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Posted September 10, 2002
Haven't read the book yet, but will purchase. Went on this staff ride with LTC Miller in 2000, along with his German counterpart Klaus. Awesome and humbling experience. If he writes, which I'm sure he does, as good as he tour guides and gets you into the battles then this book is a must buy for history buffs and persons who want to preserve the sacrifices of fellow servicemen and women.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 8, 2000
Miller has written what is probably the best recent account of the Huertgen Forest Campaign during the Fall of 1944 as Allied forces were trudging their way to the German frontier. His research and handling of the topic is worthy of placing this book along side many of the classic annals of military history. What's more, it reads like a novel. Miller's thesis, however, is not new. Miller argues, as prominant military historian Charles B. MacDonald had previously in the early 1960's, that the American High Command had failed to recognize the importance of the Roer River Dams as the prime strategic objective at the start of the Huertgen Forest Campaign in September 1944. Miller goes one step further and claims the American planners could have side-stepped the Huertgen Forest and captured the Dams, thus avoiding the terrible bloodshed the Campaign produced. Miller's book as a narrative is well worth the price, however, he does not argue his contention with enough force in spite of the benefits of 20/20 hindsight. As any experienced reader of military history can atest, there are many factors that determine the outcome of a battle and 'should haves' and 'could haves' must be theroughly weighed out before arm-chair strategist can change the course of history. I believe another of Miller's contentions, one in which he treats less favorably, stating the importance of the road-net contained within the Huertgen Forest in gaining the approaches to the Roer River is a much more practical arguement from a military point of view than attacking the Dams, which, if executed as Miller suggests in the book, could very well have trapped a large American force well behind enemy lines in an bloody encirclement battle reminiscent of the Eastern Front. In sum, Miller surely hasn't had the last word in the ongoing debate over the controversial handeling of the Huertgen Forest Battles. His narrative makes up for a somewhat lacking analysis.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.