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The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of WWII's Most Decorated Platoonby Alex Kershaw
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the best-selling The Bedford Boys — the remarkable story of America's most decorated platoon that miraculously halted Hitler's massive offensive at the Battle of the Bulge.
On a cold morning in December, 1944, deep in the Ardennes forest, a platoon of eighteen men under the command of twenty-year-old lieutenant Lyle Bouck were huddled in their foxholes trying desperately to keep warm. Suddenly, the early morning silence was broken by the roar of a huge artillery bombardment and the dreadful sound of approaching tanks. Hitler had launched his bold and risky offensive against the Allies — his"last gamble" — and the small American platoon was facing the main thrust of the entire German assault.
Vastly outnumbered, they repulsed three German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing over five hundred German soldiers and defending a strategically vital hill. Only when Bouck's men had run out of ammunition did they surrender to the enemy. As POWs, Bouck's platoon began an ordeal far worse than combat — survive in captivity under trigger-happy German guards, Allied bombing raids, and a daily ration of only thin soup. In German POW camps, hundreds of captured Americans were either killed or died of disease, and most lost all hope. But the men of Bouck's platoon survived — miraculously, all of them.
Once again in vivid, dramatic prose, Alex Kershaw brings to life the story of some of America's little-known heroes — the story of America's most decorated small unit, an epic story of courage and survival in World War II, and one of the most inspiring stories in American history.
"The narrative moves from the GIs' combat experience at the Bulge to their POW experience...and Kershaw handles both combat and internment skillfully and respectfully. A good read for observing the sixtieth anniversary of the Bulge." Booklist
"[C]oncise and winning....He vividly depicts the battlefield heroism and subsequent survival of these valiant American troops. Those interested in military history will find much here that is pleasing and heretofore uncelebrated." San Francisco Chronicle
"Gripping and unsentimental....
"This book is a must-read for anyone who wants a renewed sense of patriotism." Roanoke Times
"Kershaw is a fantastic storyteller....Anyone who enjoyed [his earlier book] The Bedford Boys would like this [too]." Army Magazine
"Hitler's last desperate gamble — the Battle of the Bulge — might have changed history if not for the do-or-die heroism of eighteen brave American boys. General Eisenhower called their actions 'the most outstanding tactical maneuver in World War II.' The Longest Winter is their incredible tale. I highly recommend this moving story of uncommon valor." James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers and Flyboys
"The Longest Winter is a gripping saga about raw courage and superhuman endurance. Alex Kershaw recounts what it was like to fight against Nazi aggression at the Battle of the Bulge. A truly heroic book." Douglas Brinkley, Director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans, and author of Tour of Duty
"Though the story itself is remarkable, the narrative is somewhat meandering and not entirely satisfying." Library Journal
The epic story of WWII's most decorated platoon by the bestselling author of The Bedford Boys.
About the Author
Alex Kershaw is the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Bedford Boys, and two biographies: Jack London and more recently, Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa. He lives in Vermont.
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