In his riveting new book, Steven Zaloga describes how American foot soldiers faced down Hitler’s elite armored spearhead—the Hitler Youth Panzer Division—in the snowy Ardennes forest during one of World War II’s biggest battles, the Battle of the Bulge. The Hitler Youth division was assigned the mission of the Führer’s Ardennes offensive: capture the main highway to the primary objective, Antwerp, whose seizure Hitler believed would end the war. Had the Germans taken the Belgian port, it would have cut off the Americans from the British and perhaps led to a second, more devastating Dunkirk. In Zaloga’s careful reconstruction, a succession of American infantry units—the 99th Division, the 2nd Division, and the 1st Division (the famous Big Red One)—fought a series of series of battles that denied Hitler the best roads to Antwerp and doomed his offensive. American G.I.s—some of them seeing combat for the very first time—had stymied Hitler’s panzers and grand plans.
Steven Zaloga, an internationally recognized military historian, has written numerous books on the campaigns of World War II, including Armored Champion, Armored Thunderbolt, and Patton versus the Panzers. He has appeared in programs on PBS and The Military Channel. He lives near Baltimore, Maryland.