The Ardennes offensive is perhaps fixed in the collective memory by the film Battle of the Bulge with Aryan young officers bellowing out the Panzerlied. More historically accurate narratives come from Michael Reynolds (The Devil's Adjutant) and Peter Caddick-Evans(Snow & Steel).Both give an excellent overview of the campaign.
- Donald E Graves
Donald Graves has instead produced a series of well researched vignettes culled from First Canadian Army, British and American intelligence sources plus some German material. These examine areas including special forces, unit organisation, soldiers letters and diaries, interrogation of PW, propaganda and morale.
Given the differing formats and nomenclature of various INTSUMs the reader has to hop around a bit to piece together a bigger picture. The end result is well worth it and Donald Graves has produced a sound , workmanlike book. The author produces a helpful note to the reader covering these points. There is also an equivalent rank table and note of abbreviations which will be invaluable for the generalist reader.
The book runs to 214 pages with good quality photo quality illustrations and helpful footnotes through the text. Printing and production is to Pen & Sword's usual high standard.
For anyone who has read the broader accounts of the Ardennes offensive this would be a good fill in. The lack of an index is a hindrance for anyone using the book for further work and hopefully the author might address this in a subsequent edition. His next book ,Blood and Steel, the Wehrmacht Archive will be the next in the series. The book is priced at £19.99 with Kindle at about £14.39