BLOCKING KAMPFGRUPPE PEIPER: The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the Battle of the Bulge


Be there . . . . in the Ardennes to see Hitler concentrating and launching all his reserves for a last desperate gamble to prevent the Allied armies from invading the German homeland – –


“BLOCKING KAMPFGRUPPE PEIPER: The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the Battle of the Bulge” by Casemate Publishers, by Frank van Lunteren, may well be the most meticulously researched and documented story to date of the epic WWII battle. . The heroic scale or mold action on the Allied side was unwavering, unprecedented and unequivocal. Using diaries, letters, battle reports and interviews, author van Lunteren catapults us into the heart of the triumphant 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment to fight alongside pure courage and bravery.

Reviewed and highly recommended by Don DeNevi

“BLOCKING KAMPFGRUPPE PEIPER – – the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the Battle of the Bulge”, by Frank van Lunteren. Casemate Publishers: 2022, 332 pages, sc; $24.95.

By Christmas Day 1944, the Germans had punched an 80 km (50 mile) indentation in the Allied lines from central Luxembourg to southern Belgium, establishing a thrust towards Brussels and the port of Antwerp. This salient became known as the “Bulge”. With the capture of St. Vith and the siege of Bastogne, Hitler’s last reckless gamble was about to pay off.

But the Fuhrer and his parasitic flattering generals from the OKW, the high command of the armed forces, and the OKH, the high command of the army, knew nothing of the bravery of Colonel Reuben’s elite 504th Parachute Infantry Tucker committed to blocking the advancing SS. In short, Hitler was concentrating his final reserves of 25 divisions of a grand total of 275,000 men, 1,900 heavy artillery pieces and 950 tanks and armored vehicles against the six divisions of the American First Army of less than 83,000 men, 394 artillery pieces and 420 armored vehicles. .

Within 48 hours of the arrival of Tucker and his 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the Americans launched an aggressive attack, eventually forcing SS Panzergrenadiers Obersturmbannfuhrer Jochen Peiper of the Fuhrer’s Battle Group to withdraw! Once again the Allied armies advanced to balance themselves on the Rhine and cross the German homeland from the west. Hitler’s desperate roll of the dice bet was lost for several reasons, one of the most important having been blocked by the 504th.

Armed with numerous previously unpublished personal photos, well-drawn measured maps and selected appendices and chapter notes, “Blocking Kampfgruppe Peiper – – the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the Battle of the Bulge” is a splendid, even superlative, regimental study. It is practically a day-to-day chronicle, focusing on soldiers in batteries, companies and smaller groups and units and their defiant determination. Additionally, author Frank van Lunteren provides a rare personality profile of 29-year-old SS Obersturmbannfuhrer Peiper, who led the infamous Kampfgruppe that carried out the deadly Malmedy massacre.

By late 1944, Peiper commanded a 5,000 man task force built around his 1st SS-Pz Regt. Spearhead of Sepp Dietrich’s 6th Pz Army, he found himself near Malmedy on December 17, 1944, when his soldiers seized Battery B, 285th Fa Observation Bn. But that meant Peiper was now bogged down by what he didn’t want, over a hundred captured Americans. Some Peiper officers and soldiers gathered and, under armed guard, escorted them into a snowy field and shot 71 of them dead. Sheer atrocity was not among the 129 Americans originally reported. The others all fell, feigning death, and survived.

Highly respected historian Frank Van Lunteren, born, raised and educated in Arnhem, the Netherlands, offers readers a brilliant and thrilling close-up view of the 504th PIR during the bitter Battle of the Bulge. Drawing on his 20 years of dedicated research, material hitherto unavailable, the author offers readers the most comprehensive account ever written of a triumphant and glorious American regiment in one of the fiercest battles ever fought by the American army.

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