Westholme Publishing
One of the Most Important Histories of the Greatest Battle on the Western Front in World War II


Dark December
The Full Account of the Battle of the Bulge
Robert E. Merriam

$15.95 Paperback

  • 248 pages
  • 6 x 9.25
  • 14 maps
  • Military History/World War II

About this Book

“Dark December occupies a distinguished place among war books. Every paragraph is based upon evidence, not flimsy wartime rumors. Technical enough for the professional, accurate enough for the historian (in fact, it is history of the best), it is lucid and understandable for the general reader.”—New York Herald Tribune

“If other veterans of the Army’s historical division can maintain Mr. Merriam’s high standard of stimulating, critical and painstaking work, we will be fortunate. Dark December can be heartily recommended to anyone faintly interested in the war.”—New York Times

“The book explodes a number of myths which have been winning their improper way into general belief.”—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Booklist


The massive German counteroffensive through Belgium’s Ardennes forest in December 1944 took the American and British armies by surprise and changed the outcome of the war. With whole divisions destroyed and decimated, the American army scrambled to contain the German threat, while also trying to determine how such an attack had gone undetected. The Americans succeeded in winning the month-long battle, commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge, through the tenacity of several pockets of troops, notably those in the Belgian town of Bastogne, and the remarkable rapid movement of Patton’s Third Army to seal the breech in the American lines. The battle stalled the British and American advances and lengthened the war with the result that the Soviet Union was able to make greater gains in Europe than previously anticipated. Dark December is a thorough and engrossing examination of the Battle of the Bulge by a historian who had the opportunity to prepare notes as the battle was occurring and consult classified American as well as German records. Notably, the book contains unique and critical information, including details gleaned from interviews conducted by the author with commanding officers on both sides, some of which are the only reports gathered from these sources. An abridged mass-market edition was published under the title Battle of the Bulge, however, this is the first reprint of the 1947 first edition with the complete, original text and maps.

ROBERT E. MERRIAM (1918–1988) served with both the Ninth Army and 7th Armored Division during World War II. He was chief of the Ardennes Section of the Historical Division of the U.S. Army before embarking on a career in public service, both in the city of Chicago and in the Eisenhower administration.



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