The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of WWII's Most Decorated Platoon

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Overview

On the morning of December 16, 1944, eighteen men of the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon attached to the 99th Infantry Division found themselves directly in the path of the main thrust of Hitler's massive Ardennes offensive. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they were told to hold their position "at all costs." Throughout the day, the platoon repulsed three large German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing hundreds of German soldiers. Only when they had run out of ammunition did they surrender to...

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Overview

On the morning of December 16, 1944, eighteen men of the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon attached to the 99th Infantry Division found themselves directly in the path of the main thrust of Hitler's massive Ardennes offensive. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they were told to hold their position "at all costs." Throughout the day, the platoon repulsed three large German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing hundreds of German soldiers. Only when they had run out of ammunition did they surrender to the enemy. But their long winter was just beginning. As POWs, the platoon experienced an ordeal far worse than combat-surviving in wretched German POW camps. Yet miraculously the men of the platoon survived-all of them-and returned home after the war. More than thirty years later, when President Carter recognized the platoon's "extraordinary heroism" and the U.S. Army approved combat medals for all eighteen men, they became America's most decorated platoon of World War II. With the same vivid and dramatic prose that made The Bedford Boys a national bestseller, Alex Kershaw brings to life the story of these little-known heroes-an epic tale of courage, duty, and survival in World War II and one of the most inspiring episodes in American history. The Longest Winter is an intensely human story about young men who find themselves in frightening wartime situations, who fight back instinctively, survive stoically, and live heroically.

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Editorial Reviews

Topeka Capital-Journal 8/6/05
"Kershaw does a masterful job .... A fascinating little-known story. Amazing."
Wall Street Journal
America's enemies would do well not to underestimate this platoon's sense of courage and duty.
Roanoke Times
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants a renewed sense of patriotism.
Army Magazine
Kershaw is a fantastic storyteller.... Anyone who enjoyed [his earlier book The Bedford Boys would like this too.
New York Sun
Gripping and unsentimental....shows that valor comes in many forms.
Library Journal
Though this book's subtitle is plainly overstated, there's no doubting the extraordinary heroism and pivotal contribution of the 394th Infantry Regiment's scout platoon in blunting the German advance during the opening hours of the Battle of the Bulge. The platoon's gallant stand has been chronicled in works like Charles MacDonald's A Time for Trumpets, but Kershaw (The Bedford Boys) relates the story of the platoon from its inception at Camp Maxey, TX, to its desperate fight at Lanzerath, Belgium, on December 16, 1944, as well as platoon members' subsequent experiences in captivity. Though the story itself is remarkable, the narrative is somewhat meandering and not entirely satisfying. A casual reader might well overlook the grammatically incorrect German phrases that the author liberally sprinkles throughout. However, this poor attention to detail surfaces elsewhere, as when the author incorrectly places Hammelburg, the site of the platoon's POW camp, 70 miles west of Frankfurt in the Rhone valley; misidentifies Generals Bradley, Montgomery, and Devers as army commanders; and credits the 2nd Division with originally preparing the scout platoon's fighting positions at Lanzerath. An optional purchase for public libraries.-Edward Metz, Combined Arms Research Lib., Ft. Leavenworth, KS Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306814402
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 10/24/2005
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 165,659
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Kershaw is the author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling books The Bedford Boys, The Longest Winter, and The Few, and two biographies: Jack London and Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 10, 2010

    This is a must have!

    The Longest winter, By Alex Kershaw; a review

    In my opinion, this is an amazing compilation of many of the stories of American soldiers, who fought at Lanzarath, Belgium during the battle of the Bulge, and held out, against Jochen Peiper, and his forces against all odds. The book is about an American intelligence platoon. The book begins, by describing some of the main characters, and showing them at training camp. Then it builds up to them fighting, and then being captured.This book is a very interesting contrast to other small unit histories, such as Band of Brothers. It details a single day of combat, but follows the individual stories of each character, through captivity, and the rest of the war. This book is a perfect gift for any history buff, or anybody, who likes a great, riveting story!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2013

    The best Battle of the Buldge, Belgium (winter 1944) book ever w

    The best Battle of the Buldge, Belgium (winter 1944) book ever written. This author is incredible, this book is about a scout patrol who takes on th entire Nazi offensive coming west into Belgium 1944 (Hitler's last gamble to drive allies back to sea)! It was very interesting, inspired me! The book also focused on the after events of the battle, the soldiers efforts to survive in POW camp, life after war! It was a classic book, best book ever written on Battle of Buldge, WWII! 5 star book, it was great.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2013

    Incredible battle story of Battle of The Buldge during December

    Incredible battle story of Battle of The Buldge during December 1944 Belgium, incredibly exciting, inspiring book. This is one of the best books I have ever read, best WW2 book ever read. Very well written, highly recommend, it is worth the money. Alex Kershaw is an extremely talented writer!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    SUPER BOOK! BEST WRITING ENCOUNTERED! The smallest acts in our

    SUPER BOOK! BEST WRITING ENCOUNTERED! The smallest acts in our life can have the biggest influence in the world! Alex Kershaw takes the reader on an incredible journey about WW2 during the battle of the buldge! Outnumbered, with little equipment and/or training a scout patrol is able to stop of Nazi Germanys' soldiers efforts to prolong the war duing the battle of the bulge in Lanzarath Beligium during the late winter of 1944! This book goes beyond WW2, it teaches the reading about facing one's fears, tenacity, persistence, doing the morally corrrect thing in life, facing one's fears, how your life does and/or actions do matter for good and/or ill. This is a must read! Money well spent, SUPERB book, excellent writing, fascinating, insightul, recommended to any age group! GREAT GREAT BOOK!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2013

    Alex Kershaw's book -- The Longest Winter is absolutely amazing,

    Alex Kershaw's book -- The Longest Winter is absolutely amazing, very gripping accout of Battle of Buldge during WII Belgium (the usa scout patrols efforts to combat entire Germany Army), very good book.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2013

    Winter 1944, Belgium -- Battle of the Buldge, great story! Sweat

    Winter 1944, Belgium -- Battle of the Buldge, great story! Sweating while I read, could not wait to turn the next page to find out what happened next! Amazing book.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    Review

    This book was excellent. Very well written. I would recommend this to any reader interested in books of this type.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2006

    A must read !

    Received the book for Christmas and could not put it down. Aside from reinforcing the deep sense of pride and patriotism that existed in my dad's generation, this book was extremely well written and just plain interesting. A great read on another aspect of the Battle of the Bulge and World War II.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2010

    Excellent Writing

    I have purchased all of Kershaw's books. He is a fantastic author. Holds your interest till the bitter end. Would advise anyone wanting a bit of history to get this book.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2013

    Paramount to any other book ever written on WWII. This book is

    Paramount to any other book ever written on WWII. This book is perhaps the best book on warfare, I ever ever read. Deluxe in excitement, flyed through the material to find out ending, outstanding writing, research, story, this author is very, very good.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2013

    Among the glitter and glitz of today's screen WWII movies, this

    Among the glitter and glitz of today's screen WWII movies, this book trumps all of them! Alex Kershaw's approach is to provide the reader with a seat alongside the events of these most important events in world history, this book focues on the events of Battle of the Buldge, WWII 1944. Another winner, by author Alex Kershaw.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2013

    Best World War Two book I have ever read. Amazing book, enterta

    Best World War Two book I have ever read. Amazing book, entertaining, exciting, reveals the reality of warfare during the Battle of Buldge Belgium during WW2 in winter of 1944. Very well written.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    great reading

    very griping tale of ordinary heroes. worth every cent.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2007

    Great Writing!

    One of the best written war stories of the past 20 years. A must for any lover of history, about a group of overlooked heros.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 10, 2013

    SUPER BOOK! Anyone interested in WWII, war history, this is a m

    SUPER BOOK! Anyone interested in WWII, war history, this is a must buy! Alex Kershaw, extremely gifted writer.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2013

    Worth of a Pulitzer Prize award for writing, incredibly well wri

    Worth of a Pulitzer Prize award for writing, incredibly well written, great book. Best book I have read in years.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Greatest inspirational book I have ever read, very highly recomm

    Greatest inspirational book I have ever read, very highly recommend.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Excellent read!!

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    You will not be disaapointed if you make the time to buy this bo

    You will not be disaapointed if you make the time to buy this book, it is money well spent! Excellent written, fascinating tale of WW2 battle of the buldge. Alex Kershaw is a very gifted writer, the best history writer alive on this Earth today. Five star nonfiction book!! 5 STAR BOOK!

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Battle of the Buldge, WW2 story of American scout patrol holding

    Battle of the Buldge, WW2 story of American scout patrol holding off rest of Nazis led my Jochen Peiper. Very good book.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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