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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.
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.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Battle again? Why?
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)
21 of 22 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Battle?
Easy to listen to. Excellent narrator. I really enjoyed this book. Toland is great.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
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.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
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.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Great description of the battle.<br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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!
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
Extremely detailed! Great narration! Would recommend to anyone who appreciates when someone obviously does a lot of researching and isn't turned off by it making it seem to long at times.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Battle in three words, what would they be?
most excellent, perfect
What did you like best about this story?
It is very well researched and wonderfully written. Toland walked battlefields, slept in foxholes and cellars, & talked with hundreds who were there.
What about Dan Butler’s performance did you like?
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.
Any additional comments?
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.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
This book was informative, historical, and riveting. It was so well written. I could more clearly see the images in my mind than any picture I've seen. I was sitting on the edge of my seat while listening. I was glad to hear the narrator read the author's brief description of the long trail of POW's walking out of the St. Vith area toward Germany on Christmas Day in 1944. My father-in-law was one of them. He was a navigator on a bomber that was returning from a bomb run in Germany and was shot down. I did not realize how close he was to the Americans when he landed. When he parachuted out of his plane, 3 engines were gone and he lost his boots on the way down. He had to pull rank on another POW to get a pair of boots. The other guy had boots on his feet and an extra pair around his neck. My father-in-law was 23 years old. He walked to Barth, Germany and stayed at the POW camp until the allies came through. My father-in-law turned 95 in March and passed away this May. Thank you John Toland for remembering the many who fought and died in the Battle of the Bulge.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
A well written book.
It's a shame that the reader made no effort to get the pronunciation of places and names of towns, rivers and countryside correct
What did you like most about Battle?
The story was well written and read, most informative and enjoyable. Just what i was looking for.
What other book might you compare Battle to, and why?
The history of world war 2 by Anthony Beevor
What does Dan Butler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
The various intonations in his voice bring the characters to life.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Very much so.
Any additional comments?
I loved this story and was happy to find it in audiobook.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful