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11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944
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11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  227 ratings  ·  46 reviews
It was truly a white Christmas in the Ardennes Forest in 1944, but that was cold comfort to the Allied soldiers trying to stop the Nazis from retaking Belgium in one of the most decisive battles of World War II. While a German loudspeaker taunted, ?How would you like to die for Christmas?? the Allied forces dug in, despite freezing conditions. They needed a miracle.

In a m
Audiocd, 0 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 2006)
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I found 11 days in December slightly disappointing. I expected more from Mr. Weintraub. For those looking for a good overall narrative of the events of Dec/Jan 1944/1945 need to look elsewhere.

What this is, is a slender (180 pgs) series of anecdotes from both high level, Patton, Bradley, Monty etc, lower level troops and even some celebrities (Hemingway, Dietrich). While the stories are interesting and give some flavor to what was happening, there is no overall connection or theme to them.

Weintraub makes it clear that this is no scholarly military history of the Bulge campaign, but I can't in good conscience describe this as even an effective or successful narrative history of incidents in and around the Ardennes during Christmas of 1944. The text within the book is loosely connected by an implied timeline which is reflected in the chapter headings, but the paragraphs within are disjointed, factoid-like, and many are even just plain superfluous. I kept thinking that the book woul ...more
I would disagree with the quote on the back of the book which says "well written." I suspect this book was quickly cobbled together, in order to fulfill a request or publishing contract, from work Weintraub is doing on a much larger history of the WWII European theater of operations. This book needed organization, more and better maps, a timeline, and a list of officers from both sides with their divisions included in order to help the average reader. Weintraub would give the full name of a gene ...more
The book 11 Days in December is a short, narrative of the days of Christmas in the Ardennes , December, 1944 when the German forces launched a surprise, devastating attack in what was a quiet sector of the lines. This book is not a military history , nor does it attempt to be; it is more a reporter's notebook of what those days were like for the soldiers of both side locked in a deadly combat.
It does offer many interesting and touching scenes of " human interest" , often comparing official news
My dad served in the Army during World War II and was severely injured in the clean up of the Battle of Bulge. I have always known that's what the scars on his chest were from and have seen his Purple Heart a couple of times and heard bits and pieces of the story throughout my life. In the past couple of years, Dad has started to talk a little more about his time in the Army and I have been learning more each time from him. I have recently done a little more study and reading bout the Battle of ...more
Francis Gahren
By December 1944, Nazi Germany seemed on the brink of disintegration. The Russians were rapidly advancing in the east, while the Americans and British, after a brief pause, were primed to thrust into Germany from the west. So the German counterattack through the Ardennes was a complete surprise and, initially, a great success. Ultimately, however, the Germans failed to split the Allied armies and drive to the sea. Still, Weintraub has written a compact, fast-moving account of those critical days ...more
Not an in-depth account of the Ardennes Campaign, in the vein of MacDonald's "A Time For Trumpets," Weintraub's "11 Days in December" is reminiscent of Stephen Ambrose's histories. This book is more about flavor than substance, and it helps to have a pretty good understanding of the geography and chronology of the 30-day battle (as the title says, the first 11 days, from 16 to 27 December 1944, are covered here) because the narrative skips around in time and space in order to address themes like ...more
I never knew a lot about the Battle of the Bulge, it seems to be one of those battles from WW2 that is often briefly mentioned in high school and college courses and not much more. So my limited knowledge of it came from the one episode in Band of Brothers where Easy company was involved in the fighting. So reading a book about those 11 days which had one of the highest casualty rates of the war (10,276 killed and 23,218 missing). It was intriguing to read about the different personalities of th ...more
Written by historian and biographer Stanley Weintraub, 11 Days in December is a political and military story set at Christmas time, during World War II. In December of 1944, both sides of the war had suffered numerous losses and were dug in fighting what would be called the Battle of the Bulge. General Patton was praying to the Almighty God for a few days of clear weather, ultimatums were being rejected with a firm statement of "Nuts." and men were starved and frozen. I read this as Christmas ap ...more
In short, this book had nothing new. When one is regurgitating the same old facts, stories, and articles, it would be better to try to find a more interesting writing style. I don’t recommend this to even the most interested in WWI

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Informative and interesting. The emphasis on how various soldiers on both sides celebrated Christmas made an otherwise bloody retelling touching. I would recommend this short book for any WW2 history fans. Weintraub is no Ambrose or Beevor, but he does a good job nonetheless.
Don't usually leave a verbal review, but wanted to express how disappointed I was in this book. Meandering and without clear organization, I feel that the author just threw this book together without a lot of thought.
Interesting look at the Battle of the Bulge through the lens of how troops on both sides celebrated Christmas. (I listened to the audiobook version though, and the editing on this was poor. It sounded as if the reader had recorded words frequently used in the book and a computer had assembled them. The content of the book is 3-star, the experience of listening to it was a 1-star.)
Kurt Thonnings
Not enough first account passages, but fair to good overview of battle
It did not seem like there was a plotline series of connected events, but rather a collection of stories. It was very difficult to follow and if the book was longer, I may not have finished it.
My father-in-law was at the Battle of the Bulge when it broke out. He told me all the stories that are in this book before I actually even found this book and read it. He only started talking about the war when he was in his late 70's, and his own family was bored with his stories and would not sit and listen to him. But after reading this book I know all the stories he told me were true, and the sudden realization of the horrors he suffered as a young man from the hills of West Virginia saddene ...more
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Got this from the library on audio book. I made it all the way through, but it was very disjointed and damn near impossible to follow. I suppose if you are very familiar with WWII and the Battle of the Bulge, and you know the names of all the generals in the European theater, then you may enjoy this. I, however, need to do some homework first. This book doesn't follow a central character, it jumps around a lot, telling many stories from many points of view.
David Teska
A good anecdotal look at the Battle of the Bulge and the larger (Patton, Montgomery) than live figures but a good focus on the dog faces in the infantry who made the battle the success it was by preventing it from becoming the disaster the German hoped. With all that's been written about this epoch last gasp of the Third Reich it really never had a chance of defeating the Western Allies or in getting to Antwerp.
I read the author's previous title about the Christmas truce in 1914, and loved it. I expected the same from this book. But it hits the ground running with little or no back-story for those of us unfamiliar with the intimate who's who details of the Battle of the Bulge, and I got lost very quickly. This would appeal to a die-hard fanatic interested in the European campaigns, but not the casual reader like myself.
I have enjoyed Mr. Weintraub's previous WWII books. This short (compared to his others) book is a bit disjointed. As avid WWII reader, I have a good understanding of the Battle of the Bulge. If not, I'm not sure I could have have followed along with this book. The one thing is he does not convey the seriousness of this crisis to the Allied forces. I was definitely disappointed.
I have read this before but its been a while and wanted to read it again, especially at this time of year. It makes me realize how safe, warm, and blessed I am to be reading it in the comforts of my home. These men and women spent their Christmas surrounded by horrors brought on by war, yet they still tried to find the spirit of Christmas in the simple things.
Daniel Farabaugh
This is the second book that I have written by this author and while I liked it better than the first, I am still not overwhelmed. I found it difficult to keep a lot of the units straight and I never felt exceedingly engaged. I think the brevity of the book played a large role in this as you did not have time to develop an affection for the people involved.
Scott L.
Not a well-researched or a well-written book; I had much higher hopes for it than what it delivered. Annoyances include a lack of maps to show the fluid action; and spelled Bedell-Smith's name as "Beetle". I cannot in good conscience recommend this book at all, when there are so many better books on the Battle of the Bulge.
Jennifer Bohnhoff
This is a short collection of anecdotes about the Battle of the Bulge. It is not particularly well organized, nor is there much analysis. I learned nothing from this book that I hadn't read elsewhere, which indicates to me that Weintraub didn't find any new sources to add to the literature of this period.
I found this fascinating reading, mostly because my father was in that battle and some of the things he told me he experienced were mentioned in this book. It was a hard time for all involved, soldiers and civilians.
Katie Christian
Some interesting parts, but mostly this book was just too dry for me. Dick Winters wrote the best war zone book that I've ever read, so I know it's possible to tell an amazing story while getting all the facts across.
Pfff. Writing is not very good, contains quite some annoying errors (there is no place called Zondhoven in Belgium, I suppose the author means Zonhoven). Story is difficult to follow.
Christmas at the Battle of the Bulge 1944, More a collection of unconnected stories that give an overall feel of the time leading up to Christmas than an exact account of events.
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