No Less Than Victory

Written by Jeff Shaara
Review by Mark F. Johnson

The final novel in this three book series starts in November 1944 in the middle of a B-17 bombing mission over Berlin that goes terribly wrong. The pace never slows from there, as it rolls along with the German offensive which became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Once again the reader lives with the fear of the infantrymen as German tanks blast past and leave them to find their way back to friendly lines; lines which are in complete disarray and constantly moving away from them.

The reader will also grapple with the tactical and strategic decisions made by those in command of the opposing forces. Eisenhower, with his two prima donna generals, Patton and Montgomery, must not only fight the war but also placate the egos of these two commanders. On the German side, Von Rundstedt, who knows defeat is at hand, tries to convince Hitler and his sycophants that a well-coordinated assault could pressure the Allies into seeking an armistice and possibly sparing what is left of Germany. But Hitler will have no part of it.

Despite knowing the history of World War II and this battle in particular, I still felt compelled to spend hours at a time engrossed in this story. Such is Shaara’s gift for bringing history to life as if it is being told for the first time.