Hitler's Winter

...The German Battle of the Bulge, from Osprey Books

Title: Hitler's Winter
Author: Anthony Tucker-Jones
Publisher: Osprey
ISBN: 978-1-4728-4739-3

A new and different view of a well known late war battle of WW2, looking at things from the enemy side of things, with author Anthony Tucker-Jones tackling The German Battle of the Bulge. A new 320-page hardback, also available in the popular e-book formats.
There are plenty of books on the battle from the Allied point of view, but using his own new research the author gives us the view from the other side of the fence. The book is divided into 8 parts, each of which is sub-divided into between 2 and 4 sub-sections. It opens quite naturally with the Plan. There were 2 main options, one less bold than Hitler's preference, but we hear the views of various German commanders, but how they were unable to influence Hitler to change his mind. It goes on to give more detail on how new divisions, along with new equipment, were assembled, though including their shortcomings. Part 3 is devoted to the efforts of the Luftwaffe, which was a shadow of its former self by this stage of the war, despite new technology such as the Me 262 and Arado 234 jets. The battle begins and there is good detail of the failed parachute drops, and the mixed fortunes of the commando units of Otto Skorzeny. Despite various obstacles to overcome, there were initial successes until the skies cleared above the German advances and the Allied Air Forces returned to resume their command of the air over the battlefield. Supply issues, the resistance and delaying effects of US units all contribute to slow and confuse the different prongs of the assault. Assistance was rushed to the area, from US units under Patton to the South, and from British and American forces under Montgomery to the North. We hear about the attempts to support the offensive by using V-weapon attacks on Antwerp, and a diversionary assault in the Alsace, but as we see in the final part, it ended in failure and a final analysis of Where did it all go wrong?. An appendix at the end lists the important commanders and Orders of Battle of both sides.
This is quite different to the many other books I have read on Operation Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhine), the Ardennes offensive, looking at the experiences of the German commanders and soldiers involved, with many recollections from those involved. Could Hitler have made better use of the forces he had gathered? Well, that is just one of the considerations to be found in here. Definitely one I'd recommend as worth reading if you have any interest in the Battle of the Bulge, the Ardennes offensive in December 1944.
Thanks to Osprey for the review copy.

Robin