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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 1998
While MacDonald is no Ambrose when it comes to personal stories and oral histories of the individuals who fought in the great battle, he nevertheless lends organization to explaining what happened during the chaos of the Battle of the Bulge. He divides the German offensive into three geographical areas and discusses in great detail the chronology of events in each sector. This book uses many maps depicting local areas under discussion. While the descriptions are well worthwhile and do not bog down, MacDonald tends to emphasize the REMF's decisions and commands rather than those in the foxhole. As a company commander during the bulge himself, Mac still is able to lend acute authenticity to this retelling of the Bulge, sprinkled somewhat with Ambrose-esque vignettes of local action. One should read this book first, and THEN go on to read "A Blood Dimmed Tide" as this book gives an excellent overview of the entire event.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 1999
Reading the WWII novel THE TRIUMPH AND THE GLORY rekindled my interest in the Second World War, and I followed it up by reading A TIME FOR TRUMPETS. This is a very readable account of the desperate fighting in the Ardennes, thorough, definitive, and rock-solid accurate in every detail.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 1999
It was a little hard to follow the flow of the battle in this account. I had trouble seeing the overall picture. The maps were vague and difficult to interpret. The best chapters were on the personality conflicts between Eisenhower and Montgomery. The personal stories by individuals involved in the battle were also very interesting. I got lost in the many details of unit movements and who was where and who commanded who. More and better detailed maps would have been helpful.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 1998
Charles MacDonald writes a wonderful account from the perspective of the individual soldier. Through his many, many examples, however, he tends to cloud the general picture of the battle. For example, in one skirmish he focuses on a single platoon of soldiers holding a particular ridge. The soldiers are valiant, hold the Germans longer than any unit of this size has any right to, and then retreat. Several pages later you discover that about 3000 American men died in this battle, and that the 50 or so men that had been focused on for the last several pages were only a fraction of those involved. To put it another way, MacDonald's sense of scale seemed completely inappropriate, and the actions of a few came across as important as the actions of many.
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on 29 March 2015
My son has just completed reading this book and found it both well written and extremely informative.
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