Many Americans know the basic story of the Battle of the Bulge, including the fact that bad weather grounded most Allied aircraft during its first few days. However, even fairly well-informed researchers might not be aware of the extent that the mighty 8th Air Force returned to the air on Christmas Eve of 1944. Hitler’s Last Christmas by author Donald Kilburg Jr. shines a needed light into this massive display of Allied air power, which definitely helped turn back the last-ditch Nazi offensive that had started on December 16, 1944.
Kilburg’s well-researched book puts the reader in the middle of the action—drilling all the way down to bomb group (and even squadron-level) to provide a granular level of detail of the mission that day. The book includes an extensive bibliography to help the serious researcher, although lack of footnotes makes it hard to tell the specific source of information.
Despite a few rough spots, this book provides a great deal of detail, and will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in this important but largely overlooked part of World War II history.
Review by John Cathcart (August 2019)
Hitler's Last Christmas is the documentary story of the largest aerial bombing mission in history. On Christmas Eve 1944 the 8th Air Force launched a maximum effort mission to eliminate tactical targets that were supporting Hitler's surprise Ardennes Offensive. 2046 heavy bombers and 853 fighters, every flyable aircraft available to the 8th Air Force in England were dispatched to accomplish the objectives of the 8th's Mission 760. This book details the events of the day from formation to return through the stories of the participants and the official records of the day.
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Review Genre: Nonfiction—History
Number of Pages: 309