Top positive review
A fine book about a tragic battle
Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2016
For American troops, the "Battle of the Bulge" was one of the most horrible battles of the entire WWII. If the numbers of the dead and wounded were high, there was another element that could only be described as embarrassment. The Germans achieved complete surprise. The American troops were going from victory to victory. Then there as a lull. During a full week the Allies encountered total silence in German communications among themselves. There was not even any German radio contact heard on the radio waves. Silence.Then a furious German counterattack that caught the Allied troops flat-footed and drove them back, very far. American Generals were confronted by an insoluble problem: lose all their recent large gains made up to that point and retreat, without necessary new reserves or equipment? Or try to muddle through and put up a dispirited defense certain to create a huge bloodbath of their own making?
Memoirs by Generals like Eisenhower, in "Crusade in Europe" and other war leaders show the dilemma. To send large numbers of poorly prepared, exhausted GIs into the battle-- they would be blamed for the certain massive casualties-- or accept what was already a major defeat? A tough situation. To send their own troops into certain slaughter?