Hitler's Ardennes Offensive: The German View of the Battle of the Bulge

Skyhorse
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In this gripping, unusual volume, insight into the Battle of the Bulge is told through firsthand accounts by German officers.
 
The Battle of the Bulge, a major German offensive lasting from December 1945 to January 1945, caught the Allied forces off guard in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg and had devastating consequences for both sides. There were eighty-nine thousand Americans casualties and between eighty thousand and one hundred thousand German ones. It was the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the Americans during Second World War and yet, in the end, an Allied victory.
 
There are Western accounts of the battle, but very little has been told from the German perspective. In Hitler’s Ardennes Offensive, acclaimed military historian Danny S. Parker has compiled together accounts by German officials who reveal how they perceived the battle, how they believe Adolf Hitler perceived it, and what, in their opinion, went wrong.
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About the author

Danny S. Parker in an acclaimed historian and the author of multiple books on World War II, including Warriors, Fatal Crossroads, and To Win the Winter Sky. He designed two simulation games of the German offensives, assisted Charles MacDonald, a former deputy chief historian for the United States Army, and researched the Ardennes offensive for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He lives in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse
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Published on
Aug 23, 2016
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9781510703704
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Germany
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The prizewinning historian and bestselling author of D-Day, Stalingrad, and The Battle of Arnhem reconstructs the Battle of the Bulge in this riveting new account
 
On December 16, 1944, Hitler launched his ‘last gamble’ in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes in Belgium, believing he could split the Allies by driving all the way to Antwerp and forcing the Canadians and the British out of the war. Although his generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east. Many were exultant at the prospect of striking back.

The allies, taken by surprise, found themselves fighting two panzer armies. Belgian civilians abandoned their homes, justifiably afraid of German revenge. Panic spread even to Paris. While some American soldiers, overwhelmed by the German onslaught, fled or surrendered, others held on heroically, creating breakwaters which slowed the German advance.
 
The harsh winter conditions and the savagery of the battle became comparable to the Eastern Front. In fact the Ardennes became the Western Front’s counterpart to Stalingrad. There was terrible ferocity on both sides, driven by desperation and revenge, in which the normal rules of combat were breached. The Ardennes—involving more than a million men—would prove to be the battle which finally broke the back of the Wehrmacht.
 
In this deeply researched work, with striking insights into the major players on both sides, Antony Beevor gives us the definitive account of the Ardennes offensive which was to become the greatest battle of World War II.
Christopher R. Browning’s shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews—now with a new afterword and additional photographs.

Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as round-ups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of  moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever.

While this book discusses a specific Reserve Unit during WWII, the general argument Browning makes is that most people succumb to the pressures of a group setting and commit actions they would never do of their own volition.  

Ordinary Men is a powerful, chilling, and important work with themes and arguments that continue to resonate today.

“A remarkable—and singularly chilling—glimpse of human behavior...This meticulously researched book...represents a major contribution to the literature of the Holocaust."—Newsweek

 


 

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