11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944

ISBN: 978-0786166848
Review Date:

The German Ardennes offensive in Dec 1944, better known in the west as the Battle of the Bulge, was Germany's last gamble to prevent the Allies from crossing into Germany. The offensive would ultimately fizzle despite early successes, thus only achieving to delay the inevitable. The offensive was launched amidst the Christmas holiday, thus setting us for dramatic and surreal events, such as German loudspeakers broadcasting "How would you like to die for Christmas" toward Allied lines to undermine morale, and Americans and Germans singing Silent Night/Stille Nacht together. Stanley Weintraub's 11 Days in December made an effort to weave together the battle and the holiday, and the end result was an entertaining piece that told the story well. Although it was light on military analysis, and in fact brought forth little new facts, the book was easy to read and highly enjoyable. Slightly off-topic tangents such as the German-origin of the Christmas tree custom and Ernest Hemingway's experience through the battle added a bit more fun to the narrative.

I had reviewed this title in its audio book format. Patrick Cullen did a fine job reading.

Although I would guess that military buffs might find 11 Days in December a bit light on the history, I still found it to be a good read. A good choice for the casual history reader, perhaps.

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