Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge (American Warrior Series)

Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge (American Warrior Series)

Language: English

Pages: 528

ISBN: 0813134552

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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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that he understood and feared American industrial might well before 1939, and a considerable argument can be made that his entire geopolitical strategy, including invading the Soviet Union, was designed to prepare Germany for an ultimate showdown with the American economic juggernaut.12 When Hitler declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, in response to the request of the Japanese ambassador, Baron Hiroshi Oshima, the German High Command was shocked by the addition of such a

attached to CCA/6th Armored Division and gained several hundred yards, while the 1st and 2nd Battalions held their positions. The 137th CT made no progress. On the corps舗 right the 26th Infantry Division attacked at 1030舒the 104th CT with a single battalion, and the 328th CT in a column of battalions. The latter managed to advance only 500 yards during the day.5 The outcome of the entire offensive essentially rested on what the 90th Infantry Division could accomplish. As the 90th Infantry

AAR, pp. 187, 196. 49. The nearest supply points for 155mm gun, 8-inch howitzer, and 4.5-inch gun ammunition were at Verdun and Etain. III Corps AAR, December 1944, p. 14. Third Army舗s ammunition supply as a whole was well supported by the railhead at Audunle-Roman. When Third Army reoriented its logistical footprint north, it abolished the practice of serving units directly from railheads; however, because of the volume of issues at Point No. 38 at Mamer, III Corps, which was using huge amounts

Middleton and gauge the seriousness of the situation. Middleton told Walker that it was 舠even worse舡 than Bradley had suggested. Walker then reported this to Patton. However, this does not entirely square with Koch舗s ISUM No. 413, issued at 2400 on December 16, which stated that although there were 舠numerous舡 attacks along VIII Corps舗 center, they were all company size and had limited objectives. Koch舗s assistant, Allen, had enough information to claim that the first objective was St. Vith.38

go up there and save their hides.舡41 Patton舗s interpretation that the threat north of Trier was the real thing can only be attributed to ULTRA. Relatively quiet throughout the preceding weeks, the high-grade signals intelligence (Sigint) now started to yield greater dividends, but it seems that some highly important messages were not sent to Third Army. One such ZZZZ message, sent out in the early-morning hours of December 17, revealed that Jagdkorps II舗s reconnaissance priorities were to

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