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Bloody Roads to Germany: At Huertgen Forest and the Bulge--an American Soldier's Courageous Story of World War II Hardcover – December 4, 2012


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Bloody Roads to Germany: At Huertgen Forest and the Bulge--an American Soldier's Courageous Story of World War II + The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau + Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc--the Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way across Europe
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; First Edition edition (December 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425259617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425259610
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“William Meller’s journey from inexperienced dogface to hardened combat leader is a truly fascinating story that oozes with drama and authenticity. From the Hurtgen to the Bulge to his days in captivity, Meller shares the emotion and trauma of a small unit leader’s experiences as few ever have. This is one of the finest combat memoirs I have ever read and I highly recommend it.”—John C. McManus, author of The Deadly Brotherhood and Grunts

“William Meller is capable of transforming the harsh and bitter battle experience of the 1944 Huertgen Forest into a true piece of outstanding literature, gripping and convincing. This is very rarely found. A masterpiece.”—Christian Frey, TV Director, German History Channel

"A gripping and deeply felt account of one infantryman's experience in WWII. Its lessons, however, trascend time and space to teach us about all wars, and all warriors."—Nathaniel Fick, author of the New York Times bestseller One Bullet Away.

About the Author

William F. Meller graduated from Gettysburg College in 1947 with a BA degree in liberal arts. Meller and his wife raised a family, and he enjoyed a successful business career. Now retired, he lives South Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
Also, it is just a very exciting, can't - put - down book.
cc
From being overrun and captured by the Germans to being freed as POW's by Allied forces, this is one book that when you start reading it, you can't put it down.
Irish Girl
Meller's account is first book I've read about an American's POW experience in Europe (definitely NOT "Hogan's Heroes") and it is written extremely well.
DACHokie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By cc on January 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If books like this were used to teach history I might have become a history major. I could not put it down. It is an account of one man's experience in Germany during WWII. There is no political agenda - just what happened to one man. William Meller is a very talented writer who lets us see the war through his eyes - simply a young man from Niagra Falls, NY - could be any ordinary American --- but he tells an extrodinary story. Thank you, Bill, for telling your story. The generations that have come after you MUST read this book to understand who their fathers were. Also, it is just a very exciting, can't - put - down book. I read it in two days because I just had to KEEP READING! I am a mystery/thriller reader. This is the first nonfiction book I have read in years and years -- make note -- this is not just for history buffs -- this is a great story written by a great writer!Bloody Roads to Germany: At Huertgen Forest and the Bulge--an American Soldier's Courageous Story of World War II
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Douglas R Fletcher on February 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after seeing it listed on a military book club. I read a lot of military related books and was expecting a action packed first person account. The book was fine but nothing really new. The first chapters are related to the authors experience at the Battle of the Bulge and those were of interest he is captured and much of the rest of the book is about his time as a POW. There is very little on the Huertgen Forest which is the main reason I purchased the book. Overall not a bad read, just not as combat oriented as I was expecting
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Hope VINE VOICE on December 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
William Meller has written a fine memoir of his time as a young squad leader in the 28th Division during the Huertgen Forest and Bulge campaigns. The book is not overly long and is written in such a fashion as to make it difficult to put down. Chapter one plunges the reader right into the early morning action at the beginning of what would become known as The Battle of the Bulge. As the story continues we learn just who William Meller is, where he comes from and how the war is changing him. Interspersed throughout the story are his memories of the Huertgen Forest where he first saw action. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie J. Gleason on May 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Bill Meller has written a compelling personal story of surviving both the Heurtgen Forest and Battle of the Bulge of WWII. His story-telling skills put the reader on the shoulder of this veteran, as he fights his way through these two battles and into a German POW camp. I had personal reasons for reading Bill's memoirs, as my own father was also caught up in these experiences. Readers want to know: what was it like? How did you survive it? Bill's account thoroughly answers these questions. One event often makes us flash back to something we have already experienced. Bill deals with his "present tense" in December 1944, in the Ardennes, in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge, simultaneously flashing back to memories of the Heurtgen Forest fights in the October and November, 1944. His chronology and details are excellent. His prose easily facilitates going from one incident to another, when one battle was just like so many others-until time seemed suspended. My own father was drawn into the same activities, including becoming an American POW, marching to the train-stations, the long ride in cattle box-cars, deep into Germany and arriving at Stalag 9B, Bad Orb, and lastly, to Ziegenhain. Even though their experiences were the same, they served in different units. We do not think they knew each other. Bill's memories help me and my family have a more complete picture of these times and how they shaped the participants. It is a good story. I hope many others will buy the book and read it, honoring the sacrifices these wonderful boys made for their country. We owe these guys huge gratitude.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By quiggles on May 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
William Meller succeeds in giving the reader an "up close and personal" account of his experiences in WWII. His writing presents the unvarnished truth about a horrific event in his young life. Told sometimes in first person, present tense, the story gives an immediacy as if is happening. Other entries told in third person, past tense, comment from the distance of time. Packed into its 191 pages are both cold, hard facts and emotional experiences that make the story compelling. I happen to know this author (at least through email) because I interviewed him for my own book HELL FROZEN OVER. His contribution to my book was valuable, but his own book gives so much more detail of his experience. I recommend this book to anyone interested in what really happened and wants to hear it from one who went through it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael Stanley on April 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book on the Huertgen Forest battle, I can't recommend this one. The first part of the book was fairly good but it quickly degenerated. Since the author was captured by the Germans, is experience of the war was pretty short.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DACHokie VINE VOICE on November 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With the mass of personal World War II accounts available to read, it would be easy to assume that redundancy would be an issue ... not so. In fact, the joy of reading so many of these books is simply because each and every account proves to be so uniquely personal ... and different. BLOODY ROADS TO GERMANY is no exception as William Meller offers his riveting experience of combat and captivity towards the end of World War II.

While it is saddening that those who experienced the Second World War first-hand are leaving us at an exponential rate, it is comforting that so many have written about their roles in mankind's deadliest event so future generations can learn, understand and more importantly, appreciate. Meller's account is first book I've read about an American's POW experience in Europe (definitely NOT "Hogan's Heroes") and it is written extremely well.

What I particularly found enjoyable (and different) about BLOODY ROADS TO GERMANY was the manner in which Meller tells his story. Rather than laying out a straight-forward chronology of events, the book starts with the author recalling the events of December 16, 1944 (the onset of the Battle of the Bulge) that trigger related memories of his earlier combat experience in the dreadful Heurtgen Forest. These "recollection" moments are written in italics and read like detailed sidebars that help illustrate/support his ongoing story, which eventually includes the misery of being a POW in Germany. Meller's writing style is succinct, but masterfully descriptive and addictively interesting (the book is less than 200 pages). The "recollection" segments peppered throughout give meaning to many aspects of Meller's story and manage to add significance to seemingly mundane events.
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