First to the Rhine: The 6th Army Group in World War II (Anglais) Relié – Illustré, 15 septembre 2007
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
Présentation de l'éditeur
This is the story of the Allied forces--the U.S. 6th Army Group and French 1st Army--that landed in southern France on August 15th, 1944. The book follows the action from the French beaches to the Vosges Mountains, where the first Allied penetration along the entire Western front reached the Rhine River. First to the Rhine covers the vicious fighting during the German Nordwind counteroffensive in January 1945 and the French-American offensive to clear the Colmar Pocket. It then pursues the forces of the Third Reich across the Rhine to their ultimate destruction.
Unlike the forces landing in Normandy, these American divisions were hard-bitten veterans of the war in Italy, and, in the case of the 3d Infantry Division, North Africa. The French units included many veterans of the Italian campaign and comprised Frenchmen and Africans in almost equal numbers. As the campaign went on, the French ranks were swelled by tens of thousands of Free French Forces of the Interior, the famous maquis.
The German forces arrayed against the Allies included the famed 11th Panzer Division, an Eastern front veteran known as the "Ghost Division," which would hit the Allied advance time and again only to slip away before it could be pinned and destroyed. This is the harrowing story First to the Rhine tells, from the strategic plane-down through the corps, division, and regimental levels to the personal experience of the men in combat, including the likes of Audie Murphy, Americas most decorated infantryman of the war.
The book features little-known battles, including one at Montelimar, when an ad hoc American armored command and the 36th Infantry Division came within a hairs breadth and several days of hard fighting of cutting off the entire German 19th Army. This is the first popular work in English to explore the French role in the fighting and the relationship between the U.S. Army and the French forces fighting under American command.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
The book opens by introducing the key characters of this story and then proceeds to describe the battle plan of Operation Dragoon, the landing of southern France near Toulon and the need to capture the vital port of Marseilles. Being a key aspect of this mixed Army Group, the authors describes the uneasy alliance between the US and France which will help the reader understand why certain events played out the way they did. DeGaulle, difficult from the first, reaches his troublesome zenith with General Eisenhower over the defense of Strasbourg.
After describing the landings the sequence of events include securing the beachhead, the battle at Montelimor, Marseilles, securing the Rhone River, the capture of Lyons, fighting for the Vosges Mts, the first attempt at the Rhine, the Colmar Pocket, Operation Nordwind and finally the successful crossing of the Rhine.
One of my favorite chapters turned out to be one of the difficult ones but it had such relevance that it had to be read. It was on Operation Nordwind. It was a secondary offensive that occurred during the Ardennes Offensive. Hitler had hoped the US would transfer men from this sector to aid the Ardennes, thinning out the front line. If both of these German offensives had been successful, the Allies could have been in trouble.
Each engagement has its own map. These maps are similar in style to the author's earlier books. They'll very basic and lack some details and are not as helpful as they could be. There are a few photos to view as well.
There is a Notes section and Bibliography of primary and secondary sources as well as websites if further research is desired. A divisional order of battle and Index complete the book.
While there is some human interest accounts to the book, there is clearly not enough. The most interesting story told was about the night Audie Murphy won the Medal of Honor. While wounded single handedly he repulsed a German attack until reinforcements came to stop the Germans.
The authors have done their research and present detailed tactical coverage of 6th Army Group's trip to the Rhine River. There is so much detail that there are times that the narrative bogs down badly from this detail and I'm sure for some readers will be a turnoff. Much of the book is interesting and when one reaches these difficult passages, just skim through it. If you have an interest in WWII, it would be a shame not to finish the book. Even if you skim over parts, you'll still be able to formulate the overall picture.
This is a challenging but creditable book and the reader will be able to gleam from it as much as his interest dictates. Compared to the Bulge, this sector hasn't received much coverage and this is one of the better books on the southern sector and worth your consideration.
6th US Army Group was given a support role in the drive across europe. After reading this book you;ll think differently. A must read for military minded students.
There's on blatant "Typo Error" on Page 298-299 where It list the Germans as having lost only 16 Tanks and 8 Assault Guns in the Nightmarish and Terrifying 11 Day Battle of Hatten and Rittershoffen, The Re-equipped German 21st Panzer and 25th Panzer Grenadier Division and Elements the 7th Parachute and 47th Infantry Divisions lost 46 Tanks and 8 Assault Guns that were still left on the Battlefield when Hatten and Rittershoffen were liberated again on March 19, 1945. Also, besides the 40 Medium and Light Tanks, the U.S 14th Armored Division had completely "Destroyed" or "Knocked-Out", they had another 35 towed off the Battlefield at during of the Night that were in "Long Term Repair" and also, the attached U.S 813th and 827th Tank Destroyer Battalions lost 20 out of 36 Tank Destroyer each.
Just check U.S 14th Armored Division, U.S 813th and 827th Tank Destroyer "Official Records" at the National Archives.
There were almost still 100 Totally "Destroyed/Knocked Out" German and American Tanks, Tank Destroyers and Assault Guns still littering the Battlefield on March 19, 1945 (54 German Tanks and Assault Guns and 24 American Tanks and 16 Tank Destroyers) that the U.S VI Corps and U.S 14th Armored Division Ordnance Units used Surveying Equipment to determine the Location of every U.S Tank and Tank Destroyers and German Tanks and Assault Guns.
It's considered the most German and American Tanks and Armor lost on a single 2-Mile Front during the Ardennes-Alsace Campaign, At Krinkelt and Rocherath, the German 12th SS Panzer and later the 3rd Panzer Grenadier lost 35 Tanks and Assault Guns according to Zaloga and SAIC and maybe 25 Tanks according to the Dupuy Institute from December 16-26, 1944 or much less than the German and U.S Tank and Tank Destroyer Losses at in the Huge Tank Battle of Hatten and Rittershoffen.
Remember, Historians fell over laughing when Captain Charles MacDonald claimed in His famous Book, "Time for Trumpets" that the German lost 67 Tanks and Assault Guns at Krinkelt and Rocherath and 47 more at Butgenbach back in 1984 or more Tanks and Assault Guns than the German 12th SS Panzer and 3rd Panzer Grenadier Divisions had!
Charles MacDonald Assertions were "not backed up 1 Iota in German Records for both units for December 1944.
Sincerely, Daniel P. Kneeland, Grafton, Ma.