This is the book we should have been assigned in high school in order that we understand something about the violence, fear, and confusion of actual combat. And how those factors bring about that elusive phenomenom called heroism. Alex Kershaw has already established himself as a historian with a unique capacity to recover both the tragedy and nobility of war. His unaffected prose, backed by impressive research, and a determined focus on the fate of ordniary individuals was wonderfully evident in his best-selling THE BEDFORD BOYS and is repeated here in THE LONGEST WINTER. Both titles are eloquent and powerful statements to the effect that wars are fought by regular folks thrown into situations that can produce behaviour ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. And occasionally heroic. — Bill Lewis
December 1944: Deep in the Ardennes forest, a platoon of eighteen men under the command of twenty year old lieutenant Lyle Bouck huddle in their foxholes. Under attack and vastly outnumbered, they repulse three German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing over five hundred Germans. Only when Bouck's men run out of ammunition do they surrender. As POWs, Bouck's platoon experience an ordeal far worse than combat: trigger-happy German guards, Allied bombing raids, and a daily ration of thin soup. Somehow, the men of Bouck's platoon all miraculously survive. Alex Kershaw brings to life the story of America's most decorated small unit of the war, and one of the most inspiring stories in American history.