Seven Roads to Hell

September 30, 2012
By , Auburn, NY
Jon Lupo

Book Review

I have never been in war before, but Ronald Burgett makes it seem like you are in the middle of the battle while reading Seven Roads to Hell. Ronald Burgett tells the story that he and the men that he was with experienced in the “Battle of Bastogne”. Seven Roads to Hell takes place during World War II in December 1944, in Bastogne, Belgium. Ronald Burgett is in the 101st airborne division, and they are fighting the Germans.

This battle was very crucial for the Germans. The Nazi Regime was very close to be pushed back in their home land and Hitler did not want that to happen so he sent a whole panzer division and most of his army to fight for Bastogne. One of the main reasons that this battle was very special is because the author and his men were completely surrounded by the Germans in a small village called Bastogne. The men could not get any supplies because of the weather and the temperatures were, at some points, twenty below zero. One of the main points that Burgett tries to get across is how hard it was to fight during this battle because of how cold it was. Burgett said too his fellow comrade; “the cold is killing more of us than the enemy is.” Burgett and the other soldiers he was with were very sarcastic about many of the things that were happening to them. The weather was defiantly one of the points Burgett tries to get across.

Another main point Burgett was getting across is how out-numbered they were compared to the Germans. Burgett and his men are often very sarcastic and funny during the battle by saying “we can shot in any direction and hit them”, because they were completely surrounded. Basically the whole day Burgett and his men were being shelled by artillery or fighting against the tanks and infantry. The pretty much had absolutely no chance against the German tanks because they were so heavily armored and Burgett and his men only had rifles as weapons. During the artillery barrages the American troops would take cover in their “fox holes”, which are holes they dug in the frozen ground. These holes provided some protection but if they were hit good, the men inside would die. Burgett says in his book, “Artillery is the most terrifying weapon in war.” This is true because the infantry cannot do anything to fight back against it. They just have to hope they do not get hit. Also Burgett said that if you survive the artillery attacks, the mental trauma from it was terrible. He explains that he sees grown men cry their eyes out in the middle of war because they cannot take the fear of the artillery. Being out-numbered was one of the main points Burgett was trying to get across.

I absolutely loved Seven Roads to Hell by Donald Burgett. The book is a perfect blend of humor and the reality of war. I believe that if you are interested in the military, you will love this book too!

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