Chief of Staff, Vol. 1: The Principal Officers Behind History's Great Commanders, Napoleonic Wars to World War I, Volume 1
Nigel Hamilton presents a brilliant, arrogant Montgomery, who refused to bow to authority and skated on the edge of dismissal like his American counterpart, George S. Patton. Though very different in their command styles, Montgomery and Patton became the two most successful Allied field generals in World War II. From North Africa through the invasion of Sicily, they routed the Germans in battle, with Patton as a thrusting cavalryman and Montgomery as an infantry commander devoted to applying massive force at a vital point. The author contends that Montgomery’s planning and leadership transformed Operation Overlord from a Second Front project doomed to fail into a successful Allied invasion plan.
Allied operations after Normandy foundered in bitter arguments and failure, for Montgomery at Arnhem and Patton at Metz. Had Montgomery and Patton been ordered to fight in the same direction after Normandy, argues Professor Hamilton, the Allies might have ended the war in Europe in 1944. As it was, Montgomery and Patton had to save the Allies from sensational defeat in the Battle of the Bulge in what was to be their last battle together. The war ended for Monty on May 4, 1945, when he accepted the surrender of all German forces in the north.
In December 1943, Lieutenant-General A.G.L. McNaughton resigned from command of the 1st Canadian Army amidst criticism of his poor generalship and of his abrasive personality. Despite McNaughton's importance to the Canadian Army during the first four years of the Second World War, little has been written about the man himself or the circumstances of his resignation.
In The Politics of Command, the first full-length study of the subject since 1969, John Nelson Rickard analyzes McNaughton's performance during exercise SPARTAN in March 1943 and assesses his relationships with key figures such as Sir Alan F. Brooke, Bernard Paget, and Harry Crerar. This detailed re-examination of McNaughton's command argues that the long-accepted reasons for his relief of duty require extensive modification.
Based on a wide range of sources, The Politics of Command will redefine how military historians and all Canadians look not only at "Andy" McNaughton, but the Canadian Army as well.
General Erwin Rommel. His battlefield manner was authoritative, his courage proven in the trenches of World War I when he was awarded the Blue Max. He was a front line soldier who led by example from the turrets of his Panzers. Appointed to command Adolf Hitler’s personal security detail, Rommel had nothing for contempt for the atrocities perpetrated by the Reich. His role in the Führer’s assassination attempt led to his downfall.
Except for a brief confrontation in North Africa, these two legendary titans never met in combat. Patton and Rommel is the first single-volume study to deal with the parallel lives of two generals who earned not only the loyalty and admiration of their own men, but the respect of their enemies, and the enmity of the leaders they swore to obey. From the origins of their military prowess, forged on the battlefields of World War I, to their rise through the ranks, to their inevitable clashes with political authority, military historian Dennis Showalter presents a riveting portrait of two men whose battle strategies changed the face of warfare and continue to be studied in military academies around the globe.
A skilled staff officer, Clark rose quickly through the ranks, and by the time America entered the war he was deputy commander of Allied Forces in North Africa. Several weeks before Operation Torch, Clark landed by submarine in a daring mission to negotiate the cooperation of the Vichy French. He was subsequently named commander of U.S. Fifth Army and tasked with the invasion of Italy.
Fifth Army and Mark Clark are virtually synonymous. From the September 1943 landing at Salerno, Clark and his army fought their way north against skilled German resistance, augmented by mountainous terrain. The daring January 1944 end-run at Anzio, although not immediately successful, set the stage for Fifth Army?s liberation of Rome on 4 June 1944, after ten months of hard fighting. The war in Italy was not over, but the taking of Rome intact was a tremendous achievement. Pitted against one of Hitler?s most able commanders, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, Fifth Army spent another ten months in ferocious combat from the Gothic Line to the Po Valley, as Clark moved up to head all Allied ground forces in Italy as commander of 15th Army Group.
The brutal Italian Campaign has been long overshadowed by D-Day and the campaign across France and into Germany. Likewise, the senior U.S. commander in Italy has been largely overlooked when one thinks of the great captains of the war. The author, Mikolashek remedies this situation, shedding much needed historical light on one of America?s most important fighting generals in this ?warts and all? biography. It also demonstrates the importance of the Italian Campaign, paying tribute to the valorous soldiers of U.S. Fifth Army and their Allied comrades.
Jon Mikolashek is a history professor at the U.S Army Command and General Staff College branch at Ft. Belvoir, VA, and also teaches history at American Military University.
He was known as “the G.I. General”— humble, self-effacing, hard-working, reflecting the small-town virtues of the America whose uniform he wore. But those very virtues have led historians to neglect General Omar Bradley—until now. Bestselling author Jim DeFelice, in this, the first-ever in-depth biography of America’s last five-star general, tells Bradley’s full story, and argues that the neglected G.I. General did more than any other to defeat Hitler in World War II.
While General George S. Patton has garnered much of the glory, General Dwight David Eisenhower has claimed much of the world’s respect, and British General Bernard Montgomery has kept the Union Jack flying, as DeFelice proves, it was the unassuming Bradley who actually developed the strategy and the tactics that won the war in Europe. Meticulously researched, using previously untapped documents and unpublished diaries and notes, Omar Bradley: General at War reveals:
Why Bradley, not Patton, deserves most of the credit for America’s victories in North Africa
How Bradley—first Patton’s subordinate, then his superior—was one of Patton’s great defenders, while also recognizing his weaknesses, and tried to cover up the infamous slapping incident
How Eisenhower panicked—when Bradley didn’t—during the early stages of the Battle of the Bulge, delaying an American counterattack that could have saved thousands of lives
Why Bradley was a radical innovator in the use of combined air, armor, and infantry power
How Bradley, contrary to those who like to portray him as a staid counterpart to Patton, was one of the most ardent practitioners of fast-moving offensives
Why Bradley expected the Germans might use radiological weapons at Normandy
Provocative, thorough, original, Jim DeFelice’s Omar Bradley: General at War deserves a place on the shelf of every reader of World War II history.