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The Battle of Saint-Vith and the Potteau Ambush, December 1944 (Hardback)

Military > By Century Military > Reference World History

By Hugues Wenkin
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 150 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036103934
Published: 30th September 2024


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The first days of the Battle of the Bulge saw tactical defeats for several formations of the US army. The Saint-Vith sector was particularly hard hit by the surprise attack that prevailed on the morning of 16 December 1944. Two American units, the 106th Infantry Division and the 14th Cavalry Group, were crushed in front of this small town, which was of vital importance to the German offensive in the Ardennes.

To the north-west of Saint-Vith is a small hamlet consisting of a few houses: Poteau. The area is well known to military history enthusiasts thanks to a series of photographs taken by a German Propaganda Kompagnie, which were later captured by the US Army and have since become famous the world over.

Although this series of photographs was a staging point for a propaganda battle, their frequent appearance in history books on the Ardennes offensive prompted the author to investigate what really happened in this small village on the border between the Ardennes and the German-speaking cantons of Belgium, and how its history is closely linked to the drama of the Battle of Saint-Vith.

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About Hugues Wenkin

Hugues Wenkin, a historian and engineer, has been collaborating with the most important French historical publishers since 2006. Author of numerous monographs and historical studies on mechanised warfare, his works are always based on in-depth archival research. He makes it a point of honour to systematically confront his tactical analyses with a return to the battlefield, while his factual, contrarian approach allows him to see the issues addressed in a new light. As a senior adviser to the editors of the Mook 1944 publications, he renews the genre through a scientific approach and the reinterrogation of primary sources. Hugues is currently preparing a PhD about the Phoney War in Belgium, while his book on V Weapons won a prestigious award from the French army.

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