The No. 1 Bestseller: Hitler's ill-fated final stand, from the bestselling author of Stalingrad, Berlin and D-Day.
From the bestselling author of Stalingrad, Berlin and D-Day, Antony Beevor's Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble tells the story of the German's ill-fated final stand.
On 16 December, 1944, Hitler launched his 'last gamble' in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes. He believed he could split the Allies by driving all the way to Antwerp, then force the Canadians and the British out of the war. Although his generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east. Many were exultant at the prospect of striking back.
The Ardennes offensive, with more than a million men involved, became the greatest battle of the war in western Europe. American troops, taken by surprise, found themselves fighting two panzer armies. Belgian civilians fled, justifiably afraid of German revenge. Panic spread even to Paris. While many American soldiers fled or surrendered, others held on heroically, creating breakwaters which slowed the German advance.
The harsh winter conditions and the savagery of the battle became comparable to the eastern front. And after massacres by the Waffen-SS, even American generals approved when their men shot down surrendering Germans. The Ardennes was the battle which finally broke the back of the Wehrmacht.
“Wonderfully compelling. Beevor's gripping, beautifully written narrative moves seamlessly from the generals' command posts to the privates in their snow-covered foxholes, and confirms him as the finest chronicler of war in the business”
Saul David, Observer
“Enthralling. Beevor's day-by-day account is rich in detail and drama”
Francis Wheen, Daily Mail
“Captivating. Every bit as impeccably researched, insightfully observed and superbly written as its bestselling predecessors”
“A formidable, action-packed, densely informed narrative. Plunges us straight in at ground level. Beevor is a field marshal of facts, organizing his armies of chaotic and swift-moving events and reaching a punchy conclusion”
Nicholas Shakespeare, Daily Telegraph
“The master of war”