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Hitler's Ardennes Offensive: The German View of the Battle of the Bulge Hardcover – July 20, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books (July 20, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853672726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853672729
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,390,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

<DIV>"The book also casts interesting light on the German Commanders' attitudes to the capabilities of their own colleagues and the deficiences of their forces' personnel and equipment, as well as upon issues such as the impact of Allied air operations."– Dr Simon Trew, The Journal of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

"Danny S. Parker has sought out and transcribed a number of key documents, each of which he introduces but only light edits, giving the reader both a context for, and an insight into, the authentic voice of the general involved . . . a good read, well worth the money.'"– John Pimlott, Military Illustrated
</DIV>

<DIV>

"At a time when works based on secondary sources are becoming increasingly prevalent, it is refreshing to return to primary source material, written shortly after the war, by men who played key roles in what was to be the largest land battle ever fought between the US Army and Hitler's Wehrmacht . . . most of these accounts have not been readily available to the general public before in their entirety, and Parker admirably succeeds in this regard . . . the reader gets an unvarnished view into the thoughts and recollections of these men shortly after the war's end, and, in the case of Jodl and Keitel, shortly before their execution for war crimes . . . Brandenburger's account is the most detailed and insightful. A general-staff trained military historian, Brandenburger has written an account that could stand as a model of battle analysis, illustrating his masterful grasp of operational concepts, tactical insight, and, above all, a sense of reality in visualising what he believed was attainable in contrast to Hitler's grandiose scheme that envisioned marching on Antwerp and splitting the Anglo-American coalition . . . Parker has succeeded admirably in making available the thoughts and recollections of the battle of the Bulge's key German leaders. This is a useful work. By placing primary source material into the hands of historians who can then reach their own conclusions about one of history's greatest battles, Parker has performed a service which will hopefully be imitated by others."

– Army History: The Professional Bulletin of Army History

</DIV> --The Journal of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

"At a time when works based on secondary sources are becoming increasingly prevalent, it is refreshing to return to primary source material, written shortly after the war, by men who played key roles in what was to be the largest land battle ever fought between the US Army and Hitler's Wehrmacht . . . most of these accounts have not been readily available to the general public before in their entirety, and Parker admirably succeeds in this regard . . . the reader gets an unvarnished view into the thoughts and recollections of these men shortly after the war's end, and, in the case of Jodl and Keitel, shortly before their execution for war crimes . . . Brandenburger's account is the most detailed and insightful. A general-staff trained military historian, Brandenburger has written an account that could stand as a model of battle analysis, illustrating his masterful grasp of operational concepts, tactical insight, and, above all, a sense of reality in visualising what he believed was attainable in contrast to Hitler's grandiose scheme that envisioned marching on Antwerp and splitting the Anglo-American coalition . . . Parker has succeeded admirably in making available the thoughts and recollections of the battle of the Bulge's key German leaders. This is a useful work. By placing primary source material into the hands of historians who can then reach their own conclusions about one of history's greatest battles, Parker has performed a service which will hopefully be imitated by others." --Army History: The Professional Bulletin of Army History

Adolph Hitler's last desperate gamble, i.e the Ardennes Offensive, is an interesting topic to read about. It shows the Fuhrer's undying hope that he will triumph. Although the Allies suffered more than 12,000 dead and machinery destroyed, they triumphed over the Germans after one of the most desperate and mighty German offensives of the last portion of the war. --A Customer

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Chilstrom on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books on this battle. One of them was a very good book called 'Battle of the Bulge' by Danny S. Parker. In addition to a high reguard for Parker, the Amazon's professional review and reader's review were both excellent. So, for me, this was a 'must buy'. I was disappointed. The book has six chapters. Each chapter is an interview experience with an important German officer with real responsibility in the battle. Some of these chapters are hardly comprehensible. One, General Kramer, is poorly translated. There is personal puffery, poor memories, and precious little real insight into the battle. Only General Brandenberger's narrative is concise and informative. The bottom line, if I had gone to Borders or another of the big book stores and had reviewed the book before buying, I would have passed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schranck on May 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr Parker's other book on the "Bulge" was good and I hoped this book would be the equal of it but it wasn't. This book has a different format than the typical operational chronicle. The book was divided into separate sections for each of the three main German Armies: the 6th PzA in the north, 5th PzA in the center and the flanking 7th Army to the south. Within each section of the book there would be an interview with its commander followed by an operational summary of the army's activities in the offensive. Running from north to south, the commanders were Dietrich, Manteuffel and Brandenburg.
These interviews, which were held after the war while the generals were held in captivity, provided some useful information but not a lot of detail. The part of the book that raises its rating to 3.5 stars is the situational reports describing the progress of the offensive.

Between the interviews and reports, you'll learn the German commanders thought the plan too ambitious, that it was the wrong time of year for a panzer assault on the poor roads of the Ardennes, that there wasn't enough fuel or artillery shells, that the preparatory barrage was the wrong tactic, the order of battle was flawed, that not enough time was allowed to prepare for the assault, that the divisions were below establishment and that Hitler's strategy was flawed but wouldn't change it when questioned. Some may say these are excuses but it has a ring of validity to me.

I enjoyed these reports though they were summaries and not providing the detail level of the author's other book or books by Cole, MacDonald or Dupuy but it has the advantage of providing information from a German perspective.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Trachta on December 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
Hitler's Ardennes Offensive gives the story of the German Generals who lead the 6th Panzer Army, 5th Panzer Army, and the 7th Army. To build the story, Mr. Parker pulled together the US Army's interviews of these generals and assembled the German viewpoint of the Battle of the Bulge. For each of the sections (each section focus's on one general; Oberstgruppenfuher Dietrich, Generalmajor Kramer (Dietrich's Operations Officer), General der Panzertruppen Manteuffel, General der Panzertruppen Brandengerger, Generalfeldmarschall Keitel and Generaloberst Jodl [they share a section], and General der Infanterie Blumentritt), Mr. Parker provides the general's remembrances of the battle (I believe the generals were able to consult unit histories because some of the remembrances are to detailed...). Several of the sections contain a question and answer section between the general and US interrogators.

Try as I might, I can't give this book more than three stars. While parts of the book are interesting, others are drawn out. Where you might get good analysis from a general the battle, in another area the same general drags thru details that I personally believe would be below an Army generals level. Other factors that I found distracting was the lack of maps (there are two, both are higher level maps), especially given that the generals sometimes discussed very small towns their forces were fighting in; the lack of corp or divisional level generals inputs; and the photos have been heavily used. I'd like to see this same book written with input from the key divisional generals and maps to support the general's discussion (I really missed this when General der Panzertruppen Manteuffel talked about the fighting around St. Vith and Bastogne, in both cases he referenced towns that were much smaller than the book's maps supported). Who knows, maybe Mr. Parker will read this review and re-release this book with some additional material.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Martha M. Clampett on March 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
The book was in excellent condition, and a very good description of events at the Battle of the Bulge. My husband was there, and says it is very authentic.
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3 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Adolph Hitler's last desperate gamble, i.e the Ardennes Offensive, is an interesting topic to read about. It shows the Fuhrer's undying hope that he will triumph. Although the Allies suffered more than 12,000 dead and machinery destroyed, they triumphed over the Germans after one of the most desperate and mighty German offensives of the last portion of the war.
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