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Books > History > Europe > Germany > 0966638913
  1. The Final Crisis: Combat in Northern Alsace, January 1945
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  2. The Final Crisis: Combat in Northern Alsace, January 1945

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (10 reviews)
    Price R11350.00

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A multi-faceted book built around an intensely personal and vivid memoir of infantry combat in the last brutal winter of WWII. The author combines these carefully-verified recollections with an insightful description and analysis of the social dynamics within an incompletely-trained infantry platoon thrown into combat unexpectedly and prematurely in the face of Operation NORDWIND, the last German offensive on the Western Front in WWII. Framed by a comprehensive and detailed account of the US Seventh Army's tenacious struggle to halt a combined German force including Tiger tanks, Luftwaffe paratroopers, previously-undefeated SS mountain infantry, and the last of Germany's manpower reserves, The Final Crisis provides credit to the American infantrymen and tankers who halted the last threat to the Western Alliance. Long overshadowed by the Ardennes Offensive, the so-called "Battle of the Bulge," which barely preceded it, the struggle to halt the NORDWIND offensive comes to life at every level from foxhole to field army.

8.5" x 11" format; 25 original maps; 20 original pen and ink drawings, rendered by Colonel (then-Lieutenant) Ted MacKechnie, 42d Infantry Division, WWII; index

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

One of the best memoirs/battle accounts of any book on WWII. Meticulously researched, compellingly told, it will satisfy both the avid WWII reader and the scholar. Engler includes plenty of footnotes at the end of each chapter which demonstrates an unparalled research effort, one done with most care and then crafted into a wonderful narrative.

This little-known but critical battle finally gets its due. Engler masterfully recounts the infantryman's-eye view of battle, all the while integrating the street-to-street and house-to-house fighting into the larger context of the American effort in WWII in 1944-1945. Engler elaborates on the condition of the American Army post-Normandy breakout. Everyone expected the war to be in its final stages. But behind the "greatest generation" was a desperate effort to keep America motivated, and an even more desperate effort to scrape whatever barrels remained of soldier manpower. Engler's research convincingly demonstrates the faults of... Read more
The late Dick Engler's The Final Crisis is an essential read.
A first-in-print, moving account of major force engagements late in the WWII European Theater, this work recounts savage West Front fighting long overshadowed by the larger fabric of final war months.
In winter 1945, what must be assessed as the last of some of the most powerful engagements, Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, and Waffen-SS units locked horns with Allied forces in the varied terrain of Lower Alsace in eastern France -- from the Vosges Mountains to the river plain of the Rhine -- and, ultimately, lost the initiative.
The Gemman "Operation Nordwind" intended to cut through combined Allied-French lines that had been overextended to support the Battle of the Bulge.
Crack SS Panzer units "Frundsberg," Goetz von Berlichingen," 21st and 25th Panzergrenadier divisions, and the SS 6th "Mountain Division 'Nord'" as well as Luftwaffe airborne and German Army ground forces and Volksgrenadier units worked... Read more
The best aspect of "The Final Crisis", apart from its detailed and powerful memior of combat, is Richard Engler's inclusion of descriptions of the U.S. home front as Army infantrymen pass through training and the voyage to Europe to reach the battefield.
Engler descibes the process and circumstances by which many young men who had joined up expecting to take slots in Army aviation or officers' programs, instead found themselves issued rifles and sent into the forests and mountains of the Rhineland. Although Americans generally wanted to be leaders in the war effort and not rank-and-file soldiers, the brutal reality of battle losses swept away many well-laid personal "war plans".
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