The U.S. Army attacked three villages near the German-Belgium
border, surprising the Germans who surrendered with little
resistance. The German army regrouped and counterattacked. A brief
but horrific battle ensued, and as the enemy pressed forward, the
Americans retreated in haste, leaving behind their wounded and
their dead. Discussion of this week-long conflict that began on All
Souls Day, November 2, 1944, has been confined to officer training
school, in part due to its heavy losses and ignominy. After the war
the U.S. Army returned to the battlefield to bring home its fallen.
To its dismay it found that many of these men had vanished. The
disappearances were puzzling and for decades the U.S. government
searched unsuccessfully for clues. After poring over
now-declassified battlefield reports and interviewing family
members, the authors reconstruct a spellbinding story of love and
sacrifice, honor and bravery, as well as a portrait of the gnawing
pain of families not knowing what became of their loved ones.
Ultimately this work of history and in-depth contemporary
journalism proffers a glimmer of light in the ongoing search.