The Battle of the Bulge is perhaps one of the best known battles that took place in the West during the latter stages of World War Two. This battle I believe can be considered to be the last gasp offensive of Nazi Germany during World War Two and expended forces that would have been better used in defence. Casemate Publishers
has recently released a book written by Christer Bergström and titled ‘The Ardennes 1944-1945 Hitler’s Winter Offensive’.
This is a hard back book over just over 500 pages, the book is about A4 in size and will not be a quick read. The book covers this important conflict from both sides of the offensive and provides that information in a format that can easily followed and understood. The text covers a very broad spectrum of this offensive battle taking you through the lead up and expectations of it, and finishes with the long retreat the German forces faced having been thoroughly defeated by a combination of factors.
The breakdown of the contents is as follows;
- The Road to the Ardennes Offensive: Towards the Abyss
- The Attack Plan: ‘A Momentous Decision’
- The Opponents: Countdown to the Great Battle
- Panzerarmee: Panzer March Towards the meuse
- Armee: Secure the Flank
- SS-Panzerarmee: Ruthlessly Forward
- The Allied Aviation Intervenes: Jabos
- Bastogne: ‘Nuts’
- New Years Day 1945: New Blows against the Allies
- January 1945: Renewed German Attacks
- The Bloody Final Battle
- The Ardennes Offensive: Final Conclusions and Results
- Overview of the Battlefield
- The German Ardennes Offensive
- The German Attack Plan
- The March towards Sankt Vith 16th – 20th December 1944
- Panzerarmee towards the Meuse 16th – 20th December 1944
- Armee 16th – 20th December 1944
- SS-Panzerarmee 16th – 20th December 1944
- SS-Panzerarmee is halted
- The Attack in the centre
- The German Spearhead is crushed
- Bastogne 24th – 25th December 1944
- Patton’s Offensive
- The Combat Zone West of Bastogne
- Montgomery’s Combat Zone
- The Last German Attack Northeast of Bastogne
- German and US military unit structure in December 1944
- Colour profiles of Military Vehicles and Aircraft during the Ardennes Battle
- Tanks and Anti-tank guns in the Ardennes Battle
- Order of Battle, the Ardennes Battle
There is also a very thorough list of sources and chapter notes and the book finishes with an index.
This title is not aimed at the modeller specifically, but as a large proportion of modellers also enjoy learning about the history behind what they are modelling it does provide that information in great detail. This book certainly provides a very good overview at one of the major battles from World War 2 that is perhaps the best known and in our circles and replicated in scale models, vignettes and dioramas. The images which are littered throughout the book are a little on the small size if considered from a modellers point of view; however as an historical guide they are about right, providing the eyes something to glance at instead of relying on the text alone. I should add that from a modeller’s standpoint the photographs do provide some inspiration for dioramas and vignettes, the images of the battlefields also provides some great reference for this purpose.
The fighting that took place in the Ardennes towards the end of World War 2 is an area of conflict that I enjoy reading about the most. I cannot explain why it fascinates me, it just does. This book is one that I have enjoyed looking at due to the presentation of the information; the photographs and images being printed on most pages gives you an excuse to rest your eyes and take a break while looking at them. I also feel that you get an incredible amount of information for a very reasonable £45.00, which will be very hard to beat. If you have anything more than a passing interest in this area of conflict in World War 2, then this book should be in your sights as a very complete guide.