For nearly five months, starting in mid-September 1944, American GIs battled for the Hurtgen Forest, a 50-square mile tract of extremely inhospitable terrain.
Brand: Presidio Press
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have read numerous books about the battle of the Bulge, a battle which are very well known to all historians. This is the story of a battle that should and could have been avoided. The battle of the Bulge lasted from mid-December 1944 to the end of january 1945. The battle for the Huertgen Forest lasted from mid-september 1944 to the end of january 1945. Four months of brutal fighting under terrible conditions. Several american divisions were sent in and almost completely destroyed. If you have watched the movie "When Trumpets Fade", and want to know more about what really happened with the 28th division in its attempt to capture the town of Schimdt. Read this. This battle is mostly unknown to the public today because of the battle of the Bulge that began i mid-Descember, which put a temporary halt to battle in the Huertgen Forest. Its about time this battle takes its place alongside the other well-known battles of WWII
I never heard of this battle before last year. Both my high school and college history teachers never mentioned it. Recently, I noted how several newer Battle of the Bulge related books mentioned it. I hope books such as this will keep the memory of the this battle alive so the same mistakes are not made again.
The author does a great job conveying the gloom of the forest and the gloom of the men who fought there. He weaves personal stories from both American and German soldiers into the larger context of how the battle was fought and why it was fought. He never says it was like the carnage of WWI, but he certainly conveys that thought.
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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