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

  • by Edward G. Miller
  • Narrated by Peter Hassinger
  • 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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

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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- Steve H. Caldwell

Gripping story of a little known corner of WW2

Would you consider the audio edition of A Dark and Bloody Ground: The Hurtgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, 1944-1945 to be better than the print version?

Did not read the printed version


What did you like best about this story?

I love history and this is a unique story which was at the footsteps of WW2. The importance of the dams and the sacrifice made will never be forgotten


Have you listened to any of Peter Hassinger’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.I've listened to dozens of audio book voice talents. MR. Hassinger is near the top of my list of excellent narrators. His pronunciation of German names, of cities and towns, of pertinent regions is exceptional. His voice is easy to understand, and enjoyable to listen to for extended periods


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A solid listen and well worth your time if you want to understand the battle for the Hurtgen Forest from an operational perspective


Any additional comments?

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-16-2016
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks