Monday, December 5, 2011

New additions to the library

The Burma Campaign: Disaster Into Triumph, by Frank McLynn.
Fatal Crossroads: The Untold Story of the Malmedy Massacre at the Battle of the Bulge, by Danny S. Parker.

The war in Burma in World War II hasn't gotten much of a unified look in spite of some real characters such as generals Joseph Stillwell and William Slim.  I'm excited to read this account.

The Malmedy Massacre is a sad, murky incident in which members of Kampfgruppe Peiper, an "operational group" of Waffen SS panzers under Jochen (or Joachim) Peiper, the spearhead of the German 6th SS Panzer Army in the Ardennes offensive,  killed US army POW's it had captured during the course of the Ardennes Offensive.  Peiper (who looks suspiciously like Morden from Babylon 5) proved himself to be a very talented panzer commander, but was tried for war crimes in connection with this incident and spent time in prison.  After he got out he moved, strangely enough, to France where he was murdered.

Parker has researched the Malmedy Massacre for more than a decade.  Fatal Crossroads purports to get to the bottom of the incident and whether it was just battlefield emotion gotten too high, an inability of the supply-starved Kampfgruppe Peiper to properly care for POW's, or a planned massacre ordered from command level officers.  Should be a good detective piece.

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