BATTLE OF THE BULGE 1944 - Hitler's Last Hope. By
Robin Cross. In December 1944, the German Army launched an attack through the Ardennes forest that aimed to seize the port of Antwerp and cut the Allied supply lines, hoping to force the Western Allies either to delay their advance or agree to a peace settlement. The Battle of the Bulge: Hitler's Last Hope is a comprehensive history of Hitler's last offensive in the West, the failure of which undoubtedly hastened the end of the war.
The book begins with a study of the background to the battle, and a description of events in the West leading up to the offensive. The strategic importance of Antwerp as a major port close to the Allied lines is explained, as are the factors which led Hitler to believe an attack could be successful. The poor state of the Allies' defenses and the low readiness of the American troops on the front line in the Ardennes are covered in depth, as are the special tactics used by the Germans for the attack, most notably Jochen Peiper's commandos dressed in American uniforms.
Units covered include the American First Army, Third Army, Ninth Army, 2nd Armored Division; 4th Armored Division, 7th Armored Division, 9th Armored Division, 28th Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 99th Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, 106th Infantry Division, plus participating German and British divisions.
The book shows how, after initial German success, a bitter struggle developed between the German and American forces for the key town of Bastogne. It details how the offensive lost momentum and thus any chance of success, particularly once the skies cleared and the Allies were able to bring the full weight of their airpower to bear. The book's authoritative text is complemented with detailed maps explaining the troop movements, which took place during the battle. It also includes appendices with information on orders of battle, losses and equipment. The Battle of the Bulge: Hitler's Last Hope is a comprehensive account of the battle that saw a German attempt to relive the successes of 1940, but one that was effectively doomed from the beginning, and the consequences of that failure for Hitler's Third Reich. Extra large 8½ X 11¼ inch volume with 150 b/w photos, 12 b/w line drawings.
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