Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Maps

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

David M. Glantz

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pp. ix-x

C. J. Dick’s two-volume study is a comparative critique of the differing approaches employed by the Allied powers as they conducted military operations in western and eastern Europe against the Wehrmacht of Hitler’s Germany during the summer of 1944. Its uniqueness rests in its comparative nature. Rather than detailing the course of military operations, emphasizing battles and leaders as so many previous books have done, Dick analyzes and compares Allied approaches...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

I found writing this book much more difficult than I had expected when I blithely embarked upon the project. There were many times when I stared glumly at my computer, bereft of ideas, or gazed at the little birds industriously building their nests in my garden fence and wished I too could be out in the sun, indeed, anywhere except at my desk. That the project came to fruition is due in significant part to my beloved wife, Heather. She tolerated my spells of irritability or abstraction,...

List of Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Selected Foreign Words

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

The purpose of this book, which has been divided into two volumes, is to study the practical application of military theory in the most testing of circumstances—fighting the German army in the summer of 1944. It is not, in other words, a straightforward military history, a descriptive account of operations. There are already more than enough narrative histories of the campaign and plenty of studies evoking the horror and pity of war. My purpose is to put forward broad arguments...

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1. Immature Armies

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pp. 11-67

Nowadays, three interrelated and interdependent levels of war are identified: strategy, operational art, and tactics.1 The operational level provides the vital connection between military-strategic objectives and the tactical employment of troops on the battlefield. It is the realm of the conception, planning, and execution of major operations and campaigns designed, through a succession of steps, to destroy the enemy’s centre of gravity. In other words, it determines where, when, and to what...

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2. The Tipping Point

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pp. 68-114

After much wrangling between the British and the Americans, the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) agreed on a directive that was issued to the Supreme Commander, AEF, on 12 February 1944. General Eisenhower was told: “You will enter the Continent of Europe and, in conjunction with the other Allied Nations, undertake operations aimed at the heart of Germany and the destruction of her Armed Forces.” Eisenhower clarified this mission by stating that “the purpose of destroying enemy...

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3. July: Breakthrough and Near Breakthrough

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pp. 115-157

The Overlord plan anticipated that, by the end of June, the Americans would be in possession of the entire Cotentin Peninsula and would be preparing to break out. Actually, they had pushed only halfway down the peninsula and were making heavy weather of advancing further. The British were not in possession of Caen, and attempts to outflank the city had been frustrated. Consequently, the airmen were still denied the airfield sites they craved, and both armies were running out of space...

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4. August: Incomplete Encirclements

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pp. 158-218

The German army in the west now faced defeat on a scale comparable to that being endured at the same time in Belorussia (covered in some detail in volume 2).1 While the Germans were still fighting a coherent battle north of the Sélune, giving ground only grudgingly, their left wing had apparently disintegrated so that, with the crossing of the Sélune, their southern (no longer western!) flank was effectively in the air. The Germans, it appeared, no longer possessed the balance required...

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5. September: Operational Ideas and Developments on the Ground

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pp. 219-272

In May 1944 SHAEF planners looked forward to post-Normandy operations.1 Of course, they had not the remotest idea how the Overlord campaign would develop; they could not even be sure the invasion would succeed in establishing forces ashore. They clarified the mission received from the CCS and studied the nonvariables that would affect the way the military situation developed—the terrain, the weather, and the logistic requirements of the forces. They assumed that the advance...

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6. Logistic Realities

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pp. 273-298

In essence, the business of logistics consisted of four parts: to identify in advance the needs of the theatre and provide for them; to develop a system that could and would respond in good time to the demands of the fighting formations; to ship what was required to the Continent, whether by ocean-going ship or coaster; and to deliver from ports or beaches what was needed where and when it was needed. Each of these steps posed its own problems, and the failure to solve each one...

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7. Command, Operational Art, and Generalship

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pp. 299-361

Eisenhower budged, temporarily, from his position on the broad-front concept of operations, but not on command. From mid-August he had been under mounting pressure to assume personal command of the Allied land forces. His staff, American and British alike, as well as the American generals who disliked Montgomery and were imbued with a newfound post-Cobra confidence, urged him on. Like them, the American press questioned why a Briton was still in charge when American...

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Postscript

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pp. 362-366

Compared with the Allies’ preinvasion expectations, the summer campaign of 1944 was a great success. At his St. Paul’s School briefing in May, Montgomery had posited that their armies would be up to the Loire and Seine by early September. Instead, they were 250 to 300 km (155 to 185 miles) further, on an arc from Antwerp to Commercy on the Meuse. But compared with the perhaps overblown hopes of post-Normandy, when there was a general expectation of at least crossing the Rhine,...

Notes

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pp. 367-422

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 423-432

Index

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pp. 433-465

Back Cover

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