1.36 - Victory was Beyond their Grasp: The 272nd Volksgrenadier Division from the Huertgen Forest to the Heart of the Reich

Aberjona Press
Douglas E. Nash

I had become interested in Volksgrenadier divisions a few years back so I had been eagerly awaiting this book since I heard it would be published. It turned out to be a longer than expected wait however it was well worth it. This books provides several things, first a general history of the how and why of the Volksgrenadier division, second a general history of the 272 VGD along with information of what was going on in its area of operation and lastly more detailed and personal information about the personnel and small unit actions of the 272 fusilier company.

The book has an easy read about it; the author managed to put a great deal of detail into the text without boring the reader or making it to difficult to follow. This book should be equally appealing to those wanting detailed information about Volksgrenadier divisions in general and/or the 272 specifically or someone just wanting light reading on small unit actions. The Volksgrenadier divisions of 1944/45 had the impending doom of the Third Reich hanging over them and the author did a great job of instilling that feeling in the reader, you knew that no matter how great their effort the end was in sight and it’s inevitable conclusion could not altered. It carries with it a sense of futility.

The book also has excellent maps (very important for books that describe unit actions); you will recognize the work of Tom Houlihan, as seen in other Aberjona Press books. I only wish that the maps were available as separate laminated sheets so they could be easily viewed while reading the text. I know that it is not really doable from a publishing stand point but one must admit it would be nice.

In conclusion Doug Nash has done a fantastic job of writing a book that is not only enjoyable to read but also provides detailed and well researched information on the Volksgrenadier divisions in general and the actions of the 272 VGD specifically. The book is less than $20 from Amazon, even if you are only marginally interested in the topic you really can’t go wrong.

Tom Houlihan has reminded me that maps from Aberjona Press books can be downloaded from their website, this will allow the reader to have the maps handy as they read the text. Link to maps