--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
The story of Operation Northwind, Hitler's surprise attempt to smash the German's way through Alsace Lorraine in January 1945, seen through the eyes of the young men who were "at the sharp end." Few except those who fought it know anything about a second Battle of the Bulge, which cost the Americans and their French comrades-in-arms nearly as many casualties and almost destroyed the alliance. Operation Northwind, planned by the Fuhrer himself, hurled eight German divisions, three of them SS, against the thinly held American line in the Alsace-Lorraine region. Although the U.S. High Command was forewarned by "Ultra" from Bletchley, the Americans were forced to retreat. Eisenhower commanded that Strasbourg, which held a special place in both French and German hearts, should be evacuated but De Gaulle protested. For a few days, while American troops fought for their lives in the snow-bound hills of Alsace-Lorraine, it looked as if the Franco-American alliance might be broken apart and France thrown into something akin to revolution.