.... the classic histories cover all the facts, but Shaara's ability to weave surviving veterans interviews in to first person drama is amazing.... for any veteran who's been fired on, a reader gets the same shocks soldiers try to suppress and still fight... that's a big challenge for most writers! Well done.
Mr. Shaara again tells a great story with superb skill; however, it does not have the same energy and grip as the first two in the series. He moves away from the Airborne and other elite forces in tell the story of November 1944 through the end of the war. It would have been nice if they had again been included. Still a good read.
Hard to say, the book was so much more detailed.
The end of the battle and epilogue.
Gives life to each character. They do not all sound the same
Sit on the edge of my seat.
The third part of this series plays out in the Ardennes, the battle of the bulge and afterwards. While this story starts out great, it ends a little disappointing.
The first part of the book consist around Private Benson of the 106th Infantry Regiment. The story is told in such a way that you really experience the struggle Benson encountered in these extreme situations.
The second part shift over to the germans (for the most part) and lets you experience their experiences in losing the war, The Allies experiences are told about the dicovery of the concentration camps.
All in all, a very good book but I deducted a star because I believe the second part focusses too much on the german commanders and not on the men in the field.
All of Schaara's books are laced with realistic history but believable characters. He is entertaining and you feel like part of the story. History comes alive.
The authors ability to lace history with fiction.
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