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During World War II, the two pre-eminent mechanized infantry forces of the conflict, the German Panzergrenadier arm and the US Army's armoured infantrymen, clashed in France and Belgium after the Normandy landings. These engagements went on to profoundly influence the use of mechanized infantry in the post-war world. Drawing upon a variety of sources, this book focuses on three key encounters between July and December 1944 including during Operation Cobra and the Battle of the Bulge, and examines the origins, equipment, doctrine and combat record of both forces. With specially commissioned full-colour artwork and maps, this study sheds light on the evolving nature of mechanized warfare at the height of World War II.
Explores the history of a little studied part of the U.S. Army, the mechanized infantry, through an examination of the evolution of its equipment, with specific focus on the controversial Bradley Fighting Vehicle program.
While the main focus in early 1945 was on the advance to The Fatherland, 15 Army Group's 5th (US) and 8th (British) Armies were achieving remarkable results in Northern Italy.Superb generalship (Truscott 5th Army and McCreery 8th Army under General
Exciting stories of the infantrymen who supported Germany's tanks. How tanks and infantry cooperated at the small-unit level. First time in English.
What if Germany had given Erwin Rommel the resources that Great Britain had deployed in the middle east? What would have happened if they had succeeded in taking Malta and Gibraltar, blocking the Allied invasion of Algeria and Morocco, taking the Suez canal, the middle eastern oil fields and threatening Russia in the Caucasus? This book serves to examine just what would have happened if Hitler and his generals had given the Mediterranean strategy more thought.
The battles for the Germans' last line of defense in World War II, including Arnhem, Aachen, the Huertgen Forest, and Metz. How German commanders made decisions under fire.
The Battle for the Benedictine monastry on the hilltop of Monte Cassino between January and May 1944 was one of the most dramatic in the Battle for Italy. The author examines in detail this struggle to open up the road to Rome. Drawing upon archive photographs and first hand reminiscences, the author sets the scene for the conflict, examines the forces ranged against each other and describes each of the four major battles.
The little-known drama of the last-minute decision to launch the invasion of Normandy—excerpted from the internationally bestselling D-Day: The Battle for Normandy In D-Day: The Decision to Launch, excerpted from Antony Beevor’s bestselling book D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, readers get the little-known story of how the difficult decision was made to launch the Allied invasion of France on June 6, 1944. The stakes could not have been higher: if Operation Overlord were to fail, it would be a crushing blow to the Allies, a huge loss of both men and equipment. The decision of when to launch rested with supreme commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower, but it hinged on one factor: the weather. If there was too much cloud cover, the Allied bombers wouldn’t be able to provide air support, and if the seas were too rough, the landing craft would be swamped. It fell to one man to predict the weather: Dr. James Stagg, the head of the meteorological team at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. This riveting selection from D-Day, praised by Time as “a vibrant work of history that honors the sacrifice of tens of thousands of men and women,” tells the fascinating inside story of one of the most important decisions of World War II.
An account of the ups and downs of a six-month-long WWII campaign with “a well detailed chronological order of the battles [and] interesting photographs” (Armorama). A selection of the Military Book Club. Following the Allied breakout from the Normandy beachhead in July 1944, the vaunted German Army seemed on the verge of collapse. As British and US forces fanned out across northwestern France, enemy resistance unexpectedly dissolved into a headlong retreat to the German and Belgian borders. In early September, an elated Allied High Command had every expectation of continuing their momentum to cripple the enemy’s warmaking capability by capturing the Ruhr industrial complex and plunging into the heart of Germany. After a brief pause to allow for resupply, Courtney Hodge’s First Army prepared to punch through the ominous but largely outdated Westwall, the Siegfried Line, surrounding Aachen. But during the lull, German commanders such as the “lion of defense,” Walter Model, reorganized depleted units and mounted an increasingly potent defense. Though the German Replacement Army funneled considerable numbers to the front, they too often strained an overburdened supply system and didn’t greatly enhance existing combat formations. More importantly, the panzer divisions, once thought irretrievably destroyed, were resupplied and reinvigorated. When the Allied offensive resumed, it ran into a veritable brick wall—gains measured in yards, not miles, if any were made at all. While both sides suffered equally in an urbanized environment of pillbox-infested hills, impenetrable forests, and freezing rain, the Germans were on the defensive and better able to inflict casualties out of proportion to their own. For the US First Army, what was originally to be a walk-through turned into a frustrating six-month campaign that decimated infantry and tank forces alike. The “broad front,” as opposed to a “Schwerpunkt” strategy, led to the demise of many a citizen-soldier. Drawing on primary Wehrmacht and US sources, including battle analysis and daily situation and after-action reports, The Roer River Battles provides insight into the desperate German efforts to keep a conquering enemy at the borders of their homeland. Tactical maps down to battalion-level help clarify the very fluid nature of the combat. Combined, they serve to explain not just how, but why decisions were made and events unfolded, and how reality often differed from doctrine in one of the longest US campaigns of World War II.
The year 1944 bore witness to the fifth long year of World War II. Death rained from the skies of Germany, her cities were ablaze or in rubble, the extermination camps operated with cold-blooded efficiency, and the Eastern Front's guns roared day and night. Hardly a German family had not lost a loved one. Most terribly, the Russian Front's floodgates creaked ominously. If they gave way, the Red Army would engulf the eastern marshlands--and perhaps the entire Fatherland--in a flood of barbarism not seen since the Dark Ages. Yet, as the Wehrmacht retreated, Germans still had hope. If the men of the Western Front could repulse the great invasion, dozens of units--including panzer divisions, SS regiments, and paratrooper formations--would arrive to thwart the Red advance. German scientists needed at least another year to develop their "wonder weapons," such as V-2 rockets, submarines, jet airplanes, and perhaps even an atomic bomb. Everything depended on the Western Front's warlords. Defenders of Fortress Europe introduces the men who had once believed they would conquer the world. By 1944, however, they were trying to throw the Allies back into the sea or just check them before they could reach Germany. The Fatherland's defense was in the hands of Nazis, non-Nazis, and anti-Nazis; professional soldiers and professional troublemakers; heroes, murderers, and war criminals; the efficient geniuses and the incompetent; the famous, the infamous, and the unknown; soldiers, sailors, SS men, and air force officers--all men who fought out of fanaticism, courage, personal ambition, a sense of honor, duty, love of country, misplaced patriotism, or, simply, habit.
Describes the weapons and explains the tactics of the Warsaw Pact and NATO armies and identifies the differing theories and practices of Soviet-block and Western armed forces
Detailed biographies of 5 panzer commanders. Describes what it's like to lead tank units in battle. Includes D-Day, Normandy, the campaign for France, the Battle of the Bulge, and the final battles in Germany.
This account focuses on the tactical operations of the Third Army and its subordinate units between 1 September and 18 December 1944.
Codenames were a vital feature of World War II, serving as mental shorthand for those in the know, and obscuring the issues for those who were not. Codenames were used from the highest level, in the planning of grand strategic moves affecting the conduct of the whole war, to the lowest command divisions, in the conduct of small-scale tactical operations. This encyclopedia, first published in 1986, removes the mystery surrounding many of the important code names from the era. With around 3,000 entries drawn from all sides – the U.K., U.S.A., Germany, the U.S.S.R. and Japan – Christopher Chant’s work provides a uniquely comprehensive and full overview of major operations, names and code words. Thorough and exciting, this key reference reissue is an exceptionally valuable resource for military historians, enthusiasts and general readers with an interest in World War II.
Fought during the frigid winter of 1944-45, the Battle of the Bulge still ranks as the single largest battle ever waged by the US Army. It was also a test: Could this conscript ground force from the Allies defeat the best remaining men and machines that Nazi Germany could produce? In The Battle of the Bulge artist Wayne Vansant takes you into the frozen foxholes, haunting forests and devastated villages of the Ardennes in Belgium and Luxembourg. Almost one million soldiers fought in the battle, at the end of which Winston Churchill stated in the House of Commons that the Battle of the Bulge was ‘undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever famous American victory'. The Battle of the Bulge is a true story of American triumph.
1,199 photos of American and German tanks with Zaloga's expert captions
The acclaimed World War II historian delivers “a panoramic and compelling boots-on-the-ground illumination of one of the Bulge’s most epic battles” (Patrick K. O’Donnell, author of Washington’s Immortals). Hitler’s last gamble, the Battle of the Bulge, was intended to push the Allied invaders of Normandy all the way back to the beaches. The plan nearly succeeded, and almost certainly would have, were it not for one small Belgian town and its tenacious American defenders who held back a tenfold larger German force while awaiting the arrival of Gen. George Patton’s mighty Third Army. In this dramatic account of the 1944–45 winter of war in Bastogne, historian Peter Schrijvers offers the first full story of the German assault on the strategically located town. From the December stampede of American and Panzer divisions racing to reach Bastogne first, through the bloody eight-day siege from land and air, and through three more weeks of unrelenting fighting even after the siege was broken, events at Bastogne hastened the long-awaited end of WWII. Schrijvers draws on diaries, memoirs, and other fresh sources to illuminate the experiences not only of Bastogne’s three thousand citizens and their American defenders, but also of German soldiers and commanders desperate for victory. The costs of war are revealed, uncovered in the stories of those who perished and those who emerged from battle to find the world forever changed. “A fast-paced story . . . Schrijvers does an admirable job of weaving personal accounts into the larger picture of Bastogne’s horrors.” —The Wall Street Journal “Pulse-pounding . . . The first thorough treatment of the famous battle for Bastogne.” —John C. McManus, author of Fire and Fortitude
Few lessons are as prevalent in military history as is the adage that tanks don't perform well in cities. The notion of deliberately committing tanks to urban combat is anathema to most. In "Breaking the Mold: Tanks in the Cities," Ken Gott disproves that notion with a timely series of five case studies from World War II to the present war in Iraq. This is not a parochial or triumphant study. These cases demonstrate that tanks must do more than merely "arrive" on the battlefield to be successful in urban combat. From Aachen in 1944 to Fallujah in 2004, the absolute need for specialized training and the use of combined arms at the lowest tactical levels are two of the most salient lessons that emerge from this study. When properly employed, well-trained and well-supported units led by tanks are decisive in urban combat. The reverse also is true. Chechen rebels taught the Russian army and the world a brutal lesson in Grozny about what happens when armored units are poorly led, poorly trained, and cavalierly employed in a city. The case studies in this monograph are high-intensity battles in conflicts ranging from limited interventions to major combat operations. It would be wrong to use them to argue for the use of tanks in every urban situation. As the intensity of the operation decreases, the 2nd and 3rd order effects of using tanks in cities can begin to outweigh their utility. The damage to infrastructure caused by their sheer weight and size is just one example of what can make tanks unsuitable for every mission. Even during peace operations, however, the ability to employ tanks and other heavy armored vehicles can be crucial. "Breaking the Mold" provides an up-to-date analysis of the utility of tanks and heavy armored forces in urban combat. The U.S. Army will increasingly conduct combat operations in urban terrain, and it will be necessary to understand what it takes to employ tanks to achieve success in that battlefield environment.
Eight World War II battles are examined here from the perspective of the U.S. Army infantrymen who were facing German Panzers. The battles were chosen from those fought from August 1944 through January 1945, a time of rapid advances and intense combat. They include a variety of engagements: river crossings, defensive operations, assaults on towns, and others.

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