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The Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division had just finished the battle for the bridge too far, Field Marshal Montgomery's ill-fated Operation Market Garden. As Christmas 1944 approached, the division was settling in for some hard earned rest and recuperation. Despite its failure to hold the Rhine River bridgehead at Arnhem a few weeks earlier, Eisenhower's Allied juggernaut appeared unstoppable. Then, Hitler ordered a massive Nazi counterattack through the supposedly impenetrable Ardennes Forest. The overwhelming armor-heavy Wehrmacht forces cut through the thinly-manned Allied lines, racing for Antwerp and the coast. German victory in what is now known at the Battle of the Bulge would split the Allied armies, cripple their attack against the Reich, and lengthen the war, perhaps by years. The author and the rest of the Screaming Eagles were rushed to Bastogne, a small Belgian crossroads town where seven roads met. The lightly-armed paratrooper became 'the cork in the bottle' of the Nazi onslaught. Bastogne became the key to German victory. They immediately found themselves in close combat. Without enough ammunition or food, in freezing weather with deep snow, they even lacked winter clothing. Yet, for eleven days they held out against the best the Nazis could throw at them, buying the time needed for Patton's Third Army to redeploy form the south. Burgett's memoir (he was not yet twenty years old at the time of the battle) is an exciting and enduring testament to the Screaming Eagles and their epic defense of Bastogne. Donald R. Burgett is the author of three additional books; Currahee! a critically acclaimed memoir of the Normandy invasion, Road to Arnhem and Beyond the Rhine.
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About the Author

I was borne, Donald R. Burgett, April 5, 1925 in Detroit, Michigan. My father was a Detroit Police Officer, Mother, a housewife and mother of three sons and one daughter. I dropped out of High School after the tenth grade to enlist in the military but was too young, I then worked as a carpenter. At the age of eighteen I volunteered for the paratroopers. I fought through the entire European Campaign; Normandy, Holland, Bastogne, Austria and Germany with A. Co. 506 PIR 101st Airborne. At the end of the war there were only eleven of the original two hundred men that started with Company A. I was awarded the Bronze star, two Purple Hearts the ETO Ribbon with two Bronze Invasion Arrowheads, and four campaign Stars, there U.S. Presidential Citations, The Combat Infantryman's Badge, Two Croix de Guerre of France, Two Croix de Guerre of Belgium, one Fourraguere of Belgium. One Orange Lanyard of Holland, a Victory in Europe Medal and an Army of occupation Medal. Most recently, the French Legion of Honor Medal in 2014. I was discharged as Sergeant, squad leader, paratrooper. 101st Airborne Division. I arrived home January 1, 1946, twenty years old. I could not vote, I could not sign a legal contract, I could not buy a beer. I was not old enough. I could not rest and bumped around the country working at many jobs. Returning to Michigan I met and married my wife, Twyla. We had five children and now have eleven grandchildren and 23 great grand children. Twyla and I moved into the Howell area in 1967 and built our home. I have written and published four well received books; Currahee!, Road to Arnhem, Seven Roads to Hell and Beyond the Rhine. As I now hold complete rights to my four titles, I am currently reprinting and making them available to the public. At eighty-nine years of age I am still working, readying my fifth book for publication.

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