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The second half of Steve Zaloga’s coverage of the Battle of the
Bulge is subtitled Bastogne but actually covers all the fighting not dealt
with in part 1. There’s a lot more to the battle than just Bastogne,
and the southern area where less vicious fighting took place is often
overlooked – not here!
Steve gives us the whole picture, with as usual pen-portraits of the opposing commanders in the areas covered and breakdowns of their forces. The German attack and its bogging-down, and the US and British response, are well described. Montgomery comes in for his fair share of criticism on good grounds, and the oft-denigrated Patton shows up well by contrast with his planning for a response to the attack that his headquarters expected even though few other people did. Some US Generals seem to have played a lesser part than you might think given the involvement of their divisions but I won’t spoil the book by telling you who – read it and draw your own conclusions.
The actual ground fighting is described well is this fairly small compass, and the Luftwaffe’s notorious supporting New Year’s Day attack on allied airfields is here too together with its effect on German air capability afterwards. The colour plates are good, and although many of the photographs have been seen frequently here they get proper and accurate descriptive captions which add a great deal to their usefulness.