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World War Ii

By Bruce Robertson

ISBN-10: 0711006679

ISBN-13: 9780711006676

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He cared little about the professional soldier's war-like bearing. He was careless about military spit and polish, casual about discipline, irreverent toward authority, and he did as little military house-keeping as he thought he could get away with. In his contempt for such "softness and decadence," Hitler utterly failed to see the fierce pride that was in the American fighting man. When the going was tough-and the going in the Ardennes was very tough indeed-the GI used his wits and his initiative and his independence of mind with an effectiveness that few soldiers in any of the world's armies could match.

What they read in their newspapers and heard on their radios during those months led them to believe that their prayers were soon to be answered. Then came the news from the Ardennes. The shock to morale was enormous. All the old fears of Nazi might, so deeply ingrained in the early years of the war, came flooding back. How could this happen? Why had the Allies been caught napping? Who was to blame? The truth of the matter is that the complexities of modern warfare were beyond the grasp of those on the home front.

Scores did not make it, falling, screaming in the drifts. The rest ran on, gasping for breath, throwing off their heavy packs. At last they reached the cover of the woods from which they had begun their attack. Of the 200 men in the company, only twenty returned to their start line. Flamierge and its vital road remained in German hands. Only slowly, ever so slowly, was the stalemate broken. Patton and Hodges relentlessly pressed their attacks, levering more men and guns and tanks into the offensive.

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