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Battle of the Bulge [Hardcover]

Danny S Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press Inc; 1st Ed. (U.S.) edition (20 Aug 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938289047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938289043
  • Product Dimensions: 31.2 x 23.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,835,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

A solid history of the men, machines, terrain, and fighting from mid-Dec. 1944 to mid-Jan. 1945. Parker knows the conflict and describes it well. Poor photos (some are excusable snapshots), amateurish pre-press work (paste-up), and, apparently, no text editing (or even a reading over by the author). His names and numbers are better than his grammar

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First Sentence
In September of 1944, the dictator, war lord and self-styled Fuhrer of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, was facing almost certain defeat. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Historians View 7 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback
This book is by military historian Danny S. Parker who has made a lifetime study of the Ardennes campaign. The book includes rare photos from American, British and German sources. As well as first hand commentary which covers the entire campaign. December 16th, 1944 Hitler launched his last desperate offensive. And the German leader formally acknowledged failure on December 28th. But the battle would continue until 28 January 1945, when American lines would be back to where they started.

You will find much information in this book that has not been used before in any publication. And that makes it a valuable resource and addition to any military library. He has gone to great lengths to show us both the allies and axis point of view on this battle. It is amazing how close the fuel deprived units of the Third Reich came to our large fuel depots. For all the information provided, this book is a very easy read.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Historians View 24 May 2004
By M. A. Ramos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is by military historian Danny S. Parker who has made a lifetime study of the Ardennes campaign. The book includes rare photos from American, British and German sources. As well as first hand commentary which covers the entire campaign. December 16th, 1944 Hitler launched his last desperate offensive. And the German leader formally acknowledged failure on December 28th. But the battle would continue until 28 January 1945, when American lines would be back to where they started.
You will find much information in this book that has not been used before in any publication. And that makes it a valuable resource and addition to any military library. He has gone to great lengths to show us both the allies and axis point of view on this battle. It is amazing how close the fuel deprived units of the Third Reich came to our large fuel depots. For all the information provided, this book is a very easy read.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold Stars for a Popular Account of the Battle of the Bulge 2 Jan 2004
By Randal G. Heller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Historian and Game Designer Danny Parker provides a highly readable and scholarly account of Hitler's last offensive in the west, December 1944. Using primary sources and personal interviews, Danny captures the battle like no other author. The book is packed with text, photos, and maps. There are pearls from the battle the reader will delightfully come across that are not found in other accounts. For example, the author address the "Myth and Mystery" surrounding the presence of the infamous German Tiger Tanks in previous historical literature - where they were and with whom they served. Individual chapters discuss the effects of weather, influence of terrain, and differences in weaponry. He appropriately pauses at critical points to analyze the progress of the battle from both the Allied and German perspectives. In addition to a complete order of battle, the book provides a chronological listing of reinforcements committed to the Ardennes. This is a book easily appreciated by both the casual reader and the serious historian. My personal copy is highlighted and annotated. This book belongs in every military history library. If you buy only one book on the Bulge, this is the one to own.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grand in Scope - Could Be Better Organized 3 Jan 2009
By Railbird - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found myself in a love-hate relationship with this book almost from the first page. I would recommend it more as a reference for those already thoroughly familiar with the Battle of the Bulge than as an introduction. (Some personal background: Growing up, my best friend's father arrived in Europe on D-Day +2 and participated in the Battle of the Bulge as part of Patton's Third Army. He was an artilleryman who engaged Tiger Tanks with direct fire from 8" self-propelled howitzers. This book resonates with his recollections.)

The bad. As painful as I find it to do this, let me dispose of my criticisms first:

The biggest problem with the book is a lack of organization and coherence. It is difficult to follow, with facts thrown in without context. This is exacerbated by a lack of continuity between the text and the illustrations, especially the maps. I often would struggle, in vain, to find a town or unit referenced in the text on a map in the same chapter. Many maps don't even indicate the location of Bastogne, much less St. Vith. In many places in this book, I couldn't see the forest for the trees.

The editing seems to be non-existent, the book is riddled with cringe-inducing malapropisms which only amplify the effects of disorganization. There are other gaffes, like repeated words ("the the") and the like which betray a lack of proofreading.

Some nits: Partially translated German unit names, zum Beispiel "Sixth Panzer Armee". (Italicized in the original.) I suppose it's OK to translate ordinal numbers and leave the rest in the original German. He follows some kind of convention where, apparently, ISS Panzer Division is [Roman] First S.S. Panzer Division, IISS Panzer Division is [Roman] Second S.S. Panzer Division. Be prepared. He also seems to follow the convention of designating German units in italics and Allied units in plain text. This can be useful to know, because when suddenly the XIX Armor Regiment clashes with the 454th Infantry Battalion, it is not at all clear what side either one is on, otherwise.

He also states that German soldiers nicknamed the Sherman tank "Ronson" because of it's propensity to catch on fire. Actually, I thought GIs called it the Ronson because of Ronson lighter's advertising slogan, "Lights the first time, everytime." (The relatively lightly armored Sherman was gasoline, as opposed to diesel, fueled.)

One annoying issue is the lack is citations to original sources. This book is good historiography in the sense that Mr. Parker clearly is drawing on original sources rather than merely regurgitating the works of other historians. Future historians would have benefited if he had left a record to trace more of the material to these sources.

The good. And there is lots of it:

Historical accuracy. Although I am no expert on World War II or the Battle of the Bulge, it is hard to read any popular history of these events that does not contain some outright misstatements, or exaggerations or misconceptions. I found very little of this in this account, save for the "Ronson" exception, cited above. This book has shaped my view of the events in large part because I trust the author's judgment and knowledge.

Illustrations and photographs. Tons and tons of them. Usually with informative captions.

Some chapters read like stand alone articles. These are often the best written and most enjoyable sections of the book. Two chapters are reprints of articles that appeared in popular periodicals and are free of the editorial shortcomings cited above. One in particular, "Operation Stoesser: The Last German Parachute Operation" is outstanding. The chapter titled "Skorzeny's Commandos" falls into this category as well. He does an excellent job of correcting a lot of nonsense and misunderstanding of the role and success of English speaking German commandos who attempted, with limited success, to infiltrate U.S. lines.

The author's description of small unit engagements, the tactics employed and the weapons give a feel and intimacy that few historians can match. It is at the human level, the level of the foot soldier that this book truly resonates. He also reinforces an appreciation of the decisive role of artillery in World War II combat.

The overarching role of logistics in determining the outcome of modern combat is also made clear. (Amateurs talk about tactics and strategy, professionals of logistics.) In some ways, he slights the role of Allied air power, which, while it could not deliver the tonnage that the artillery did, was vital in disrupting German resupply and transport, thereby shifting the uneven logistics battle even more to the side of the Allies.

In summary, read this book for an appreciation of the Battle of the Bulge on the retail level, especially the prospective of the foot soldier once you are already familiar with the overall story of the battle.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the genre of 'Bulge' books 30 July 2011
By Marion Hill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Of the several books I've read about the Battle of the Bulge, I rate it the best in detail, organization and the many photos.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great overall account of the battle. 19 Aug 2013
By Dwayne Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mr. Parker provides an excellent overview of this famous battle sprinkled with the right amount of smaller stories or sub-plots to provide the reader with a well balanced account of the largest land battle the American Army has ever fought. The maps provided help the reader follow the course of the battle. The narrative does not just concentrate on the big picture, it provides a very good balance of the fighting from the perspective of the common soldier as well as the officers in charge of various aspects of the battle. My only complaint concerns the quality of the photographic images, they are rather muddy. I highly recommend this book to readers who are not that familiar with the battle. In my opinion there is enough new research to interest even those who have extensive knowledge of the battle.
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