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The Longest Winter: The Epic Story of World War II's Most Decorated Platoon Hardcover – April 7, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alex Kershaw is the author of the widely acclaimed Bedford Boys. He has been a journalist and screen writer. He lives in Vermont.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; First English Edition edition (April 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718147456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718147457
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,171,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Kristen E. Eastman on May 25, 2010
I found this book to be a great compilation of many individual stories of those who fought at Lanzarath. The creation of the story is excellent, with lots of background on each of the individuals, and progresses through the war and most of the lives of the men. The story is about an Intelligence and Reconaissance platoon that covered a main attack route of the Germans during the opening hours of the Battle of the Bulge. The attackers were eventually victorious, however, the Americans with only 20 odd men and little artillery, were able to hold up the offensive for an entire day.
The book provides an interesting contrast to the small unit histories such as that of 101 Airborne's Easy Company, or the Rangers. This unit played such a small, crucial part in battling the Ardennes Offensive, a single day, but their war story was played out through the remainder of the war. The details of capture, and in captivity are somewhat unique, as we see what happens to a small unit after the battle, when the outcome is not victorious. Many of us are used to a battle ending in death, or victoriously but battered, and the transition to capture is not something very familiar. A basic battle for food, clothes, and sometimes dignity occurs, all while testing the nerve of the captors and tending to the often neglected wounded. The I&R continued to battle, some separately and others together.
The post-war stories of the men was also very interesting. It's rare to follow this timeline. Some sold war bonds and others spent years in one plastic surgery after the other. The follow through was more personal than most accounts and recognizes the many differences affecting war veterans.
I found the book unique, and remarkable in its ability to contrast and bond this small unit.
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The Longest winter is the best story I have ever read about the Battle of the Bulge. Most accounts are so factual, not accounting for the personal affect of the men living thru this event.The wonderful aspect in this account is the focus on the 18 men, led by a very young lieutent and the tremendous challenges they faced in a very cold and dangerous battle. Alex lets you meet each man and share his pain as well as his heroics.That is what is so wondereful about Alex Kershaws' books is his factual but also the up close personal aspect of his research that he writes. I lost my father on D-Day. so I really want to know the men and what they faced. It's a must read book for anyone who wants to understand the life of each of these men in the Battle of the bulge.
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This was an incredible book, It accounts for the side of the story that you never get to experience, the personal side. It goes into detail to describe the hardships endured. It is truley an amazing book. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in world war 2. You will not be disappointed.
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This is one of Kershaw's best works. It follows the experiences of one small band of American GIs caught up in the opening phase of the Battle of the Bulge. Highly recommended.
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Really enjoyed this book
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