Aachen – Book Review
Aachen: The U.S. Army’s Battle for Charlemagne’s City in World War II by Robert W. Baumer (Stackpole Books, 2015). Baumer’s outstanding new examination of “Bloody Aachen” details all of the horrific October 2-21, 1944 battle fought by GIs to capture the first major German city in World War II’s European Theater.With the formidable defenses of the ancient city and its surrounding area fully incorporated into the Germans’ daunted Siegfried Line fortifications, Hitler ordered Aachen defended “to the last man and bullet.” The author describes how GIs endured, then triumphed, in the “brutal fields of death” created by the street-to-street, building-to-building urban combat.
Jerry D. Morelock, PhD, Colonel, U.S. Army ret. is the former Editor in Chief of Armchair General magazine. Currently, he is Editor at Large, World History Group (historynet.com). His latest book is “Generals of the Bulge: Leadership in the U.S. Army’s Greatest Battle” (Stackpole Books, March 2015).