Battle of the Bulge

Included here:

1. Materials Focused on Intelligence and the Battle of the Bulge

2. Broader Works with Content on the Battle of the Bulge


1. Materials Focused on Intelligence and the Battle of the Bulge

Ambrose, Stephen E. "The Bulge." MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History 1, no. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1989): 22-33.

The author argues that Allied intelligence, including Ultra, did not warn of the German attack.

Arnold, Joseph C. "Omens and Oracles (Past Intelligence Failures)." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Aug. 1980, 47-53.

According to Sexton, the author covers the German Ardennes offensive of 1944, the Chinese intervention in Korea in 1950, and the Soviet deployment of missiles in Cuba in 1961.

Austra, Kevin. "Battle of the Bulge: The Secret Offensive." Military Intelligence 17, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1991): 26-33.

The Germans achieved surprise in the Ardennes in 1944 because Allied intelligence failed to provide an unambiguous warning of an impending attack.

Baker, Bob. "Warning Intelligence: The Battle of the Bulge and the NVN Easter Offensive." American Intelligence Journal 17, no. 3/4 (1997): 71-79.

The author compares and discusses the role of warning intelligence in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 and the North Vietnamese Easter Offensive of 1972. He concludes: "Though the location, numbers and types of forces were not the same, the command assumptions, the weather and the use and misuse of intelligence had almost the same catastrophic effects in both clashes....

"In studies of both campaigns, analysts and historians often cite the failure of intelligence to properly inform and alert the commanders of enemy intentions and capabilities as the chief reason for the successful 'surprise' achieved by the assaults. Upon closer examination, the 'cause' lies elsewhere.... 'It was not intelligence (evaluated information of the enemy) that failed. The failure was the commanders and certain G-2's, who did not act on the intelligence they had,' stated one of Patton's subordinates regarding the Bulge. It could just as easily have been written about Easter offensive of 1972."

Barth, W.M. Battle of the Bulge: Intelligence Lessons for Today. Carlisle Barracks, PA: Army War College, 1993.

Surveillant 3.4/5: "In the weeks leading up to the battle, many of the intelligence indicators were available to the Allies. What they did with this information to come to the wrong conclusions is the subject of this paper."

Callahan, Raymond. "No Real Surprise Here." Military History 8 (Oct. 1991): 74-79.

According to Sexton, the author discusses "four strategic surprises achieved by Axis forces...: the conquest of Norway, the thrust through the Ardennes, the invasion of Russia and the attack at Pearl Harbor. Each event is assessed in [a] context of extant intelligence and preconceptions."

Cochran, Alexander S., Jr. "Failure at the Bulge." Military History 1 (Dec. 1984): 43-49.

Sexton identifies this as an interview with Charles B. MacDonald, author of A Time for Trumpets, who calls the Battle of the Bulge "the most abysmal failure of battlefield intelligence in the history of the U.S. Army."

Dupuy, Trevor N., David L. Bongard, and Richard C. Anderson, Jr. Hitler's Last Gamble: The Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.

From publisher: "Drawn from research conducted by a team of military experts under the direction of historian Trevor Dupuy, this book is the most complete and detailed account of the Battle of the Bulge ever written, covering all aspects of the campaign on both sides." Taylor, Booklist (via, finds that "Dupuy and his co-writers unfold minute-by-minute the German units' progress, loss of impetus, and repulse. The prodigious amount of detail does yield some revisions -- that fighting around St. Vith, rather than Bastogne (famed for the 'Nuts!' retort to a German surrender demand), turned the tide in favor of the Americans."

Hobar, Basil J. "Ardennes 1944: Intelligence Failure or Deception Success?" Military Intelligence 10, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1984): 8-16.

Kirkpatrick, Lyman B., Jr. Captains Without Eyes: Intelligence Failures in World War II. New York: Macmillan, 1969. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1969.

Clark comment: This book presents cases studies of Barbarossa, Pearl Harbor, Dieppe, Arnhem, and the Battle of the Bulge. According to Pforzheimer, much of this "is now more comprehensively presented by later declassified information." Similarly, Constantinides refers readers to more recent accounts of each of the failures Kirkpatrick discusses.

MacDonald, Charles B. Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge. New York: Morrow, 1985.

According to Sexton, the author "carefully explores the failure of Allied intelligence to correctly 'read' the signs of the impending attack."

Nobecourt, Jacques. Tr., R. H. Barry. Hitler's Last Gamble: The Battle of the Bulge. New York: Schocken. 1967. New York: Belmont Tower Books, 1980. [pb] Hitler's Last Gamble: The Battle of the Ardennes. London: Chatto & Windus, 1967.

Kirkus Review (1967): The hero in this work "is Eisenhower, whose reputation was at stake both then ... and now." The author's "portraits of Churchill, Patton, and other leaders merit attention.... Nobecourt concludes that Eisenhower did not significantly prolong the war or add to the Russians' bargaining edge. A consistently engrossing book which will convert new WWII buffs and reward serious students."

Whiting, Charles. Ardennes: The Secret War. New York: Stein & Day, 1985.

Sexton calls this a "popular history of covert ... operations during the Battle of the Bulge. Whiting concludes that Allied commanders were over reliant on intelligence from ULTRA."

Winton, Harold R. "The Battle of the Bulge." Military Review 75, no. 1 (1994-1995): 107-115, 118-123.


2. Broader Works with Content on the Battle of the Bulge

Bradley, Omar N.

1. Bradley: A Soldier's Story. New York: Rand McNally, 1951.

2. and Clay Blair. A General's Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983.

Petersen notes that Bradley's memoirs contain "[m]any references to the use of Ultra." Sexton comments that Bradley "did not regard" Ultra "as the oracle of Delphi."

Eisenhower, Dwight D. Crusade in Europe. New York: Doubleday, 1943.

Farago, Ladislas. Patton: Ordeal and Triumph. New York: Dell, 1963.

Patton, George S., Jr. War As I Knew It. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1975.

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