Once Upon a Time in War: The 99th Division in World War II (Campaigns and Commanders Series)

By Robert E. Humphrey

For the soldier at the entrance strains of worldwide warfare II, a life of terror and pain can be stuffed right into a few awful hours of wrestle. This used to be very true for participants of the 99th Infantry department who repelled the Germans within the conflict of the Bulge and engaged in one of the most dramatic, hard-fought activities of the war.

Once Upon a Time in War provides a stirring view of strive against from the viewpoint of the typical soldier. writer Robert E. Humphrey in my view retraced the trail of the 99th via Belgium and Germany and carried out vast interviews with greater than 300 surviving veterans.

When Humphrey chanced on that many 99ers had long past to their graves with out telling their tales, he set approximately to honor their carrier and coax memories from survivors. The stories mentioned right here, lots of them painful and lengthy repressed, are notable for his or her readability. those narratives, seamlessly woven to create a collective biography, provide a gritty reenactment of global struggle II from the enlisted man’s element of view.

Although eager about a unmarried department, Once Upon a Time in War captures the reviews of all American GIs who fought in Europe. For readers captivated by means of Band of Brothers, this e-book deals a frequently tragic, occasionally heartwarming, yet continuously compelling read.

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The Germans gave up attempting to holiday via at Höfen, and the third Battalion settled in and waited, now not figuring out that in other places the 99th department confronted significantly stronger forces. nine • • • In a determined try and stave off defeat within the West, Hitler ordered armies composed of a few twenty-nine divisions with thousand males, 1000 tanks, and thousand attack weapons to assault American positions alongside a sixty-mile entrance extending from Belgium to Luxembourg. basic Joseph “Sepp” Dietrich’s 6th SS Panzer military, which incorporated 4 panzer (armored) divisions and a number of other hundred artillery items, used to be assigned the duty of penetrating the 99th’s strains. 10 on the time of the assault the majority of Allied forces have been targeted north and south of the leap forward zone in areas the place the terrain ideal cellular operations into Germany. George Patton’s 3rd military used to be getting ready for a thrust into the Saar mining sector, whereas the majority of Gen. Courtney Hodges’s First military occupied a forty-mile sector north of the Ardennes in education for an assault at the Ruhr business quarter. the 1st military defended the Ardennes entrance with in simple terms 4 infantry divisions, “green” or green ones, the 99th and 106th, and veteran divisions, the 4th and the twenty eighth, either getting better from bloody combating with heavy losses. The Germans knew the Ardennes area was once weakly held, however the generals (unlike Hitler) reckoned that relocating troops, artillery, tanks, and horse-drawn wagons alongside a restricted variety of slender roads and throughout rivers with constrained offers of gas will be an issue. They was hoping to make up for gasoline shortages by means of seizing American fuel offer dumps within the course in their boost. Allied air energy additionally constituted a hazard, yet Hitler counted on inclement climate to neutralize it. The German plan referred to as for 3 significant attacks through the 6th Panzer military opposed to the 99th: within the north at Höfen opposed to the third Battalion 395; within the middle essentially opposed to the first and third Battalions 393, and within the south opposed to the first and third Battalions 394. The assaults have been first of all heavy artillery barrages, through advancing squaddies with directions to maneuver speedy, bypassing wallet of trapped American troops, and head northwest for the port of Antwerp, greater than one hundred twenty miles away. To sow confusion, a thousand parachutists will be dropped a few miles in the back of American traces, and groups of English-speaking infantrymen, disguised in OD uniforms and using in jeeps, have been to infiltrate American positions, disrupt communications, and dedicate acts of sabotage. even if those sideshow operations brought on a few confusion and paranoia one of the americans, that they had little impression at the path and final result of the conflict. eleven German assaults, December sixteen, 1944. Map by way of Paul Giacomotto and James Knight. After an preliminary infantry thrust via American strains, tanks, attack weapons, and artillery could stick with 4 prescribed routes—three (designated “A,” “B,” “C”) for the twelfth SS Panzer department (Hitlerjugend) and direction “D” for the first SS Panzer department (Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler)—all headed west-northwest to the Meuse River, greater than fifty miles from the border.

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