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A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge
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A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  335 ratings  ·  18 reviews
On December 16, 1944, the vanguard of three German armies, totaling half a million men, attacked U.S. forces in the Ardennes region of Belgium and Luxembourg, achieving what had been considered impossible – near total surprise. In the most abysmal failure of battlefield intelligence in the history of the U.S. Army, 600,000 American soldiers found themselves facing Hitler's ...more
Paperback, 720 pages
Published March 19th 1997 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1984)
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The Battle of the Bulge (which began December 16, 1944) was the last great battle of the western European theater of operations during World War II. It began as a surprise German offensive that caught the American armies advancing on Germany completely unaware. (The British and Canadian troops, farther to the north, mostly escaped the brunt of the attack). For the first several days, even as lines buckled, Allied leadership deluded themselves into thinking the attack represented a feint, rather ...more
I've been having bad luck with history books lately. Lets get the negatives down right now.

1. The maps are never ever in the right place at the right time. They are almost showing some other part of the battle entirely, so if you don't have the battlefield memorized, there is little chance of you knowing what is going on in any particular moment.

2. Excessively American. What a second, it was written by an American historian that was a company commander in the middle of this battle, we outnumber
Kevin J. Rogers
Feb 04, 2008 Kevin J. Rogers rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Students of history, especially military history.
One of the best military histories I've read, but marred slightly by weak maps (always an important element of any military history). But the writing was excellent, and the story itself was a compelling one of courage, determination, and resourcefulness.
One of the best accounts of the Bulge. I lent my first copy out and never got it back, had to go get another. It is worth it.
carl  theaker

One of the better books on the Bulge. Get a map of your own out and
follow the along with the action.

Steve Bernich
This book was very DENSE with information. Troop movements, in some cases down to the squad and platoon level, but typically companies and up to regiments. This is all well and good, and frankly, very interesting to today's reader and/or military historian trying to picture the movements and somewhat foggy nature of the first weeks of the Battle of the Bulge. But... there were so few maps it was almost impossible to do. And the maps that were supplied were not very detailed that I found myself s ...more
Lawson Stone
This book is a work of serious, comprehensive history. It makes no attempt to make the subject matter easy for the lazy, uninformed or undisciplined reader. It does not try to fictionalize or "make interesting" its subject matter, but presents in a highly organized and effective way a detailed description of the unit-by-unit unfolding of this crucial WW2 battle. Those who want a little gloss of pop culture, sentimentality or romanticism should maybe read someone else. MacDonald, unlike most writ ...more
Nathan Trachta
The Battle of the Bulge has been something of a fascination for me, a dying country delivering a surprise attack, the response from the overwhelmed defenders, the terrible weather; it would have made for a great fictional story and instead its history! Of the authors on complete Battle of the Bulge, Mr. MacDonald is the only one I know of who served there, more importantly as a company commander in the 2nd ID (I highly recommend reading Company Commander if you haven’t; his observations are grea ...more
Samuel Weaver
Very technical (I read it with maps open) but very well written. Textbook level detail with the writing of an adventure novel. Felt like I was there. Still, not a book for the faint of heart!
Scott L.
This book is an amazingly detailed and comprehensive tome on the Battle for the Ardennes (also known as the Battle of the Bulge) during December 1944 and January 1945. In his Author's Notes, MacDonald says that he wanted to write a book from the viewpoint of the soldier under fire; yet make it a comprehensive books as well. He succeeds almost too well: sometimes the book seems to bog down in the details - this slows the readability of the book. But overall I found the book to be excellent, and r ...more
This book suffers from being overly comprehensive, every time a unit moves its listed in the writing. It reads a lot like combat has been described, long periods of boredom followed by a few seconds of extreme adrenaline. The moments when the author uses the first hand accounts of the men on the ground are seemingly crushed under the paragraphs of 'Company K moved here, Brigade Y moved here'. The German side is included in some parts but the focus is heavily on the Allies side of things. The wri ...more
This is an outstanding history of the Battle of the Bulge by the author of "Company Commander". MacDonald is a superb historian who is also a gifted writer, which makes this narrative flow smoothly and read like a novel. MacDonald's narrative stays fresh, even as he is staying true to the confused operational chronology. He examines all of the major and minor actions which contributed the overall scheme of battle. His analysis of the effect of Patton's advance, as well as the effect of the resis ...more
Robert Allen
this is a great read! macdonald not only coveres the events of the battle giving he also gives you a feel of what the events were like for the people who lived through the battle both military and civilian. he also explains the ardennes and provides reason why the allies didn't think the germans could attack there even though they did it before. as with every other book of this type i would suggest the read have a good understanding of the area or a good map to be able to follow the flow of the ...more
A Time for Trumpets is probably the definitive record of the Battle of the Bulge. The book is extremely detailed and clearly the author relied heavily on documentary sources from German, British and American forces. The narrative interludes of individual soldier experiences are a welcome break from the somewhat monotonous explanation of tactical details. I found it difficult to keep track of the names of all the commanders and their relative ranks.

Only for hardcore history buffs.
Aug 19, 2008 Art rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Art by: anyone
I used this for part of my paper for my WWII w/Dr. Thacker at WKU the fall of 2004.
Jack Caldwell
If you read only one book about the Battle of the Bulge, it should be this one.
An excellent read on the Battle of the Bulge.
Joel Toppen
An amazing account of the Battle of the Bulge.
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Charles B. MacDonald was a former Deputy Chief Historian for the United States Army. He wrote several of the Army's official histories of World War II.

After graduating from Presbyterian College, MacDonald was commissioned as a US Army officer through the Army ROTC and deployed to Europe. By September 1944, as a 21 year old Captain , he commanded a rifle company in the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd I
More about Charles B. MacDonald...
Company Commander: The Classic Infantry Memoir of World War II The Battle of the Huertgen Forest Battle Of The Bulge The Mighty Endeavor: The American War In Europe European Theater of Operations: the Siegfried Line Campaign

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