Chief of Staff, Vol. 1: The Principal Officers Behind History's Great Commanders, Napoleonic Wars to World War I, Volume 1
In the Second World War, Great Britain, the United States and Germany each produced one land force commander who stood out from the rest: Bernard Montgomery, George Patton and Erwin Rommel. These three armour-plated egos were the greatest generals of the war, and theirs was a very personal contest: the clash of mighty armies perceived as a bout between three men.
All three were arrogant and flawed, yet with a genius for the command of men and an unrivalled enthusiasm for combat. All had spectacular success on the battlefield. But their explosive relationships with each other and with their political masters rivalled the pyrotechnics of their tank battles in determining the conduct and outcome of the war.
Masters of Battle presents the Second World War as it was experienced by its three most flamboyant, controversial and influential commanders.
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.
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.
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.
General George C. Marshall was a skillful and compassionate leader with a unique legacy. He never fired a shot during WWII and led no troops into battle--his brilliance was purely strategic and diplomatic, and incredibly effective. He was responsible for the building, supplying, and, in part, the deployment of over eight million soldiers. In 1947, as Secretary of State, he created the Marshall Plan, a sweeping economic recovery effort that pulled the war-shattered European nations out of ruin, and gave impetus to NATO and the European Common Market. It was for the Marshall Plan that he won the Nobel Peace Prize--the only time in history a military commander has ever been awarded this honor.
Marshall's skilled combination of military strategy and politics, emphasis on planning as well as execution, and his expertise in nation-building holds lessons for military and civilian leaders today.