The Battle of the Bulge

bastogne

This week, as America copes with a new tragedy, it is proper to remember, too, a conflagration that took place on this December date decades earlier, in 1944. This was the Battle of the Bulge, the largest battle fought by the US Army in its history, costing us approximately 83,000 casualties among our citizen-soldiers in Europe.

The German code-name for their assault was “Autumn Mist,” and indeed, the US divisions along the seemingly quiet front in the Ardennes that December felt little need for apprehension. The Normandy front had been cracked, France had been reclaimed, and it seemed that nothing could stop the inevitable Allied triumph, perhaps “over by Christmas.”

But as the Soviets had also found in the East, the Germans did not succumb easily; in fact, continually fought back. On December 16, 1944, a huge panzer juggernaut, secretly prepared, suddenly roared out of the Eifel forests into the US lines. The Germans advanced some 60 miles, overrunning regiment after regiment, surrounding others, until a look at the map gave the clash its enduring name: “The Battle of the Bulge.”

US troops went on to write a record of heroism unsurpassed in our history, as in lonely wooded foxholes or freezing outposts they fought back against the Nazi onslaught. For most Americans it was their first experience in winter warfare, while the Germans had three-years experience of fighting in Russia. The entire Allied front rallied to stem the panzer tide, and finally crushed it.

The debate still rages whether Hitler gained one last breathing room through his offensive, or shot the last bolt of his strength in the West. In either case, US troops fought their most difficult battle of the war, surprise-attacked by enemy legions in unfamiliar and hostile terrain. The fact that they held their own, and then some, provided the final death-knell to Nazi hopes.

Tigers of BastogneCasemate has already published numerous books that cover the fighting in the Bulge, including many first-person accounts (from both sides). Notable among our upcoming is “The Tigers of Bastogne,” which is the first book that describes firsthand the actions of the 10th Armored (“Tiger” Division) during the battle.  Alongside the 101st Airborne Division, it was these men who stood as fast as any, yet have somehow heretofore been neglected by history.

As always, Casemate looks to fill in the gaps, while also remembering the gallant sacrifices and incredible bravery that our soldiers, over the years, have displayed in service to their country.

For more information about this battle and the men who served, check out the following titles available from Casemate:

9781612000749

Battered Bastards of Bastogne

.. 9781844151851

Battle of the Bulge

.. 9781612001005

Fighting with the Filthy Thirteen

.. 9780850529845

Hitler’s Last Offensive

9781844152223

Last Assault – 1944

.. 9781612000060

The Lions of Carentan

.. 9781932033519

Men of Steel: 1st SS Panzer Corps

.. 9781932033038

Patton’s Last Battle

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