Kampfgruppe Peiper: The Race for the Meuse

Kampfgruppe Peiper: The Race for the Meuse

by David Cooke, Wayne Evans


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On 16 December 1944 Hitler's last great offensive commenced, pushing through the difficult terrain of the Ardennes in Belgium. Its objectives were the Meuse bridges and, beyond them, Antwerp. Hitler's aim was to cut off the northern British and American armies and force them to surrender or retreat.

At the forefront of the German assault was Kampfgruppe Peiper of the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Division. It was the most powerful force in the German order of battle. Traveling along roads hardly suitable for cars, let alone Tiger tanks, the kampfgruppe had to cross numerous streams and rivers to reach its objectives. It was delayed by a handful of American combat engineers who blew up bridges, then it was brought to a halt by American reinforcements. As the tide turned, the kampfgruppe fought for its life, holding out for several days in a desperate rearguard action against increasing odds.

David Cooke and Wayne Evans use contemporary accounts and a wealth of maps and illustrations to tell the story of Kampfgruppe Peiper in unprecedented detail.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473827042
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 11/02/2014
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

David Cooke is a military historian, author and battlefield guide, and he has always been a keen student of Yorkshire's history. His previous publications include The Forgotten Battle: The Battle of Adwalton Moor, Northern Thunder: The Battle of Marston Moor, Seven Feet of Earth: The Battle of Stamford Bridge, The Civil War in Yorkshire: Newcastle versus Fairfax, Kampfgruppe Peiper - Race for the Meuse, Battlefield Yorkshire and The Road to Marston Moor.

Table of Contents

Preface 6

Glossary 7

Chapter 1 Wacht am Rhein 9

Chapter 2 Kampfgruppe Peiper: Organization and Equipment 17

Chapter 3 16 December 1944: Peiper Frustrated 30

Chapter 4 17 December 1944: Breakthrough 37

Chapter 5 18 December 1944: Those Damned Engineers 59

Chapter 6 19 December 1944: Furthest Point 79

Chapter 7 20 December 1944: Peiper Cut Off 95

Chapter 8 21 December 1944: A Shortening of Lines 111

Chapter 9 22 December 1944: The Pressure Builds 125

Chapter 10 23 December 1944: The End is Nigh 139

Chapter 11 24 December 1944: The Long Walk 149

Chapter 12 Trials and Retribution 165

Battlefield Tour 172

Appendix A SS Ranks and Their British and Us Equivalents 185

Further Reading 186

Index 189

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