Battle: The Story of the Bulge, John Toland's first work of military history, recounts the saga of beleaguered American troops as they resisted Hitler's deadly counter offensive in World War II's Battle of the Bulge - and turned it into an Allied victory. It is a gripping work, painstakingly researched and imbued with such vivid detail that listeners will feel as though they themselves witnessed these events. This is a book not to be missed by anyone interested in this tumultuous era of our world's history.
©1959 John Toland (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
A fascinating tour through the battle from a perspective of only a little over a decade later. The book captures the entire lead up to, and length of the battle of the Bulge, not only from the Allied side, but also the German side. It looks at the battle from a birds-eye view, and a worms-eye view, through detailed personal stories. An interesting read about the conflicts between field marshal Montgomery and generals Eisenhower and Bradley, as well as the surprising effect, the German offensive had on the Allied leadership.
52, retired soldier and surgeon. Teach Combat Surgery and Military History and hold the rank of Brigadier. Lost wife, love dogs, ski to fast
Mr Toland needs congratulations on what is a great read. So well researched and animated in a way many popular historians have not been able to do with such skill. I know the battle well (Soldier for 23 years), and who has ever done Staff College without the 'Bulge'.American arms growing up and entering world history with thunder and courage. It was a great battle and has never been praised enough for the shear courage and professionalism of American Armies. For that is what we are talking about, a clash of titanic proportion and infantry losses 3x that of the Eastern Front. Again, well done Mr Toland I would love to chat with you one day on certain points, but if you are a history buff and want a story to tell the 'Spartans' this is the one to get. (And and I apologize for the crass and churlish out pourings from Field Marshal Montgomery bringing shame to so many British Tommie's who bled and died next to their American brothers)
A very detailed review of this pivitol battle told excellently. A map of the Ardennes would definately enhance your experience so you can reference towns and battle pushes but is not essential. Overall this book is brilliant.
Great description of the battle.
Besides the Audible edition, I also had Amazon send me the hardbound book, because I love to follow a battle on maps, and satellite views. The hardbound contained about five useful maps, which help a lot in the case of Bastogne, but not so much elsewhere.
There is another factor for map followers: Location names. Internet map searches require properly-spelled location names, and you don't get that from Audible.
I listened once through, then went on Amazon and bought the hardbound, plus a good map. Now I am ready to sit down and REALLY enjoy a second listen, while following along with maps!
most excellent, perfect
It is very well researched and wonderfully written. Toland walked battlefields, slept in foxholes and cellars, & talked with hundreds who were there.
He calmly and without rushing tells a wonderfully written story. His performance is absolutely perfect. He does not succumb to the use of forced alleged German or French pronunciations or to the tiring rapid fire delivery too often used in such stories.
There seems to be a reverence in the writing of the story and also in the performance. Author and performer seem to recognize that there is no need to try to add drama or tension, just to convey an understanding of and feeling for what happened.
This is the most account I read of this battle. Being a veteran, there were many moments I shed tears during the horrible challenges our soldiers faced. This book gave a more personal account of what happened. This is a "must read" book.
Easy to listen to. Excellent narrator. I really enjoyed this book. Toland is great.
No B.S. reviews. I'll never soft-pedal bad writing or inept narration.
Most history is told top-down—giving the reader an overview, then more detail, then another overview, then more detail. "Battle," however, never really re-orients the listener with the perspective necessary to understand exactly what's going on. It's told like a collection of independent vignettes—episodic, and not well connected—like a series of isolated incidents, lacking in cohesive structure.
Furthermore, unless the listener has a fairly detailed map of Germany and Belgium in his head, there's little guidance as to where the action is, or which direction it's headed. There simply isn't enough geographical or strategic detail to help the listener get a handle on why things happened as they did.
Unfortunately, Dan Butler's narration does nothing to improve this. His constant pausing mid-phrase makes it clear he has minimal comprehension of what he's reading. The resulting lack of continuity renders the story quite difficult to follow—and even more difficult to care about. At some level, I'm sympathetic to Mr. Butler's apparent lack of experience, but this is a huge assignment, given his level of talent—and it's clear he's bitten off way more than he can chew.
The Battle of the Bulge was America's last big battle. The big battles of the Pacific theater were already over, and after the Bulge it was just a massive chase of a defeated, retreating German army. Korea saw some smaller theater - scale battles, but Vietnam, Iraq & Afghanistan were guerilla wars. I found myself almost nostalgic reading this history and knowing the combatants are nearly dead to history. I enjoyed the factual elements of the story, and how it was personalized with the quoted and paraphrased stories of real people who experienced it. I highly recommend searching Google Images for a battle map so you can better visualize the constant troop movements.
"Band of Brothers"
Many people complain that this book gives the impression it was an American war but, it's more than that. This is a story of ordinary civilians choosing to help others in foreign lands, in a war who's type may never be seen.
I come from both sides of protagonists and I believe that WW2 could not have ended without US help, Financially & physical.
New grounds were broken. People fear flying today, imagine that with hardly any of todays technology and then jumping out. All this knowing your life could end in the next second.
Truth is US power, construction abilities & practical innovation was only matched by the Nazi regime. UK had failed many times with brief success in the air & desert but as shown here our failures were dwarfed by US success.
I enjoy this for it's humanity. There iis no bias, whose better than who etc, just ordinary people. What struck me the most is their comments of bravery of from opponents & an understanding of German people living under Hitlers oppression. I have had comments all my life but when I read this it brought tears to my eyes, in the same way it did when I hear veterans talk of the damage allies did on civilians. For me, this book is not good vs evil it is the story of civilians fighting hardened armies and the realisation that they are fighting civilians who did not want to be there either.
Forget your history from hearsay and propaganda and enjoy the stories of heroes who were there. Until I read an English account as open as Is Band of Brothers, this will remain my favourite.
The story was well written and read, most informative and enjoyable. Just what i was looking for.
The history of world war 2 by Anthony Beevor
The various intonations in his voice bring the characters to life.
Very much so.
I loved this story and was happy to find it in audiobook.
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