The same ground covered twice. Once in boots, hobnailed and otherwise and once in whatever footwear was left for the civilians. Two studies of WWII.


Voices from the Battle of the Bulge      Nigel De Lee  Ardennes, Battle of the, 1944-1945  Personal narratives  Newton Abbot : David & Charles, 2004 Hardcover. 1st ed. 288 p. : ill., 1 map, ports.; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index.  Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

The third book in the “Voices From” series features incredible first-hand accounts of the Ardennes offensive of December 1944. The Battle of the Bulge was Hitler’s last chance to turn back the Allied invasion of France, which had started with D-Day. Hitler’s ambitious plans to force two Panzer armies through to take the vital port of Antwerp, separating the British and American forces could have resulted in a second Dunkrik. This would have bought him time to launch a full-scale assault on Britain with his “miracle weapons”. A wide selection of contemporary voices, from diaries, letters, archives and eye witness accounts from all sides of the battle bring history to life. Collected here are the voices of soldiers, next to the formidable narratives of General Eisenhower, General Montgomery and Adolf Hitler, as well as the recollections of the civilians who stood witness to this piece of history.

The bitter road to freedom : a new history of the liberation of Europe New York : Free Press, 2008  William I. Hitchcock World War, 1939-1945 , Europe , End Hardcover. 1st Free Press hardcover ed. and printing. viii, 446 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 415-429) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia  in text. VG/VG

American’s are justly proud of the role their country played in liberating Europe from Nazi tyranny. For many years, we have celebrated the courage of Allied soldiers, sailors, and aircrews who defeated Hitler’s regime and restored freedom to the continent. But in recounting the heroism of the “greatest generation,” Americans often overlook the wartime experiences of European people themselves — the very people for whom the war was fought.

In this brilliant new book, historian William I. Hitchcock surveys the European continent from D-Day to the final battles of the war and the first few months of the peace. Based on exhaustive research in five nations and dozens of archives, Hitchcock’s groundbreaking account shows that the liberation of Europe was both a military triumph and a human tragedy of epic proportions.

Hitchcock gives voice to those who were on the receiving end of liberation, moving them from the edge of the story to the center. From France to Poland to Germany, from concentration-camp internees to refugees, farmers to shopkeepers, husbands and wives to children, the experience of liberation was often difficult and dangerous. Their gratitude was mixed with guilt or resentment. Their lives were difficult to reassemble.

This strikingly original, multinational history of liberation brings to light the interactions of soldiers and civilians, the experiences of noncombatants, and the trauma of displacement and loss amid unprecedented destruction. This book recounts a surprising story, often jarring and uncomfortable, and one that has never been told with such richness and depth.

Ranging from the ferocious battle for Normandy to the plains of Poland, from the icy ravines of the Ardennes to the shattered cities and refugee camps of occupied Germany, The Bitter Road to Freedom depicts in searing detail the shocking price that Europeans paid for their freedom. Today, with American soldiers once again waging wars of liberation in faraway lands, this book serves as a timely and sharp reminder of the terrible human toll exacted by even the most righteous of wars.

Advertisements

Comments Off on The same ground covered twice. Once in boots, hobnailed and otherwise and once in whatever footwear was left for the civilians. Two studies of WWII.

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments are closed.