Two historically valuable books dealing specifically with the Ardennes Campaign are: Robert E. Merriam's Dark December (New York: Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, 1947) and John Toland's Battle: The Story of the Bulge (New York: Random House, 1959). Merriam's work subsequently was reprinted in a paperback edition under the title The Battle of the Bulge (New York: Ballantine Books, 1957). These two interesting and useful books show quite different approaches to the story. Merriam, while in the U.S. Army, participated in the task of organizing materials for a future Army history of the Ardennes Campaign and subsequently made use of these documents in his own work. Toland, who wrote his volume on the basis of extensive interviews with veterans of the campaign, stresses the human interest aspects of the battle.
There is a surprising dearth of published memoir literature from officers in a position of command during this operation. In part this lacuna is filled by the very large body of unit histories compiled by the American divisions, regiments, and even battalions, which fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Extensive collection of unit histories will be found in the New York Public Library, the Army Library (Washington, D.C.), and the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army.
The bulk of the American documents used as source material in the present volume, as well as microfilm of the pertinent German documents, are in the keeping of the National Archives, or in the Office of the Chief of Military History. Much of the source material is in the form of reports made during or after battle by approximately 1,600 Army units in the European Theater of Operations. The story of this monumental effort in research and acquisition has been written by Royce L. Thompson, in his History of the Historical Section, ETO (May 1947), a manuscript in OCMH files. The American combat interviews, on which the author has drawn so freely, can be found listed in a manuscript Catalogue of Combat Interviews maintained by OCMH.
Most of the historical manuscripts prepared by German officers who took part in the Ardennes Campaign are catalogued in the Guide to Foreign Military Studies, 1945-54, published by Headquarters, U.S. Army, Europe, Historical Division, in 1954. Since this publication, there have been a few additions to the German manuscript collection and these are catalogued by OCMH. The history of the early attempts to trace German officers who served in the Ardennes, transfer them from prison cells, and elicit their cooperation as historians makes fascinating reading. Brig. Gen. S. L. A. Marshall has given a brief sketch of this venture in his introduction to The Fatal Decisions, edited by Seymour Freidin and William Richardson (New York: William Sloane Associates, 1956). A full and dramatic account of the attempt to obtain German cooperation has been written by one of the main actors in this little-known episode, then Maj. Kenneth
W. Hechler. His manuscript is entitled The Enemy Side of the Hill: The 1945 Background on the Interrogation of German Commanders (Historical Division, Special Staff, U.S. Army, 30 July 1949). Finally, any student who delves deeply into the U.S. Army operations in western Europe during World War II must come inevitably to the Order of Battle of the United States Army, World War II, European Theater of Operations: Divisions, prepared under the direction of Capt. Robert J. Greenwald and Chief Warrant Officer Meyer M. Cahn in the Office of the Theater Historian, ETO (Paris, 1945).
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