Patton At Bay / Edition 1

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For General George S. Patton, Jr., the battle for Lorraine during the fall and winter of 1944 was a frustrating and grueling experience of static warfare. Plagued by supply shortages, critical interference from superiors, flooded rivers, fortified cities, and the highly-determined German army, Patton had little opportunity to wage a fast armored campaign. Rickard examines Patton's generalship during these bitter battles and suggests that Patton was unable to adapt to the new realities of the campaign, thereby failing to wage the most effective warfare possible.

By the beginning of the Ardennes offensive, Patton had crippled his worthy opponent, but had suffered the highest casualties of any campaign that he conducted during the war. Until now, his better known exploits in Sicily and Normandy have overshadowed this campaign. Relying on a broad range of sources, this treatment of Patton's operational performance in Lorraine goes beyond the official history. It describes Patton's philosophy of war and explains why it essentially failed in Lorraine. Supplemented by full orders of battle, casualty and equipment losses, and excellent maps, Patton at Bay is a penetrating study of America's best fighting general.

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Editorial Reviews

Studies Patton's costly stalled campaign to invade Germany through Lorraine which was sandwiched between the general's celebrated victories at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge during the Second World War. In addition to shortages of fuel and other resources, the author argues, Patton's inability to apply his usual battle philosophy to the Lorraine terrain caused his inability to achieve a quick and decisive victory. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Kirkus Reviews
A detailed analysis of one of the few WWII campaigns led by General George S. Patton that could be called a failure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275963545
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Series: Praeger Series in War Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN NELSON RICKARD is completing his Ph.D. in Military History in the Military and Strategic Studies Program at the University of New Brunswick.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 A Philosophy of Battle 1
Ch. 2 From Theory to Practice 17
Ch. 3 Orders of Battle 29
Ch. 4 Strategy, Logistics, and Perception 51
Ch. 5 Breaching the Line of the Moselle 77
Ch. 6 Opportunity and Counterattack 101
Ch. 7 The Problem of Metz 117
Ch. 8 Correcting the Army Line 135
Ch. 9 Planning for the November Offensive 151
Ch. 10 The Fall of Metz 171
Ch. 11 Advance to the West Wall 199
Ch. 12 Assessment 227
App. A Third Army Order of Battle 243
App. B German Order of Battle 253
App. C Casualties and Replacements 259
App. D Material Losses 261
App. E Third Army Operational Directives 263
Selected Bibliography 271
Index 279
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