War Stories of the Battle of the Bulge by Michael Green and James D. Brown

Michael Green and James D. Brown have put together a fascinating book titled “War Stories of the Battle of the Bulge.”  If you are looking for a definitive book on The Battle of the Bulge this is not it.  If you want a powerful account of the battle from the mouths of those who were there, this is it.  The authors do a great job of telling the the story with first-person accounts from the American soldiers, both officers and enlisted. Their stories are spellbinding. You will keep turning the pages.

The book is divided into four sections: The Germans Attack, The Americans Fight Back, Christmas in the Ardennes, and Closing the Gap. The book’s structure follows the ebb and flow of the battle.  The source material is drawn for the ‘Bulge Bugle”, the quarterly newsletter of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge Association, first person accounts from members of the association, and the files of the U.S. Army Military Historical Institute.  We learn of the failure of higher command to realize this area of the Ardennes (Losheim Gap) had three times previously in history been used as an attack route.  The fact it was so poorly defended is nearly criminal.

The cold weather of the battle was mentioned by almost everyone in their accounts.  Cold, tired, miserable, under equipped, were comments included in almost every story.  I knew the 106th Infantry Division had lost two regiments, but had not realized they had over 6,500 taken POWs during the battle. We are reminded again and again that the individual heroism of the soldier made the difference over the course of the battle.

One of my favorite stories was found from pages 40 – 72 “Charles Haug, B Company, 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division”. It was from  the files of the U.S. Army Military Historical Institute.  The story is a breath taking account of being pushed back by the Germans.   James A. Steinhaufel of C Company, 134th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division tells the tale of his units chilling encounter with the much feared German Tiger Tank. His story leaves you feeling you were there.

I highly recommend the book.  It is one you will want to read from cover to cover.  The stories are generally only a few pages long.  This would be a excellent resource for any public library to add to its collection. It is also a great way to get a feel for what you father or grand father went through if he was one of the men that confronted the 250,000 German soldiers as they made their last major attack against the Allied Forces.  Read and reviewed by Jimmie A. Kepler May 2010.