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A GI In The Ardennes (ePub)

The Battle of the Bulge

Military > Pre-WWI > American History WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Battle of the Bulge

By Denis Hambucken
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 40.6 MB (.epub)
Pages: 144
Illustrations: 200
ISBN: 9781526756190
Published: 3rd March 2020


£4.99 Print price £25.00

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A GI In the Ardennes focuses on the human experience during wartime. What was life like for a regular American soldier who gave his life to combat fascism?

By immersing himself in historical documents, hundreds of letters and several interviews from that period of time, Denis Hambucken managed to accurately reconstruct the daily life of an American soldier in impressive detail. The author takes a closer look at the weapons, equipment and personal belongings of the soldiers who fought at the Western front, while sharing numerous personal anecdotes and moving stories.

A very good introduction to the battle for the general reader, and definitely of interest to those who are already familiar with the story.

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WW2 Today

“A GI in the Ardennes” is well researched and an interesting read, which will no doubt inspire fellow collectors, rewarding them on nearly each and every page. I personally love the great M1 helmets shots. However, it is not just a visual museum but an ideal book to quickly get to grips with the Battle of the Bulge. Having said that, it should not be read too quickly but instead fully appreciated and enjoyed. For what the book offers the price seems very reasonable indeed.

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The OCAD Collection

While a particularly valuable book for those who are unfamiliar with the campaign and military life and service in the Second World War, even serious students of the war will find much of interest in Hambucken's latest effort.

The NYMAS Review

This superbly illustrated book tells this story through a collection of artefacts – documents, uniforms, equipment, weapons and photographs – assembled by the author over several years. It is a remarkable insight into every aspect of the GI’s experience, from the weapons they used to the condoms that were issued to protect them from venereal diseases.

The photographs are superb, those of the weapons and equipment among the best I have seen, and these are complemented and given meaning by the interviews the author has carried out with former GIs, nurses, tank crew and Belgian civilians. These providing a fascinating insights and the photos of these now elderly individuals alongside the clothes they wore and equipment they used seventy-five years ago is very evocative.

I very much enjoyed this book: it’s beautifully produced and offers a fresh perspective on this well- known aspect of the history of World War II. Very highly recommended.

Military Modelcraft International, June 2020 - reviewed by David Grummitt

As featured on WW2 Talk

WW2 Talk

Essential visual documentation in our library dedicated to World War II.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

The book has all the appearance of the beautifully illustrated titles we have seen coming out of continental Europe in recent years and Pen & Sword have been wise to pick this one out for translation. Mr Hambucken is from Belgium, but now resides in the USA where he has access to veterans and records to research.

The book takes the form of pen portraits or, perhaps, vignettes, of events, background info, weapons and equipment and the ephemera of the battle. The history is largely well known; so there is no need to repeat it here.

Each section includes one or two paragraphs of text and any number of superb illustrations, be they new photographs or contemporary images. This serves to make for an entertaining book that fits the bill for my favourite format, whereby the reader can either crunch through it from cover to cover or take their time over instalments.

I really like this book. There are some superb snippets of information mixed in with top quality design and photography. I would suggest this is an ideal purchase for younger history buffs or anyone seeking a flavour of the Bulge before diving into the big narratives.

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War History Online

A combination of descriptive text and lavish illustration, mostly in full colour, makes this innovative review of GIs in the Battle of the Bulge a very desirable book. In telling the story, the author incorporates reminiscences of veterans and local civilians, including photographs of them at the time of interview. – Highly Recommended.

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This extremely well illustrated book covers just about every aspect you could think of about the GI during this period. From arms and uniform through training, weapons qualification, immunisation, gas masks, censorship of mail, tents, M2 Flamethrower, Medics, underwear, rations, the PX, repple depples and the USO.

The subject matter is extensive and I found it an entertaining and interesting read.

It's very comprehensive and there are personal memories from GIs and civilians. A must have book for reenactors, war gamers and authors.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

What makes this book so outstanding is that combines excellent photographs of original artifacts (many types I have never seen before) with testimonies of veterans and Belgian civilians. You might think that the author is uncritical of the GIs, considering his deep passion for their artifacts. Well, there are actually several passages that are critical, moving and surprising.

Briefly put, I would say that Denis Hambucken has set a new standard for WWII books. The Ardennes aside, this is one of the best WWII books I have ever come across.

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Lars Gyllenhaal

I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the Battle of the Bulge. It is ultimately a testimony, as so many WWII books are about the soldiers’ experiences. Social military history enthusiasts will gain something from it, however, as will reenactors, modellers, and wargamers looking for uniform and equipment details. It is also an entertaining read made for dipping in and out.

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GoodReads, Robert Neil Smith

It is a different and interesting way of looking at the events of the Battle of the Bulge and what it meant for people to live/survive through some terrible days. Some of the topics it covers might easily be glossed over in any study or the battle whereas this one really does get down into the day to day necessities of living and fighting through a battle amidst severe weather. I think modellers, historians and re-enactors will enjoy this for the detail it provides, alongside the personal accounts of those who had to live through it all.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

Denis Hambucken creates a book that is a joy for the eyes, which makes you smile for the happy stories and the character of the GI struggling with a war very far from home, which makes us think of the waste of human lives for a counteroffensive decided by Hitler almost at war ended and the German forces that never recovered from that defeat, which makes us wonder at the ingenuity or simply by the enormous productive capacity of the American forces. A book that is a must for anyone who wants to know well what was the epic of Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge.

Read the full Italian review here

On The Old Barbed Wire

The book contains a number of interviews with the servicemen involved and their families, we also see lots of pictures of their kit, rations, vehicles, weapons, uniforms, paperwork and so much more. It really is a comprehensive and fantastic well written book that I found to be a brilliant read and one of the best so far this year. Congratulations to the author Denis Hambucken and the publishers Pen and Sword who have written and collected together a huge array of pictures and work that really does do a brilliant job. 5 stars out of 5. This book will definitely be read and re-read by myself.

UK Historian

Featured 'ON THE BOOK SHELF' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, October 2019

The author has built a comprehensive and informative book that uses a series of explanations of everyday objects, uniform and equipment, personal accounts and informed military history to describe the lot of the GI in the Ardennes. It breaks down the text into individual subjects and is well supported by the excellent images. Ideal to dip into as a refence book and just a plain good read. Recommended.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Denis Hambucken

Denis Hambucken is an author, photographer, illustrator and graphic designer with a passion for history. Originally from Belgium, and living in the United States, he regularly returns to the Ardennes, and travels across the United States to gather testimonies, documents and photos.

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