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eBook Eisenhower's Lieutenants download

by Russell Frank Weigley

eBook Eisenhower's Lieutenants download ISBN: 0613998049
Author: Russell Frank Weigley
Publisher: San Val (September 1990)
Language: English
ePub: 1983 kb
Fb2: 1696 kb
Rating: 4.8
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Subcategory: Humanities

Russell Frank Weigley (WY-glee) (July 2, 1930 – March 3, 2004) was the Distinguished University Professor of History at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a noted military historian.

Russell Frank Weigley (WY-glee) (July 2, 1930 – March 3, 2004) was the Distinguished University Professor of History at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a noted military historian.

Russell Frank Weigley . Weigley's "Eisenhower's Lieutenants" is a masterwork, an incredibly comprehensive and perceptive discussion in depth of the western European campaign. From D-Day to the surrender, Weigley examines the strategic decisions and tactical actions which lie at the heart of the eventual Allied success. Weigley gives significant space to how Eisenhower’s accumulating antipathy to the Field Marshall as well as Bradley and others’ open hostility caused them to miss opportunities for shortening the war.

Eisenhower’s Lieutenants book . Reading Eisenhower’s Lieutenants was a wonderfully enriching experience. I learned more than I ever would have thought possible. This will unquestionably become one of the great classics of American military history. Russell Frank Weigley, PhD, was the Distinguished University Professor of History at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a noted military historian.

Eisenhower's Lieutenants by Russell Weigley Condition: Like new - letgo. 18 Magic Tree House Books. Evesham Township, 08053.

Author of The American way of war, Eisenhower's lieutenants, The American military, Morristown, Towards an American army, History of the United States Army . Eisenhower's lieutenants.

Author of The American way of war, Eisenhower's lieutenants, The American military, Morristown, Towards an American army, History of the United States Army, Quartermaster general of the Union Army, Philadelphia. The American military.

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Russell Frank Weigley, Ii John Whiteclay Chambers. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Russell Frank Weigley.

The publication of Eisenhower's Lieutenants is an event of significance in American military writing. by Russell F. Weigley. Select Format: Hardcover.

Comments: (7)
Kelezel
Weigley's "Eisenhower's Lieutenants" is a masterwork, an incredibly comprehensive and perceptive discussion in depth of the western European campaign. From D-Day to the surrender, Weigley examines the strategic decisions and tactical actions which lie at the heart of the eventual Allied success. He does this largely by examining the activities of Eisenhower and his subordinate commanders, Bradley, Montgomery, and Devers; Patton, Hodges, Simpson, Patch, Juin and de Lattre, Symonds, Crerar, and the corps and divisional commanders who committed the troops and fought the battles. Yet he still manages to note the heroic deeds of individual soldiers or civilians and their impact on the outcome of events in nearly every significant exploit he examines.

At the same time, he gives an excellent if less detailed evaluation of their German command opponents, as well as the Nazi hierarchy with its dreams of empire and impossible demands. There is very little hero worshiping, but instead a clear eyed and psychologically compelling insight into the minds and characters of literally dozens of major commanders of the war.

This isn’t a book for novices. Weigley assumes his readers understand common military terms and tables of organization. His explanations are timely, but if you can’t tell a corps from a platoon, or a company from an army, brush up on those things first. You don’t need to understand everything – I still don’t know the real difference between columns of battalions and columns of regiments – but you may need to have a good military reference at hand if you don’t.

Weigley’s main thesis is that the U.S. Army in WWII found itself having to transform overnight from an army mostly used to fight Native American unrest in the west – an army of mobility, as he terms it, to an army of combat power, as the major European armies were intended to be. He also pushes the thought that neither the War Department nor SHAEF really understood until they were faced with possible disaster that the logistic, training, and manpower estimates for the ETO were badly off target. Eisenhower, he notes prior to the Bulge, had at best a one to one ratio of divisions to fight the Germans, not the three to one advantage classical doctrine states attacking forces need. This was offset, of course, by airpower, but Northern Europe was unfriendly to the combat aircraft of the time. The “all weather” interceptor or bomber had not been developed. Sorely need planes often sat uselessly on the ground, as in the first days of The Bulge.

Even ammunition stocks were underproduced – in some ways understandably. Just as the generals of the Civil War had no idea how deadly rifled muskets would turn out to be, so few planners had any idea how bloody modern 20th Century weapons would make the European battle fields.

He also examines the ways in which higher order logistics – the necessity of the British & Canadians taking the eastern D-Day beaches and the American troops the west – fundamentally misaligned the Allied forces for the drive into Germany from day one. Thus the weakest of the Allied Armies had the shortest route into the Nazi homeland, while the strongest forces had the longest trek. Had it been the other way round, he suggests, the war might have been shortened and many lives saved.

This of course in some ways is wishful thinking. While he has a fair point, the hard fact, as he points out, is that the British naval transport had to have the shortest sail to the Cotentin while the Americans were longer legged. Once landed, there was no swapping flanks. The die was cast.

And of course, bad as the U.S. replacement situation was, the British and Canadians simply had no reserves. Thus the army group - the British 21st - that had to be most cautious faced the harder defenses.

These hard truths also tend to undermine the point he and others like Hastings argue that the Germans outfought the Americans when the terms were equal. There are many examples where that wasn't the case, including many he cites. It's a view not too dissimilar from the wholly misguided worship of Tigers and Panthers, the ne plus ultra of AFV "Nazi fanboys," as Zaloga calls them. The side that really outfights the other is the side that wins. The Germans didn't.

Some of his most cogent comments concern the basic character of the Allied (and occasionally German) commanders. He notes mistakes by nearly all, but also notes who were the easiest to command and in this sense most effective. Simpson, Devers, and Patch, stand out in this regard, despite the fact that Ike treated Devers like a stepchild. The portraits by other authors of Hodges as at times petulant or moody seemed confirmed, though Ike continued to support him, while of course Bradley was treated best of all, though he and his staff thought Eisenhower had been thoroughly coopted by Montgomery.

Which of course brings up Market Garden, which Weigley analyzes with care, but to my mind a bit too generously. He sees Market Garden as not a strategic failure, but a failure of tactical execution. But as at least one later historian notes, the Dutch general staff back in England could have told Montgomery that every war game they had tried showed it was impossible to reach Arnhem by Highway 69 – Hell’s Highway. Every simulation failed. While there are reasons the British failed to talk to the Dutch, it doesn’t excuse the lack of strategic foresight in the first place. It wasn't just a tactical error but a strategic fault.

And at least in my reading, it is finally Montgomery who of all the lieutenants comes off worst. Every student of World War II knows that while he had some ability he was vain, arrogant, utterly tactless, and often plodding, a military diva. Yet anyone who could so antagonize his allies and his own country’s commanders – it was Eisenhower's British deputy Tedder who pushed hardest for him to be sacked – has to be regarded as a liability more than an asset, someone who squandered opportunity after opportunity for cooperation and coordination of effort – which might truly have saved lives and hastened the end. And his constant boasts that if he'd only be given the lion's share of U.S. divisions and supplies and all other commands frozen in place he would blast his way to Berlin, reveal him as more blowhard than a Caesar. He hung on because of an inaccurate perception that he had accomplished what Auchinleck would not have – winning the second battle of El Alamein, and because Brooke – who comes across is a snob and pedant – protected him, for reasons of his own.

Weigley gives significant space to how Eisenhower’s accumulating antipathy to the Field Marshall as well as Bradley and others’ open hostility caused them to miss opportunities for shortening the war. But to me at least, Weigley ultimately seems to be asking them to not be human – to not allow their judgments to be influenced by their emotions toward a person who repeatedly makes himself insufferable – "in victory unbearable," as Churchill said of him – which none of us at any level are good at. Ultimately, the logical extension of this point is that Eisenhower in fact should have sacked him since he wasn't just an irritant but the catalyst of bad strategic decisions. But that is a conclusion Weigley leaves unsaid.

Perhaps better to simply take away the lesson that such problems in command are inevitable – and to hope ultimately they are be minimized as best they can be – and as they were enough to destroy one of the most evil forces the modern world has seen.

Excellent maps in hardback. Hopefully a Kindle Edition will appear soon. Given its length it would be a much easier read. As several reviewers of the paperback have lamented the lack of identification of the commanders on the flyleaf I've attached a photo from the hardback with the various generals named, though many faces are obviously still omitted even there.
Zuser
This is a big, thick book for the serious student of WW II, one of the few I have read with reasonably objective comments on the competence of commanders down around the divisional level. I had long wanted to know if my father's division were well led, and was actually not able to finish the book after I had extracted the information I sought, not because the book is poorly written (it isn't), but because of the density of the material. So much has been published on that conflict, much written for money, plagiarized without fact checking, and concentrating on legends, nationalistic prejudices, and the big shots with a romantic aura, it was refreshing to come across this reference. It strikes me as a keeper, whereas many best-sellers are not.
Taulkree
Mr Weigley, a noted academic and author of several other books on WWII, has written an impressive summary of the closing months of the war in the west. This book is suitable for both interested new students and experienced readers for it contains a wealth of information and insight on a critical campaign. You will not only learn about the key events of the day but you will see how well key people did in prosecuting the war.

The author begins by explaining US war doctrine which was greatly influenced by General McNair. The doctrine was based primarily on our experiences in the Civil War and WWI and it ignores the realities of the strength and habits the Germans had shown since the start of the war and what the Soviets were showing since 1943. I found our war doctrine to be confused and outdated. After further discussion of the US and German armies, the author begins his operational coverage with the D-Day landings and diligently works his way to the German surrender in May 1945. The coverage is predominately American but from time to time the 21st Army Group is discussed. There is also much discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton and Montgomery but also of 20 other key commanders. The discussion involves their performance on the battlefield as well as how they got along with their fellow officers. There is also coverage on the usefulness of artillery and air power in support of the ground troops as well as an entity unto themselves.

This is the most complete, single source tactical summary I've been able to find. It shows the hardship of the landing and the first week moving off the beach, fighting through the hedgerows, St Lo, Operation Cobra, the drive through Brittany, Mortain, Falaise, the crossing of the Seine etc, etc. The Aachen-Hurtgen-Roer River campaigns was especially revealing and one of my favorites. The German determined resistance is shown as well. The analysis and criticism of Bradley, Hodges and Collins for their poor planning and shortsightedness of this campaign seemed warranted. Hodges and Collins are veterans of the Argonne Forest debacle of 1918; you would think they would avoid a second occurrence but they didn't. The loss of life in the Hurtgen was horrific and could have been less if our commanders were less obdurate and more thoughtful.

Included with the narrative are 23 full page maps showing the countryside but not detailed troop movements of each campaign discussed. There is an extensive 43 page Notes section and Index. There are photos of 23 commanders and a few other battlefield shots.

Though some reviewers disagreed with some of the author's analysis and judgments, I agreed with much of it. The poor utilization and coordination of infantry and armor, though it improved somewhat later, the refusal to upgrade our tanks, the general insistence of a wide front advance, the over cautious commanders and the mobilization of too few troops to Europe, the lack of a combined long term strategy for both Europe and the Pacific are legitimate concerns that needed to be addressed. However, I would temper the author's high appraisal of the German war readiness by late 1944-45. Though the Germans were still dangerous and still had amazing recuperative powers, the American fighting ability greatly improved as indicative in the defeat of the Germans in the Ardennes in December/January if not earlier in the breakout and pursuit of July/August period. And these Allied victories occurred even with a pronounced reduction of planned mobilization of troops.

There are 730 pages, excluding the Notes and Index, that pertain to the war. The operational coverage of the US engagements in the last year of the war in the west is very good and most readers will learn about the key commanders that prosecuted the war. If you're looking for a one volume summary of the fighting in western Europe in the last year of the war then this book is highly recommended.