Saturday, author William Meller will be signing his book, "Bloody Roads to Germany: At Huertgen Forest and the Bulge -- an American Soldier’s Courageous Story of World War II" at Books on Broad from noon to 2 p.m.
In November 1944, Sergeant William Meller was just 20 years old. Very soon into the fighting in Huertgen Forest, he found himself promoted to squad leader by attrition, since every single officer in the rifle platoon had already been killed or wounded. Meller and his men, living in freezing foxholes and armed only with rifles and a few machine guns and grenades, fought against the Wehrmacht's battle-hardened soldiers and its juggernaut Panzer tanks, all while under withering barrages of artillery fire.
The bravery and determination of Meller and the soldiers of Meller’s 28th Infantry Division allowed them to survive what would become the longest single battle the U.S. Army has ever fought in its history. But they would get little respite from the carnage. Almost immediately, they were sent to fight the Germans in the densely forested and bitter-cold Ardennes. Again, Meller and his GI's were vastly outnumbered and out-equipped in the fight which would soon become known as the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler's final offensive. The vaunted Wehrmacht threw everything they had in their arsenal against the American dogfaces.
"Bloody Roads to Germany: At Huertgen Forest and the Bulge -- an American Soldier’s Courageous Story of World War II" is the true story of a man in combat who continuously adapted to his circumstances with grace and courage, ultimately transforming himself from an ordinary young GI to a leader who helped show his soldiers, by example, how to survive war.
Ross Beard, gun expert and collector, will be on hand to share several examples of WWII weapons from his collection. Ross Beard is bringing "a few pieces of WWII weaponry that I have and will have identification notes with each piece. I will bring about 12 or 14 items for display including German pistols, rifles and American carbines and pistols, a German (Nazi) Flag and a Luftwaffe dress sword and matching dress Dagger and a deactivated hand grenade and one cut-a-way training carbine and a paratrooper carbine. We will have some interesting pieces that most folks have not seen."
Praise for Bloody Roads to Germany: At Huertgen Forest and the Bulge--an American Soldier’s Courageous Story of World War II…
"William Meller’s journey from inexperienced dogface to hardened combat leader is a truly fascinating story that oozes with drama and authenticity. From the Hurtgen to the Bulge to his days in captivity, Meller shares the emotion and trauma of a small unit leader’s experiences as few ever have. This is one of the finest combat memoirs I have ever read and I highly recommend it." -- John C. McManus, author of The Deadly Brotherhood and Grunts
"William Meller is capable of transforming the harsh and bitter battle experience of the 1944 Huertgen Forest into a true piece of outstanding literature, gripping and convincing. This is very rarely found. A masterpiece." -- Christian Frey, TV Director, German History Channel
"A gripping and deeply felt account of one infantryman's experience in WWII. Its lessons, however, trascend time and space to teach us about all wars, and all warriors."-- Nathaniel Fick, author of the New York Times bestseller One Bullet Away.has been featured on the American and German History Channels.