A Dark and Bloody Ground: The Hürtgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, 1944-1945 / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.60
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 58%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $9.60   
  • New (9) from $15.81   
  • Used (7) from $9.60   

Overview

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, U.S. commanders nevertheless ordered units of as many as seven divisions into the woods to be chewed up by German infantry and artillery. Small units, cut off by the rugged terrain and trees, unable to employ tanks or artillery effectively, fought entrenched and camouflaged Germans in the woods and villages of the region. The troops were exposed to rain, sleet, and freezing temperatures without proper winter clothing. 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 U.S. Army, most disastrous campaigns of World War II.

For many years after the war the full extent of the disaster was not well known outside army circles. Eventually the story of the campaign spread, but it remained overshadowed by the fame of the Bulge. Only in the last decade have military historians begun to look at the fighting in the Hürtgen Forest.

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, a rich selection of first-person accounts from veterans of both sides, and author Edward G. Miller's visits to the battlefield. The result is a compelling and comprehensive account of small-unit action set against the background of the larger command levels.

The book's foreword is by retired Maj. Gen. R. W. Hogan, who was a battalion commander in the forest.

Maj. Edward G. Miller is a retired army ordnance officer stationed in Germany. His most recent assignment was to the army's Command and General Staff College, where he completed most of this study in his off-duty hours. He earned the B.A. and M.P.A. degrees from Western Kentucky University and has completed several military training programs. His previous publications include articles in Armor and Ordnance magazines concerning development of U.S. armor doctrine.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

David H. Hackworth

"A Dark and Bloody Ground is the best telling of the bloody Hürtgen Forest campaign I've read. It's gritty, hard-hitting, and explodes like a hand grenade. . . . This is a compelling and incredibly detailed account—a must read for professional soldiers, and a good, exciting read for anyone interested in one of the most costly blunders of World War II."--David H. Hackworth, author of About Face and Brave Men
David H. Hackworth
"A Dark and Bloody Ground is the best telling of the bloody Hürtgen Forest campaign I've read. It's gritty, hard-hitting, and explodes like a hand grenade. . . . This is a compelling and incredibly detailed account—a must read for professional soldiers, and a good, exciting read for anyone interested in one of the most costly blunders of World War II."—David H. Hackworth, author of About Face and Brave Men
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This tale of the disaster suffered by U.S. forces in Germany near the end of WWII is based on government records, veterans' accounts and the author's visits to the battlefield. Assigned to clear Germany's Hrtgen Forest of enemy troops, the U.S. 7th Corps high command concentrated on terrain features, road junctions and towns, failing to realize that the more important objectives were the nearby dams controlling the level of the water obstacle standing between the Americans and the Rhine, i.e., the Roer. Miller vividly describes the bloody confrontation in the forest near Aachen from late 1944 into early '45, with the Germans conducting a well-executed delaying action that bought time for a buildup of forces for their last-ditch Ardennes campaign. The ferocity of the fighting was typified by the experience of the 22nd Infantry, which lost 108 officers and 2575 enlisted men in exchange for four miles of tactically useless woods. Miller's detailed account of the climactic assault on the Schwammenauel Dam by the 78th Division drives home the theme of this well-researched study: the overriding importance of defining a clear and logical objective at the beginning of a military campaign. Major Miller is on active duty with the U.S. Army in Germany as an ordnance officer. Illustrations. (Oct.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author


Maj. Edward G. Miller is a retired army ordnance officer stationed in Germany. His most recent assignment was to the army's Command and General Staff College, where he completed most of this study in his off-duty hours. He earned the B.A. and M.P.A. degrees from Western Kentucky University and has completed several military training programs. His previous publications include articles in Armor and Ordnance magazines concerning development of U.S. armor doctrine.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)