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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

3.36  ·  Rating Details ·  270 Ratings  ·  52 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
Jan 13, 2009 Maggie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Kevin Keating
This was one book I read online (listened to). It was pretty interesting but is not a god idea to listen to war books as it's hard to figure out where the action is taking place (small towns in Belgium and Lux, pronounced too Frenchily. This book was ok I guess. Didn't like narrator much. Kept pronouncing Bastogne wrong. Did learn about coverup of the Leopoldville by Belgium. Sure made Monty look like an ass. I'll do more research on that.
Judy McCarver
Jan 04, 2017 Judy McCarver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read retelling the story of the Battle of the Bulge. "Aw Nuts!" Just read it!
Jun 04, 2015 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Francis Gahren
Apr 19, 2013 Francis Gahren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military, nonfiction
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
Aug 15, 2013 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2011 Dee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011, history
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
Dec 17, 2012 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 20, 2016 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read 11 Days in December in conjunction with research I was doing for a paper on the Battle of the Bulge. Thanks to the context I had from my other research, I was able to follow the plot quite easily, something that may not be so easy for those with no background knowledge. Weintraub does state that this book is not meant to be a comprehensive history - I would recommend Snow and Steel: Battle of the Bulge 1944-1945 for that purpose - it is simply the perspectives of various men who were ther ...more
Suzanne Jacob
Feb 07, 2016 Suzanne Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short, concise history of the Battle of the Bulge takes the 15,000 ft look. It doesn't follow platoons throughout each minute but rather follows several GIs throughout the Battle. The author also discusses the various generals - on both sides - who valiantly defended their turf. The only general who did not come out looking good was British Field Marshall Sir Bernard Montgomery.
The writing was easy and enjoyable. Definitely a readable book for the average and above-average historian.
Sep 28, 2013 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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
Nov 06, 2008 Steve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 09, 2011 J.M. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
David Teska
Mar 31, 2009 David Teska rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 17, 2010 Maureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Robert Miller
Somewhat disappointed in the book as I read it. It seems to be a great deal of regurgitated information I have read elsewhere about Wacht am Rhein and that really drew from the book. Too much time with Patton and Monty and all of the other "big hats" of the war.

I'd give it a 2.5 if it were possible. 2 seems too low and 3 too much.
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.
Feb 23, 2012 Scott L. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 07, 2014 George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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.)
Feb 24, 2016 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are certainly more definitive works on this subject than one will find in this slender volume. A couple swipes are made at taking some of the shine off the performance of both Bradley and Eisenhower, but there seems no huge conflicts with such as the story told in either "Band of Brothers" or "Citizen Soldier" One could do worse.
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 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.
Aug 15, 2014 Michele rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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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Apr 02, 2015 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 04, 2015 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 29, 2010 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Weintraub was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 17, 1929. He was the eldest child of Benjamin and Ray Segal Weintraub. He attended South Philadelphia High School, and then he attended West Chester State Teachers College (now West Chester University of Pennsylvania) where he received his B.S. in education in 1949. He continued his education at Temple University where he received his mast ...more
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