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No Silent Night: The Christmas Battle For Bastogne

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On Christmas Eve, the holiest of nights for the many Christian peoples of Europe, Adolf Hitler was unleashing the full fury of his remaining Luftwaffe bomber force on Bastogne.

For Bastogne was the holdout city, center of Allied resistance to his Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhein) offensive—the German surprise attack in the west that would become known among the Allies as the Battle of the Bulge…

The battle ...

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No Silent Night: The Christmas Battle For Bastogne

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Overview

On Christmas Eve, the holiest of nights for the many Christian peoples of Europe, Adolf Hitler was unleashing the full fury of his remaining Luftwaffe bomber force on Bastogne.

For Bastogne was the holdout city, center of Allied resistance to his Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhein) offensive—the German surprise attack in the west that would become known among the Allies as the Battle of the Bulge…

The battle that would result from Hitler’s orders would become the climactic event of the Bastogne saga: a rapid-fire, desperate assault by overwhelming German armored might, defended in bloody struggles by the ragged and weapons-strapped GIs trapped in Bastogne. It would be either the last stand of the American defenders or the culmination of the German drive to capture the vital crossroads. Either way pointed to a climactic showdown—a desperate bloodbath in the snowy fields of Bastogne.

For hundreds of German and American soldiers facing off in the siege, the events of Christmas 1944 would destroy any sense of holiness and peace on earth. For the soldiers on both sides, and for the brave people of Bastogne, this would be no silent night.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a thoroughly researched, densely packed WWII study, historian/military instructor Barron and history teacher/ex-journalist Cygan explore the battle of Bastogne, a key point in the decisive Battle of the Bulge. Utilizing first-hand reports and participant interviewsâ?”alongside extensive work in secondary sourcesâ?”they recreate the days leading up to Germany's doomed, last-ditch Wacht am Rhein offensive, as well as the battle itself, from the perspective of a vast array of participants from both sides. Part textbook study, part military narrative, the book achieves an almost literary quality in dramatized scenes that draws from both recorded conversations and the language of official orders. At some points, the authors try too hard to be comprehensive, causing the narrative to bog down in the sheer wealth of information. In general, though, the in-depth coverage of this historic battle succeeds in painting a colorful, realistic picture of how an all-or-nothing gamble by Hitler turned into a "climactic showdown" for both sides. This may very well be an authoritative work on the subject, yet one that reads more like an action-packed adventure than a scholarly tome. Agent: George Bick, Doug Grad Literary Agency. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451238139
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/6/2012
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Leo Barron works for General Dynamics as an instructor of military intelligence officers for the U.S. Army. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in history, and has served with the 101st Airborne. Barron has seen two tours of active duty in Iraq as an infantry and intelligence officer. His articles about Bastogne and other WWII-related military topics have appeared in Infantry Magazine, Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, WWII History Magazine, and WWII Magazine.

Don Cygan has studied military history for decades. Cygan has also worked as a reporter for the Douglas County Daily News-Press. In addition, he has worked as a freelance writer for several years in Colorado, with articles published in The Parker Trail, the Denver Business Journal, and other publications. During Operation Desert Storm, Cygan performed public relations for the U.S. Army. His degrees are in journalism and communication.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: "Let the world never see such a Christmas night again!" 1

Chapter 1 "We gamble everything!" 7

Chapter 2 "I don't think this is a feint." 39

Chapter 3 "Come any way possible to Bastogne, but get there." 65

Chapter 4 "If you don't understand what 'Nuts' means, in plain English it is the same as 'Go to hell…." 83

Chapter 5 "This is our last withdrawal. Live or die-this is it." 115

Chapter 6 "I was just here to wish you a merry Christmas." 151

Chapter 7 "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!" 177

Chapter 8 "All I know is that I wish we were out of here." 195

Chapter 9 Panzer Angriff 231

Chapter 10 "A small lesson in tank warfare" 257

Chapter 11 "Let the shit hit the fan!" 281

Epilogue: "Out of blood and death …" 323

Works Cited 327

Endnotes 343

Index 405

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Don Cygan

    Don Cygan is my S.S teacher.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    very good 

    very good 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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