The powerful German counteroffensive operation code-named “Wacht am Rhein” (Watch on the Rhine) launched in the early morning hours of December 16, 1944, would result in the greatest single extended land battle of World War II. To most Americans, the fierce series of battles fought from December 1944 through January 1945 is better known as the “Battle of the Bulge.” Almost one million soldiers would eventually take part in the fighting. Different from other histories of the Bulge, this book tells the story of this crucial campaign with first-person stories taken from the authors’ interviews of the American soldiers, both officers and enlisted personnel, who faced the massive German onslaught that threatened to turn the tide of battle in Western Europe and successfully repelled the attack with their courage and blood. Also included are stories from German veterans of the battles, including SS soldiers, who were interviewed by the authors.
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About the Author
Michael Collins has been a historical interpreter and museum staffer for the New England Air Museum, the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum, the Irish American Heritage Museum, and the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. He lives in Hartford, Connecticut. Martin King is a military historian who has conducted tours for many Allied veterans and interviewed both German veterans and civilian witnesses in and around Europe's World War II battlefields. He lives in Belgium, where he researches and lectures, serves as a consultant for the History Channel, and has been a tour guide for veterans, their families, active U.S. military personnel, NATO staff, and other visiting dignitaries. Michael Collins has been a historical interpreter and museum staffer for the New England Air Museum, the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum, the Irish American Heritage Museum, and the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center. He lives in Hartford, Connecticut. Martin King is a military historian who has conducted tours for many Allied veterans and interviewed both German veterans and civilian witnesses in and around Europe's World War II battlefields. He lives in Belgium, where he researches and lectures, serves as a consultant for the History Channel, and has been a tour guide for veterans, their families, active U.S. military personnel, NATO staff, and other visiting dignitaries.
Table of Contents
List of Maps vi
1 The Center of a Storm 10
16 December 1944
2 The Offensive and the Atrocities 45
17 December 1944
3 We're on the Move 77
18 December 1944
4 A Rock and a Hard Place 103
19 December 1944
5 Fighting Back 136
20 December 1944
6 Digging In and Holding On 149
21 December 1944
7 Our Worst Enemy 169
22 December 1944
8 Siege, Relief, and Strife 179
23 December 1944
9 Christmas Eve on the Bulge 198
24 December 1944
10 Christmas Day on the Bulge 229
25 December 1944
11 Breakthrough 245
26 December 1944
12 It Isn't Over Yet 256
27 December 1944
13 The End Game 268
28 December 1944-End of Jaunary 1945
What People are Saying About This
This day-by-day account of the Battle of the Bulge takes the personal stories of servicemen to give a trench-level view of the combat. The book and companion DVD documentary are based on interviews conducted by filmmakers Collins and King, who provide some framing narrative and profiles of the prominent commanders of the battle. The bulk of the text is composed of the GIs’ individual and unit stories. VERDICT: For those unfamiliar with the battle, this may not provide sufficient overall context, but for readers who know the battle history, and those—teens and adults alike—who enjoy works such as Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, it is recommended.—Brian DeLuca, Enoch Pratt Free Lib., Baltimore
WWII History magazine
"What sets this oral history apart from the many others that have been published is that it is accompanied by a 47-minute DVD of the authors' documentary of the Battle of the Bulge...The authors have done an excellent job in describing the action."
"What was it like to have been involved up close and personal in this historic battle? Although many books have been written about the now legendary event, few - if any - have been able to respectfully and compellingly capture both sides of the conflict. Filmmakers Michael Collins and Martin King, producers of the documentary “Voices of the Bulge,” present this companion oral history that feature both the people featured in their film and others. This is a well-rounded perspective documents this decisive battle through the memories and observations of the soldiers who were there." Bookviews by Alan Caruba"...a fitting tribute to the men who made the ultimate sacrifice and the veterans who lived to tell their story."
“The authors spent more than 12 years researching, interviewing and compiling information for this book. By sprinkling their narrative with concise biographical sketches and personal vignettes, Collins and King succeed admirably in combining official combat histories with the reminiscences of the men and women who experienced war on the Belgian frontier in late 1944 and early ’45. The result is a riveting tribute to the generation that experienced World War II firsthand. Collins and King have produced a marvelous compendium of recollections from military veterans and the civilians caught up in the last significant German offensive on the Western Front.” - ARMY
"This book is highly recommended to any history aficionado. It is a very unique document, as it describes the very human aspect of combat by those that experienced it. The DVD is a nice addition, as literally, you can see and hear the Voices of the Bulge." - International Plastic Modelers' Society
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book took 15 years to write. It is by far the best ever book written about the Battle of the Bulge. These guys are incredible. The veteran's accounts are harrowing, compelling and ultimately great reading. Every W.W.I.I. enthusiast should have this in his library.
Great book. Very personal stories told by those who were there.