"Dark December "occupies a distinguished place among war books. Every paragraph is based upon evidence, not flimsy wartime rumors. Technical enough for the professional, accurate enough for the historian (in fact, it is history of the best), it is lucid and understandable for the general reader.Read more...
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"Dark December "occupies a distinguished place among war books. Every paragraph is based upon evidence, not flimsy wartime rumors. Technical enough for the professional, accurate enough for the historian (in fact, it is history of the best), it is lucid and understandable for the general reader. "New York Herald Tribune"
If other veterans of the Army s historical division can maintain Mr. Merriam s high standard of stimulating, critical and painstaking work, we will be fortunate. "Dark December "can be heartily recommended to anyone faintly interested in the war. "New York Times " The book explodes a number of myths which have been winning their improper way into general belief. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "Booklist"
The massive German counteroffensive through Belgium s Ardennes forest in December 1944 took the American and British armies by surprise and changed the outcome of the war. With whole divisions destroyed and decimated, the American army scrambled to contain the German threat, while also trying to determine how such an attack had gone undetected. The Americans succeeded in winning the month-long battle, commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge, through the tenacity of several pockets of troops, notably those in the Belgian town of Bastogne, and the remarkable rapid movement of Patton s Third Army to seal the breech in the American lines. The battle stalled the British and American advances and lengthened the war with the result that the Soviet Union was able to make greater gains in Europe than previously anticipated. "Dark December "is a thorough and engrossing examination of the Battle of the Bulge by a historian who had the opportunity to prepare notes as the battle was occurring and consult classified American as well as German records. Notably, the book contains unique and critical information, including details gleaned from interviews conducted by the author with commanding officers on both sides, some of which are the only reports gathered from these sources. Originally published in 1947, this the first paperback edition with the complete original text and maps.