It’s here! The book that has taken me the longest to write — three years – arrived in a mighty shipment on Friday!
Battle of the Bulge: Stories From Those Who Fought and Survived released on Amazon on July 1.
Because I had ordered a good-sized quantity to sell to individuals and at book talks, it required two weeks to print and be shipped.
It was worth the wait. I could not be prouder of the cover and contents.
Actually, it was the contents that caused my delay in putting it together.
Thousands of books have been written on this particular battle that began December 16, 1944, when 250,000 German troops burst through 80,000 unsuspecting Allied troops – Canadian, British and American, dividing them to almost render then ineffective.
By the time the battle ended in late January 1945 with the battle lines returned to where they had been in mid-December, approximately one million Allied troops, including 500,000 Americans, had fought in the Ardennes Forest near the intersections of Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg.
The results of the Allied victory were grim. Approximately 19,000 Allies died in action. Another 47,500 were wounded and 23,000 missing in action.
Approximately 100,000 Germans were killed, wounded or captured.
Of the 260 World War II veterans I’ve interviewed, approximately 25 had been part of that mighty conflict.
My goal as an author was to determine how my recording of events with quotes and photos from the vets would be different from all of the other writings.
Then, Harold Bradley came to my rescue. He was born in Elmore City, Oklahoma, and was drafted into the Army in 1944. Harold was assigned to the 740th Tank Battalion and fought at the Bulge.
After the war, Bradley recorded his memories about serving in the Bulge. His posts provide a valued personal point of view:
“A person cannot possibly know how hellish war really is until he or she has been there. the men of the 740th Tank Battalion, most of us boys at the time, were there. We are qualified to speak.”
Harold broke down his memories into a day-by-day account. That gave me the idea of implementing researched items that occurred then into the book, along with the stories told to me by the veterans I had interviewed.
The result is a 150-page volume that includes dozens of photos, many from veterans in the book.
In fact, the cover is a photo of a tank covered in snow— photographed by a veteran standing a few feet away. It is underlaid by the American flag.
Rob Williams always does a great job with www.Ilovemycover.com in creating my covers, especially implementing the American flag on them. That is important to me because I love the flag so much and what it stands for – freedom, self-sacrifice, dedication to one’s country.
The book has other special elements, including entries from a holiday version of the military newspaper, Stars and Stripes. Besides being fact-filled, they are often poignant and humorous.
That will ensure more readers will find the book and learn about these amazing veterans who fought so valiantly for freedom for people around the world more than 75 years ago!
Did you know someone who was in WWII? Where did he or she serve?
Thanks to every veteran and his/her family for their service. We wouldn’t have our freedoms without them.