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Dogdaddy

The Longest Winter- Alex Kershaw

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The Battle of The Bulge and the Epic story of World War II's Most Decorated Platoon. On December 16, 1944 a small group of 18 men from an Intelligence platoon face off with the main thrust of the German advance through the Ardennes. Vastly outnumbered, the platoon repulsed three large-scale attacks before being captured.

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Please provide more details on the book. Keep it short. For instance, is this Fiction or Non-fiction?? Wasn't sure.

Then provide other bits of info about the Subject contents, such as units or dates or places(which you did). Also, size of book and retail price would be good to know. It is also good to know if it is supported with maps, photos, appendix, bibliography or other reference material.

 

These are the questions I have anytime someone references a good book to read.

 

Steve

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Ah, those are good points Steve, for book reviews now and in the future. Two stars on your forehead. :D

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There's a site for this book:

 

http://www.thelongestwinterbook.com/

 

 

Deep in the Ardennes forest of Belgium, eighteen men of a small intelligence platoon commanded by twenty-year-old lieutenant Lyle Bouck were huddled in their foxholes, desperately trying to keep warm.

 

Suddenly the early morning silence was broken by the roar of a huge artillery bombardment. Hitler had launched his bold and risky offensive against the Allies—his “last gambleâ€â€”and the American platoon was facing the main thrust of the entire German assault.

 

Vastly outnumbered, the platoon repulsed three German assaults in a fierce day-long battle to defend a strategically vital hill. Only when Bouck’s men had run out of ammunition did they surrender.

 

But their long winter was just beginning.

 

As POWs, Bouck’s platoon experienced an ordeal far worse than combat—surviving in captivity with trigger-happy German guards, Allied bombing raids, and a starvation diet. While hundreds of other captured Americans in German POW camps were either killed or died of disease, the men of Bouck’s platoon miraculously survived—all of them—and returned home after the war.

 

More than thirty years later, when President Carter recognized the unit’s “extraordinary heroism†and the U.S. Army approved combat medals for all eighteen men, they became America’s most decorated platoon of World War II.

 

With the same vivid and dramatic prose that made The Bedford Boys a national bestseller, Alex Kershaw brings to life the story of these little-known heroes—an epic tale of courage and survival in World War II and one of the most inspiring episodes in American history.

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Here's an excerpt from the book:

 

The platoon again opened fire as the Germans got to the fence. This time, it was Private First Class Milosevich who let rip with the .50-caliber jeep-mounted machine gun. The armor-piercing bullets, employed by rear gunners on B-17s to bring down fighters, blew holes a foot wide in the German soldiers. But the .50 caliber’s field of fire was too narrow, and the gun was not easy to maneuver from its fixed position in the jeep. Milosevich tried to take it off its stand but burned his hand because it had become so hot. He wrapped a handkerchief over the burn and again picked up the gun so he could better traverse the pasture.

 

Suddenly, Milosevich saw a German paratrooper to his left only yards from Lyle Bouck’s dugout. He fired and the German fell.

 

The enemy fire suddenly became particularly fierce. Milosevich decided to make for his dugout. A German appeared a few yards away, wielding a "potato-masher" grenade. Milosevich let rip, cutting the German in two.80 Milosevich made it back to his dugout and began to fire again. He screamed for Slape, who dived into the dugout, bruising his ribs.

 

The Germans kept coming.

 

Slape took over on the .50-caliber machine gun.

 

"Shoot in bursts of three!" shouted Milosevich, knowing the gun would overheat and they would be out of ammunition if Slape kept firing away without pausing.

 

"I can’t!" shouted Slape. "There’s too many of them!"

 

Slape continued to fire, hitting dozens of men with a sweeping arc. Milosevich saw the unwieldly gun start to pour off smoke. When he looked down the hillside, it seemed that they were outnumbered by at least a hundred to one, and the Germans just kept coming.

 

In their dugout on the extreme right side of the position, Sam Jenkins and Robert Preston had by now run out of ammunition for their BAR and were using their M-1s. Jenkins couldn’t understand why the Germans were attacking again without artillery support. If they brought just one tank into play, they would all be quickly blown off the hill.83 He fired again and again, knowing it was vital to hit the Germans before they got close enough to throw a grenade through the hole’s firing slit.

 

Nearby, Private Louis Kalil suddenly noticed that some of the Germans were fanning out and trying to infiltrate through the position’s flanks. A few feet from Kalil, Sergeant George Redmond was squinting through the sights of his M-1.

 

To the left of the dugout, a German paratrooper crawled along the rock-hard ground. He got to within thirty yards of Kalil and Redmond and then quickly aimed his rifle, loaded with a grenade, and fired. It was a superb shot. The grenade entered the dugout through its eighteen-inch slit and hit Kalil square in the jaw.

 

But it did not explode. Instead, it knocked Kalil across the dugout to Redmond’s side. Kalil was half-stunned as he lay sprawled on the base of the dugout. Redmond dropped his rifle, grabbed some snow, and rubbed it in Kalil’s face. Blood gushed from Kalil’s jaw. The force of the impact had forced his lower teeth into the roof of his mouth, where several were now deeply embedded. His jaw was fractured in three places.

 

Redmond sprinkled sulfa powder on the wound and then pulled gauze out of both their first aid kits and started to wrap Kalil’s face. There was no morphine in the kits to kill the pain. Once the shock wore off, Kalil would be in agony.

 

"How bad is it?" asked Kalil.

 

"Oh, it’s not too bad, Louis," said Redmond.

 

"But I’ve got blood all over myself. It can’t be very nice."

 

"It’s not too bad."

 

"Okay, I’ll take your word for it."

 

Kalil knew Redmond was trying to make the wound sound a lot less severe than it really was. He could feel the teeth embedded in the roof of his mouth cutting into his tongue.

 

The battle still raged. Small-arms fire sounded like radio static during an electrical storm, a constant ear-piercing crackle. Redmond’s fingers did not shake despite his fear as he wrapped the last of the gauze around Kalil’s jaw. He knew the Germans could penetrate their position any moment. If they were to stand a chance, they would need to return to firing as soon as possible.

 

Redmond tied the last gauze bandage and met Kalil’s gaze.

 

"Don’t worry about it," reassured Redmond.

 

"If things get to where you can take off, then take off," Kalil replied. Redmond looked at Kalil fiercely.

 

"We’re staying here—together."

 

"All right."

 

Redmond grabbed his M-1 and began to fire. Kalil was now in terrible pain but did the same, aiming with the use of just one eye at the figures that still approached up the bloodied hillside. It was so cold in the dugout that Kalil could feel blood freezing to his face, stemming the flow from the wound. The damned cold had been good for one thing at least. In the desert, he would surely have bled to death.

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Sorry. I won't suggest anything more to read if I have to do all that. I figured that most people are familiar with Alex Kershaw's name. I'm not selling these books...merely mentioning them by title for those who might want to investigate further. Jeez....

Jim

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:woof: Daddy:

 

By no means, I hope you won't be scared off, nor anyone else for that matter! That was just a suggestion from Steve. I will be happy with whatever anyone posts. Most of us can fill in and usually I do anyway if I'm familiar with a book, etc.

 

Just to have the name of a book is great. It gets us all started and inspired and that's what it's all about!

 

If someone wants to give more detail fine. If not, that fine in my BOOK too. PUN INTENDED!!!!! :lol:

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I wasn't trying to complain----I know my wife says I sound that way.

 

I like to know a little bit about a book especially if I order it thru the mail. Also, I like to know Why you like it. I had a dozen people tell me "Ya gotta read 'An Army at Dawn'." but I didn't. It is intimidating to buy a 700-page history book.

And the price helps because when I found that book on sale for $8.00, then I knew it was a deal. Shoot, almost a Penny a page. It helps me to shop around for a deal, especially when I'm on eBay.

More than thirty years later, when President Carter recognized the unit’s “extraordinary heroism†and the U.S. Army approved combat medals for all eighteen men, they became America’s most decorated platoon of World War II.

With the same vivid and dramatic prose that made The Bedford Boys a national bestseller, Alex Kershaw brings to life the story of these little-known heroes

Now, are you saying this book was written by the same author who wrote "The Bedford Boys"? I assume the book was just released and Carter heard about them thru other channels---am I correct on this??

 

Steve

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TALKING ABOUT THE LONGEST WINTER, ANY COMBAT INFANTRYMAN

HAD THE LONGEST WINTER. MINE WAS WINTER OF '44 UP IN THE

MOUNTAINS OF ITALY. LOT OF PATROL DUTY. COLD AINT THE WORD

RATIONS WHENEVER THE MULE TRAIN GOT THERE. EVERY MAN SUFFERED

HIS OWN WAY. Roque

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Now, are you saying this book was written by the same author who wrote "The Bedford Boys"? I assume the book was just released and Carter heard about them thru other channels---am I correct on this??

 

Yes, this is the very same author who wrote the Bedford Boys. It was released in November of 2004. Yes, President Carter heard about them through other channels.

 

For more information on the book and the author, check out my post above. ;)

 

Here is info on the Bedford Boys book.

 

http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/dacapo/bo...isbn=0306813556

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TALKING ABOUT THE LONGEST WINTER, ANY COMBAT INFANTRYMAN

HAD THE LONGEST WINTER. MINE WAS WINTER OF '44 UP IN THE

MOUNTAINS OF ITALY. LOT OF PATROL DUTY. COLD AINT THE WORD

RATIONS WHENEVER THE MULE TRAIN GOT THERE. EVERY MAN SUFFERED

HIS OWN WAY. Roque

 

Yes Rocky, it was a very LONG winter for most of the guys in 44 in Europe. No matter if it was Italy or France or Belgium. I can't imagine it. :(

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How true. This was not only a long winter but a exceptionally cold winter for all of us.

The Vosges mountains in France that winter was very bad winter. Much frostbite, frozen feet and hands, pneumonia and the likes plus the usual battle casualties.. I dont think anyone in the lines had it good anywhere.

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How true. This was not only a long winter but a exceptionally cold winter for all of us.

The Vosges mountains in France that winter was very bad winter. Much frostbite, frozen feet and hands, pneumonia and the likes plus the usual battle casualties.. I dont think anyone in the lines had it good anywhere.

I DEFINETLY SAY AMEN TO THAT, MARION AND JOE, JOE IF THE

3RD HAD ADDED A 4 TO THE DIVN. NO. WE WOULD HAVE BEEN

BUDDIES. :drinkin: BUDDIES :drinkin:

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Roque: Just different places in some of the same bad times. Same conditions though.

Enjoy your 34th Div reunion.

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I must share one part of this book, towards the end, when the men of the 394th are finally liberated from the POW camp. Patton comes riding up in a jeep with a big American flag and instructs the men to remove the nazi flag and replace it: "Take that Son-of-A-Bitch down right now...and the man who does it...wipe your ass on it!" :lol:

 

 

:woof:

 

PS- The General had a way with words, didn't he? :o

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:lol::lol::lol: Yup, that's my George! He had a certain je n'ais c'est quoi!

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I am a huge Alex Kershaw fan, believe I have read every one of his works and some of those I consider my favorite books ever. My friend Ralph (rwrich51) gave me his copy of "The Longest Winter" several years back to read, loved it! It is a great book, definitely recommend to put it on your reading list. Lt. Lyle Bouck, the leader of the 394th's I & R platoon, is a native of the St. Louis area and is still living but in declining health. I saw this excellent article earlier this year about him in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

 

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/he-battled-world-war-ii-now-a-hero-battles-old/article_2a44d609-0158-5dd1-80c7-f37feda77f70.html

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