Cover image for Snow & steel : the Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45
Snow & steel : the Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45
Caddick-Adams, Peter, 1960-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, [2015]
Physical Description:
lv, 872 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D756.5.A7 C27 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
D756.5.A7 C27 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
D756.5.A7 C27 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
D756.5.A7 C27 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Between December 16, 1944 and January 15, 1945, American forces found themselves entrenched in the heavily forested Ardennes region of Belgium, France, and Luxembourg defending against an advancing German army amid freezing temperatures, deep snow, and dense fog. Operation Herbstnebel--Autumn Mist--was a massive German counter-offensive that stunned the Allies in its scope and intensity. In the end, the 40-day long Battle of the Bulge, as it has come to be called, was the bloodiest battle fought by U.S. forces in World War II, and indeed the largest land battle in American history. Before effectively halting the German advance, some 89,000 of the 610,000 American servicemen committed to the campaign had become casualties, including 19,000 killed.

The engagement saw the taking of thousands of Americans as prisoners of war, some of whom were massacred by the SS--but it also witnessed the storied stand by U.S. forces at Bastogne as German forces besieged the region and culminated in a decisive if costly American victory. Ordered and directed by Hitler himself--against the advice of his generals--the Ardennes offensive was the last major German offensive on the Western Front. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment. Its last reserve squandered, these irreplaceable losses would hasten the end of the war.

In Snow and Steel, Peter Caddick-Adams draws on interviews with over 100 participants of the campaign, as well as archival material from both German and US sources, to offer an engagingly written and thorough reassessment of the historic battle. Exploring the failings of intelligence that were rife on both sides, the effects of weather, and the influence of terrain on the battle's outcome, Caddick-Adams deftly details the differences in weaponry and doctrine between the US and German forces, while offering new insights into the origins of the battle; the characters of those involved on both the American and German sides, from the general staff to the foot soldiers; the preparedness of troops; and the decisions and tactics that precipitated the German retreat and the American victory. Re-examining the SS and German infantry units in the Bulge, he shows that far from being deadly military units, they were nearly all under-strength, short on equipment, and poorly trained; kept in the dark about the attack until the last minute, they fought in total ignorance of their opponents or the terrain. Ultimately, Caddick-Adams concludes that the German assault was doomed to failure from the start.

Aided by an intimate knowledge of the battlefield itself and over twenty years of personal battlefield experience, Caddick-Adams has produced the most compelling and complete account of the Bulge yet written.

Author Notes

Peter Caddick-Adams is a lecturer in military history and current defense issues at the UK Defence Academy. He is the author of Monte Cassino: Ten Armies in Hell and Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives. He holds the rank of major in the British Territorial Army and has served with U.S. forces in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Table of Contents

Glossaryp. xi
Orders of Battlep. xxxiii
Rank Tablep. xliii
Forewordp. xlv
Introductionp. xliv
Part 1
1 In the Eagle's Nestp. 3
2 The Machinery of Commandp. 15
3 I Have Made a Momentous Decision!p. 33
4 Adolf Hitlerp. 45
5 Unconditional Surrenderp. 61
6 A Bridge Too Farp. 75
7 A Port Too Farp. 95
8 Heroes of the Woodsp. 119
9 Who-Knew What?p. 137
10 The Cloak of Invisibilityp. 153
11 This is a Quiet Areap. 167
12 Brandenberger's Grenadiersp. 187
13 The Baronp. 211
14 We Accept Death, We Hand Out Deathp. 233
Interludep. 255
Part 2
15 Null-Tagp. 265
16 The Bloody Bucketp. 283
17 The Baron's Blitzkriegp. 301
18 Golden Lionsp. 317
19 They Sure Worked Those Two Horses to Deathp. 337
20 'A 10 Per Cent Chance of Success'p. 353
21 Stray Bullets Whined Through the Trees Around Usp. 369
22 The Conferencep. 385
23 The Tortoise Has Thrust His Head Out Very Farp. 405
Part 3
24 A Pint of Sweat and a Gallon of Bloodp. 425
25 A Man Can Make a Differencep. 445
26 No More Zig-Zig in Parisp. 457
27 The Hole in the Doughnutp. 473
28 Nuts!p. 485
29 Head For the Meuse!p. 503
30 The River of Humiliationp. 521
31 Roadblocksp. 541
32 Malmedyp. 559
33 The Northern Shoulderp. 579
34 Those Damned Engineers!p. 601
35 End of the Bulgep. 619
36 The Performance of a Lifetimep. 637
Part 4
37 Beyond the Bulgep. 655
38 On to Berlin!p. 673
39 Punctuation Marks of Historyp. 685
40 Reputationsp. 705
Acknowledgementsp. 717
Notesp. 725
Bibliographyp. 971
Indexp. 839