Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
- Item Weight : 1.37 pounds
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0471739050
- Product dimensions : 6.39 x 1.19 x 9.39 inches
- Publisher : Wiley; 1st edition (February 1, 2007)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #938,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Facing overwhelming odds and often with orders to hold at all costs, the defenders sold their lives dear and bought time for the US 101st airborne division to arrive at Bastogne and set up a perimeter defense.
The lesson of this account is that in war, stubborn defense against impossible odds matters. If panic had been the rule rather than the exception, German forces would have got further, faster, and the whole battle would have unfolded along paths much happier for the Nazis and much more difficult for the Allies.
The book is making a contrarian case of sorts, since the general view seems to have been that the 28th infantry division lost and that its failure is nothing to be celebrated. Any author making a contrarian case has to be meticulous with details and documentation, and this author has achieved this. The price is that the reader may sometimes wish to skip ahead to see how it all ends.
My own opinion had always been more inclined to the author's view and I think he proved his case. Texans do not dismiss Travis, Bowie, and Crockett and their bunch as losers. When you face those kinds of odds, the end is never in doubt. What matters is the price you exact and the delay you impose. Both in San Antonio in 1836, and on the approaches to Bastogne in 1944, the defenders exceeded what rational military calculation would have predicted. Certainly the Germans found themselves way behind schedule in this sector by the time they finally came up to Bastogne.