Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Military, Scientific, and Technologcal:Snow and Steel: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45/those Who Hold Bastogne: The True Story of the Soldiers and Civilians Who Fought in the Biggest Battle of the Bulge/Patton at the Battle of the Bulge: How the General's Tanks Turned the Tide at Bastogne

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Military, Scientific, and Technologcal:Snow and Steel: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45/those Who Hold Bastogne: The True Story of the Soldiers and Civilians Who Fought in the Biggest Battle of the Bulge/Patton at the Battle of the Bulge: How the General's Tanks Turned the Tide at Bastogne

Article excerpt

Military, Scientific, and Technological Lawrence D. Freedman Snow and Steel: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45 BY PETER CADDICK-ADAMS. Oxford University Press, 2014, 928 pp. $34.95.

Those Who Hold Bastogne: The True Story of the Soldiers and Civilians Who Fought in the Biggest Battle of the Bulge BY PETER SCHRIJVERS. Yale University Press, 2014, 328 pp. $28.00.

Patton at the Battle of the Bulge: How the General's Tanks Turned the Tide at Bastogne BY LEO BARRON. New American Library, 2014, 432 pp. $27.95 (paper, $16.00).

In late 1944, Adolf Hitler, still recovering from the shock of a failed attempt on his life and the setback of the Allied landings at Normandy, decided to make one last desperate push against his enemies. It was a bold move, aiming to catch the complacent Allies unaware by driving toward the port of Antwerp through the Ardennes. Total victory was no longer in the cards for Germany, but Hitler believed that if he could split the British and U.S. forces, disrupting their logistics and undermining their morale, it might allow him to press for a negotiated peace rather than unconditional surrender. Allied intelligence had not taken the prospect of a final German push seriously enough, and so German forces initially achieved surprise and made progress. For the Americans, this turned out to be the toughest and most costly battle of World War II: some 19,000 U.S. servicemen were killed. But the Germans lacked the capacity to sustain a long campaign, and their effort to do so left the German army exhausted, outnumbered, and outgunned- so depleted that there was little left for the actual defense of Germany in the following months.

The German offensive came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge because of the shape of the German advance. To mark its 70th anniversary, a number of books have been published that seek to capture its drama and intensity. …

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