The Last Hill

The Epic Story of a Ranger Battalion and the Battle That Defined WWII

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Pub Date 01 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 15 Nov 2022


Bob Drury and Tom Clavin's The Last Hill is the incredible untold story of one Ranger battalion's heroism and courage in World War II.

They were known as “Rudder’s Rangers,” the most elite and experienced attack unit in the United States Army. In December 1944, Lt. Col. James Rudder's 2nd Battalion would form the spearhead into Germany, taking the war into Hitler’s homeland at last. In the process, Rudder was given two objectives: Take Hill 400 . . . and hold the hill by any means possible. To the last man, if necessary. The battle-hardened battalion had no idea that several Wehrmacht regiments, who greatly outnumbered the Rangers, had been given the exact same orders. The clash of the two determined forces was one of the bloodiest and most costly encounters of World War II.

Castle Hill, the imposing 1320-foot mini-mountain the American Rangers simply called Hill 400, was the gateway to a desperate Nazi Germany. Several entire American divisions had already been repulsed by the last hill's dug-in defenders as—unknown to the Allies—the height was the key to Adolf Hitler's last-minute plans for a massive counterattack to smash through the American lines in what would become known to history as the Battle of the Bulge.

Thus the stalemate surrounding Hill 400 could not continue. For Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, there was only one solution: Call in Rudder's Rangers. Of the 130 special operators who stormed, captured, and held the hill that December day, only 16 remained to stagger back down its frozen slopes. The Last Hill is replete with unforgettable action and characters—a rich and detailed saga of what the survivors of the 2nd Ranger Battalion would remember as “our longest day.”

Bob Drury and Tom Clavin's The Last Hill is the incredible untold story of one Ranger battalion's heroism and courage in World War II.

They were known as “Rudder’s Rangers,” the most elite and...

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ISBN 9781250247162
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Featured Reviews

"The Last Hill" is a history of the Ranger battalions that landed on D-day and follows them throughout their efforts to defeat the Nazis. It is well written and seen to be meticulous researched and has lots of places where the reader feels the war in all of its dangers and brutality of what men do to other men.

The last hill is called Hill 400 by the Allies and Castle Mountain by the Germans. It is hard to believe that such bravery and dedication to a cause went on. Men who were often badly wounded would do extraordinary acts of heroism.

The book is not for the squeamish as there are descriptions of unbelievable savagery that occur -- on both sides although the view taken is from the American/Allied side. It was awful and awesome at the same time.

It would make a great study in humanity, bravery, savagery, conquest, and defeat as well as victory for a class in US History or even World History looking at wars. I definitely recommend it with the caveat that it will cause you some internal pondering as to what was right about WW II as well as the battles leading up to the "Last Hill."

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