Monday, October 13, 2014

Alamo In the Ardennes. John C. McManus

A reasonable WWII history book about the bitter fighting of the Bulge.  The Germans secretly built up a vastly superior force, three full fledged armies, and hurled it against the Ardennes sector which was held by a single American division.  The outnumbered Americans put up a stubborn resistance which slowed the enemy down until Patton's Third Army could come into action.  It's a good story, although the author's prose gets sort of pedestrian. 
    The cover illustration is striking.  A photo from the national archives shows three US soldiers walking thru a snow covered forest.  The weather is miserable and the expressions on the soldier's faces do not show happiness.  And yet, they are well equipped.  All three of them have good warm parkas and good boots with puttees to keep the snow out of boot tops.  They are heavily armed, each carries a personal weapon, they have two bazookas and are lugging 250 round steel boxes of machine gun ammunition.  Grenades dangle from their web gear. 
   It's a long way from the industrial heartland of America to the Ardennes, but we managed to get these soldiers and a generous supply of weapons and gear, into action, at the right place and the right time.

No comments: