Between December 16, 1944 and January 15, 1945, American forces found themselves entrenched in the heavily forested Ardennes region of Belgium, France, and Luxembourg defending against an advancing German army amid freezing temperatures, deep snow, and dense fog. Operation Herbstnebel - Autumn Mist - was a massive German counter-offensive that stunned the Allies in its scope and intensity. In the end, the 40-day long Battle of the Bulge, as it has come to be called, was the bloodiest battle fought by U.S. forces in World War II, and indeed the largest land battle in American history. Before effectively halting the German advance, some 89,000 of the 610,000 American servicemen committed to the campaign had become casualties, including 19,000 killed. The engagement saw the taking of thousands of Americans as prisoners of war, some of whom were massacred by the SS - but it also witnessed the storied stand by U.S. forces at Bastogne as German forces besieged the region and culminated in a decisive if costly American victory. Ordered and directed by Hitler himself--against the advice of his generals - the Ardennes offensive was the last major German offensive on the Western Front. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment. Its last reserve squandered, these irreplaceable losses would hasten the end of the war.
In Snow and Steel, Peter Caddick-Adams draws on interviews with over 100 participants of the campaign, as well as archival material from both German and US sources, to offer an engagingly written and thorough reassessment of the historic battle. Exploring the failings of intelligence that were rife on both sides, the effects of weather, and the influence of terrain on the battle's outcome, Caddick-Adams deftly details the differences in weaponry and doctrine between the US and German forces, while offering new insights into the origins of the battle.
©2015 Peter Caddick-Adams (P)2014 Audible Inc.
When will Audible pay more attention to the narrators ability to pronounce the content of the material ? So many good or great books are painful to listen to because the reader is unfamiliar with the content and or the reader can't pronounce the names and places.
I found this the case here.
I would be very surprised if this reader had any previous experience with the material and characters.
I am here.
Despite all of the flag-waving there is almost some balance in the historical account. There are some very good details probably not well known. Obviously, many of the stories collected by the author, while true enough, don't necessarily represent the entire campaign. That might be very difficult to do given the complexity of the events that occurred. There are other books on the 2nd world war as some of them have very definite agendas. The US Army won this battle and therefore one cannot say that the trumpet blowing is there to rationalize the US victory.
One of the things that is most important is that many uninformed individuals have a tendency to glorify the Nazi war machine as if the Nazi atrocities happened someplace else by a different Nazi organization. This book does a pretty good job of showing that for all of its reported efficiency, the Wehrmacht made very fundamental mistakes just as anyone else would do. They had their brainiacs, just as the United States and Britain and the other allies had their brainiacs.
My biggest criticism is that narrator, Paul Boehmer, has a Hogan's heroes German accent. I have lived in Germany and speak the language a bit and I know that Germans don't speak this way. It would have been better if he used a more "international" accent rather than a poor imitation of the Hollywood imitation of how Germans speak in the movies. After a while, it gets very annoying and detracts from a very pleasant delivery.
I do not know if he has ever lived in Germany, nor do I know if he speaks German, but his German accent is absolutely horrible and he should stop using it.
As noted by another review, the narration is problematic. The reader constantly overemphasizes the pronunciation of "foreign" words, pausing to put the "correct" pronunciation is an overly-dramatic fashion that detracts from the flow of the book. Moreover, certain English words are mispronounced, with "Ultra" being rendered as "Ooltra." I have never heard the word ultra pronounced that way, I think the narrator thought it was foreign, maybe because its in italics in the book?
Any of the other books on the Battle of the Bulge, e.g. Tolands Battle, or the newer books on Patton and on Bastogne.
The narrators in Rick Atkinson's liberation trilogy all did credible jobs, although they occasionally missed a pronunciation or were inconsistent. "Scheldt" seems to be a problem for Audible readers in determining a consistent pronunciation, so they seem to use several in the same book.
Although I still enjoy the "Battle of the Bulge" movie with Henry Fonda and Robert Shaw, its laughable as far as historical accuracy. Would love to see a modern, Band of Brothers type treatment, (which did have a Bulge espisode).
Wonderful historical perspective of the events. Very detailed and provided detailed evidence
Great listening if you enjoy history. Highly recommend.
Snow and Steel is well researched and easy to follow. Not easy for such a sweeping and confusing battle. The narrators use the French and German pronunciations for place names as opposed to the English pronunciations. I lived in both France and Germany and can appreciate wanting to be authentic. Fact is that they are extremely distracting and break the narrative up. Then there's "Ooltra" vs. Ultra, where did that come from?
The author brought together facts that I knew, but had never put together time wise. It was very enlightening. The sheer number of German accounts guarantee the evenhanded presentation. Well worth the time and money.
no... not unless the redo the book with a different narrator.
Yes anyone, I had to stop listening because the narrator kept pronouncing Ultra as ooltra,
I'm not sure but i would thing that the narrator has seen the word ultra in other instances such as ultra violet or ultra strong etc. It seems maybe the narrator wasn't understanding that ultra was an english code breaking invention and not a german one so I can't unserstand why he was trying to pronounce the english word in a german accent.... Its like nails on an ultra chalkboard
Yes, recommend a book on English pronunciation to the narrator....
Do you think the sound engineer that recorded the book said anything, such as Uhmmm your not saying that word correctly..... a hundred or so times.....
Sci Fi Nerd
If you love Toland, you will love this book. The depth of research and care for his narrative puts Caddick in high stead. Worthy of shelf space next to Toland and Ambrose, Snow And Steel should be read by any serious student of military history. The honest and well thought out tie in between the Bulge and the major events that followed made for an excellent ending, providing analysis while avoiding both leaving the Ardennes campaign in a vacuum and making third party assertions of their meaning.
I really wish the narrator would stop pronouncing the German and French names and places with such silly drama. There's no need for a theatrical pause before each one. Just say the word at the same cadence as normal. We've all heard foreign words before, they are not intimidating.
I listen and have read anything i can find about this battle. I enjoyed it very much, however i would very much agree with other reviews regarding the readers way of pronounciation of places names, etc. It was somewhat annoying. Some of which i have never heard before, " OOULTRA ". Instead of. ULTRA...The one that really weird was Lt Col Adams should have been Abrams....but other that i enjoyed it . Oh by the way if i had not been familar with the people and places mentioned i would not have known in some cases what the guy was talking about.
Never read the print version. It would not be marred by narrator's peculiarities.
Strange over-emphatic narration. Like other reviewers, I cringed whenever he pronounced the English word "Ultra" as "Ooltra".
Greatest American Victory of WWII
The author has a tendency to deviate from his narrative with digressions that lead nowhere. These anecdotes distract from the story - probably okay in a print edition, but an audiobook should have a more straightforward narrative. Without Wikipedia I would have been hopelessly lost.
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