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The Ghost Front: The Ardennes Before the Battle of the Bulge

While much has been written about the Battle of the Bulge—Hitler's gigantic counteroffensive in the Ardennes Forest—the question of exactly how Germany was able to secretly mass its strategic reserves opposite the U.S. front remains as shrouded in mystery today as it was at the time. In December 1944, the snow-covered Ardennes was so quiet it was termed by Allied planners "the Ghost Front." The U.S. placed its greenest units among the wooded hills, along with combat-shattered units. But beneath trees just miles away, the Germans were stealthily massing two full Panzer armies and 300,000 assault troops. Week after week, Hitler poured the cream of the Wehrmacht into the "quiet" sector, for a surprise attack designed to shatter the American front. And while the Germans were eventually defeated in the Bulge, the preparations for the attack marked a victory for German stealth, deception, and organization. Charles Whiting, one of the best-selling historians of the war, examines how the Allies could have anticipated the attack had they not been lulled into a false sense of security. He also delves into the controversy over whether George Patton had received advance word of the offensive but failed to warn the frontline divisions. This question and many others are at last answered in Ghost Front.

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Ardennes (29)

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Ardennes (43)

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France (7,260)