• A Dark and Bloody Ground: The Hurtgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, 1944-1945

  • By: Edward G. Miller
  • Narrated by: Peter Hassinger
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-16-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (21 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

A victorious American army, having driven through Belgium almost unopposed, ran head-on into German soldiers on their own home ground, in some of the most rugged country in western Germany - and at the beginning of the worst fall and winter weather in decades.
In late 1944, American forces advanced into the hilly, heavily wooded Hürtgen Forest southeast of Aachen, Germany. For weeks, without a clear-cut reason for attacking through the forest, US commanders nevertheless ordered units of as many as seven divisions into the woods to be chewed up by German infantry and artillery. Many companies suffered huge numbers of casualties.
The Battle of the Bulge interrupted the Hürtgen Forest battles but did not end them. The Bulge provided a hiatus for the wartorn countryside around the forest and the Roer River dams. Then, beginning in January 1945, American forces resumed their offensive and were finally able to break through after one of the bloodiest and, for the US Army, most disastrous campaigns of World War II.
The book examines uncertainty of command at the army, corps, and division levels and emphasizes the confusion and fear of ground combat at the level of company and battalion - "where they do the dying." Its gripping description of the battle is based on government records and a rich selection of first-person accounts.
Forrest C. Pogue Award, presented by the Eisenhower Center for American Studies. The book is published by Texas A&M University Press.
©1995 Edward G. Miller (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"This is a thorough, interesting study, which every student of World War II operations in northwest Europe should read." ( Army History) "This educational and informative book is worth reading by anyone wanting to know more about the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest." ( The Journal of America's Military Past)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Steve H. Caldwell on 09-24-16

Gripping story of a little known corner of WW2.

This is a very well researched and laid out narrative of the US Army's advance through the Hurtgen Forest, on their way to capture the Roer River Dams, which were vitally improtant to securing the region.Unfortunately, The Army didnt realize how important these dams were, and instead concentrated on taking the towns and crossroads, which kept the Army bogged down until the winter, which was bitterly cold that year, and actually ended up costing the lives of a lot of soldiers that ddint have to die. It covers the personalities of the commanders, with little personal notes of regular soldiers interspersed throughout. Peter Hassinger does an excellent job narrating, keeping a serious tone while not letting it become dry and boring. Any history buff should be interested in this book.

I was given a free copy of this book by the narrator in exchange for an honest review through Audiobook Boom.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Glenn J Wojcik on 12-07-17

The Hidden Truth of the Hurtgen Campaign

What made the experience of listening to A Dark and Bloody Ground: The Hurtgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, 1944-1945 the most enjoyable?

A few weeks ago I visited the area and found a museum on the battle. Until last year, I never heard of this battle. On my trip during Thanksgiving, I met many Americans that never heard of this battle. Only locals and a host at the Netherlands US Military Cemetery knew of the true history.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The character that brought this book to life was not in the book. Last year a friend wanted me to research and find a lost Uncle who died in WW 2. I found Private Ralph Mora at the Ardennes US Military Cemetery, Lot A, Row 33, grave 16 along with 5000 of his brothers. Ralph signed up at Fort Logan, Colorado in March 1944 and died 30 November 44 at Groshau, Germany. He was 20 years old.

Which scene was your favorite?

Hurtgen should have never happened. One of the saddest battles in all of American History. The US has done a great disservice to the men who died there, by sweeping it under the rug of history and forgetting them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and no. It's a painful book that exposed how command killed many great kids.

Any additional comments?

I hope the battle is resurrected and that our military and country learns from failure.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By nathan on 03-27-18


Very detailed account of the battle with glimpses of personal experiences but mainly a historical account of what happened as a whole, army to army.

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