Saving the Breakout: The Thirtieth Division's Heroic Stand at Mortain, August 7-12, 1944

Saving the Breakout: The Thirtieth Division's Heroic Stand at Mortain, August 7-12, 1944

by Alwyn Featherston
     
 
From its very first page, the American infantryman is the hero of this magnificent account of men at war. Specifically, the heroes are a handful of National Guardsmen of the Carolinas' 30th Infantry Division who, for five days in August, 1944, withstood the full fury of a massive Nazi counterattack that threatened to cut-off and defeat the Allies' breakout from the

Overview

From its very first page, the American infantryman is the hero of this magnificent account of men at war. Specifically, the heroes are a handful of National Guardsmen of the Carolinas' 30th Infantry Division who, for five days in August, 1944, withstood the full fury of a massive Nazi counterattack that threatened to cut-off and defeat the Allies' breakout from the Normandy beaches.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This dramatic military history recounts the little-known WW II defense of the French town of Mortain by the 30th Division, a National Guard outfit whose troops hailed mostly from Tennessee and the Carolinas. By stopping the German counteroffensive at Mortain, the ``Old Hickory'' Division saved the D-Day invasion forces from being pushed back to the Normandy beaches and gave the Allied high command enough time to bring pressure against both flanks of the German thrust. Featherston, a journalist with the Durham, N.C., Herald-Sun , reviews the controversy over Gen. Omar Bradley's failure to close the gap, a measure that would have encircled large German formations in France and shortened the war. Two German armies escaped through the so-called Falaise Gap but, as the author points out, the Allies took 50,000 prisoners and counted 10,000 enemy dead. It was a great Allied victory--made possible by the heroic stand of the 30th Division at Mortain. Featherston's superb narrative illuminates the overall strategic situation while concentrating on that division's lonely struggle. His account explains why S.L.A. Marshall, the Army's official historian, picked the 30th as the finest division in the European theater. Illustrations. (May)
Library Journal
American National Guard units have often been disparaged for their combat performance during World War II. This book, by a veteran journalist for the Durham, North Carolina, Herald Sun , sets the record straight in dramatic fashion for at least one such outfit, the 30th ``Old Hickory'' Infantry Division. For several days, one of its regiments heroically fought off a major German counterattack designed to roll back the Normandy invasion. Like all unit histories, this one is stuffed with names, personalities, and hometowns, but the action is fast-moving and will captivate the general reader. Featherston takes the 30th from its founding through its final battles and ends up with a useful study of a typical wartime citizen-soldier outfit. For most libraries.-- Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
Roland Green
A popular account, largely based on eyewitness reports, of the stand of the U.S. Army's 30th Infantry Division at Mortain in Normandy in early Aug_. 1944. The heroic defense of Mortain critically delayed the last and most dangerous German offensive in France, and may have saved Patton's Third Army or even the Normandy beachhead itself. This is definitely war from the infantryman's viewpoint. It is also a useful addition to the body of material on just how closely controlled the Normandy campaign was--revisionist in the best (nonpolitical) sense of the word. A likely purchase for medium or large military and World War II collections.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780891414902
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/01/1993
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
9.45(w) x 6.30(h) x (d)

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