Chief of Staff, Vol. 1: The Principal Officers Behind History's Great Commanders, Napoleonic Wars to World War I, Volume 1
Dubbed by the World War II press as "The GI General" because of his close identification with his men, Omar Bradley rose to command the U. S. 12th Army Group in the European Campaign. By the spring of 1945, this group contained 1,300,000 men--the largest exclusively American field command in U.S. history. Mild mannered, General Bradley was a dedicated mentor, the creator of the Officer Candidate School system, and a methodical tactician who served through World War II. Then, as a five-star general, he lifted the Veterans Administration from corruption and inefficiency to a model government agency, served as U.S. Army chief of staff, first chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and head of NATO. Alan Axelrod applies his signature insight and compelling prose to the life, strategy and legacy of the general who remains the model for all commanders today as the man who revolutionized the National Guard, shaped the US army's focus on the individual soldier, and emphasized cooperation and coordination among the military services--a cornerstone of modern U.S. military doctrine.
Beyond spellbinding depictions of pivotal confrontations at El Alamein, Monte Cassino, and the Ardennes forest, author-scholar Terry Brighton illuminates the personal motivations and historical events that propelled the three men's careers: how Patton's, Montgomery's, and Rommel's Great War experiences helped to mold their style of command—and how, exactly, they managed to apply their arguably megalomaniacal personalities (and hitherto unrecognized political acumen and tact) to advance their careers and strategic vision.
Opening new avenues of inquiry into the lives and careers of three men widely profiled by scholars and popular historians alike, Brighton definitively answers numerous lingering and controversial questions: Was Patton really as vainglorious in real life as he was portrayed to be on the silver screen?—and how did his tireless advocacy of "mechanized cavalry" forever change the face of war? Was Monty's dogged publicity-seeking driven by his own need for recognition or by his desire to claim for Britain a leadership role in postwar global order?—and how did this prickly "commoner" manage to earn affection and esteem from enlisted men and nobility alike? How might the war have ended if Rommel had had more tanks?—and what fundamental philosophical difference between him and Hitler made such an outcome virtually impossible?
Abetted by new primary source material and animated by Terry Brighton's incomparable storytelling gifts, Patton, Montgomery, Rommel offers critical new interpretations of the Second World War as it was experienced by its three most flamboyant, controversial, and influential commanders—and augments our understanding of each of their perceptions of war and leadership.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
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.
The first book ever to explore the relationship between George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower, Partners in Command eloquently tackles a subject that has eluded historians for years. As Mark Perry charts the crucial impact of this duo on victory in World War II and later as they lay the foundation for triumph in the Cold War, he shows us an unlikely, complex collaboration at the heart of decades of successful American foreign policy?and shatters many of the myths that have evolved about these two great men and the issues that tested their alliance. As exciting to read as it is vitally informative, this work is a signal accomplishment.
This is an updated edition of the first truly concise introduction to the history of World War II in the West. The author, S. P. MacKenzie traces the major events on both fighting front and home front, explaining what happened and, just as importantly, why the balance of fortunes swung first towards the Axis and then towards the Allies. Along with overviews of the origins and consequences of the conflict, the book:Provides a narrative account of the course of events on land throughout the war Contains sections specifically devoted to societies and economies; resistance movements and collaboration; technology and intelligence; alliances and strategy; the war in the air and at sea Assesses the impact of the war and introduces the key historiographical debates surrounding it
Far from being a blow-by-blow account, the book shows how the Second World War can only be understood by taking all the contributing factors - military, economic and social among others - into account. In addition to the existing wealth of useful supplementary material, this edition has been updated to include a colour illustration section and, for readers interested in learning more, a detailed narrative guide to published historical literature. Admirably succinct yet academically rich, this is the essential introduction to the Second World War in the West.