Black '41: The West Point Class of 1941 and the American Triumph in World War II

Black '41: The West Point Class of 1941 and the American Triumph in World War II


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Black '41: The West Point Class of 1941 and the American Triumph in World War II by Bill Yenne

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803234147
Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
Publication date: 12/01/2010
Pages: 408
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

Bibliography 373

Index 375

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