December 1944 was the moment for Hitler's last gamble in the West. Three German armies assembled under radio silence, U boats in the Atlantic reporting the vital weather that would negate allied air superiority. All was poised for a lighting dash for Antwerp , the Western allies supply hub.
- Danny S Parker
The Ardennes offensive is well trodden ground for military historians with authors such as Antony Beevor and Peter Caddick producing books recently. Mike Reynolds wrote on Battlegroup Peiper and led battlefield tours over the ground. ARRSE readers of a certain age will recall Ken Annakin's film with it's stirring Panzerlied and sufficient inaccuracies to receive a broadside from Eisenhower himself Danny Parker has previously written on the battle from both ground and air viewpoints as well as a number of magazine and other items.
In this book by Frontline books he reproduces the immediate post war debrief interrogations of Sepp Dietrich and a number of senior German officers. The work was intended to assist in the US Army official histories The interrogations were post war so the German commanders were more loquacious although the spectre of Nurenberg lay in the background. Parker makes brief comment on the conversations and also produces notes after each section with observations , cross references and corrections to factual matters.
The sections are laid out by Armies but there is no real narrative for the generalist reader to follow.There are helpful maps at the start of the book and 8 pages of glossy quality photographs. There is a final index but no centralised bibliography.
This book is really aimed at those with a working knowledge of the campaign as further reading .Equipment is given it's German name (tanks by MK rather than name) and the reader is assumed to be familiar with German equipment.
The book is specialised but deserves it's place in the canon of Ardennes campaign history. A good source for writers and military students to delve outside the mainstream history and especially for the German viewpoint which has tended to be underrepresented in English language works on the subject.
The book is priced at £12.99 but there are a few cheaper copies on Amazon and some hardbacks from £18.99 there do seem to be a couple of versions out there so the full link detail is given:
Hitler's Ardennes Offensive: The German View of The Battle Of The Bulge
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