Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The intimate true story of three of the greatest American generals of World War II, and how their intense blend of comradery and competition spurred Allied forces to victory.

“One of the great stories of the American military.”—Thomas E. Ricks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Generals

Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton and Omar Bradley shared bonds going back decades. All three were West Pointers who pursued their army careers with a remarkable zeal, even as their paths diverged. Bradley was a standout infantry instructor, while Eisenhower displayed an unusual ability for organization and diplomacy. Patton, who had chased Pancho Villa in Mexico and led troops in the First World War, seemed destined for high command and outranked his two friends for years. But with the arrival of World War II, it was Eisenhower who attained the role of Supreme Commander, with Patton and Bradley as his subordinates.
 
Jonathan W. Jordan’s New York Times bestselling Brothers Rivals Victors explores this friendship that waxed and waned over three decades and two world wars, a union complicated by rank, ambition, jealousy, backbiting and the enormous stresses of command. In a story that unfolds across the deserts of North Africa to the beaches of Sicily, from D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge and beyond, readers are offered revealing new portraits of these iconic generals.
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About the author

Jonathan W. Jordan is the author of American Warlords: How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory in World War II and the award-winning Lone Star Navy: Texas, the Fight for the Gulf of Mexico, and the Shaping of the American West. He lives in Georgia.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Apr 5, 2011
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Pages
672
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ISBN
9781101475249
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Military
Biography & Autobiography / Presidents & Heads of State
History / Military / World War II
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“FDR’s centurions were my heroes and guides. Now Joe Persico has written the best account of those leaders I've ever read.”—Colin L. Powell

All American presidents are commanders in chief by law. Few perform as such in practice. In Roosevelt’s Centurions, distinguished historian Joseph E. Persico reveals how, during World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt seized the levers of wartime power like no president since Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Declaring himself “Dr. Win-the-War,” FDR assumed the role of strategist in chief, and, though surrounded by star-studded generals and admirals, he made clear who was running the war. FDR was a hands-on war leader, involving himself in everything from choosing bomber targets to planning naval convoys to the design of landing craft. Persico explores whether his strategic decisions, including his insistence on the Axis powers’ unconditional surrender, helped end or may have prolonged the war.

Taking us inside the Allied war councils, the author reveals how the president brokered strategy with contentious allies, particularly the iron-willed Winston Churchill; rallied morale on the home front; and handpicked a team of proud, sometimes prickly warriors who, he believed, could fight a global war. Persico’s history offers indelible portraits of the outsize figures who roused the “sleeping giant” that defeated the Axis war machine: the dutiful yet independent-minded George C. Marshall, charged with rebuilding an army whose troops trained with broomsticks for rifles, eggs for hand grenades; Dwight Eisenhower, an unassuming Kansan elevated from obscurity to command of the greatest fighting force ever assembled; the vainglorious Douglas MacArthur; and the bizarre battlefield genius George S. Patton. Here too are less widely celebrated military leaders whose contributions were just as critical: the irascible, dictatorial navy chief, Ernest King; the acerbic army advisor in China, “Vinegar” Joe Stilwell; and Henry H. “Hap” Arnold, who zealously preached the gospel of modern air power. The Roosevelt who emerges from these pages is a wartime chess master guiding America’s armed forces to a victory that was anything but foreordained.

What are the qualities we look for in a commander in chief? In an era of renewed conflict, when Americans are again confronting the questions that FDR faced—about the nature and exercise of global power—Roosevelt’s Centurions is a timely and revealing examination of what it takes to be a wartime leader in a freewheeling, complicated, and tumultuous democracy.
The extraordinary World War II story of shipwreck and survival that paved John F. Kennedy's path to power – hailed as a “breathtaking account” by James Patterson, “masterfully written” by historian Douglas Brinkley, and “the finest book” ever written on the subject by Lt. Commander William Liebenow, the man who rescued JFK and the PT 109 crew in August 1943.

In the early morning darkness of August 2, 1943, during a chaotic nighttime skirmish amid the Solomon Islands, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri barreled through thick fog and struck the U.S. Navy's motor torpedo boat PT 109, splitting the craft nearly in half and killing two American sailors instantly. The sea erupted in flames as the 109's skipper, John F. Kennedy, and the ten surviving crewmen under his command desperately clung to the sinking wreckage; 1,200 feet of ink-black, shark-infested water loomed beneath. "All hands lost," came the reports back to the Americans' base: no rescue was coming for the men of PT 109. Their desperate ordeal was just beginning—so too was one of the most remarkable tales of World War II, one whose astonishing afterlife would culminate two decades later in the White House.

Drawing on original interviews with the last living links to the events, previously untapped Japanese wartime archives, and a wealth of archival documents from the Kennedy Library, including a lost first-hand account by JFK himself, bestselling author William Doyle has crafted a thrilling and definitive account of the sinking of PT 109 and its shipwrecked crew's heroics. Equally fascinating is the story's second act, in which Doyle explores in new detail how this extraordinary episode shaped Kennedy's character and fate, proving instrumental to achieving his presidential ambitions: "Without PT 109, there never would have been a President John F. Kennedy," declared JFK aide David Powers.

Featuring castaways on a deserted island, a spy network of Solomon Island natives, an Australian coast watcher hidden on the side of a volcano, an S.O.S. note carved into a coconut, and a daring rescue attempt led by Kennedy's fellow American PT boats, PT 109 is an unforgettable American epic of war and destiny.

In mid-1943 James Megellas, known as “Maggie” to his fellow paratroopers, joined the 82d Airborne Division, his new “home” for the duration. His first taste of combat was in the rugged mountains outside Naples.

In October 1943, when most of the 82d departed Italy to prepare for the D-Day invasion of France, Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, the Fifth Army commander, requested that the division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Maggie’s outfit, stay behind for a daring new operation that would outflank the Nazis’ stubborn defensive lines and open the road to Rome. On 22 January 1944, Megellas and the rest of the 504th landed across the beach at Anzio. Following initial success, Fifth Army’s amphibious assault, Operation Shingle, bogged down in the face of heavy German counterattacks that threatened to drive the Allies into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Anzio turned into a fiasco, one of the bloodiest Allied operations of the war. Not until April were the remnants of the regiment withdrawn and shipped to England to recover, reorganize, refit, and train for their next mission.

In September, Megellas parachuted into Holland along with the rest of the 82d Airborne as part of another star-crossed mission, Field Marshal Montgomery’s vainglorious Operation Market Garden. Months of hard combat in Holland were followed by the Battle of the Bulge, and the long hard road across Germany to Berlin.

Megellas was the most decorated officer of the 82d Airborne Division and saw more action during the war than most. Yet All the Way to Berlin is more than just Maggie’s World War II memoir. Throughout his narrative, he skillfully interweaves stories of the other paratroopers of H Company, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The result is a remarkable account of men at war.
Based on exclusive interviews with more than thirty survivors, Undefeated tells the courageous story of the outnumbered American soldiers and airmen who stood against invading Japanese forces in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II, and continued to resist through three harrowing years as POWs.

Bill Sloan, "a master of the combat narrative" (Dallas Morning News), captures the valor, fortitude, and agony of the American defenders of the Philippines. Abandoned by their government, the men and women of the U.S. garrison battled hopeless military odds, rampant disease, and slow starvation to delay the inevitable surrender of the largest American military force ever. For four months they fought toe to toe against overwhelming enemy numbers—and forced the Japanese to pay a heavy cost in blood for every inch of ground they gained on the Bataan peninsula. After the surrender came the infamous Bataan Death March, where up to eighteen thousand American and Filipino prisoners died or were murdered as they marched sixty-five miles under the most hellish conditions imaginable.

Rather than picturing these defenders as little more than helpless victims of a powerful and sadistic enemy—as have most previous books about the Philippine campaign—Undefeated tells the full story of the remarkable courage and indomitable will that cost the Japanese invaders thousands of casualties on Bataan and Corregidor. Interwoven throughout this gripping narrative are the harrowing personal experiences of dozens of American soldiers, airmen, and Marines. Sloan also provides vivid portraits of the officers who led the American forces, such as General Douglas MacArthur, who escaped to Australia as the situation on Bataan worsened, and General Jonathan Wainwright, who succeeded him as top U.S. commander in the Philippines and himself became a prisoner of the Japanese.

Undefeated chronicles one of the great sagas of World War II—and celebrates a resounding triumph of the human spirit.
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