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Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge
     

Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge

by John Nelson Rickard, Roger Cirillo (Foreword by)
 

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In the winter of 1944—1945, Hitler sought to divide Allied forces in the heavily forested Ardennes region of Luxembourg and Belgium. He deployed more than 400,000 troops in one of the last major German offensives of the war, which became known as the Battle of the Bulge, in a desperate attempt to regain the strategic initiative in the West. Hitler's effort

Overview

In the winter of 1944—1945, Hitler sought to divide Allied forces in the heavily forested Ardennes region of Luxembourg and Belgium. He deployed more than 400,000 troops in one of the last major German offensives of the war, which became known as the Battle of the Bulge, in a desperate attempt to regain the strategic initiative in the West. Hitler's effort failed for a variety of reasons, but many historians assert that Lieutenant General George S. Patton Jr.'s Third Army was ultimately responsible for securing Allied victory. Although Patton has assumed a larger-than-life reputation for his leadership in the years since World War II, scholars have paid little attention to his generalship in the Ardennes following the relief of Bastogne.

In Advance and Destroy, Captain John Nelson Rickard explores the commander's operational performance during the entire Ardennes campaign, through his "estimate of the situation," the U.S. Army's doctrinal approach to problem-solving. Patton's day-by-day situational understanding of the Battle of the Bulge, as revealed through ULTRA intelligence and the influence of the other Allied generals on his decision-making, gives readers an in-depth, critical analysis of Patton's overall effectiveness, measured in terms of mission accomplishment, his ability to gain and hold ground, and a cost-benefit analysis of his operations relative to the lives of his soldiers. The work not only debunks myths about one of America's most controversial generals but provides new insights into his renowned military skill and colorful personality.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Advance and Destroy is the best book on operational command I have read. John Rickard's success at merging events, intelligence, decisions, and commanders in real time is both gripping and successful in putting the reader inside the command posts and on the field during the Battle of the Ardennes. Clearly, the best in-depth examination of Patton the Commander ever done." — General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.), 32nd Chief of Staff

"This is a detailed operational study of Patton's Third Army during the German counter-offensive in the Winter of 1944-45, Patton's finest hour. In this sequel to his Patton at Bay, Rickard examines Patton's decisions based on what was known at the time, force levels in action on both sides, terrain, weather, and directions from Eisenhower and Bradley." — Library Journal

" Advance and Destroy bills itself as the 'first rigorous analysis' of Patton's generalship over the course of the entire Ardennes campaign. Clearly written and well researched, the volume fits that bill." — Military Periscope

"Examines [Patton's] strategy and actions during the Battle of the Bulge." — WWII History

"A tour de force on the history of the military art...Puts paid to the idea that nothing new can be said about this campaign about which so much has been written." — Army Magazine

"The author... turns his analytical skills to an assessment of Patton's effectiveness as a commander during the Battle of the Bulge in terms of command and operational technique, mission accomplishment, and cost in lives relative to the gains made by his forces." — The Historian

"An informative historical study that creates a fascinating encounter between an event of great importance and a magnetic personality." — H-Net Review

"A masterpiece on Patton's operational performance throughout the entire Ardennes campaign, from the first attacks to the relief of Bastogne and beyond the spring of 1945." — Past in Review

"Apart from good history, author Rickard captures the essence of George Patton: conident, profane, and optimistic." — Journal of America's Military Past

"A detailed operational history." — Military Review

"An impressive, important work.... Without Rickard's detailed, painstaking analysis, such an appreciation of Patton in the Bulge would never have been possible." — War in History

"A book like this offers much for readers trying to understand the complexities of command in a rapidly changing environment such as occurred with Patton and his Third Army in the Bulge." — Journal of Military History

Library Journal
This is a detailed operational study of Patton's Third Army during the German counter-offensive in the Winter of 1944–45, Patton's finest hour. In this sequel to his Patton at Bay, Rickard examines Patton's decisions based on what was known at the time, force levels in action on both sides, terrain, weather, and directions from Eisenhower and Bradley. Patton successfully shifted the direction of his army and relieved the troops besieged in Bastogne. Rickard assesses Patton's command style as inspiring at the personal level. While Patton did make some mistakes, overall he is judged in this well-documented book as very effective tactically, given the difficult circumstances. VERDICT For specialists, who will love the detailed discussions of formations and fighting and the critical analysis of a complex battle. With excellent appendixes. (Index not seen.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813134550
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
09/21/2011
Series:
American Warriors Series
Pages:
528
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet the Author

John Nelson Rickard, a captain in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Directorate of Army Training in Ontario, Canada, is the author of Patton at Bay: The Lorraine Campaign, 1944.

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