The Battle of the Bulge: A Graphic History of Allied Victory in the Ardennes, 1944-1945

By Kennedy, James | Military Review, November-December 2015 | Go to article overview

The Battle of the Bulge: A Graphic History of Allied Victory in the Ardennes, 1944-1945


Kennedy, James, Military Review


THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE: A Graphic History of Allied Victory in the Ardennes, 1944-1945

Wayne Vansant, Zenith Press, Minneapolis, 2014, 104 pages

My father introduced me to the Battle of the Bulge when I was a teenager. His roommate in college was Charles B. MacDonald, who had just returned from World War II to complete his college degree. I had the honor to meet MacDonald on a few occasions, and my interest in World War II and the Battle of the Bulge grew from there. The graphic novel The Battle of the Bulge: A Graphic History of the Allied Victory in the Ardennes, 1944-1945 by Wayne Vansant does a great job telling the story--good and bad--by combining art and storyline, much like a comic book. While I would suspect most children get their knowledge of World War II from the Call of Duty: World at War video game instead of reading books, this book would be suitable to give to a young person who has an interest in history. I was able to read the book quickly, and it retained my interest. As much as I have studied this event, I learned new information.

There are several positive aspects of the book. The drawings were created professionally, and they illustrate the right emotions for the reader. The German and American panels, for the most part, are separated by a different sky tone, which provides a subtle transition between the different points of view and actions described. The text is not technical, which could make the book more interesting for a younger audience. Readers should not expect a lot of weapons specifications or battle statistics; however, the equipment and uniforms were illustrated with precision.

Overall, the accuracy of the events is very good, but two areas may be incorrect. First, the author writes that SS-Standartenfuehrer (Col.) Jochen Peiper stated that for the offensive to succeed, a specific Allied fuel depot had to be captured. However, interviews of German generals and studies conducted after World War II clearly indicate that the capture of Allied fuel would have been a bonus--but not a necessity. …

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