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Operation Northwind, planned by the Fuhrer himself, hurled eight German divisions, three of them S.S., against the thinly held American line in the Alsace-Lorraine region.
Few except those who fought it know anything about this second Battle of the Bulge, which cost the Americans and their French comrades-in-arms nearly as many casualties and almost destroyed the alliance. ?Because Eisenhower determined to evacuate Strasbourg, for a few days, while American troops fought for their lives in the snow-bound hills of Alsace-Lorraine, it looked as if the Franco-American alliance might be broken apart and France thrown into something akin to revolution.?
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Born in the Bootham area of York, England, he was a pupil at the prestigious Nunthorpe Grammar School, leaving at the age of 16 to join the British Army by lying about his age. Keen to be in on the wartime action, Whiting was attached to the 52nd Reconnaissance Regiment and by the age of 18 saw duty as a sergeant in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany in the latter stages of World War II. While still a soldier, he observed conflicts between the highest-ranking British and American generals which he would write about extensively in later years. After the war, he stayed on in Germany completing his A-levels via correspondence course and teaching English before being enrolled at Leeds University reading History and German Language. As an undergraduate he was afforded opportunities for study at several European universities and, after gaining his degree, would go on to become an assistant professor of history. Elsewhere, Whiting held a variety of jobs which included working as a translator for a German chemical factory and spells as a publicist, a correspondent for The Times and feature writer for such diverse magazines as International Review of Linguistics, Soldier and Playboy. His first novel was written while still an undergraduate, was published in 1954 and by 1958 had been followed by three wartime thrillers. Between 1960 and 2007 Charles went on to write over 350 titles, including 70 non-fiction titles covering varied topics from the Nazi intelligence service to British Regiments during World War II. Charles Henry Whiting, author and military historian died on July 24 2007, leaving his wife and son.From Publishers Weekly:
In December 1944, while the Americans were trying to stem the German offensive in the Belgian Ardennes, Hitler launched another major offensive in France aimed at recapturing Alsace-Lorraine. This "second Battle of the Bulge," in the winter of 1944-45, lasted a month longer than the first, cost the lives of 16,000 Americans and twice that number of French soldiers serving under U.S. command. Whiting convincingly argues that it was a more significant battle than the Ardennes "Bulge" because it threatened to break up the Western alliance and plunge France into political anarchy. The Supreme Allied Commander, General Eisenhower, had severe problems maintaining the "Bulge" and Alsace fronts at the same time, compounded by his lack of confidence in General Jacob Devers, whose combined U.S.-French army was responsible for the latter sector. The book shows how Devers won Ike's gratitude for his annihilating counterattack against the German 19th Army. Whiting ( Bloody Aachen ) expertly describes the overall strategy of the battle and its political overtones and provides as well colorful vignettes of small-unit combat and the exploits of individual GIs, such as Audie Murphy, who saved the day in local clashes. Photos.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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