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Advance and Destroy
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summary
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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Key to the Maps
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Series Editor’s Foreword
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xix-xxii
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  1. Studying Patton
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. PART I: The Road to the Bulge
  2. pp. 11-12
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  1. 1.Origin of the Ardennes Counteroffensive
  2. pp. 13-24
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  1. 2.The Opposing Armies in December 1944
  2. pp. 25-52
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  1. PART II: Panzers in the Ardennes
  2. pp. 53-54
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  1. 3. Onslaught
  2. pp. 55-72
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  1. 4. Enter Patton
  2. pp. 73-93
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  1. 5. The Verdun Conference
  2. pp. 94-110
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  1. PART III: Descent on Bastogne
  2. pp. 111-112
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  1. 6. The Ninety-Degree Turn
  2. pp. 113-136
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  1. 7. Third Army Attacks, December 22–23
  2. pp. 137-165
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  1. 8. A Rendezvous with Eagles, December 24–26 [Contains Image Plates]
  2. pp. 166-178
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  1. PART IV: The Incomplete Victory
  2. pp. 179-180
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  1. 9. Patton’s Alternative Lines of Action
  2. pp. 181-199
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  1. 10. Path to Attrition, December 27–29
  2. pp. 200-225
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  1. 11. Slugging Match,December 30–31
  2. pp. 226-240
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  1. 12. Culmination, January 1–4
  2. pp. 241-260
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  1. 13. The Harlange Pocket, January 5–8
  2. pp. 261-274
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  1. 14. No Risk, No Reward, January 9–25
  2. pp. 275-302
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  1. 15. Assessment
  2. pp. 303-324
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  1. Appendixes
  2. pp. 325-354
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 355-426
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 427-446
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  1. Index of Military Units
  2. pp. 447-471
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  1. General Index
  2. pp. 472-490
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