Black ’41 opens with the arrival of the class of 1941 at the gates of West Point in the spring of 1937. It follows that class—nicknamed “Black ’41” for their misdeeds while at the Academy—over the course of the next four years, as they absorb the lessons that will help them become military leaders. Their cadet days provide the backdrop for the ominous events in a world headed toward war.
It would be a war, as Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson underscored in his commencement address to the class in June 1941, that “may fall, in large measure, upon your shoulders.” The U.S. Army into which those new graduating second lieutenants were commissioned in 1941 was in many ways a holdover from the army of an earlier era, with plenty of cavalry but without a single armored division. Black ’41 became a key part of the new army, quickly transitioning to a mechanized force and growing its air arm. By the time of the major Pacific and European action, Black ’41’s officers were captains and majors, and leading soldiers into some of the critical fighting in the war.
Told largely through the words of the graduates, Black ’41 is the coming-of-age story of West Point’s finest, during the hour of our country’s greatest need.
|Publisher:||UNP - Bison Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Bill Yenne is the author of more than three dozen books on historical topics, including Aces High: The Heroic Saga of the Two Top-Scoring American Aces of World War II and Operation Cobra and the Great Offensive, and has been a contributor to encyclopedias on both world wars. He lives in San Francisco. Brigadier General Michael J. L. Greene (U.S. Army, retired) is a former president of the USMA Class of 1941.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Rites of Passage 1
1 You're in the Army Now 7
2 Duty, Honor, West Point 27
3 Reporting for Duty 57
4 Infamy 71
5 In the Philippines 79
6 Awakening the Giant 101
7 A Grand Strategy 121
8 Striking Back at the Empire 141
9 Crusade in Europe 153
10 The Battle of the Bulge 187
11 Victory in Europe 209
12 The Final Victory 253
13 Between the Wars 265
14 Korea 277
15 The Good Years 307
16 Vietnam 319
17 Retirement and Reflection 331
Epilogue: The Brothers 343
Appendix A Directory of the USMA Class of 1941 347
Appendix B US Army Organization in World War II 367
Appendix C US Army Organization in the Korean War 369
Appendix D Decorations Awarded to Members of the Class of 1941 during World War II and the Korean War 371