Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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List of Maps

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p. ix

Acknowledgments

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p. xi

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Prologue

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p. 3

When appointed chief of staff in 1939, George C. Marshall faced a seemingly impossible task. Out of a small, second-rate peacetime army, he had to create what became an 8-million-man machine tasked with beating both the horror of Nazi Germany and...

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1. Early Years

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pp. 5-20

Born on September 8, 1887, in the Pennsylvania Dutch town of York, Jacob Loucks Devers was the oldest of four children born to the very upright couple of Philip and Ella Kate Loucks. Philip Devers was a sturdy, good-natured Irishman, 5' 10" and 220 pounds or...

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2. The Interwar Years

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pp. 21-34

In May 1919, while most soldiers were returning home, Devers was one of the few American officers sent to France to attend the French artillery school at Treves. Jake never tried to use his influence to get assignments but was happy with this one. When he...

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3. Marshall Recognizes Devers

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pp. 35-51

One of Franklin Roosevelt’s most perspicacious personnel decisions was making General George C. Marshall the army chief of staff. In recognition of his integrity and overpowering command presence, Winston Churchill dubbed...

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4. Chief of Armored Force

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pp. 52-71

It was about noon, and Devers was in his office when the phone rang. It was General Marshall:
Is anybody listening on this phone?
Well, if they were they are off, General Marshall. I want you to get into your plane this afternoon and...

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5. The Debate over Doctrine

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pp. 72-93

In the beginning, George S. Patton proved to be a large problem. He had a lot of ideas, some good, some very unbalanced. Patton stressed mobility and tended to use the light tank as a horse. Despite the need demonstrated on European battlefields for more armor...

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6. Commander, ETO

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pp. 94-117

Early in 1942, Major General James Chaney was sent to the United Kingdom to take command of the American army in Europe. Yes, there was a war into which America had just been thrust. But old habits die hard. Chaney maintained...

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7. Deputy Supreme Commander, MTO

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pp. 118-139

As Jacob Devers replaced Dwight Eisenhower for command of the United Kingdom in November 1942, Eisenhower replaced Devers in 1943. While Eisenhower returned to Washington to meet with George Marshall and Franklin Roosevelt, and to...

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8. The French and a Southern Front

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pp. 140-156

American military historians often dismiss French actions and participation during the campaign in Western Europe. They praise the élan shown by the men of the French 2nd Armored Division (Deuxième Division Blindée) and its very...

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9. Dragooned

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pp. 157-175

Winston Churchill said that the Americans dragooned him into the landings in southern France, hence the selection of that code name. Jacob Devers certainly had not been. British Field Marshal Henry “Jumbo” Wilson had set things up with the...

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10. Up the Rhône Valley

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pp. 176-192

Refugees were on the move all across France, trying to return home. Jacob Devers was especially considerate of the Poles. In Italy, Poles had fought bravely and hard in an attempt to move the Allies up the Italian boot. “I was close to the Poles. So I made a deal...

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11. An End to Champagne

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pp. 193-215

On 3 September 1944, Jacob Devers and Henry “Jumbo” Wilson, still the leadership of MTO, traveled to Dwight Eisenhower’s headquarters to go over his overarching intentions for the order he would issue the next day. Much of the meeting revolved around...

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12. Into the Cold Vosges

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pp. 216-232

The 6th Army Group commander was disappointed that Dwight Eisenhower did not give his formation a larger role in the upcoming late September offensive.1 Jacob Devers was anxious to stage a powerful offensive as soon as possible.2 He applied creative...

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13. Cross the Rhine?

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pp. 233-260

Dwight Eisenhower was not impressed by the results that the 6th Army Group posted in October 1944. From 15 August to the end of September, the Seventh Army had advanced 400 miles, from St. Tropez to...

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14. Throw Down at Vittel and Its Aftermath

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pp. 261-289

George Marshall’s counterpart, Chief of the British Imperial Staff Sir Alan Brooke, was almost beside himself. He felt that Eisenhower had splattered scarce combat resources up and down the line without concentrating sufficient combat power to win...

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15. Nordwind Strikes Devers

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pp. 290-314

On 19 December 1944, senior commanders gathered in Verdun to attend Dwight Eisenhower’s emergency conference to react to the German attack in the Ardennes, the clash known as the Battle of the Bulge...

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16. The Colmar Pocket Finally Collapses

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pp. 315-333

In a series of communications to George Marshall and his senior commanders from 10 to 20 January 1945, Dwight Eisenhower summarized the recent German attacks and laid out his specific plans for the final phases of the war in Europe.1 He broke the final...

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17. Undertone to Austria

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pp. 334-371

In mid-January 1945, Dwight Eisenhower changed the focus of his final drive. Instead of Berlin, which he said had no military value and in any case was far closer to Soviet forces, the SHAEF commander shifted his gaze southward to Leipzig and the remaining...

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18. Postwar

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pp. 372-389

In a letter to George Marshall in February 1945, Dwight Eisenhower rated his top thirty-eight officers. This was serious business in which a commander was expected to be brutally honest. As might be expected...

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Epilogue

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pp. 390-394

Before D-Day, Dwight Eisenhower appears to have concluded that Jacob Devers was not steady or reliable enough to become a senior member of his innermost team. In a confidential personnel evaluation to George Marshall, Eisenhower raised questions...

Notes

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pp. 395-418

Bibliography

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pp. 419-424

Index

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pp. 425-441