The Unknown Dead: Civilians in the Battle of the Bulge


The Unknown Dead: Civilians in the Battle of the Bulge

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Traditional histories of the hard-fought Battle of the Bulge routinely include detailed lists of the casualties suffered by American, British, and German troops. Conspicuously lacking in most accounts, however, are references to the civilians in Belgium and Luxembourg who lost their lives in the same battle. Yet the most reliable current estimates calculate the number of civilians who perished in the Ardennes in six weeks of fighting at approximately three thousand. In gruesome detail, this book tells the story of ordinary people caught up in the maelstrom of war. The book describes the horrific war crimes committed by German military units on the front lines and by Nazi security services behind the battle lines, as well as the devastating effects of Allied responses to the enemy threat, including massive bombings of small towns. The book also examines postwar concerns such as reconstruction, the formidable problem of abandoned land mines and explosives, and the occasionally emotional nature of relations between civilians and veterans.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY




978-0-8131-7208-8 (pdf version)


978-0-8131-3758-2 (epub version)



Battle of the Bulge, Casualties, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ardennes, War, Nazis, Allies, Postwar concerns, Reconstruction


Military History | United States History