Amid scorched earth and bitter cold, a madman’s last gambit is launched. Caught by surprise, the Allies must fight a desperate battle with everything at stake: the closing act of World War II in Europe.
No Less Than Victory concludes the trilogy of historical fiction that Jeff Shaara began with The Rising Tide and continued in The Steel Wave. It is now mid-December 1944; the German military is on the verge of collapse, and the Allies believe that victory is close at hand. Though some in his inner circle urge surrender, Hitler remains convinced that the German race is destined to triumph, and he devises a new plan: a surprise counter-offensive in the snow-covered mountains and forests of the Ardennes, designed to split the Allied armies and recapture the vital port of Antwerp. It is the opening salvo of what will be some of the most brutal combat of the war – the Battle of the Bulge.
Shaara imagines the conversations behind closed doors at Allied command, listening as legendary generals like Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and Montgomery clash over strategy and react to news from the battlefield. He also ducks into Hitler’s bunker, where Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt and Albert Speer plead for peace before there is no Germany left – and the Führer himself drifts further into a world of madness, methamphetamines, and Wagner records. But it is the “mud-level” perspectives of young GIs like Pvt. Eddie Benson and Sgt. John Buckley that carry most of the narrative – through the fighting in the Ardennes, over the German border, and toward the horrifying discoveries that lie ahead at the concentration camps of Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau.
Jeff Shaara is the author of several best-selling works of military historical fiction, including Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure, which completed the Civil War trilogy that began with his father’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels. He is also the author of Jeff Shaara’s Civil War Battlefields.
DVD 2010-02-04: Jeff Shaara
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