NO LESS THAN VICTORY
by Jeff Shaara, 2009
No Less Than Victory is the crowning achievement in master storyteller Jeff Shaara’s soaring World War II trilogy, revealing the European war’s unforgettable and harrowing final act.
After the success of the Normandy invasion, the allied commanders are buoyantly confident that the war in Europe will be over in a matter of weeks, that Hitler and his battered army have no other option besides surrender. But despite the advice from his best military minds, Hitler will hear no talk of defeat. In mid-December, 1944, the Germans launch a desperate and ruthless counteroffensive in the Ardennes Forest, utterly surprising the unprepared Americans who stand in his way. Through the frigid snows of the mountainous terrain, German tanks and infantry struggle to realize Hitler’s goal, to divide the Allied armies, and capture the vital port at Antwerp. The attack succeeds in opening up a wide gap in the American lines, and for days, chaos reigns in the Allied command. The campaign becomes known as the Battle of the Bulge, a last gasp by Hitler’s forces that becomes a horrific slugging match, some of the most brutal fighting of the war. As American commanders respond to the stunning challenge, the Germans’ spear is finally blunted, ending Hitler’s last hope for victory. Though some in the Nazi inner circle continue the fight to preserve Germany’s future, the Fuhrer makes it clear he is fighting to the end. He will spare nothing — not even German lives — to preserve his twisted vision of a “Thousand Year Reich.”
In May, 1945, the German army collapses, and with Russian troops closing in, Hitler commits suicide. As the Americans sweep through German countryside, they unexpectedly encounter the worst of Hitler’s crimes, the concentration camps, young GIs absorbing firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust.
Through the eyes of Eisenhower and Patton, and the young GIs who struggle face to face with their enemy, through the eyes of Germany’s old soldier, Gerd von Rundstedt and Hitler’s golden boy, Albert Speer, Jeff Shaara carries the reader on a journey that defines the spirit of the soldier, and the horror of a madman’s dreams. No Less Than Victory further solidifies Shaara’s reputation as this era’s most accomplished author of historical military fiction.