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Editor reviews

In complete and unabridged historical audiobook, Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble, written by military historian Antony Beevor and narrated by British voice actor Sean Barrett, informs the listener on one of the largest battles of the Second World War, The Ardennes. It has been extremely well-researched by Beevor. Hear about the battle between Hitler’s Wehrmacht Army and the Russian Red Army that led to the divide of Berlin. This book is both hugely informative and deeply moving as over a million men fought for the protection of their families on both sides of a war in its final defeat. Available now from Audible.

Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beever, read by Sean Barrett.

On 16 December 1944, Hitler launched his last gamble in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes on the Belgian/German border.

Although Hitler's generals were doubtful of success, younger officers and NCOs were desperate to believe that their homes and families could be saved from the vengeful Red Army approaching from the east. The Ardennes offensive, with more than a million men involved, became the greatest battle of the war in Western Europe.

In January 1945, when the Red Army launched its onslaught towards Berlin, the once-feared German war machine was revealed to be broken beyond repair. The Ardennes was the battle which finally broke the Wehrmacht.

©2015 Anthony Beevor (P)2015 Penguin Books Limited

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  • Mr.
  • Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 06-07-15

Very good indeed.

This is an excellent listen. Sean Barrett is a very fine narrator whose splendid command of language always pleases, and Antony Beevor takes a subject which has become generally reduced to narratives of the siege of Bastogne and explores it in its entirety. A skilful introduction outlines the state of the war in the west, putting the german attack into context, and introduces all the major players before describing the battle's events in a clear and stimulating manner. Hard to fault and much to enjoy.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Antony Beevor wins again

Antony Beevor has a unique method of reeling you in , I first read his book Stalingrad and was instantly hooked on his narrative which made a factual story read like a great novel .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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From Bastogne to Hell and back

Excellent account of one of the most famous offensives of WWII. Excellently read of course from a great narrator. I've doubted the U.S. for a long time but will always be thankful of the major part they played in the final push. Bravo Beevor.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Louisa
  • United Kingdom
  • 27-05-16

Great

Classic - excellent and compelling Beevor. He really knows how to build momentum and suspense (without any pretentious quotes or other distractions). Like a Bruckner symphony.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe
  • Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • 18-12-15

Detailed and absorbing

I'd been meaning to read both Antony Beevor and Max Hastings for quite some time and in fact I read a Hastings book first and found it to be a little dry. Maybe I'm wrong but I think that any male with an interest in the WW2 also has a technical interest in the vehicles, weapons and equipment used; or at least I do. Beevor's books seem to contain the interesting detail so notably absent in Max Hastings books, which I think is important. There's a rich technical history to accompany the historical events and this helps you understand the arms race and the technical as well as personal difficulties encountered by all sides. I found Ardennes 1944 to be incredibly well researched and the main historical thread is interlaced with interesting facts and individual tales of personal heroism and tragedy. Oh, and it's read by the master, Sean Barrett so what more could you want.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Last Gamble

Another thoughtful and well researched WW2 history from Antony Beevor. This brings to life the chaotic winter campaign in the Ardennes where all sides were susceptible to the fog of confusion.
Atrocities - on both sides - are frankly discussed and put into historical context.
The last chapter discusses the strategic consequences of the campaign, arguing that the miscalculation of Hitler in the campaign, led directly to the rapid collapse on the Eastern front between January and May 1945. The consequences for military and post war relations between British and Americans are also fairly discussed.

Superbly read by Sean Barrett

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Thought Provoking

The battle of the bulge is told in all its awful honesty. The realism of what actually occurred is brought to the fore . Very thought provoking.

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  • Andrew
  • Bedfordview, South Africa
  • 26-03-18

Rather buy the Kindle / Paperback version

This extraordinarily detailed account was (in my mind) largely wasted in an Audio Book format. Without the maps that come in the book, much of the detail - both geography and movements of the various military units - became a confusing string of places and unit names without context. Perhaps a student of the history of WWII would be better able to decipher and picture the unfolding of the battle - unfortunately I was not.

That said, I found the narrative detailing life on the front fascinating and grim - experiences and scenes that are unimaginable in our lives today.

I ended up abandoning the book half-way through, but would certainly turn to a paperback - thoroughly enjoyed Beevor's Stalingrad in that format.

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Good listen

Could have a better narrator. Overall very detailed. Being's through the horrors of war and leaves you feeling how dreadful it must have been

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Well read and very informative.

very well read and informative. The hour drive to and from work passed quickly. Great!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-04-16

Amazing book

Concise and emotional study of the battle of the bulge. Highly recommended to all history buffs.

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  • Eusebius
  • 27-09-15

Difficult to follow

While I enjoyed Beevor WWII account, I found this audiobook impossible to follow. It was all a succession of grim anecdotes, and I could not make sense of what was happening at the strategic level.