The Roer River Battles, Germany’s Stand at the Westwall, 1944-45

Published: October 12th, 2010     
Product Image
Author: David R Higgins
Reviewed by: Tom Moon - IPMS# 43192
ISBN #: 978-1-935149-29.3
Other Publication Information: Format: Hardback 6 x 9, Pages 256 / 34 b/w photos / 11 greyscale maps.
Price: $32.95
Product provided by: Casemate Publishing

This book describes the battles of the US First and Ninth Armies between the breakout of Normandy and the final crossing of the Roer River ending in late February of 1945. These two armies were located south of the British Army in the general area where Holland, Belgium and Germany meet.

The book is divided into 15 chapters with an introduction, 1 appendix, a Bibliography and Index:

  1. Strategic Overview (Summer 1944)
  2. Approaching the Reich (Late August-September 12)
  3. Breaching the Westwall (September 12-30)
  4. Encircling Aachen (October 1-7)
  5. First Schmidt (October 6-16)
  6. The Fall of Aachen (October 8-31)
  7. Second Schmidt (October 21-November 9)
  8. Operation Queen (November 16-18)
  9. Operation Clipper (November 18-23)
  10. Ninth Army (Queen) (November 19-26)
  11. First Army (Queen) (November 19-26)
  12. Escape from the Hurtgen (November 17-28)
  13. Operations to the Ardennes Offensive (December 8-16)
  14. Operation Blackcock (January 14-27)
  15. Capturing the Dams and Crossing the Roer (February 1-27)

The descriptions of the battles are at a relatively high level. There are no first person accounts. These descriptions bounce back and forth between the US side and the German side. They attempt to describe the situation, the objectives, and plans of both sides and then the actual results. There are 11 maps that try to show these situations. I would have liked more maps and to have them in color. Most of the maps show a static situation with no indication of what was planned or achieved. The word description does that, but if you are a visual person it is a little hard to follow what is going on.

Conclusion: The book is a quick read and is well researched and documented. From the modelers perspective this will not give you many ideas for dioramas, but as a quick review of the battles in this area, it does the job.

Thanks to Casemate Publishing for the review copy and to IPMS/USA for the review space.

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