Book Review A GI In The Ardennes - Denis Hambucken

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by von Poop, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    A GI in the Ardennes.
    Denis Hambucken.


    A GI In The Ardennes
    Pen & Sword Military
    Pages: 144
    Illustrations: 200
    ISBN: 9781526756183
    Published: 3rd March 2020

    A fresh way of focusing on an aspect of the war.

    Mr Hambucken is a graphic designer from Belgium who now lives in the US, which possibly explains a lot about the book.
    Really nicely laid out & heavily illustrated tribute to the GIs that came over to fight & fall in the Ardennes.

    You're not going to find a great deal of detailed operational history here, outside of a brief introduction to the campaign, but you do get a solid attempt to show exactly who these men were & where they came from.
    Not narrative stuff, but a smallish coffee table book to dip into and be reminded that young blokes came thousands of miles from the factories, colleges & farms of America & helped liberate a country that doubtless many barely knew existed before the call-up.

    Immunisation, weapons, pay, training etc. etc. all get a page or two in an engaging & anecdotal manner. The visual style reminds me most of Sáiz's 'Deutsche Soldaten', if on a very much smaller scale. Similar white backgrounds & crisp photography.

    The bits that truly shine are the scattered accounts of veterans & civilians, with a modern picture of them & page of recollection from each. Really nice way of doing things, with real 'normal' people saying what they want to say about their war & occupation.
    Very very human, never mawkish, but some might make the stiff of lip think 'it's a bit dusty in here'.

    A paragraph from Francis Gaudere of the 30th ID perhaps underlines why people are still writing books about these chaps:
    "From the day we got to France to the day we won, we were in the war all the way. We didn't have any passes for leave or anything. We were constantly fighting the Germans."

    Thought it might have been a bit too light on first glance but after reading I reckon it's pitched rather well.

    Cheers to P&S for the review copy.

    TTH, Owen, JimHerriot and 4 others like this.

Share This Page