10 books like Alamo in the Ardennes

By John C. McManus,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Alamo in the Ardennes. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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A Time for Trumpets

By Charles B. MacDonald,

Book cover of A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge

There are a lot of books about the Battle of The Bulge, the biggest American engagement of World War II. I think this one is the best, and that’s because author Charles B. MacDonald fought in the Bulge as a rifle company commander, then for years after the war served as an official U.S. Army historian writing about the Bulge and the other major campaigns. MacDonald had that rare opportunity to figure out what really happened to him and his fellow soldiers. He makes a brief appearance in his own gripping narrative, just another tired, cold, young officer trying to keep himself and his troops alive in the biggest clash of the entire war. MacDonald understands how and why the Bulge went the way it did.

A Time for Trumpets

By Charles B. MacDonald,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Time for Trumpets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On December 16, 1944, the vanguard of three German armies, totaling half a million men, attacked U.S. forces in the Ardennes region of Belgium and Luxembourg, achieveing what had been considered impossible -- total surprise. In the most abysmal failure of battlefield intelligence in the history of the U.S. Army, 600,000 American soldiers found themselves facing Hitler's last desperate effort of the war.

The brutal confrontation that ensued became known as the Battle of the Bulge, the greatest battle ever fought by the U.S. Army -- a triumph of American ingenuity and dedication over an egregious failure in strategic intelligence.…


Battle

By John Toland,

Book cover of Battle: The Story of the Bulge

Compared to Macdonald’s tome, Toland’s book is a far more succinct account of the Battle of the Bulge (If you could call 444 pages succinct!). Toland doesn’t spend a lot of time on exposition. He dives right into the battle after the first twenty pages, which is refreshing because too many authors and historians spend too much time, writing about the build-up before the battle. Before you know it, you’re already halfway through the book and it’s only December 16. Toland avoids that pitfall. His prose is simple and straightforward. If you can’t read a 900-page book about the Bulge, then read Toland’s account.

Battle

By John Toland,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Battle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The perspective of 15 years, painstaking research, thousands of interviews, extensive analysis and evaluation, and the creative talent of John Toland [paint] the epic struggle on an immense canvas


Those Who Hold Bastogne

By Peter Schrijvers,

Book cover of Those Who Hold Bastogne: The True Story of the Soldiers and Civilians Who Fought in the Biggest Battle of the Bulge

Unlike Toland’s and MacDonald’s monographs, Schrijvers concentrates his narrative on only a portion of the Battle of the Bulge – the Siege of Bastogne. As a result, he can delve into far greater detail than the other books. In Schrijvers’s book, we read about the individual soldiers and paratroopers who fought the Germans to a standstill and held the vital crossroads town against the odds. In addition, we learn about the civilians who also played a part in the battle for Bastogne. Lastly, the author gives the Germans a voice, too, and you begin to understand what motivated the average German Landser to continue to fight for a cause that was lost. If you enjoyed my books, No Silent Night and Patton at the Battle of the Bulge and you want to know more about Bastogne, this is a good place to start.

Those Who Hold Bastogne

By Peter Schrijvers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Those Who Hold Bastogne as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new telling of the brutal siege of Bastogne, where vastly outnumbered American forces held off a savage German onslaught and sealed the fate of the Third Reich

Hitler's last gamble, the Battle of the Bulge, was intended to push the Allied invaders of Normandy all the way back to the beaches. The plan nearly succeeded, and almost certainly would have, were it not for one small Belgian town and its tenacious American defenders who held back a tenfold larger German force while awaiting the arrival of General George Patton's mighty Third Army.

In this dramatic account of the 1944-45…


The Longest Winter

By Alex Kershaw,

Book cover of The Longest Winter: The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II's Most Decorated Platoon

If stories of divisions and corps advancing and retreating over battlefields don’t pique your interest, then this book will. Kershaw’s tale of a single reconnaissance platoon under the command of a fresh-faced 1st Lieutenant Lyle Bouck as it fights for its life and delays an entire German kampfgruppe for several crucial hours is the stuff of legend. The platoon’s sacrifice contributed significantly to the eventual defeat of the 6th SS Panzer Army, whose mission was to seize Antwerp. Thanks to Bouck and his understrength platoon, that didn’t happen. I wonder why Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have not made this gripping human interest story into a blockbuster movie. Kershaw’s story, though, doesn’t end with the battle of Lanzerath. He follows the service members as they struggle to survive as prisoners-of-war in various German Stalags, scattered throughout the Reich. If you want to read a story about the personal experiences of…

The Longest Winter

By Alex Kershaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Longest Winter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the morning of December 16, 1944, eighteen men of the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon attached to the 99th Infantry Division found themselves directly in the path of the main thrust of Hitler's massive Ardennes offensive. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they were told to hold their position "at all costs." Throughout the day, the platoon repulsed three large German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing hundreds of German soldiers. Only when they had run out of ammunition did they surrender to the enemy. But their long winter was just beginning. As POWs, the platoon experienced an ordeal far worse…


The Men of Company K

By Harold P. Leinbaugh, John D. Campbell,

Book cover of The Men of Company K: The Autobiography of a World War II Rifle Company

I love reading true stories of WWII told by people who lived through it. I find it difficult to understand how ordinary men could live, fight, and die in a foreign land without questioning in order to protect the United States; they were certainly true patriots. In the fall of 1944, two hundred true patriots of K Company, 333rd Infantry, 84th Division landed in Europe. For the next one hundred days, they were on the edge of the Allied spearhead into Nazi territory. If you ever wanted to be in the infantry, you need to read this book. 

The Men of Company K

By Harold P. Leinbaugh, John D. Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Men of Company K as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Offers a moving dramatic portrait of the soldiers and officers of the K Company and their experiences on the Siegfried Line, at the Battle of the Bulge


Company Commander

By Charles B. MacDonald,

Book cover of Company Commander: The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II

An infantry company commander’s first-hand account of his experiences in the European theater. His first command was to be thrust smack dab into the middle of the Battle of The Bulge, and his account is filled with surprisingly raw and honest observations not only about the war but about his reaction to it.

Company Commander

By Charles B. MacDonald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Company Commander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fourth Printing January 1972


Loss and Redemption at St. Vith

By Gregory Fontenot,

Book cover of Loss and Redemption at St. Vith: The 7th Armored Division in the Battle of the Bulge

Quite simply, the best Bulge division history ever written. Plus, Fontenot sheds long-overdue light on the fighting at St. Vith, whose importance was nearly equivalent to the more famous struggle for Bastogne. Like every author on this list, he knows how to combine first-rate scholarship with excellent storytelling. Fontenot spent decades interviewing commanders and other participants, visiting the ground, and compiling source material. He knew many of the principal characters quite well and yet he never let his personal relationships stand in the way of historical objectivity. Plus, as a retired colonel and a veteran of Desert Storm who commanded an armor battalion in combat, he brings his own professional understanding into the mix. The result is a fascinating and innovative historical work.

Loss and Redemption at St. Vith

By Gregory Fontenot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Loss and Redemption at St. Vith as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

St Vith and Back closes a gap in the record of the Battle of the Bulge by recounting the exploits of the 7th Armored Division in a way that no other study has. Most accounts of the Battle of the Bulge give short-shrift to the interval during which the German forward progress stopped and the American counterattack began. This narrative centers on the 7th Armored Division for the entire length of the campaign, in so doing reconsidering the story of the whole battle through the lens of a single division and accounting for the reconstitution of the Division while in…


Ardennes 1944

By Antony Beevor,

Book cover of Ardennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulge

What happens when an author with a remarkable knack for insightful research and a gift for brilliant narrative prose takes on the task of telling a story of such epochal importance? A wonderful book that conveys the desperation of the moment and weaves this together with latter-year perspective. Among Beevor’s many insights, my favorite is his assertion that “the German leadership’s greatest mistake in the Ardennes offensive was to have misjudged the soldiers of an army they had affected to despise.” So very true! The Germans badly underestimated the U.S. Army and they paid the price for their dismissive chauvinism.

Ardennes 1944

By Antony Beevor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ardennes 1944 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The prizewinning historian and bestselling author of D-Day, Stalingrad, and The Battle of Arnhem reconstructs the Battle of the Bulge in this riveting new account

On December 16, 1944, Hitler launched his 'last gamble' in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes in Belgium, believing he could split the Allies by driving all the way to Antwerp and forcing the Canadians and the British out of the war. Although his generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the…


Snow and Steel

By Peter Caddick-Adams,

Book cover of Snow and Steel: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45

Much of what I have said about James Holland can also be said of his friend Peter Caddick-Adams, whose first-rate works include Monte Cassino. Ten Armies in Hell (2012), Sand and Steel: A New History of D-Day (2019), and this, by far the best book on the last major German offensive. Adroit at capturing the German perspective, Caddick-Adams is also very good on the American response. A lengthy read, but worth it.

Snow and Steel

By Peter Caddick-Adams,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Snow and Steel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Snow and Steel is a huge reassessment of Hitler's last great throw of the dice: 'The Battle of the Bulge', the battle for the Ardennes 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945. This was an utterly fascinating five weeks when for a time it looked like Hitler had outflanked the allied armies pushing toward the Rhine and might just throw them back to the Normandy beaches. It is also the context for the catastrophic events at Bastogne depicted so graphically in Band of Brothers.

For military history fans this is one of those touchstone battles of the second world war,…


Sergeant Salinger

By Jerome Charyn,

Book cover of Sergeant Salinger

This fictionalized, but mostly true, account covers enigmatic author J. D. Salinger’s little-known WWII years (1942-47). Salinger is conscripted by the US Counter Intelligence Corps. These hard-edged soldiers interrogate captives, seek out hidden danger (poisoned pretzels, booby-trapped toilet seats), and uncover traitors. Salinger absorbs deeply the carnage close to him. At war’s end, he has become “a guy made of glass” with a facial tic and trembling hand. In the novel’s last scenes, his older sister helps him set up in the suburban loft where he can live alone, write, and heal. J. D. Salinger’s time immersed in the horrors of War helps explain his reclusive life and out-of-the-mainstream but best-selling creations. 

Sergeant Salinger

By Jerome Charyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sergeant Salinger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Charyn skillfully breathes life into historical icons." -New Yorker

J.D. Salinger, mysterious author of The Catcher in the Rye, is remembered today as a reclusive misanthrope. Jerome Charyn's Salinger is a young American WWII draftee assigned to the Counter Intelligence Corps, a band of secret soldiers who trained with the British. A rifleman and an interrogator, he witnessed all the horrors of the war-from the landing on D-Day to the relentless hand-to-hand combat in the hedgerows of Normandy, to the Battle of the Bulge, and finally to the first Allied entry into a Bavarian death camp, where corpses were piled…


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