Normandy to Victory
The War Diary of General Courtney H. Hodges and the First U.S. Army
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Series: American Warriors Series
Normandy to Victory is a unique contribution to the existing primary literature on the command and conduct of American military operations in Europe during World War II. This book reproduces in edited form for the first time the daily war diary maintained for Gen. Courtney Hicks Hodges, commanding general, ...
A Biographical Sketch: Courtney Hicks Hodges
Courtney Hicks Hodges was born in Perry, Georgia, on 5 January 1887. He entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, with the incoming class of 1908 in June 1904, a member of the same class as George S. Patton Jr. He was “found deficient” in mathematics, as was Patton, ...
1. The Invasion of France and the Lodgment in Normandy, 2 June-24 July 1944
Friday, 2 June 1944: The General [Lt. Gen. Courtney Hicks Hodges], Bill [Capt. William E. Smith, aide), and I [Maj. William C. Sylvan, senior aide]1 left Bristol at 9 o’clock in the morning on exercise “Brass Hat”2 (see next page for inclosure). Passing thru Bridgewater and Exeter, we stopped briefly at noon ...
2. Operation Cobra and the Breakthrough at St. L
Tuesday, 25 July 1944: The General and Fran reached the OP—the same house at Vents—at 0927, and did not have long to wait for the opening air blow. Promptly at 0936 the first of nine groups of four P-47s each approached the target from over St Lô and then whipped down through a clear sky to plaster the road ...
3. Exploitation of the St. L
Tuesday, 1 August 1944: Today, at 1025, General Hodges signed four secret copies of General Orders No 4, First United States Army, and thereby assumed command. Three of the orders went to the Corps Commanders serving under him; the fourth to the AG [Adjutant General] safe. ...
4. The Battle of Germany, 13 September-15 December 1944
Wednesday, 13 September 1944: General Bradley flew in unannounced this morning and had a long and secret conference with General Hodges in the War Room. General Brooks also was present throughout most of the conference and both stayed for luncheon. ...
5. The German Counteroffensive and the Drive to the Roer River, 16 December 1944-22 February 1945
Saturday, 16 December 1944: Today, exactly one month after we launched our attack towards Cologne, the Boche began a counteroffensive, on which, according to a captured order, which was signed by Von Runstedt [Rundstedt], the enemy is gambling its life. According to Von Runstedt the fate of the German nation ...
Photo insert after page 292
6. Crossing the Roer River, 23-28 February 1945
Friday, 23 February 1945: This morning at 3:30, preceded by 45 minutes of artillery preparation in which 936 guns were active—the greatest barrage that the Army has yet put on over a small area—the VII Corps launched a coordinated attack with the 8th and 104th Divs. ...
7. Crossing the Rhine River, 1-24 March 1945
Thursday, 1 March 1945: The main Boche opposition came, not during the day, but at night, when over 100 planes, flying singly or in twosomes, attacked the VII and III Corps front areas and bridges. The final count according to Colonel Patterson was 34 downed with another 10 probable. Losses to personnel are believed light. ...
8. Exploutation of the Remagen Bridgehead, 25 March-18 April 1945
Sunday, 25 March 1945: The General is today showing the public that when it comes to using armor he is second to no one. The 9th Armd Division of V Corps advanced eight miles to clear Bendorf. The 3rd Armd of VII Corps advanced to Rott, Ersfeld and Rettersen, making an advance of some ten miles ...
9. Final Operations, 19 April-7 May 1945
Thursday, 19 April 1945: The headquarters today was filled with representatives of the Ninth and Fifteenth Armies and Twelfth Army Group as negotiations went under way for settlement of the new boundary turn overs. Ninth Army will assume responsibility for the area now held by us on noon of the 22nd, ...
Appendix: Locations of First U.S. Army Command Posts, 9 June 1944–14 May 1945