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'Corps Commanders Of The Bulge'

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by Martin Bull, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    'Corps Commanders Of The Bulge' by Harold R. Winton ( University of Kansas Press, ISBN 978-070061508-7 ).

    A big thumbs-up for this one ! :cool: Not a cheap book, but I was fortunate to find a slightly used copy on e-bay. One of the most absorbing military history books I've read in 2010.

    Firstly - don't be put off by the fact that it's an 'academic' book. Author Winton is professor of military history and theory at the US School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, and for a number of years conducted Ardennes battlefield tours for the US Army's School of Advanced Military Studies. He admits to a fascination with the Bulge, and the book is the result of 20 years' reading and study. His writing is clear and concise and the subject never becomes confusing.

    Basically, he hangs a good overall study of the battle around the battlefield performance of Gerow, Collins, Millikin, Ridgway, Middleton and Eddy. Along the way, there is much discussion of higher command ; particularly Eisenhower, Montgomery, Patton and Bradley. The author uses much recent secondary research to delve into topics such as the 'failure of intelligence'. Somehow, he completely avoids making the subject 'dry' and manages to convey the desperate atmosphere of the Bulge.

    This book wouldn't be the best introduction to the Battle if you've read nothing else, but if you want something a little more in-depth and up-to-date than MacDonald or Toland then this is recommended. A third of the book is taken up with notes which are in themselves fascinating, with much discussion of more minor incidents and which point the way to more reading.

    Weaknesses ? OK, I'm being ultra-picky, here : Winton is weak on materiel ( 2nd TAF for sure never used Wellington bombers :rolleyes:, and he falls into the trap of seeing 'Tigers' where there weren't any....). Also, he tries maybe a little too hard to rehabilitate Milliken's reputation and is obviously a big Ridgway fan.

    But these are niggles ; to Winton's enormous credit, he doesn't indulge in 'Monty-bashing' and remains admirably non-partisan throughout, giving credit ( and criticism ) where due to Ally and foe.

    I've hugely enjoyed this book and will definitely return to it again - I actually felt disappointed as I finished the last page thinking - now what am I going to read ?:(

    Excellent book.
     
    scarface likes this.
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Well, since you liked it so much, I ordered a copy of it. It should arrive on the 27th.

    If'n I don't like it, it's all your fault.
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    OMG ! :eek:

    No - I'm 110% confident of my recommendation.....

    ( I think.....:eek: )

    Anyhow, if it arrives in time for Christmas, you'll have some good holiday reading.:cool:
     
  4. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hi Martin, be these Corps Commanders , German? Ami and English? ;-))
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The book is unashamedly about the US Army, and covers the six commanders mentioned in the review. As such, it also investigates US military inter-war doctrine and training. But along the way, the author naturally discusses and evaluates Allied and opposing senior figures involved in the Bulge.....
     
  6. scarface

    scarface Member

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    Excellent review, Martin. Makes me want to find a copy.

    -whatever

    -Lou
     
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    The book came in today. Looks like it will be a winner.

    I ordered a used copy in excellent condition. It was only a smudge over $10US shipped to me and was $29 new, plus shipping, from Amazon. The book looks brand new. There is not a mark on it.

    I'll probably start reading it tomorrow night.

    Got anymore good titles?
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Excellent price, and I hope you enjoy the book. Even though it's only my opinion, I rarely post such a high recommendation anywhere ; I really don't want people to waste their money and be disappointed. This book ticked so many boxes for me that I really felt a desire to tell others about it.

    And there are so many disappointing books about WWII out there......:(
     

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