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Publisher's Summary

A victorious American army, having driven through Belgium almost unopposed, ran head-on into German soldiers on their own home ground, in some of the most rugged country in western Germany - and at the beginning of the worst fall and winter weather in decades.

In late 1944, American forces advanced into the hilly, heavily wooded Hürtgen Forest southeast of Aachen, Germany. For weeks, without a clear-cut reason for attacking through the forest, US commanders nevertheless ordered units of as many as seven divisions into the woods to be chewed up by German infantry and artillery. Many companies suffered huge numbers of casualties.

The Battle of the Bulge interrupted the Hürtgen Forest battles but did not end them. The Bulge provided a hiatus for the wartorn countryside around the forest and the Roer River dams. Then, beginning in January 1945, American forces resumed their offensive and were finally able to break through after one of the bloodiest and, for the US Army, most disastrous campaigns of World War II.

The book examines uncertainty of command at the army, corps, and division levels and emphasizes the confusion and fear of ground combat at the level of company and battalion - "where they do the dying." Its gripping description of the battle is based on government records and a rich selection of first-person accounts.

Forrest C. Pogue Award, presented by the Eisenhower Center for American Studies. The book is published by Texas A&M University Press.

©1995 Edward G. Miller (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"This is a thorough, interesting study, which every student of World War II operations in northwest Europe should read." ( Army History) "This educational and informative book is worth reading by anyone wanting to know more about the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest." ( The Journal of America's Military Past)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping story of a little known corner of WW2.

This is a very well researched and laid out narrative of the US Army's advance through the Hurtgen Forest, on their way to capture the Roer River Dams, which were vitally improtant to securing the region.Unfortunately, The Army didnt realize how important these dams were, and instead concentrated on taking the towns and crossroads, which kept the Army bogged down until the winter, which was bitterly cold that year, and actually ended up costing the lives of a lot of soldiers that ddint have to die. It covers the personalities of the commanders, with little personal notes of regular soldiers interspersed throughout. Peter Hassinger does an excellent job narrating, keeping a serious tone while not letting it become dry and boring. Any history buff should be interested in this book.

I was given a free copy of this book by the narrator in exchange for an honest review through Audiobook Boom.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Hidden Truth of the Hurtgen Campaign

What made the experience of listening to A Dark and Bloody Ground: The Hurtgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, 1944-1945 the most enjoyable?

A few weeks ago I visited the area and found a museum on the battle. Until last year, I never heard of this battle. On my trip during Thanksgiving, I met many Americans that never heard of this battle. Only locals and a host at the Netherlands US Military Cemetery knew of the true history.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The character that brought this book to life was not in the book. Last year a friend wanted me to research and find a lost Uncle who died in WW 2. I found Private Ralph Mora at the Ardennes US Military Cemetery, Lot A, Row 33, grave 16 along with 5000 of his brothers. Ralph signed up at Fort Logan, Colorado in March 1944 and died 30 November 44 at Groshau, Germany. He was 20 years old.

Which scene was your favorite?

Hurtgen should have never happened. One of the saddest battles in all of American History. The US has done a great disservice to the men who died there, by sweeping it under the rug of history and forgetting them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and no. It's a painful book that exposed how command killed many great kids.

Any additional comments?

I hope the battle is resurrected and that our military and country learns from failure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping story of a little known corner of WW2

Would you consider the audio edition of A Dark and Bloody Ground: The Hurtgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, 1944-1945 to be better than the print version?

Did not read the printed version

What did you like best about this story?

I love history and this is a unique story which was at the footsteps of WW2. The importance of the dams and the sacrifice made will never be forgotten

Have you listened to any of Peter Hassinger’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.I've listened to dozens of audio book voice talents. MR. Hassinger is near the top of my list of excellent narrators. His pronunciation of German names, of cities and towns, of pertinent regions is exceptional. His voice is easy to understand, and enjoyable to listen to for extended periods

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A solid listen and well worth your time if you want to understand the battle for the Hurtgen Forest from an operational perspective

Any additional comments?

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great writing for historians.

The book is very detailed and provides mid-level analysis. The author is not Keegan, but he is not bad at all. The performer cannot pronounce French or German names.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Boring

What disappointed you about A Dark and Bloody Ground: The Hurtgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, 1944-1945?

This Book kept on dragging on a slow and boring pace.

Would you be willing to try another book from Edward G. Miller? Why or why not?

No.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Peter Hassinger?

Someone who didn't sound like a school teacher.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None.

Any additional comments?

It needed to be about a soldier's experience through this horrific battle.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not bad

book was ok; reader wasnt great. He struggled with German names, there were a few obvious recording mistakes (like repeated sentences)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Spotlight on a shadowed corner of WW2 history

The author researches and presents us with a a shadowed corner of WW2 and reveals it for what it was. One of many such battle fronts that were swept to the side in favor of Marie spectacular and successful stories that shine through the lens of Hollywood for public consumption. This gritty tale of hard fought yards won and lost for little reason and less direction in the dark of a winter wood will leave you in awe of the men who fought and died there. The author has small personal accounts of heroics in each chapter that convey the feeling of the battles and shine briefly on the short heroic activities of the few that have been remembered for their outstanding acts of bravery as well as the feelings of the front line men of the trenches just grinding through. I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookboom in exchange for an unbiased review

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting and fascinating piece of history

Any additional comments?

I love history and this is a unique story which was at the footsteps of WW2. The importance of the dams and the sacrifice made will never be forgotten.

"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom."

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent account on the battle at Hurtgen Forest

First off if you are looking for a first hand account of the battle this isn't the story for you. Though an excellent story this book is primarily a high level account of the battle and contains only a few anecdotal accounts from a soldiers point of view. With that said the author does an excellent job of educating the listener on the motivations, mistakes, and plans of both sides of the battle. The narrator has an easy to understand voice and does a great job.

A solid listen and well worth your time if you want to understand the battle for the Hurtgen forest from an operational perspective.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Easily Equal to The Longest Day, et al

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely! This is written on the same competent level as Cornelius Ryan's The Longest Day or A Bridge Too Far. To tell you the honest truth, I thought this would be boring and dry. How wrong I was! It's well paced, thorough to its subject matter.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I couldn't have "A" favorite. This is a story of groups of soldiers placed in horrific life and death circumstances, and daily situations whose outcome could affect millions of people. The bravery, adapting to changing weather and tactics. The sacrifices on both sides.

Have you listened to any of Peter Hassinger’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No. But, I've listened to dozens of audio book voice talents. Hassinger is near the top of my list of excellent narrators. To this untrained American ear, his pronunciation of German names, of cities and towns, of pertinent regions is exceptional. His voice is easy to understand, and enjoyable to listen to for extended periods.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A World War Two saga you have to learn more about.

Any additional comments?

There are some works that are educational and some that are entertaining. This is both. Very well done. If you call yourself an expert in World War Two, you have to listen and read this!

Thanks for the opportunity to review A Dark and Bloody Ground...

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com

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  • nathan
  • 03-27-18

detailed

Very detailed account of the battle with glimpses of personal experiences but mainly a historical account of what happened as a whole, army to army.