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For nearly five months, starting in mid-September 1944, American GIs battled for the Hurtgen Forest, a fifty-square mile tract of extremely inhospitable terrain.
Brand: Presidio Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a must buy. With ony a few great book on the the Hurtgen Forrest campaign (by Mac Donald, and Miller, both hard to get), this work will stand out as being one of the best. This book is pure Astor, gripping first person accounts (US point of view), and historical detail will keep you reading cover to cover. As a fan of Astor, I rate this ahead of some of this others (The Greatest War, Operation Iceberg, and a Blood Dimmed Tide), for the simple reason that he wrote on a battle that has often been ignored. Astor also takes you in to Roer campaign as well. If you like Astor, The Hurtgen, or the movie "When Trumpets Fade" buy this book.
This book is a terrific addition to any World War II library. The story is about a little known battle that my father took part in. Although his specific unit was mentioned on only one page, the interviews conducted by the author added a personal accounting of the battle that sent shivers down my spine. I am continually amazed that my father survived the battle at all. I wish I had known that the author was writing it; I could have added some of my father's memories: killing a woman dressed in a German soldier's uniform; seeing his buddy walk on a land mine, his body thrown up in the air to have only his belt buckle return to earth! Battles like these need to be written about more, not so much to underscore the heroism and courage of those who participated, but to keep us from making the same mistakes.
While this book did captivate me, especially on a personal level, my grandfather fought in the Huertegen, I can't bring myself to give it 5 stars. It is certainly well written, and enjoyable, but the first hand accounts are broken and choppy and in my opinion, Astor should have given the veterans more space. Astor's book does convey a forboding feeling for the darkness and terror of the forest and attempts to provide the German perspective as well for completeness. The language just didn't feel as rich as some other books (even Astor's own "A Blood Dimmed Tide") and came across as very flat even when describing horrific details and events. The maps provided were limited and not of much use. The photographs also seemed very limited and didn't aid the text. It is hard to believe that there aren't better photographs from this campaign. Even modern photographs of the Huertegen would have been more instructive than some of the photo's included. The Huertegen...
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