Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge

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 ...

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Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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.)
From the Publisher

"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" --

"This is an impressive, important work. Without Rickard's detailed, painstaking analysis, such an appreciation of Patton in the Bulge would never have been possible." -- Harold R. Winton, Air University, USA" --

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813134550
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 9/21/2011
  • Series: American Warriors Series
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 809,868
  • 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. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.

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