In the winter of 1944–1945, Hitler sought to divide Allied forces in the heavily forested Ardennes region of Luxembourg and Belgium. He deployed more than 400,000 troops in one of the last major German offensives of the war, which became known as the Battle of the Bulge, in a desperate attempt to regain the strategic initiative in the West. Hitler’s effort failed for a variety of reasons, but many historians assert that Lieutenant General George S. Patton Jr.’s Third Army was ultimately responsible for securing Allied victory. Although Patton has assumed a larger-than-life reputation for his leadership in the years since World War II, scholars have paid little attention to his generalship in the Ardennes following the relief of Bastogne. In Advance and Destroy, Captain John Nelson Rickard explores the commander’s operational performance during the entire Ardennes campaign, through his “estimate of the situation,” the U.S. Army’s doctrinal approach to problem-solving. Patton’s day-by-day situational understanding of the Battle of the Bulge, as revealed through ULTRA intelligence and the influence of the other Allied generals on his decision-making, gives readers an in-depth, critical analysis of Patton’s overall effectiveness, measured in terms of mission accomplishment, his ability to gain and hold ground, and a cost-benefit analysis of his operations relative to the lives of his soldiers. The work not only debunks myths about one of America’s most controversial generals but provides new insights into his renowned military skill and colorful personality.
George Patton is renowned for his daring tank thrusts and rapid movement, but the many rivers and obstacles his Third Army encountered crossing Europe required engineers spearheading his advance. A Combat Engineer with Patton’s Army is the untold story of Frank Lembo, one of Patton’s men who helped move the American command in the battle of Argentan in the Normandy Campaign, in the high-speed pursuit of the German Wehrmacht eastward across France, and in the brutal battles waged during the Battle of the Bulge and during the final combats along the borders of the collapsing Reich. Throughout his time in Europe Lembo maintained a running commentary of his experiences with Betty Craig, his fiancé and future wife. This extensive correspondence provides a unique eyewitness view of the life and work of a combat engineer under wartime conditions. As a squad (and later platoon) leader, Frank and his comrades cleared mines, conducted reconnaissance behind enemy lines, built bridges, and performed other tasks necessary to support the movement of the 317th, 318th, and 319th Infantry Regiments of the Blue Ridge Division—Patton’s workhorses, if not his glamour boys. Frank wrote about the deadly river crossings at the Moselle, Seille, and Sauer, all under enemy fire, and of the frustrating pauses when supplies were diverted. He participated in the mid-December sprint to Luxembourg and the relief provided at Bastogne during the Bulge, the liberation of concentration camps once Third Army had charged into Germany, and of their occupation duty in Bavaria. Frank’s letters go beyond his direct combat experiences to include the camaraderie among the GIs, living conditions, weather, and the hijinks that helped keep the constant threat of death at bay. His letters also worked to reassure Betty with hopeful dreams for their future together. Including dozens of previously unpublished photographs, A Combat Engineer with Patton’s Army: The Fight Across Europe with the 80th “Blue Ridge” Division in World War II offers the rare perspective of what day-to-day warfare at the ground-level looked like in the European Theater through the eyes of one of the men spearheading the advance.
Chronicling the last five months of Hitler's Thousand Year Reich from the viewpoints of those who were there, a detailed narrative draws on interviews, letters, and eyewitness accounts of Allied and Axis soldiers and citizens
A three-time All-Star, Cecil Travis (1913–2006) was well on his way to a Hall of Fame career when he was drafted for World War II in 1941. When he returned To The game in 1945, after three and a half years in the army, Travis was no longer the dominant player he had been. In the three seasons that followed—the last of his career—only once did Travis play in more than seventy-five games, and his offensive numbers plummeted. Yet his prewar accomplishments were such that he finished his twelve-year career with a .314 batting average, and baseball maven Bill James put Travis atop his list of players most likely to have lost a Hall of Fame career To The war. This biography documents Travis's life and dynamic career. it recounts his childhood years on his family's Riverdale farm in rural Georgia, his demonstration of talent during high school, The beginning of his professional career with the Minor League Chattanooga Lookouts in 1931, his rise with the Washington Senators, The historic 1941 season in which Travis led all of baseball in hits, his time as a soldier, The decline in his play from 1945 to 1947, and his retirement. In an epilogue Cecil Travis comments on his baseball career, The effects of the war, and his life in Riverdale, where he raised livestock on the farm that was his childhood home.
The story of Gen. George S. Patton’s magnificent Third Army as it advanced across Nazi-occupied Europe and into Hitler’s redoubt. Includes photos. As America’s own answer to the Blitzkrieg, Third Army’s actions from the Normandy coast across France and Germany to Austria gave a new dimension to the term “fluid warfare.” They only needed one general order—to seek out the enemy, trap, and destroy them. This they did, relentlessly overcoming every obstacle thrown in their way. Third Army’s story is one of teamwork, of armor, infantry, and aircraft working together with a perfection that amazed even the Germans, who’d always considered themselves the masters of the mobile offensive. Though Third Army is often remembered for its tank spearheads, like the 4th Armored Division, these pages also give credit to the brave infantry divisions which butted their heads against fortresses such as Metz with ultimate success. It is also the story of a triumph of administration as thousands of trucks carried forward the vital supplies to keep the army on the move and fighting. When a German counteroffensive nearly burst through the US lines in the Ardennes, it was Patton’s Third Army that turned on its heel and immediately drove in the “Bulge,” ending Hitler’s last great hope for success in the west. Afterward nothing could stop it as it crossed the Rhine and overran the Reich. Much of Third Army’s greatness, driving force, and will to win, was owed to one man—Gen. George Smith Patton Jr.—and a significant part of this book is devoted to him alone. In these pages, a renowned military historian gives a vivid impression in words and pictures of what it was like to live and fight with Patton’s men. Full of eyewitness accounts, photographs, and maps, it relates the full story of how America’s most dynamic fighting formation led the Allied effort against the Nazis’ seemingly invincible European empire.