Published by Penguin USA
The Dead of Winter
Honor should never be left behind
"German rockets and artillery shells plunged from the predawn sky. The savagery quickly swelled beyond the deepest dread of any GI facing the enemy that winter. An unthinkable reality flashed in the darkness. Adolf Hitler’s armies in the West, supposedly on the brink of collapse, were now on the march."
The overwhelming attack caught the U.S. Army off-guard, setting off one of the bloodiest, most brutal battles in human history—The Battle of the Bulge. Then, almost a half a century after World War II ended, a team of battlefield investigators collaborated with Bulge veterans for one last mission: to return to the battle site and recover the lost remains of their brothers-in-arms, an undertaking rooted in the belief that all of America’s war dead should be accounted for, no matter how many years have passed.
The Dead of Winter chronicles the hunt for eleven missing soldiers from the 99th Infantry Division who died in the vast spruce forests along the Belgian-German border. The search effort constitutes the narrative thread, interwoven with each soldier’s story, his boyhood, military life, the circumstances of his death, and the impact on those he left behind.
As founding member of the search team, I wrote the book in 2004 and 2005 after signing a contract with Penguin USA. Since its publication, all the Bulge veterans who joined the team have passed away. I and two Belgian colleagues, Jean-Louis Seel and Jean-Philippe Speder, continue to search for missing servicemen, and we have a website dedicated to our ongoing work. For our efforts, my colleagues and I each received the Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, the highest award given by the U.S. Army to private citizens.