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No Silent Night: The Christmas Battle For Bastogne Hardcover – November 6, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Leo Barron and Don Cygan have shed new light on the crucial siege of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. No Silent Night is the product of in depth research and a strong commitment to historical accuracy. Whether you are new to the topic or a confirmed expert, you will learn much from this book." —John C. McManus, author of Alamo in the Ardennes and September Hope
 

"Bastogne has always figured large in any account of the Battle of the Bulge. In No Silent Night, Leo Barron and Don Cygan provide new insight into the climatic battle that raged for that small Ardennes market town on Christmas Day 1944. New sources, interviews and thorough documentation grace this book, which will be a boon for those seeking to understand how Americans prevailed in one of their most famous World War II victories." —Danny S. Parker, author of Fatal Crossroads

About the Author

Leo Barron works for General Dynamics as an instructor of military intelligence officers for the U.S. Army. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in history, and has served with the 101st Airborne. Barron has seen two tours of active duty in Iraq as an infantry and intelligence officer. His articles about Bastogne and other WWII-related military topics have appeared in Infantry Magazine, Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, WWII History Magazine, and WWII Magazine.

Don Cygan has studied military history for decades. Cygan has also worked as a reporter for the Douglas County Daily News-Press. In addition, he has worked as a freelance writer for several years in Colorado, with articles published in The Parker Trail, the Denver Business Journal, and other publications. During Operation Desert Storm, Cygan performed public relations for the U.S. Army. His degrees are in journalism and communication.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; First Edition edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451238133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451238139
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #828,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every December 16th, I am reminded of Belgium and the Battle of the Bulge in which Bastogne, the major road junction in the middle of the "bulge" played such an important part. I've been there in the middle of December and the weather is usually miserable - cold, damp, foggy and with short days and long nights. I once met an old fellow in a Walmart who wore a 106th Division ball cap. When I mentioned I knew where he'd been one winter, all he could talk about was the cold. That's recreated pretty well in the Foy episode of Band-of-Brothers.

The first book I read about Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge was "To Save Bastogne" which described the opening hours of the battle and the delaying effort of the U.S. 28th Division. I used that book as a guide and went village-to-village from the Our River all the way to Bastogne. This was long before the fame of the Band of Brothers, Foy, Bois Jacques and all that. I also walked the hills near Shonberg and back to St. Vith, then went all the way to Parker's Crossroads, following "Lion in the Way" and "Death of A Division which described what happened to the 106th Infantry Division. I've got about everything published on the Bulge and thought I knew a lot about that fight. Turns out I missed more than I realized and the blanks got filled in by this excellent chronicle of the fighting around the perimeter of Bastogne from the arrival of the 101st AB (augmented by equally courageous units of men), on December 19th through Christmas Day when the last strong push by the Germans against the northwestern part of the perimeter was turned back. I knew about Noville, Teams O'Hara and Desobry; and Team Cherry of the 10th Armored.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great read for the history enthusiast and historical wargamer.

The book begins with a short overview of the rationale and planning leading up to the Battle of the Bulge, with the majority of the book then being focused very specifically on Bastogne, and the villages around it. The stories of the participants are blended throughout in an engaging manner, with views of the battle from higher levels of command as well as from the men (and civilians) in the thick of the action. The authors do a nice job of providing the context of the importance of Bastogne crossroads to the overall German plan of attack.

The perspective switches back and forth between the German and the American, allowing the reader to understand more about what both sides were experiencing. One of the organizational mechanisms used in the book that I liked, is the way in which each chapter is further defined by specific dates and times. This makes following the action of several story threads easily done.

For the historical wargamer this book is full of good scenario options, providing enough detail to generate the orders of battle and objectives, along with some excellent descriptions of the terrain.

The pacing and development of the battle in No Silent Night, The Christmas Battle for Bastogne is well done, and I was thoroughly engaged throughout.

I am happy to recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"No Silent Night" is worth the price just for the stories of the people who were there. In just another ten years there will be no more new Bulge stories told first-hand; some will be found in archives and attics, but not the same as spoken. Every one of these brief personal histories rings true, the veterans speaking in the understated, I-was-so-lucky tone marking the soldiers actually in combat. As a teenager I was captivated by Toland's "Battle," and have read (and gamed) most of what has been published since. The experiences of the soldiers, airborne troopers, and women in this book are as fresh and stark as the first I ever read. Well done, these, and these people.
But the book fails terribly in narrative. The authors overwrite on every page, both immediate and strategic: every tank thunders remorselessly, every rifle bullet is a mortal threat to Bastogne. Style is a matter of debate, and many like their military history on the rare side. However, the overwrite extends to the history, claiming the Christmas Day battle was the greatest threat to Bastogne, and its most decisive battle. It was neither. Those moments came December 19-21, when the Germans had collapsed CCB 10 Armor and had to decide whether to take Bastogne or to bypass it and race to the larger objective, the Meuse. The latter had been the automatic choice of German doctrine ever since stosstruppen in 1918. By December 20th von Manteuffel knew the offensive was hopelessly behind timetable, but stayed with form and orders, and left a weak force behind to invest Bastogne. The authors tell the German side in historical-fiction first person, but should have instead reported the scraps of evidence for their actual thinking. (An important counterfactual: the outcome of an all-out assault?
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I found "No Silent Night" to be an excellent and well researched book. As a WWII Veteran who was in the the Battle of the Bulge, I can vouch for this book.
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