Author: George Wilson
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2010-11-10
"If you survive your first day, I'll promote you." So promised George Wilson's World War II commanding officer in the hedgerows of Normandy -- and it was to be a promise dramatically fulfilled. From July, 1944, to the closing days of the war, from the first penetration of the Siegfried Line to the Nazis' last desperate charge in the Battle of the Bulge, Wilson fought in the thickest of the action, helping take the small towns of northern France and Belgium building by building. Of all the men and officers who started out in Company F of the 4th Infantry Division with him, Wilson was the only one who finished. In the end, he felt not like a conqueror or a victor, but an exhausted survivor, left with nothing but his life -- and his emotions. If You Survive One of the great first-person accounts of the making of a combat veteran, in the last, most violent months of World War II. From the Paperback edition.
Author: Belton Y. Cooper
Publisher: Presidio Press
Release Date: 2007-12-18
“Cooper saw more of the war than most junior officers, and he writes about it better than almost anyone. . . . His stories are vivid, enlightening, full of life—and of pain, sorrow, horror, and triumph.” —STEPHEN E. AMBROSE From his Foreword “In a down-to-earth style, Death Traps tells the compelling story of one man’s assignment to the famous 3rd Armored Division that spearheaded the American advance from Normandy into Germany. Cooper served as an ordnance officer with the forward elements and was responsible for coordinating the recovery and repair of damaged American tanks. This was a dangerous job that often required him to travel alone through enemy territory, and the author recalls his service with pride, downplaying his role in the vast effort that kept the American forces well equipped and supplied. . . . [Readers] will be left with an indelible impression of the importance of the support troops and how dependent combat forces were on them.” —Library Journal “[DEATH TRAPS] FILLS A CRITICAL GAP IN WW2 LITERATURE. . . . IT’S A TRULY UNIQUE AND VALUABLE WORK.” —G.I. Journal From the Paperback edition.
The Western European and Mediterranean Theaters in World War II is a concise, comprehensive guide for students, teachers, and history buffs of the Second World War. With an emphasis on the American forces in these theaters, each entry is accompanied by a brief annotation that will allow researchers to navigate through the vast amount of literature on the campaigns fought in these regions with ease. Focusing on all aspects surrounding the U.S. involvement in the Western European and Mediterranean theaters, including politics, religion, biography, strategy, intelligence, and operations, this bibliography will be a welcome addition to the collection of any academic or research library. Routledge Research Guides to American Military Studies provide concise, annotated bibliographies to the major areas and events in American military history. With the inclusion of brief critical annotations after each entry, the student and researcher can easily assess the utility of each bibliographic source and evaluate the abundance of resources available with ease and efficiency. Comprehensive, concise, and current—Routledge Research Guides to American Military Studies are an essential research tool for any historian.
Author: Michael Bilder
Release Date: 2008-11-17
A brutally honest depiction of day-to-day combat in World War II . . . A rarely frank account of the U.S. infantry experience in northern Europe, A Foot Soldier for Patton takes the reader from the beaches of Normandy through the giddy drive across France, to the brutal battles on the Westwall, in the Ardennes, and finally to the conquest of Germany itself. Patton’s army is best known for dashing armored attacks, its commander combining the firepower of tanks with their historic lineage as cavalry. But when the Germans stood firm the greatest fighting was done by Patton’s long undersung infantry—the foot sloggers who were called upon to reduce enemy strong points, and who took the brunt of German counterattacks. Michael Bilder, a member of the 5th Infantry (“Red Diamond” division), played a unique role in the Third Army’s onslaught. A rifleman foremost, he was also a German-speaker, called upon for interrogations and special duties. Also a combat lifeguard, he played a key role in successive river crossings. An astute observer, he relates dozens of fascinating insights into the campaign, from dealing with German snipers to intoxicated Frenchwomen, as well as relaying the often morbid humor of combat. Laughter, for example, erupts among Bilder’s unit when a hated Graves Registration officer, known for robbing the pockets of the dead, gets his hand blown off by a German booby trap. When the 5th Infantry comes up against the fortress of Metz, the battle is detailed in all its horror, as is the sudden drive into the flank of the Bulge, where the Americans face their first winter battle against enemy veterans of Russia. Incidents common to the ordinary GI, but which seldom see the light of day in histories, are routinely related in this book, enriching the reader’s sense of the true reality of World War II combat.
Author: Alex Kershaw
Release Date: 2012-10-30
The untold story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War. Written with Alex Kershaw's trademark narrative drive and vivid immediacy, The Liberator traces the remarkable battlefield journey of maverick U.S. Army officer Felix Sparks through the Allied liberation of Europe—from the first landing in Italy to the final death throes of the Third Reich. Over five hundred bloody days, Sparks and his infantry unit battled from the beaches of Sicily through the mountains of Italy and France, ultimately enduring bitter and desperate winter combat against the die-hard SS on the Fatherland's borders. Having miraculously survived the long, bloody march across Europe, Sparks was selected to lead a final charge to Bavaria, where he and his men experienced some of the most intense street fighting suffered by Americans in World War II. And when he finally arrived at the gates of Dachau, Sparks confronted scenes that robbed the mind of reason—and put his humanity to the ultimate test.
In December 1944, just as World War II appeared to be winding down, Hitler shocked the world with a powerful German counteroffensive that cracked the center of the American front. The attack came through the Ardennes, the hilly and forested area in eastern Belgium and Luxembourg that the Allies had considered a quiet sector. Instead, for the second time in the war, the Germans used it as a stealthy avenue of approach for their panzers. Much of U.S. First Army was overrun, and thousands of prisoners were taken as the Germans forged a 50-mile bulge into the Allied front. But in one small town, Bastogne, American paratroopers, together with remnants of tank units, offered dogged resistance. Meanwhile the rest of Eisenhowers broad front strategy came to a halt as Patton, from the south, and Hodges, from the north, converged on the enemy incursion. Yet it would take an epic, six-week-long winter battle, the bloodiest in the history of the U.S. Army, before the Germans were finally pushed back. Christer Bergström has interviewed veterans, gone through huge amounts of archive material, and performed on-the-spot research in the area. The result is a large amount of previously unpublished material and new findings, including reevaluations of tank and personnel casualties and the most accurate picture yet of what really transpired. The Ardennes Offensive has often been described from the American point of view; however, this balanced book devotes equal attention to the perspectives of both sides. With nearly 400 photos, numerous maps, and 32 superb color profiles of combat vehicles and aircraft, it provides perhaps the most comprehensive look at the battle yet published.
Author: Stephen Harding
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Release Date: 2013-05-07
May 1945. Hitler is dead, and the Third Reich little more than smoking rubble. No GI wants to be the last man killed in action against the Nazis. But for cigar-chewing, rough-talking, hard-drinking, hard-charging Captain Jack Lee and his men, there is one more mission: rescue fourteen prominent French prisoners held in an SS-guarded castle high in the Austrian Alps. It’s a dangerous mission, but Lee has help from a decorated German Wehrmacht officer and his men, who voluntarily join the fight. Based on personal memoirs, author interviews, and official American, German, and French histories, The Last Battle is the nearly unbelievable story of the most improbable battle of World War II—a tale of unlikely allies, bravery, cowardice, and desperate combat between implacable enemies.
Author: Alex Kershaw
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Release Date: 2007-04-02
On the morning of December 16, 1944, eighteen men of the Intelligence and Reconnaissance platoon attached to the 99th Infantry Division found themselves directly in the path of the main thrust of Hitler's massive Ardennes offensive. Despite being vastly outnumbered, they were told to hold their position "at all costs." Throughout the day, the platoon repulsed three large German assaults in a fierce day-long battle, killing hundreds of German soldiers. Only when they had run out of ammunition did they surrender to the enemy. But their long winter was just beginning. As POWs, the platoon experienced an ordeal far worse than combat-surviving in wretched German POW camps. Yet miraculously the men of the platoon survived-all of them-and returned home after the war. More than thirty years later, when President Carter recognized the platoon's "extraordinary heroism" and the U.S. Army approved combat medals for all eighteen men, they became America's most decorated platoon of World War II. With the same vivid and dramatic prose that made The Bedford Boys a national bestseller, Alex Kershaw brings to life the story of these little-known heroes-an epic tale of courage, duty, and survival in World War II and one of the most inspiring episodes in American history. The Longest Winter is an intensely human story about young men who find themselves in frightening wartime situations, who fight back instinctively, survive stoically, and live heroically.
Author: Holland M. Smith
Release Date: 2017-06-29
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Coral and Brass is the biography of General Holland McTyeire "Howlin' Mad" Smith, known as the "father" of modern U.S. amphibious warfare. His book is a riveting first-hand account of key battles fought in the Pacific between the U.S. Army and Canadian troops against the Japanese, including assaults on the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands, the island of Saipan, Tinian in the Marianas and Iwo Jimo.
From the beaches of Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge to the border of Czechoslovakia, an American infantryman recounts his journey through the expiring Third Reich, offering an insightful and detailed account of his experiences under fire. Reissue.
Author: Jon T. Hoffman
Publisher: Department of the Army
Release Date: 2010-01-15
The U.S. Army has a long record of fielding innovations that not only have enhanced its effectiveness on the battlefield but also sometimes had an impact far beyond warfare. General Editor Jon T. Hoffman has brought together eleven authors who cover the gamut from the invention of the M1 Garand rifle between the world wars through the development of the National Training Center in the 1980s. While many books lay out theories about the process of innovation or detail the history of a large-scale modernization, the collection of fourteen essays in A History of Innovation: U.S. Army Adaptation in War and Peace fills a different niche in the literature. This work is neither a historical account of how the Army has adapted over time nor a theoretical look at models that purport to show how innovation is best achieved. Instead, it captures a representative slice of stories of soldiers and Army civilians who have demonstrated repeatedly that determination and a good idea often carry the day in peace and war. Despite the perception of bureaucratic inertia, the institution's long history of benefiting from the inventiveness of its people indicates that it is an incubator of innovation after all.