Try our newest plan – access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Plus plan is $7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

December 1944: Deep in the Ardennes forest, a platoon of 18 men under the command of 20-year-old lieutenant Lyle Bouck huddle in their foxholes. Under attack and vastly outnumbered, they repulse three German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing more than 500 Germans. 

Only when Bouck's men run out of ammunition do they surrender. As POWs, Bouck's platoon experience an ordeal far worse than combat: trigger-happy German guards, Allied bombing raids, and a daily ration of thin soup. Somehow, the men of Bouck's platoon all miraculously survive. 

Alex Kershaw brings to life the story of America's most decorated small unit of the war, and one of the most inspiring stories in American history.

©2004 Alex Kershaw (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Longest Winter

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,015
  • 4 Stars
    248
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    947
  • 4 Stars
    178
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    934
  • 4 Stars
    197
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story, Great Narration...Captivating

Author Alex Kershaw is a wonderful storyteller, making you feel right alongside the combatants in the battles. I especially like how he provides perspectives from the other side as well. This particular Kershaw book tells of one particular outfit’s participation in the first few days of the Battle of the Bulge. It starts with their formation and training in the US, their time in the UK before shipping out, and what happens after the Bulge...all in his excellent writing style. But, this book isn’t quite as good as his D-Day book (First Wave) nor his Italian Campaign book (The Liberator), nor for that matter Avenue of Spies or The Few. Those are awesome, this one is very good, just a notch below. The narrator, Grover Gardner, is excellent and a pleasure to listen to. My goal was to listen to this an hour each night before sleep...instead I’ve been bleary-eyed in the mornings from not being able to stop listening. Kershaw is the best of the WWII storytellers, by a mile!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

FANTASTIC story - must read!!

I read this book after playing several different military (board) games modeling various stages of the Battle of the Bulge and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a riveting account of the heroic deeds of the 99th Infantry Division, critically delaying the 6th Panzer Army (much to Rommel's excessive frustration) and paving the way for the Allies' progress through France.

The story is fantastic. On the first morning of the Battle of the Bulge, a unit of 18 men led by a 20 year old Lieutenant held off an entire German battalion of over 600 men during a 20-hour-long fight, inflicting between 400 and 500 casualties on the Germans. Eventually captured as POWs, their contribution to the Allies' victory was recognized in 1981 by President Carter.

For WWII history buffs, military history buffs, and people who enjoy stories about a group of people bonding with each other against adversity, this is a GREAT book. I highly recommend!!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

More Proof of why they are called the Greatest Generation, so young so brave so tough and what miracles.

This story is slow getting started with so many characters and little story’s going one to another and so many to keep track of but once the war gets started it only gets better as it goes only much sadness for them all and all one can say was it was a miracle from God that many made it alive and I had no idea that the battle of the bulge had hero’s and as young as this and my heart goes out to them for what they did for their Country.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slowing the German advance.

This book is really a look at a single small US military formation - how it was formed, who its members were, how they ended up in front of the strongest German attack on the Western Front, how their actions blunted the German advance long enough for the Allied military to move troops to blunt the attack and how life was in the POW camps they ended up in. As with all of Mr Kershaw's books on World War II it is well written, informative and interesting. It is also something I rarely see in books on World War II in that it shows what life was like for US soldiers who had been taken prisoner during the fighting.

I have read other books on The Battle of the Bulge but none that described what this single platoon faced, or how their efforts held up the German advance for a day, thus providing time for the Allied command to reposition soldiers to stop the effort to get to Antwerp, nor how the platoon was never given credit for its heroic effort until long after the war. Mr Kershaw says that this platoon is the most decorated in the US Army, and that is undoubtably true, but only in the book do you find out that those decorations only occurred long after the war, and only because of the publicity of their heroics forced the US to change the rules regarding awarding of medals.

While the entire book is interesting what I found fascinating was the description of what life was like for Allied POWs. Of all of the books I have read on the European Theater of World War II few have had anything to say about the life of soldiers in a German POW camp, and none describe it as well or as fully as this book.

A very good book, well narrated and well worth listening to.



2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Focuses on the men in the platoon

First of all, anything read by Grover Gardner is well worth listening to. I learned the basics of the Battle of the Bulge — from both sides, even that of Hitler and his staff — and got a vivid sense of what the battle was like, especially in its earliest days, for the GIs caught up in it. I just want to point out that the focus of this very admiring account is mainly on the heroic individuals in this specific platoon, from their training days in the U.S. to their various experiences after being captured — including horrendous suffering in German boxcars and prison camps, and even including, by way of epilogue, some account of their lives after the war: their careers, reunions, and struggle for proper recognition of the key part they'd played in holding up, for a crucial day or two, the German advance.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Excellent telling of a part the Battle of the Bulge that I was unaware occurred.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story

This was a very well read book, I love WW2 stories of these brave individuals.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Greatest Generatiom

Great Book; along with other great books about the Battle of the Bulge this book is a must. What one small unit did to wreak havoc on a superior force is textbook in its approach. But what truly made it work, made it successful was the grit and determination of the unit as a whole. Fantastic reading and I highly recommend this book to anyone.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not worth it. Nazi sympathizer author

the book overall is not too bad. it covers first hand accounts of the American troops involved. there is a shallow theme of the author sympathizing with the Nazis involved throughout almost like he felt bad for them even a happy tone that so many murderous Nazi officers survived the war and got away with their crimes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Better than the general’ s version

These is from the people on the front line that don’t have publishes to toot the horn for attention. Thanks for historians the want to get history right. Not what is popular and assumed.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mr Edward c Gowlett
  • mr Edward c Gowlett
  • 06-26-19

An interesting story tarnished with US sentimentality

I thought this was the story of the Battle of the Bulge but more accurately it follows the tale of a single US Platoon who, through a series of unforgivable mistakes suffer quite severely. This would have been very interesting, if still harrowing, but for Kershaw’s slightly ridiculous bias. As a former Army officer, one of the closing statements which was something like “the single greatest tactical manoeuvre of the Second World War” to describe a string of errors and resultant suffering made me laugh out loud!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mcfontaine
  • mcfontaine
  • 08-17-21

A brilliant read

Such an amazingly detailed account of not just the units famous action, but their 2nd struggle after capture.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-23-22

Riveting account of leadership & endurance in WW2

A superb account of a small but outstandingly brave group of young men who stood their ground against incredible odds and their subsequent terrible ordeal as POWs. Finally got the recognition they deserved

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David Sinclair
  • David Sinclair
  • 05-24-22

Great story

Well told story from training, battle, to capture, to liberation. An eyeopening account. A must listen to account.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Aoife McCullough
  • Aoife McCullough
  • 02-22-22

A Thrilling Tale

A great retelling of one platoons story. It is incredibly fascinating to hear from the perspective of the platoon in such great detail. I really felt for the first time I partly understood what a POW went through from capture to release.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Clive
  • Clive
  • 02-09-22

Disappointing

Thick with jargon of the worst kind and written like tabloid story. We were told the mission to rescue the POWs (am not going to use the Kriegie term} was one of the wars greatest operations. Just that the author failed to give any details.

Poorly written, lazy research, not recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peter R.
  • Peter R.
  • 01-19-22

Well worth a listen

Well written and well read a fascinating story that I was totally unaware of and I pride myself on my knowledge of the world wars!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-25-22

Brilliant

This is a heart wrenching story of endurance, friendship and sacrifice. The narrator does an incredible job of conveying the hardship that the main players in the book endure. Well written and have already started another book narrated by Grover Gardner and will definitely search for more by the author.