- Taschenbuch: 290 Seiten
- Verlag: Pan Books; Auflage: Reprint (6. Dezember 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0330420518
- ISBN-13: 978-0330420518
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 0,1 x 0,1 x 0,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 658.961 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Battle of Hurtgen Forest (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. Dezember 2002
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Between September 1944 and February 1945, 30,000 GIs were either killed or wounded in the longest battle ever fought by the US Army. In this book the author examines the issues involved in an engagement that was censored and omitted from official memoirs at the time. American generals continued pouring men into the Hurtgen Forest after eight infantry and two armoured divisions had failed to dislodge German troops from a network of concrete emplacements among the trees. There was a 50% casualty rate and whole battalions broke down from terror and exhaustion. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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Nevertheless, the tone of the book sounds like an armchair general who is convinced that he is much, much smarter than the real generals. He is amazingly kind to the senior officers on the German side, but the Allied brass receive scathing criticism, particularly the Americans. This is an author with an axe to grind, and he grinds it over and over to the point of tediousness. There are many interesting facts explored and I learned quite a bit that I did not know. But I suspect that there are other, better histories that would be a better use of one's time.
What is definitely apparent from the start is that Mr. Whiting believes the Allies' actions in the Hurtgen were entirely unnecessary and resulted in thousands of needless casualties. This does seem to be the case, so unlike many other WWII books in which the theme is centered more on the victories and heroics of Allied soldiers, this book has an air of foreboding woven throughout. That's because the author constantly reminds the reader that the decisions of the commanders and generals, many of whom were nowhere near the battlefield, were putting Americans in danger for no good reason, which they should've ascertained at the time. The futility of the effort to attack German strongholds in the middle of a dense forest made little sense, I agree, but I grew a bit weary of re-reading that point over and over in the first 5 or so chapters. (Hence 4 stars.)
That being said, I still recommend the book. The Battle of Hurtgen Forest is very well researched and contains excellent details and descriptions of attacks, battles, battlefield exploits and heroics. Whiting also includes the ugly side of battle; looting, rape, indiscriminate killing, the aforementioned poor decisions, cowardice, etc. Other than his harping on the futility of the battle, the account is worthy of reading.
Perhaps the Allies' encounter in the Hurtgen isn't as well known as other WWII battles because it didn't turn out as well as Normandy, Iwo Jima or the Battle of the Bulge. But historical accounts of WWII should honor those who fought & died for us, regardless of the location and outcome of the campaign in which they were involved. The fighting we did at Hurgen may have been a mistake, but God bless those who died there on behalf of freedom.