On 4 January 1945, General 'Blood and Guts' Patton confided gloomily to his diary, 'We can still lose this war'.
The Germans were attacking in Eastern France, Luxembourg and Belgium. General Eisenhower's allied armies had lost over 300,000 men in battle (with a similar number of non-battle casualties) and they were still in the same positions they had first captured three months before. Would the German will to resist never be broken? Veteran military historian Charles Whiting has assembled the fighting men's individual stories. From material such as interviews and battalion journals he has built up an authentic picture of the Allied fighting man, so that the reader sees and feels what it was actually like to be there.
Whiting vividly conveys the experiences and responses of the ordinary soldier who knew that for some of his comrades the paths that would lead to glory could also lead to death
About the Author
Born in the Bootham area of York, England, he was a pupil at the prestigious Nunthorpe Grammar School, leaving at the age of 16 to join the British Army by lying about his age. Keen to be in on the wartime action, Whiting was attached to the 52nd Reconnaissance Regiment and by the age of 18 saw duty as a sergeant in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany in the latter stages of World War II. While still a soldier, he observed conflicts between the highest-ranking British and American generals which he would write about extensively in later years.
After the war, he stayed on in Germany completing his A-levels via correspondence course and teaching English before being enrolled at Leeds University reading History and German Language. As an undergraduate he was afforded opportunities for study at several European universities and, after gaining his degree, would go on to become an assistant professor of history. Elsewhere, Whiting held a variety of jobs which included working as a translator for a German chemical factory and spells as a publicist, a correspondent for The Times and feature writer for such diverse magazines as International Review of Linguistics, Soldier and Playboy.
His first novel was written while still an undergraduate, was published in 1954 and by 1958 had been followed by three wartime thrillers. Between 1960 and 2007 Charles went on to write over 350 titles, including 70 non-fiction titles covering varied topics from the Nazi intelligence service to British Regiments during World War II.
Charles Henry Whiting, author and military historian died on July 24 2007, leaving his wife and son.