On 16th December 1944, Hitler launched his ‘last gamble’ in the snow-covered forests and gorges of the Ardennes on the Belgium/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 began 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.
Antony Beevor is the renowned author of Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, and Berlin, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees’ Award. His books have sold nearly four million copies.
Presented in association with the Department of History, Trinity College Dublin.