• Ardennes 1944

  • The Battle of the Bulge
  • By: Antony Beevor
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (495 ratings)

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Ardennes 1944  By  cover art

Ardennes 1944

By: Antony Beevor
Narrated by: Sean Barrett
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Publisher's Summary

The prize-winning historian and best-selling author of D-Day and Stalingrad reconstructs the Battle of the Bulge in this riveting new account.

On December 16, 1944, Hitler launched his "last gamble" in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes in Belgium, believing he could split the Allies by driving all the way to Antwerp and forcing the Canadians and the British out of the war. Although his 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. Many were exultant at the prospect of striking back.

The Allies, taken by surprise, found themselves fighting two panzer armies. Belgian civilians abandoned their homes, justifiably afraid of German revenge. Panic spread even to Paris. While some American soldiers, overwhelmed by the German onslaught, fled or surrendered, others held on heroically, creating breakwaters that slowed the German advance.

The harsh winter conditions and the savagery of the battle became comparable to the Eastern Front. In fact, the Ardennes became the Western Front's counterpart to Stalingrad. There was terrible ferocity on both sides, driven by desperation and revenge, in which the normal rules of combat were breached. The Ardennes - involving more than a million men - would prove to be the battle that finally broke the back of the Wehrmacht.

In this deeply researched work, with striking insights into the major players on both sides, Antony Beevor gives us the definitive account of the Ardennes offensive that was to become the greatest battle of World War II.

©2015 Antony Beevor (P)2015 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“One of the finest narrative military historians now writing.... What makes Ardennes 1944 so effective…is not just the vividness of the prose, the clarity of the author’s presentation of tactical events or his skill at evoking through description and careful quotation the look and even smell of the battlefield. Beevor also does a brilliant job of weaving together the grand operational and the tactical narratives, showing how the decisions of generals do, or do not, shape circumstances on the ground.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“A panoramic and intricately detailed account.” (USA Today)

“[A] searing account.... A salutary reminder of that thin veneer detected by Freud between the civilized and the primitive in each of us. Ardennes 1944 ought to prompt some careful reflection on our modern age.” (The Wall Street Journal)

What listeners say about Ardennes 1944

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Beevor excellent as always

Antony Beevor is a master of his craft and Ardennes 1944 is no exception. He brings to life the leading figures of both sides and sketches the humanity of the rifleman and tanker who fought the battle. Definitely worth the listen.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

In Depth Sequnce Of Battle For Both Sides Flawed By Lunch Drunk Slurred Naration

Ambrose uses characters and situations to convey history. Beevor delivers factual, sequential histories using characters as antectodtes. Both authors are excellent in their styles and this history is in the classic Breevor style: factual, sequential, accurarate. His style and the subject material make for an engaging history. The narration is a fast paced slur that is heavily accented and at times incomprehensible. Buy this as a read...not as a listen.

4 people found this helpful

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Great story. Narration Could Be Better

This is a well written overview of the military history. It also conveys the tragedy of war without exploitation of the sacrifices paid by soldiers and civilians. It would be a solid five stars, except for the frequent and annoying personal impressions the narrator indulges in.

4 people found this helpful

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Not Suitable for Listening

Without the benefits of a map and glossary of German military unit terms, this book was hard to follow as an audiobook. Generally I think it's a good summary of the month-long battle but I got lost at times on where the action was taking place. I think it would be best to read this one instead of listen to it.

4 people found this helpful

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Great Listen

Loved it especially the inclusion of the politics and the first hand stories. Highly recommended if your a fan of the topic.

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderful book

Very interesting and we'll done book. it's filled with facts about what our troops went thru in the Battle. I felt as if I was there with them. Their heroism is indescribable but the author brings it and the troops to life.

2 people found this helpful

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One of the best Bastogne accounts!

This was one of the best accounts if the Battle of Bastogne I've ever read

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing.

I love history, but the main reason I bought this audiobook was because Sean Barrett narrated it. Love his style of narration and accent.

2 people found this helpful

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Good

The story was good, but it repeat facts multiple times. The beginning built up slowly which I enjoyed. The end was abrupt, and didn't fit the style of the rest of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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Another great one from Beevor

Fantastic overview of one of the most bitter struggles on the Western Front. Of particular interest to this reader was the presentation of the impacts the offensive had on the civilian population. Well done.

2 people found this helpful