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This is World War II as Tolstoy would have described it - the great and the small (Washington Post (on 'The Second World War'))
Rightly deserves its place on the shelves of any serious historian of the Second World War. Powerful and authoritative . . . Beevor weaves a masterful narrative based on the viewpoints of a vast range of people. Marshalling a coherent narrative out of an unwieldy sequence of localised attacks, counterattacks, deceptions, and feints demands the attention of a master military historian. In Antony Beevor, the Ardennes offensive has found one (Military History Monthly (Book of the Month))
What leaves a lasting impression is the huge power the American army as a whole mustered to smash back the Germans. A superpower was being born (Bookseller, Interview with Antony Beevor)
If you're a fan of Beevor's work, find some space on your bookshelf for this one. If you've never read him before, start here and work your way back - it's history nerd heaven! (History of War Magazine)
Unflinching. As Ardennes 1944 makes clear, Hitler misjudged the strength and resilience of the US army. It was his last gamble and it failed (Prospect)
What stands out most . . . is the effects of violent warfare. By the end of the counteroffensive the snowfields were littered with frozen corpses and the wreckage of hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles (Literary Review)
A superb addition to the canon which has taken us from Stalingrad to Normandy in 1944 and the final gruesome battle for Berlin, not forgetting the masterly single-volume history of the entire war. It is written with all of Beevor's customary verve and elegance. His remarkable and trademark ability is to encompass the wide sweep of campaigns yet never forget the piquant details of what happened to the individual . . . He focuses brilliantly on the key moments that turned the battle (Evening Standard)
As impeccably researched, insightfully observed and superbly written as its bestselling predecessors (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express)
Rich in detail and drama. Enthralling (Mail on Sunday)
If there's one thing that sets Beevor apart from other historians - beyond his gifts as a storyteller - it's that he is not afraid to look at the most uncomfortable, even frightening subjects, but does so in a way that doesn't threaten the reader. It's like having Virgil there to lead you through the underworld: he doesn't leave you stranded amid the horror but leads you back again, a wiser person for having undergone the journey (Keith Lowe Daily Telegraph)
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.
'Revealing, profound and thoroughly unputdownable, Stalingrad is an extraordinary achievement which transcends its genre' Vitali Vitaliev, Daily Telegraph (on Stalingrad)
'This brilliant storyteller. . . makes us feel the chaos and the fear as if every drop of blood was our own: that is his gift. It is much more than just a humane account; it is compellingly readable, deeply researched and beautifully written' Simon Sebag Montefiore, Spectator (on Berlin)
'This is a terrific, inspiring, heart-breaking book. It makes the argument all over again that the world would be an infinitely better place if it didn't keep producing subject matter for military historians: but as long as it does, we can rejoice that at the top of that profession is Antony Beevor' Sam Leith, Daily Mail (on D-Day)
'His book is the definitive history. This is World War II as Tolstoy would have described it - the great and the small' Gerard DeGroot, Washington Post (on The Second World War)
Antony Beevor is the renowned author of Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, and Berlin, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award. His books have appeared in thirty foreign editions and sold over six million copies.
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