Chief of Staff, Vol. 1: The Principal Officers Behind History's Great Commanders, Napoleonic Wars to World War I, Volume 1
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.
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.
Modeled on the acclaimed Great Generals series, which features the stategy and legacy of famous American generals, World Generals broadens the scope to include the world's finest military leaders. Each volume will include a foreword by Wesley K. Clark, and be co-edited by a different foreign general who will write an afterword.
This exciting new series opens with "The Desert Fox," the most famous German field marshall in World War II, Erwin Rommel. A hero of the people of the Third Reich and widely respected by his opponents, Rommel proved himself highly adept at Blitzkrieg warfare. Both in France and North Africa he consistently outwitted his adversaries through his ability to sense the weak spot in his enemy's deployment and the pace at which he conducted his operations. Rommel's serious wounding in France came just three days before the aborted attempt on Hitler's life. Rommel subsequently came under suspicion of being involved in the plot and, under pressure, he committed suicide. Rommel displayed an outstanding ability to seize the initiative and retain it, and here, Charles Messenger draws on the skills behind this ability for the benefit of modern day leaders.
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.
Known as "the GI's general" and "Lightning Joe," General J. Lawton Collins played no less than a global part in the Allied victory of World War II.
Here, for the first time, is the story of an American hero and patriot- a man who earned the admiration of the grunts with whom he shared foxholes and the respect of the highest-ranking generals. Collins was a true leader of men with his iron-clad devotion to duty, his genuine concern for those under his command, and his seemingly unending drive to defend his nation against all enemies-no matter where the fight took him...
The Battle of the Bulge lives in history as the U.S. Army's largest and bloodiest battle of World War II. This innovative study of American military leadership in action during the battle examines the performance of six generals in the days and weeks after the German attack in December 1944.
• Generals covered include Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley, among others
• Five levels of command are studied: supreme coalition, army group, army, corps, and division/armored combat command
• A unique and important history that will appeal to buffs, scholars, and soldiers