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The Army Nurse Corps in World War II
"Weaving together information from official sources and personal interviews, Barbara Tomblin gives the first full-length account of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in the Second World War. She describes how over 60,000 army nurses, all volunteers, cared for sick and wounded American soldiers in every theater of the war, serving in the jungles of the Southwest Pacific, the frozen reaches of Alaska and Iceland, the mud of Italy and northern Europe, or the heat and dust of the Middle East. Many of the women in the Army Nurse Corps served in dangerous hospitals near the front lines—201 nurses were killed by accident or enemy action, and another 1,600 won decorations for meritorious service. These nurses address the extreme difficulties of dealing with combat and its effects in World War II, and their stories are all the more valuable to women’s and military historians because they tell of the war from a very different viewpoint than that of male officers. Although they were unable to achieve full equality for American women in the military during World War II, army nurses did secure equal pay allowances and full military rank, and they proved beyond a doubt their ability and willingness to serve and maintain excellent standards of nursing care under difficult and often dangerous conditions.
The War Time Letters of General James M. Gavin to his Daughter Barbara
James Maurice Gavin left for war in April 1943 as a colonel commanding the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division-America's first airborne division and the first to fight in World War II. In 1944, Slim JimGavin, as he was known to his troops, at the age of thirty-seven became the 82nd's commanding general-the youngest Army officer to become a major general since the Civil War. At war's end, this soldier's soldier had become one of our greatest generals-and the 82nd's most decorated officer.Now James Gavin's letters home to his nine-year-old daughter Barbara provide a revealing portrait of the American experience in World War II through the eyes of one of its most dynamic officers. Written from ship decks, foxholes, and field tents-often just before or after a dangerous jump-they capture the day-to-day realities of combat and Gavin's personal reactions to the war he helped to win. And provide an invaluable self-portrait of a great general, and a great American, in war and peace.The book's more than 200 letters begin at Fort Bragg in 1943 and continue to December 1945, as Gavin came home to lead the 82nd at the head of the Victory parade in New York. This correspondence constitutes the majority of Gavin's private wartime letters, but except for rare appearances in regimental newsletters, it has never before been published. In her Introduction, Epilogue, and Notes, Barbara Gavin Fauntleroy gives a privileged glimpse of the private man. Edited by Gayle Wurst, the book features historical overviews by Starlyn Jorgensen, a preface by noted Gavin biographer Gerard M. Devlin, and a foreword by Rufus Broadaway, Gavin's aide-de-camp.
World War II's Forgotten Four Star
Of the leaders of the American Army in World War II, Jacob Devers is undoubtedly the "forgotten four star." Plucked from relative obscurity in the Canal Zone, Devers was one of four generals selected by General of the Army George Marshall in 1941 to assist him in preparing the Army for war. He quickly became known in Army circles for his "can do" attitude and remarkable ability to cut through red tape. Among other duties, he was instrumental in transforming Ft. Bragg, then a small Army post, into a major training facility. As head of the armored force, Devers contributed to the development of a faster, more heavily armored tank, equipped with a higher velocity gun that could stand up to the more powerful German tanks, and helped to turn American armor into an effective fighting force. In spring 1943, Devers replaced Dwight Eisenhower as commander of the European Theater of Operations, then was given command of the 6th Army Group that invaded the south of France and fought its way through France and Germany to the Austrian border. In the European campaign to defeat Hitler, Eisenhower had three subordinate army group commanders—British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, Omar S. Bradley, and Jacob Devers. The first two are well-known—here the third receives the attention he properly deserves.
Unsung Architect of the U.S. Army
An exceptionally well researched and argued reappraisal of the career of Lesley J. McNair and his role in fashioning American ground forces before and during World War II. Calhoun argues convincingly that far from the ineffectual general of common lore, McNair was a crucial architect of Allied victory. A must-read for students of modern U.S. and World War II military history
Behind Enemy Lines in World War II
A member of the famed Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division, Donald J. Rich went ashore on D-Day at Utah Beach, was wounded in the bloody conflict at Carentan, landed in a flimsy plywood-and-canvas glider on the battlefields of Holland, and survived the grim siege with the “Battling Bastards of Bastogne” during the Battle of the Bulge. Ordinary Eagle is his eyewitness account of how he, along with thousands of other young men from farms, small towns, and cities across the United States, came together to answer the call of their nation. It is also a heartfelt tribute to the many thousands who gave their lives in the struggle. Coauthored by Kevin Brooks, the son of Rich’s best friend and World War II comrade, Ordinary Eagle covers a span of nearly three years: from February 1943, when Rich left his family in Wayland, Iowa, until his return home, five months after the war's end, as a toughened bazooka gunner and veteran of five campaigns. Rich’s first-person narrative includes vivid coverage of the action, featuring an especially rare account of arriving on a combat landing zone by glider. Detailed, day-to-day depiction of some of the heaviest fighting in Holland follows, including the action at Opheusden, the center of the infamous “Island.” Later highlights include the Battle of the Bulge, where Rich recounts his experiences in some of the hottest defensive fighting of the European Theater, including the epic tank battles at Marvie, Champs, and Foy.
The 28th Infantry Division in World War II
An inventive study of relations between the National Guard and the Regular Army during World War II, Guard Wars follows the Pennsylvania National Guard's 28th Infantry Division from its peacetime status through training and into combat in Western Europe. The broader story, spanning the years 1939--1945, sheds light on the National Guard, the U.S. Army, and American identities and priorities during the war years. Michael E. Weaver carefully tracks the division's difficult transformation into a combat-ready unit and highlights General Omar Bradley's extraordinary capacity for leadership -- which turned the Pennsylvanians from the least capable to one of the more capable units, a claim dearly tested in the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest. This absorbing and informative analysis chronicles the nation's response to the extreme demands of a world war, and the flexibility its leaders and soldiers displayed in the chaos of combat.
World War Two in Hawai`i, from the pages of Paradise of the Pacific
Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941--in the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, "a date which will live in infamy." More than 350 Japanese bombers, fighters, and torpedo planes struck Hawai'i in two waves, sinking or disabling eighteen ships and destroying more than two hundred aircraft. Close to 2,500 American military and civilians died that morning, another 1,178 were wounded. The Hawaiian Islands had been pulled into the Pacific War and the lives of its citizens were irrevocably changed. Hawai'i Chronicles III: World War Two in Hawai'i looks at the human and social impact of the war on the people of Hawai'i from 1938, when speculation of a Pacific War first surfaced, to the era of postwar prosperity that followed. Editor Bob Dye has selected articles that originally appeared in the popular monthly magazine Paradise of the Pacific (now known as Honolulu magazine). An introduction describes the history of the magazine and the colorful characters who published and edited it. Dye then poses the question: How did Hawai'i's citizenry cope with the war? Blackouts, media censorship, gas and food rationing were imposed. Schools were commandeered, jobs were changed or modified to support the war effort (lei makers were set to making camouflage netting). And soldiers were everywhere: stringing barbed wire (along Waikiki Beach!), guarding public buildings and searching anyone who entered, worrying parents when they dated their daughters. Paradise of the Pacific provided its readers with an informative, perceptive, and often entertaining look at these and other everyday experiences of life in wartime Hawai'i.