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tv   Book Discussion on Ardennes 1944  CSPAN  December 25, 2015 2:30pm-3:46pm EST

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characterizing reagan another optimistic, so great, that was the sewers of his greatness and i say, no, actually, i don't think he was that optimistic. he was a sunny natured person but not sentimental or childish about human nature or human institutions. ...
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>> we have probably one of the best authorities on world war ii talk to us. antony beevor was educated in
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winchester and studied under john kegan. he was in the military but after five years he left the army to begin writing about soldiers and war. he has published four novels, 11 books of non-fiction. his works have appeared in more than 30 foreign language and sold more than six and a half million copies. he has been called the best-selling historian of the era. his book on the battle of normandy receiveded the westminster medal. you look at his books on world war ii whatever it is all of them garner awards because of the word he did. his latest book was published in
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may and went straight to number one in the sunday times best-seller list and stayed there for five weeks. he is former chairman of the society of authors. he received an honorary doctorate. he is a visiting professor at the university of kent. please join me in welcoming antony beevor. >> thank you. after the liberation of paris at the end of august in 1994, allies raced into belgium and toward the german frontier. they were falling into holland
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and germany. american british and canadian jerneerals were convinced this was just like the german army's collapse in the late summer of 1818. in mid-september the attempt to jump the ryan by capturing the bridge and the others leading to it. field marshall montgomery was obsessed with the idea of being the first to cross over the rhine. montgomery posessed a complacency. his staff was amused by the conviction that general bradley liked him when in fact bradley loathed him. the british press clamored him
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to become commander of all ground forces over bradley and montgomery pushed toward telling the supreme commander on many occasions if he had been listened to he would have won the war already. eisenhower was outraged at montgomery's behavior. this turned into a disaster. success depended on everything
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going to plan and on the germans wrecking everything. he ignored the old rule no plan survives contact with the enemy. and general murder was putting the back army into the west. and the allies underestimated the german army's capacity to recover from defeat. american and british and canadian armies found themselves bottled down in mud. it was like thick glue, dark brown and deep it was record ed. so deep when we try to go off the field a jeep gets stuck and we send another jeep to pull it out. in the end we need a tank battalion to come over and pull out the jeeps. it is humilitating as well as
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tiring. general courtney is the unspiring person who commanded the first army and decided to go toward the river and then rhine through some of the most hostile territory on the whole of the eastern front. the forest was a mountain span of dense pine wood with oak and beach and posture on top of the broadway ridges. before the noise of war dominated its area of peace the sounds you could hear were the wind and trees and the buzzards circling above. the forest had all too many slopes. the pine forest was so dense and so dark that it seemed curse as
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if it were in some fairy tail of on ogre. mean thought they were intruded and conversed in whispers as if the forest was listening. at night anyone leaving their fox hole had to wait sometimes until down to figure out where they are. both sides suffered from the chilly rains. even when it wasn't pouring the trees dripped and rusty ammunition caused problems and uniforms and boots rotted. being sent back to some hospital sounds like a special kind of heaven for us. guys caught sleeping in their wet sock and boots hoping and playing. most of us considered loosing a few toes is a small price to pay if we get to snuggle into the a
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bed. constitution mental and physical were needed in such conditions especially when the snow starteded falling at the higher altitudes. men over 30 are too old to stand out in combat position and men under 20 are not sufficiently matured d. the vast majority of replacements unfortunately were over 30 over under 20. just before dawn, with the first infantry division, a large group hit us. i tried to hold on to the group saying stay in your fox hole or you may get killed. this was the first time i saw battlefield panic and understood getting shell shocked. isolation in the forest was dang
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dangerous. three german soldiers stripped a badly bounded american of his possessions and placed a large booby-trap under him that would explode any moment he moved. he laid motionless for three days and three nights hardly sleeping so he could warn of the charge. he had just enough strength to speak when we was found. as the fighting in the forest ground on both sides relied more and more on aritarily and the result was a nightmare of trees dashed and sliced by shell fire motors. bodies mangled, burnt out carcasses of vehicles, ammunition containers, ration
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path, gas mask, and other items abandoned because of their weight. the german core commander admitted in the wet and intense cold his men too suffered from hypothermia, frost bite and illness. yet motor rounds caused the largest proportion of wounded on both sides. many said it was worse than fighting in the first world war. general miles called it a death mill. ernest hemmingway having atta attached himself to the 22nd infantry witnessed the scenes of slow, mud and smashed pines and he said it was passion with tree birth. hemmingway armed with a machine
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gun despite a recent inquiry into his illegal activity was carrying two canteens as well. he demonstrated his own sillyness under fire and took part in one battle. journ journalism was not high on his priorities. hemmingway referred to hillself as hemorrhoid the poor man's pile. but he studied the men around them and their combat under fire because he was determined to write the great american novel of the war. as his biographer observed ernest glowed seeing officers and men. he was fascinated by the nature of courage and the views about a man's breaking point.
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jd salinger, a little more than a mile away, continued to write short stories throughout the whole battle. this intense writing, which includeded part of catcher and the rye, helped his own psychological collapse until the end of the war. combat exhaustion, the word for neuro breakdown, happened rapidly. after five days up there you would talk to the trees. on the sixth you start getting answers back. one of general bradley's members wrote the young battalion members were as near gibbering
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idiots you can get without getting locked up. in the morning it is different than the evening. the new commanders divide for a short time and men never learn their names. well, some of the veterans from the fighting in normandy enjoyed trips back to paris. a constant stream was sent forward to the holding camp. many older many were reassigned to different battalions as well. just about the only improvement was to change the name and placement to take away the impression they were just
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filling boots. this did little good. the person in charge of replacement showed little care. this resembled a reflection of the veterans returning from the hospital. they recounted weird and gruesome tales of fighting at the front. we received too many men not fit for combat. replacements are not mentally prepared for combat as one person inquiring if they were using live ammunition on the front. these green troops bunched together offering an easy target. when a machine gun opened up they would throw themselves flat on the ground when the safest
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course was to run as fast as possible toward the enemy. replacements were sometimes treated little better than expendable slaves and the whole system read a cinism that was just sad. it was written the sergeant said they ought to shoot the replacements at the beginning and it would save time. hemmingway repeated a similar writing saying the breakdown in the marriage would never acknowledge the other as the source. the reason for the german's desperate defense of the forest through october, november and into early december was simple. it was just the north of the ardennes where hitler planned
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operation miss. four days before the offensive was due to begin hitler summoned to his underground bucker in the west called divisional commanders. the attack had to be carried through with the greatest brutality. now human inhibitions must take place. it was focused on a city. the saveragery of the fighting and the terrible weather conditions certainly complicated comparisons at the time. the german onslaught caught the americans totally unprepared. the allies could not imagine the germans were capable of ass assembling two pounds of army and an infantry army for a major
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event without them realizing. that could hardly be the font of knowledge if the radio has been silenced. intelligence made the mistake of putting themselves in the shoes of the commander and chief west to examine options from his point of view. it is also an error to judge the enemy by yourself. they should put their minds in the mind of hitler. hitler to the despair of his most senior commanders would not tolerate any opposition to his plan. this was to break out through
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the forest of the ardennes and charge west across the river and swing north to take brussels. this would cut off the british and canadians in the north and force another clark. the single truth was he preferred a wild gamble to the relentless crushing of german military might from the east and from the west. success depended on creating the shock and horror of brutality in the surprise attack and maintaining the momentum. hitler put his faith in the army commanded by deteric. hitler mapped out all of the routes himself even without realizing the roads in the ardennes were tiny and the ground was water logs. the tanks chewed up the ground and the trucks could hardly follow as a result.
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hitler's greatest mistake was to underestimate the u.s. army and its command structure. firstly, he assumed general eisenhower would have to consult with washington and london before reacting. b but he was determined to hold the german forward of the march. secondly, hitler failed to appreciate the vast potential of the united states army and its organization to bring in reinforcements and ship fuel supplies out of the threatened area. thirdly and perhaps most importantly hitler despised the u.s. army. although the shock created panic
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among the units stretched along the ardennes they held key villages and cross roads with determination and courage the germans didn't expect. this wrecked the german time table. the cinematic version of the ardennes has always tried to imply it was the allied air forces that won the battle once the skies cleared the arrival of the so-called russian high.
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i enjoy writing about this later on. let me put in my words here. the initial reaction of the commanders were very good once they got over the shock of the surprise. they were selected as vital to delay the advance. general geroh was the key feature to create and hold the northern shoulder. he was lucky that dete rick didn't ignore hitler's instruction and kept the force do is the further side rather than swing around to the north. the southern shoulder was taken care of by the fourth division.
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montgomery wasted no time moving even before eisenhower gave him the word to control the area. it was the counter attack after christmas when things didn't go too well. patton and bradley were too impatient in those weather conditions. patton was more practical in his approach. patton wanted to charge up the german frontier to cut off the bulge from the case. bradley's judgment was seriously affected by the humilitation he felt at eisenhower's decision to
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give mont plgomery the title. and bradley was worried about there would be in inquiry and he would be held responsible. others wanted an immediate attack to crash out the bulge. they were are annoyed with montgomery for delaying the attack. but their distaste for him this time was misplaced. montgomery realized infantry attacks through heavy snow would lead to high deaths especially whether the tanks couldn't keep up because they could not grip on the ice. patton's advance from the south wasn't well handed as he
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admitted in his diary. it was more difficult than he expected and he acknowledged his impatience led to large number of incasualties. these were far worse than hard. nights lasted for 16 hours. the temperatures could go as low as minus 24-25 centigrade. water bottles froze swollen and rations had to be cut into pieces and thawed in our mouth one by one before chewing. and the frost bite. many soldiers dirty and bearded were suffering from dysentry.
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it was demanding work and men were often filled with sweat that froze on them. it was impossible to dry out any clothes at all. many in the 101st air born rushed in to defend the area before the german panther division arrived had no winter clothes. one officer who was attending a wedding in england marched in without a snow suit. they rang the bell and begged the women to hand over the linen sheets. on the other hand, generals had reversible jacket and trousers.
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american troops went hungry but they were never as badly starved as the germans whose supplied failed to get through because of the air attacks. american army doctors operating on both american soldiers and german prisoners committed a striking contrast. they observed that the german soldier shares recovery with the most drastic wounds. this is due to the simple surgical fact that american soldiers being better fed than the germans generally have a thick layer of fat on them making archery more difficult and expensive and delays healing. the german soldier being sparsely fed and leaner is easier to operate on. the american authorities decided they must be trained on what to do when shot in different parts of the body so they could look
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after themselves. in a fighting attack, no man should stop the help the wounded. no one starts to the fight to help another. badly wounded men left in the snow without any help were unlikely to survive for very long. the bitter frost and the routine of deadly fights and dangerous battles at night continued. the commander wanted intelligence on the enemy. so the squad had to go out on a tiger patrol to seize the town for interrogation. moving at night was impossible as every single step made a noise as the foot broke through the crust of ice on the surface. and frozen stip and crackling as they move. wearing white didn't conceal them.
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within the line of infantry there were a number of cases of dodging it. they would hide up and agree amongst themselves on the story of what they pretended to see and return to their own lie. many soldiers are brutalized by war. air troopers especially have been hit with aggressive values. it wasn't surprised to find the 82 air born using sandbags on top of the trenches. why pet rified bodies were laid out as dummies to confuse any german parties at night. on the northern side of the perimeter, american paratroopers conducted a good luck routine of
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shaking a hand on a frozen corps outside of the bunger. patton drove out to see the troop and he said he came across a german machine operate who was killed and froze immediately as. i saw a lot of black objects sticking out of the snow and investigating they were the toes of dead man. patton was excited to discover the faces of the men killed in the cold. they didn't have the gray tinge. they turned a sort of cleric color. he regretted not having brought this camera to record this. there were other reminders of winter fighting in russia. at the end of the battle to the north sergeant robert radar and the 101st air born took a
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prisoner who looked like he was grinning at him. he raised his rifle to shoot him and another paratroper grabbed the barrel saying he has no lips or eyelid and the man lost them through frost bite. the shooting of prisoners of war is more common than historians of the past like the acknowledge. many prisoners were not shot out of range or revenge but because taking them back was too much trouble especially if wounded. armored troops were more likely to shoot prisoners because they could not stand to escourt them back. others were shot with revenge by men who in william morton's word hardly consider themselves to be
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avenging patrons. although there are of course no accurate statisticics the practice of shooting prisoners reached a terrifying level in the ardennes. the cycle of killing began almost immediately following hitler's orders to create shock and brutality. the head of the six panther army led my piper killed american prisoners and belgium civilians in village after village as they charged west. on the eastern front, the first division, known as the blow torch battalion burned down and tortured the people in the village. they claimed they were shot at
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but there is not the slightest bit of evidence. they knew the germans would want revenge during the retreat through the ardennes and were the first to escape west to cross the river. even if not identified they knew the germans would seize all young men for slave labor. the marked division in the offensive were closely followed by the squad. the worst was a commander of european sympathizer and included belgium, scots and frenchmen. using papers with photographs of men working they worked to identify and kill whoever they could. on the 21st of december they
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found a homemade american flag in a man's celler. after a beating he was taken outside and killed with hammers. the group moved on to the next village where they murdered several men including the priest and the village school master. the commander cornered off men as the members of church came out of church on christmas eve. they selected the younger ones, marched them down the hill and executed 36 after beating them up. one escaped having punched a guy in the face and ran off. when the british six air born division liberated in january the priest told them the badly concealed pile of frozen bodies and the killers painted the world revenging our german
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heroes. the most deadly attack in the ardennes was on the 17th of december. they turned west picking up speed and by mid-day it was close to the cross roads, a mixture of half tracks, and panthers to recognize. these troops just missed bumping into part of the u.s. 7th armor division on its way south to support the defense. oblivi oblivious to the threat ahead, part of the battalion carried on. as the men were driven in open towns, locals who knew of the advance, tried to warn them by tracking ahead, but the soldiers didn't understand and waved
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back. they muddled on across the cross roads and they ran straight into the ss panthers and half track. the german tanks opened fire, trucks were set on fire, men ran off trying to seek shelter in the forest, and the panthers rounded up a hundred prisoners and herded them and took anything like watches or gloves from them, and suddenly one of the officers opened fire and began to shoot and the tanks opened up with machine guns even. some survivors made it to the tree and many famed death but many were later shot to the head by pistols. 84 americans died and several civilians who tried to shelter some. an american military police man on duty at the cross roads who
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witnessed the whole incident was taken to the first army head quarters not far away and then the officers were shaken and furious. word spread like wild fire to all commanders to eisenhower's head quarter and the 12th army group in luxembourg where it was recorded the news took the breath away as though the room had suddenly become a vacuum. the desire for revenge was overwhelming. general bradley heards troopers from the 12th division were interrogated and raised his eyebrows. we needed a few samples the officer replied. that is all we have taken. bradley smiled saying that is good. bill simpson was proud of his
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division fight back. american troops are refusing to take anymore ss prisoners and it may spread to include all german soldiers. the commander general hopes every gi hears these stories and makes it a battle rule as the 30th division did. the determination spread rapidly not to take any ss alive. the gi's assumed anyone in a black uniform and wearing a badge was a member of the ss. yet all army panther units who wore black overalls was a jest gesture of descent from the old army. but there was little distinction between the ss and the army. of course the 50 yard gap in the
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wood a white flag appeared motioning the german do is advance. 20 men emerged from the woods. then the sergeant gave the command to open fire and no prisoners were taken. the u.s. army historian was told an officer from an armored battalion and save two for questioning and shoot the rest. the pipers indiscriminite killing was egged don to avenge the allied bombing of two cities. it is hardy surprising soldiers retalat at retalateiad -- retaliated. american accounts don't actually mention counterparts to the massacre that took place on the
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1st of january in the southwest. after the ill trained and badly bruised 11th armored division was mauled. the division was shaken to the core by the shock of battle. even its commander was clews close to cracking and officers seemed unable to control their men. after fighting to take the ruins on the first of january about 60 german prisoners were wounded up and shot. this was very different to the cold-blooded execution perpetrated. it still reflects badly on the officers. in shooting prisoners there were unfortunate incidents i hope we
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can cover up. the victims of the fighting were the bulk of the civilians. on the northern soldier of the bulge the ridge provided the americans with perfect fire position for 23 field artillery battalions. they were able to hammer villages and cross roads up to 16 kilometers. the men trapped could only say their prayers as the ceiling shook from the attack and dust and pieces of masonry fell on them. it was impossible to bury the bed while the battle raged. most were laid out in the local church wrapped in blankets. when the temperature dropped suddenly before two days in christmas nobody could dig graves in the hard ground.
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those who cared were brought to life by the horrors they winced. even christmas brought little joy. what can one say to a mother who saw her daughter wounded from the village. she cries and can't understand. in all armies it is not the fear
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of death but the fear of mutilation that played on minds. the german hospital was little more than a production line of amputation. american doctors were horrified by the tendency of german army sergeants to cut off limbs. a wounded american prisoner from the 401st infantry was appalled taken into a german operating facilities inside a tent. there were half a dozen tables surrounded by doctors in aprons splattered with blood and all tables were occupied with germans without limbs and buckets full of the limbs. the men were given medicine but they screaming and yelling.
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they attended the camp. it is a good thing their mothers can't see them when they die. combat exhaustion drove the cause of most men coming into the hospital.
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there was a long period of continuous action and isolation wasn't existing because the crews worked together. it was different from the infantry division even though upset stomach and other symptoms of men crying. the second division blamed unhealthy eating and physical exhaustion. american doctors didn't know then what the germans had discovered. it was the combination of stress, exhaustion, cold and
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malnourishment that upset the metabolism. the german army fought on even though many longed to be taken prisoner. a soldier called frida remarks everyone thinks if only the time comes then comes the officer and you have to carry out orders. the german morale was suffering badly as the soldiers struggled to push vehicles and guns in the freezing conditions with the knowledge the great offensive failed. there attempts to bludgeon men were on standards since the battle of normandy. anyone taken prison without being wounded loses honor and they get no support. stopped by the resistance of american troops holding those
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key villages and cross roads at the beginning hitler's last great gambled failed with disaster. the german army was a shadow of its former self at the end. it was not capable of resisting the army tanks all the way to the river in less than two weeks. needless to say russian historians never acknowledged this. together with the savagery of the fighting, the harsh winter conditions were indeed similar to those of the eastern front. life in the wounded is likely to go out with a match in this way. thank you very much.
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[inaudible question] >> it did not have the effects the german or hitler hoped. hitler summoned scott well before he even told the chief
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commanders about the operation to get him to recruit these men and organize himself for this operation dressed in american uniforms to cause chaos behind american lines. the only thing they did appear was send one infantry regimen in the wrong direction. what they achieved was to cause chaos because the counter intelligence core overreacted so eisenhower is locked down in his head quarters and not allowed to move. and the security precautions taken with soldiers at checkpoints stopping every vehicle and questioning everybody inside to see whether they might be germans in americans uniform and led to general bradley being stopped on one occasion because they were asked about the captain and
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bradley got the answer wrong but the soldier didn't believe what the capitol was. one general was actually arrested for most of the day. it did cause chaos in that way but not in the way originally intended. they never got through the capture any as had been part of the plan. when they reached the mur there was only one that got there and they were killed by the eighth rival brigade. it was a disaster. and the tank side of it, which was slightly less dramatic, although they were dressed up as american tanks, they realized in
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fact they could not achieve anything. so they were sent into an attack and they suffered heavy casua t casuality. no, it was not a great success. but it did cause a certain mount of chaos. >> what hitler have next?
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after this attack was there anything next? was paris next? certainly there was a fear in paris. they thought the german advance was heading for paris. it was quite interesting the way french collaborators who were locked up started cheering when they heard the news. if the germans get close we will make sure we kill you first so that was unwise. hitler had no clear plan. it was typical of hitlar once he realized they were not going to cut the murs but they would not get to the murs even hitler changed the objective. he did this before when he failed to capture the oil wells.
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he changed the objective. the place with stalin's name turned into a death trap for the sixth army. hitler declared another chief objective when in fact the capture of the area was the means to an end. as a result, all of the forces were then directed to that area and that is why it became an important battle after being relieved by patton's third army. hitler did not have a clear idea. what we want to remember he was
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afraid if hitler was bumped off the americans might do a deal with a successor government and allow all forces to go against the soviet union. so stalin was afraid that might happen. the point was hitler's come back of the battle was a disaster from the start. the plan he imposed on his general was a problem and the generals could say nothing and not oppose it. since the failed anas -- assassination attempt, they had control over the army and german officers couldn't object to anything. in fact, this is another example where the allies got the wrong end of the stick. they could the plot on the 20th
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of july showeded a state of declining of the german army. hitler was in a position having survived the attack hitler was in a position to fight until the death. and that is what they were determined to do. >> you spoke about the treatment of prisoners on both sides. was that something that was primarily due to the harsh conditions of this battle? or is it something that is more systemic throughout the european theater or throughout the entire second world war? >> it was systemic on the eastern front. what we were seeing first of all in normandy and especially in the ardennes was if you like the practice of the eastern front, the dirty fighting coming to the west, the first example was
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between the division in normandy where they massacred 70 canadians including beheading one company commander. and the canadians fought back and started killing in the ss and capturing. the best way to get anywhere was to employ terror. that is why they were shooting prisoner in all directions and
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civilians. once word of this started to spread it was hardly surprising there was going to be retaliation. but i was going through it and taken by the degree it it reached. >> a little revision if i may. were it not for the bulge do you think the allies would have arrived in berlin earlier enough to beat the soviets? >> they could have reached beforehand but it was eisenhower's decision not to. i managed to interview the chief of staff of the german 12th army which was facing the american ninth army on the river l and they acknowledged openly the americans would have been straight through to berlin and most soldiers would have
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surrendered with pleasure because the alternative was the russians coming in on the other side. and all of the equipped formations were already facing the russians and couldn't have been rolled back in time. the americans could have gotten to berlin if they got to. the decision was based on the fact of why waste these numbers of deaths when the territory was going to be handed back it the russians anyway? you can understand it from that point of view. but churchhill was deeply frustrated. he wanteded to shake hands with the russians as par to the east as possible. he was horrified by what was happening in poland and the way stalin broke all of the agreements already and was imposing the worst form of dictatorship and execution of members of the home army who had
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risen against the germans. that is why churchill was trying to push roosevelt and eisenhower and hope that patten would push through to prague but they were stopped because eisenhower didn't want to do that. they could have gotten to berlin easy. wasn't a question of the number of deaths. they would have been light. but the real reason is i think stalin would have used his air force because he was determined to incircle berlin to make sure the americans didn't get through because stalin wanted the nuclear facilities at the institute in southwest berlin. in fact, this is one of the interesting things we found in
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the russian archives and they lined up the rifle divisions to seal off the area to make sure they got the german scientist and the uranium. it had been moved to the dark forest where the americans got ahold of it and some went into the bombs dropped on japan. >> the other point was if all of those processes that were used in the ardennes offensive, if they had been sent to eastern france, you are quite right. the red army would have had a more difficult time breaking through. whether it would have extended the length of the war i don't know. but one thing i know that is unpopular with russian historians and that is if the americans are not given half a million military trucks to the
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red army you know they would have been nowhere near berlin. it transformed the mobility of the red army. the other major influence was of course actually the strategic bombing campaign by the u.s. air force. because that forced them to bring back all of the fighting squads from the eastern front to defend the right and that gave the russians a superiority for the first time in 1943. all of these things made a large difference. but in fact, it made a critical decision. but will you get thanks from the russians? no way. think about may 9th this year with putin, which it was the red army that completely won the second world war and the rest, don't get your hope on that. i know this too well because in
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fact two and a half weeks ago the moscow times described how the russian army opened a new unit to go into the archives to combat the world war ii history by historians such as beevor. i am libel for inprisz -- impretty -- implies -- imprisonment. you must not question this in russia at the moment. all of the archives i would say were lucky with timing when they opened in '95 and closed in 2000. but things have gotten far far worse there since then. >> can you give your assessment
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of how many commanders? you had collins and thorough reporting to bradley? or just tell us a little bit. >> collins and daro were reporting to hodges actually. but hodges was not reporting to bradley but to mont plea -- montgomery -- and that is why played is upset. he was incapable and his chief of staff was taking all of the decisions at that particular time. but unfortunately montgomery turned up at the head quarters in his famous dark green rolls-royce with flags flying to sort out the situation or sort out the crisis.
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even one of his then staffers said he arrived like christ coming to the temple. even his greatest supporters among the young officerers were shocked by the way he treated the american generals in such an off hand way. it was a disaster. i suggest in the book that montgomery had high functioning asperger's. there was debate when the book came out and his step grandson, tom carver, who lives with him, was convinced saying it was the only explanation. then i discovered a professor at trinity college dublin who did a whole paper on montgomery and
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asperger so i wasn't there first. i think his judgment was slightly better than that of collins and the other. collins was a very intelligence man and montgomery admired him and they got along pretty well. one of the few who did get on well with him. and hodges had very little im imagination and american historians are more critical of him and bradley than they were before. i think eisenhower behaved well in the ardennes and bradley couldn't believe what was happening and was in denial himself. his staff described how he never
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left his room in the luxembourg for long periods of time. so, you know, a lot of it depended on those people and people at the moment. patten had a brilliant beginning in redeploying the army. but the problem of being impatient and pushing his men too fast and too far when the tanks were completely, well they were tapped out completely and stood little chance of really performing in the way they should have done.
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>> can you explain the surprise from 1940 on and we were reading ultra. were the germans worried they were knowing? >> the miracle is they never expected ultra. the cover stories were a good cover up.
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they gave out the impression what they were doing was focusing on their forces to the north ready to counter attack the other army. he wasn't ready to listen to about this. a lot of people said they tried to predict it but it never really sank in. the problem was it was that classic mistake of intelligence whether like with the iraq war and a lot of other things like weapons of mass destruction. if you are convinced of a
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scenario you are looking at an intelligence analysis that supports your version of the events. it made you think nobody pud attempt a mad counter offense of the scale. the americans kept referring to the this as another offensive. rich was furious over this feeling it was an insult because he opposed it all the way through. he wasn't looking for too much material to support his idea. there was information in ultra about the transfer from the east to the west. they looked at it together and
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thought this is a possibility. they might have started making a more convincing picture. >> one of the things i think is good about a book like this is because you have so many different units doing so many things and in so many places. it allows the opportunity to go back and refresh your memory as you read more and more. giving you a detailed look at the battle of the bulge. let's thank antony beevor one more time. [applause]
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>> on friday back-to-back airings of after words. aei president authorer brooks discusses the conservative heart; how to build a fairer, happier america. >> the biggest mistake we make on the conservative side, the one that trips people up the most is the one that should be the easiest which is to get happy. >> and we examine the life of dr. martin luther king:
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>> martin understood for any human being who wants to reach a level of any decency has -- as a long distance runner you have to kill something in yourself. fear. your obsession with position and status and wealth. >> followed by senator dan forth and how faithful people changes politics. >> religion points us beyond ourselves. for faithful people, the what is in it for me is not central. >> and claire mccaskill talks about her memoir. >> i don't think it would do anyone favors by trying to dress up politicians as not being
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human beings who haven't made major mistakes. >> and a discussion on william buckley junior's run for mayor. and winston groom discusses his latest book with us. >> one of the first questions i am usually asked when i do a tv or radio show is why did you chose these three men from the second world war. my answer is that they embodied the characteristics of courageic and character. >> and we look back to 1932 with the rise of hitler and fdr. and then melissa cats discusses her book the influence machine; the u.s. camber of commerce and
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the corporate capture of american life. >> there is a reason i chose the chamber of commerce as the subjects of my book and that is because this institution sums up how we got to this place. >> here is a look at authors recently featured on booktv after words our weekly interview program. michael mar mack reported on the factors con tributing to america's health and wellness gap. lisa brown talked about the challenges patients face in the health care system. and gilbert gull described the rise of big money in college football. in the coming weeks, karl rove talks about the importance of william mckinley 1896 presidential campaign. and james rosen looks at former vise president dick cheney's
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time in the bush administration. and tom dashal and trent long offer their solutions to resolve the current state of partisanship in washington. and the president of the gold water institute looks at the review period new medications undergo to receive fda approval. >> what the right to try laws are all about when your life is hanging in the balance, you have a terminal illness, it is about giving you the right to try to fight to save your life by accessing experimental and investigational medicine while under study at the fda but before they receive the final green light. >> after words airs every saturday at 10 p.m. and 9 pm ea eastern on sundays. >> dr. khalil


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