Ike's Son Remembers George S. Patton Jr.

The author, who once served under General Patton and whose father, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was Patton's commanding officer, shares his memories of "Ol' Blood and Guts"

On the morning of December 19, 1944, General Dwight D. Eisenhower strode into the gloomy school building in Verdun that housed the main headquarters of General Omar Bradley’s Twelfth Army Group. He had called a meeting of all the senior commanders under Bradley. More than just the building was gloomy; the weather outside was a dark gray, and the tactical situation facing the American Army in Europe was also dark. Adolf Hitler’s gigantic Ardennes counteroffensive had been launched three days before, and German Gen.Read more »

“I Learn a Lot from the Veterans”

Reminiscences of World War II’s European Theater add up to considerably more than a bunch of good war stories

Last fall the author published his book Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army From the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944-May 7, 1945 . It quickly bounced onto bestseller lists across the country, and the reason this happened is suggested in the rich and moving correspondence it had the power to generate among its readers.

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Battlefield Souvenir

It has been a disquieting presence on my bookshelf for twenty-six years now, in four houses and four apartments, a large, handsome volume, bound in white leather and stamped in gold. Its title, also in gold, is in Italian: Leonardo da Vinci S’ul Volo degli Ucelli (Leonardo Da Vinci on the Flight of Birds). It is copy number 152 of a limited edition of 300, and inside, on rich, creamy paper, Leonardo’s drawings and notes are beautifully reproduced and meticulously annotated. Read more »

The Example Of Private Slovik

Of the thousands of American soldiers court-martialed for desertion in World War II, Eddie Slovik was the only one put to death. One of the judges who convicted him looks back with regret.

When Private Eddie Slovik was executed on January 31,1945, he became the only American put to death for desertion since Lincoln was President. After his death he became the subject of a book that sold in the millions, numerous magazine articles, a television special, a play or two, and several public campaigns that made his case an issue and still keep it alive.Read more »

Bloody Huertgen: The Battle That Should Never Have Been Fought

In his reassessment of a tragic World War II battle, General Gavin concludes that, for the Germans, holding the Huertgen Forest was Phase One of the Battle of the Bulge. For the Americans, trying to occupy the forest was a ghastly mistake.

The Battle of the Bulge came to an end in the closing days of January, 1945. The combat divisions were immediately redeployed to resume the offensive into Germany, and the 82nd Airborne, which I commanded, was ordered into the Huertgen Forest, a densely wooded area astride the Siegfried Line, just inside the German border. In the fall of 1944 there had been many grim stories in the Stars and Stripes , the army newspaper, about the fighting in the Huertgen. We were not looking forward to the assignment. Read more »

A Few Men In Soldier Suits

A down-to-earth story of the way in which the German thrust at the Bulge was halted

Few of the Americans in Paris at Christmas time, 194-1, were at all alarmed over the sudden German breakthrough. The French, who are pessimists from experience, were scared and thought the Bodies were coming back, but Americans are never pessimists and they never seem to have had any experience. The SHAEF public relations division called off its Christmas party in a bored gesture toward the biggest and most disastrous battle of the war on the Western Front.

 
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