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

A Time for Trumpets The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge On December the vanguard of three German armies totaling half a million men attacked U S forces in the Ardennes region of Belgium and Luxembourg achieveing what had been considered imposs

  • Title: A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge
  • Author: Charles B. MacDonald
  • ISBN: 9780688151577
  • Page: 270
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge

    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, achieveing what had been considered impossible 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 laOn 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, achieveing what had been considered impossible 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 last desperate effort of the war.The brutal confrontation that ensued became known as the Battle of the Bulge, the greatest battle ever fought by the U.S Army a triumph of American ingenuity and dedication over an egregious failure in strategic intelligence A Time for Trumpets is the definitive account of this dramatic victory, told by one of America s most respected military historians, who was also an eyewitness MacDonald commanded a rifle company in the Battle of the Bulge His account of this unique battle is exhaustively researched, honestly recounted, and movingly authentic in its depiction of hand to hand combat.Mingling firsthand experience with the insights of a distinguished historian, MacDonald places this profound human drama unforgettably on the landscape of history.

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    One thought on “A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge

    1. Matt

      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 [...]

    2. Checkman

      A large detailed account of the "Battle of the Bulge" (December 16,1944-January 28, 1945). As many already know Charles MacDonald was an infantry officer in WWII. He served with the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division and participated in the battle (he describes his company's participation in the battle on pages 378-379 ). He was there.Later, after the war, he was employed as the Army's Deputy chief Historian and wrote numerous books about the Army's campaign in Northwestern Europe (Fr [...]

    3. Mike

      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.

    4. Jeffrey

      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 [...]

    5. Kevin J. Rogers

      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.

    6. Nick

      An outstanding book capturing the Battle of the Bulge in great detail. Charles B. McDonald took great pains to record unit movements, engagements and results for the entire battle - although after reaching the German high water mark the account doesn't go into near the detail as the earlier portions of the operation. US Army regimental actions are recorded in great detail with many descriptions going down to the Company level. A great piece of work for those interested in small unit actions in t [...]

    7. 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 gr [...]

    8. Steve

      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 simp [...]

    9. 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 [...]

    10. Jonathan

      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 [...]

    11. 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 [...]

    12. Steven

      Detailed, perhaps too much so.This is a well written book, very caught up in the movement of units both large and small in this pivotal battle. However, unless you are intimately aware of placemats or read with a map at your side, one quickly gets lost. I also found a general lack of continuity to the timeline. You would read about action in one area and suddenly be two or more days earlier on the next page.There is no doubt that MacDonald knows his stuff after living through it. Those of us who [...]

    13. Joe

      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.

    14. Kevin

      "A Time for Trumpets" is not an easy read in e-book form. My understanding is that the on-paper versions include a goodly number of maps, from which the e-version -- utterly bereft of illustrations -- would have greatly benefited.The book is meticulously researched, as befits its author's station as a former deputy historian of the U.S. Army. The battle is analyzed in tremendous detail, from the preparations on the German side (and the lack thereof on the Allied side) to the aftermath. Anyone ex [...]

    15. Andrew

      Facts! So many facts!Mr. MacDonald was an army historian, and it shows. This book is jam-packed with names, unit numbers, and more. Maybe too much so.In his own words, Mr. MacDonald stated that one of the primary reasons he undertook to write about the Battle of the Bulge, a battle he lived through, was to represent what it was like for the soldiers who were there. Unfortunately, I think he missed the mark. There are times where the book makes a definite emotional connection, such as when the au [...]

    16. Ginger Miller

      Riveting.This book should be required reading for all the members of the United States Armed Services. An up close and personal recounting of one of the most intense and fierce battles of World War Two. Shown from both sides. We see bravery above and beyond what is called for. We see officers fighting side by side with infantry. But also we learn of battles that could and should have been prevented, a ,at times, complete lack of communication that could have spared lives on both sides. Communica [...]

    17. Dave Wallace

      Just outstanding. If you are looking for a really good tome with details usually down to company level sometimes platoon, this is it. That is the one big take-away from this book, the Bulge was a huge chaotic collection of company level (plus or minus a TO&E step) actions, almost always with un-covered flanks and the unknown beyond that. I knew this intellectually but the personal stories here and level of detail makes it very real. We all know the story of the cold and terrain, the massacre [...]

    18. Gary Burns

      This book is organized by geography and then by date and when you get to the end of the geographical lineYou start over with new happenings at old geographical areas with later dates. The reader is constantly being weaved and moved across the immense battlefield of "The Bulge" with unit histories, official movement and attack order from both sides, and first person accounts melded together. I really thought I knew a lot about this battle, but I only had a few glossed over facts in my head. I nev [...]


      Excellent Account of Major BattleFirst hand experience in this battle makes compelling reading. I recommend this to anyone who wants to research the sacrifices made by these young American soldiers in the later stages of World War 2. One should also recognise the efforts made by the German Army in a last ditch effort to protect their homeland.

    20. Jane Thompson

      geWorld War II StoryA comprehensive and detailed history of the stupendous battle of. the bulge. While it would have been helpful to have maps it is a good summary of one of the largest battles ever fought by the American army. Includes details of battle, politics, and the treatment of civilians.

    21. Jack

      Well writtenVery detailed account of the battle, as my knowledge of this battle came mostly from the movie "Battle of the Bulge". I sometimes found it a little hard to read with so much detail, but I really learned so much about the battle. I would have liked to have seen maps in the book, showing key areas, relating to what I was reading.

    22. David White

      The Battle of the Bulge, as it was fought.WW 2 has always intrigued me. My father was a infantry dog face and my Uncle John died at Hiroshima. I paid my dues in an unpopular war "long ago and far away.This book fills a spot that meant a lot to me. I enjoyed it very much.DAW

    23. Warwick Chapman

      This is an incredibly detailed book. I had to let go while reading it because it is impossible to keep track of all the people, units, places, weapons and relationships. When you add the overlapping timeframes and the two sides, it gets complicated. But, it is a complicated story. The Author has attempted a detailed account written with the perspective of someone who was himself a company commander during the Battle of the Bulge. I do feel like I might need to read the book a couple of times mor [...]

    24. Loren Shultz

      Meticulously detailed account of the Battle. A bit dry and confusing for casual reading, but worth the effort. Amazing study of how fortunate the Allies were to come out as "winners".

    25. Steve Scott

      A simply outstanding overview of the battle. I heartily recommend it. It's very long, but deeply researched. It's the best I've found so far.

    26. Bob Horvat

      Excellent depiction of war from both sides. Anyone interested in WWII should read this book. It brought the Battle of the Bulge to life and showed the terrible cost of war.

    27. Robert Clancy

      A Time for Trumpets is a very detailed, almost hour by hour account of the month-long German attack in the Ardennes known as The Battle of the Bulge. This account tells the whole story of the battle, not just the account of action around the town of Bastogne. That portion of the battle only accounts for about 10% of the entire battle. Gaining a better understanding of the entire battle, the German objectives, the allied response and all the dozens of battles for each and every village and crossr [...]

    28. Dr.J.G.

      Some episodes of history are more than unforgettable, they are thrilling every time one thinks of them. One such is the battle of the bulge, when the allied forces were further out than could be logistically supported and German forces unexpectedly turned around to strike back, and the allies were surrounded on almost all sides with almost no option but to surrender or be massacred - and yet the commander famously replied "nuts" to the proposal of surrender from the Germans, barely taking the ci [...]

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