- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: NAL; First Edition edition (November 6, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451238133
- ISBN-13: 978-0451238139
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 60 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No Silent Night: The Christmas Battle For Bastogne Hardcover – November 6, 2012
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"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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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. I didn't know about the effectiveness of 75mm pack howitzers or M18 Hellcats as tank killers or the men who employed them - neither of whom were part of the 101st. Flamlierge, Champs and Hemroulee were all new to me, as was the story of the 463rd Parachute Field Artillery which tagged along with the 502nd when they left Mourmelon for Bastogne.
The best part of this book is its organization which is chronological by sector, if that makes sense. There are enough first person experiences to support the usual unit-by-unit recitations and lots of new material - at least to me; and details too often left out.
The good news is this is an excellent piece of work filled in a lot of blanks and added considerably to my pool of knowledge about the siege of Bastogne. The less good news is I've got to go back now and walk the western side of the perimeter to get a feel for the parts I'd missed. This is just an excellent book and credits the deeds of brave people who might have otherwise been overlooked.
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.
Will make a personal observation of the well used term, The Greatest Generation. Thanks for allowing me to be considered worthy of that honor. However, my personal evaluation of that term describes the ones who raised, or reared, "The Greatest generation". Caqn you imagine carrying your son, born in 1916, came of employaable and marriagable age in1934, and had not been regularly employed to the bus station to leave for camp in 1941? Those were the parents who stuck together to rear them, and sent them off to War. Thanks a lot. A Veteran of the Sixth Infantry Division, South Pacific