The greatest land battle of World War II began days before Christmas 1944 in the most unlikely place on the Western Front, the dense woods and inhospitable terrain of the Ardennes Forest that borders on Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. The weather, first days of thick fog and then heavy snows capped by blizzards, couldn't have been more advantageous for the attacking Germans. They came out of nowhere and were on the unprepared and green Americans before they knew it. Hopelessly outnumbered, up to ten to one in men and two to one in tanks and cannons, the GI's were sent reeling. But then in some remarkable and heroic way, the dwindling American forces stopped retreating and stood their ground to stop the Wehrmacht cold. How and why it happened is the story of this book, the work of a GI who was there. By the time the battle ended six weeks later, the Americans had suffered 70,000 dead and wounded and the Germans over 100,000.