Closing With the Enemy: How GIs Fought the War in Europe, by Michael D. Doubler

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By Michael D. Doubler

This research choices up the place D-Day leaves off. From Normandy throughout the "breakout" in France to the German Army's final gasp within the conflict of the Bulge, Michael Doubler bargains with the lethal company of warfare - remaining with the enemy, battling and successful battles, taking and maintaining territory. His research offers a reassessment of ways American GIs finished those harmful and expensive initiatives. The ebook portrays a much more able and profitable American combating strength than earlier historians - significantly Russell Weigley, Martin Van Creveld and S.L.A. Marshall - have depicted. actual, the GIs were not absolutely ready or organised for a struggle in Europe, and feature usually been seen as not so good as their German opponent. yet, Doubler argues, they greater than compensated for this through their skill to benefit speedy from errors, to evolve within the face of unforseen stumbling blocks and to innovate new strategies at the battlefield. this flexibility, he contends, was once way more an important to the yank attempt than now we have been resulted in think. Fueled via a fiercely democratic advert entrepreneurial spirit, GI suggestions emerged from each point in the ranks - from the radical employment of traditional guns and small devices to the swift retraining of troops at the battlefield. Their so much dramatic good fortune, despite the fact that, used to be with mixed palms conflict - the co-ordinated use of infantry, tanks, artillery, air energy and engineers - during which they perfected using air aid for flooring operations and tank-infantry groups for breaking via enemy strongholds. Doubler argues that, with out such ingenuity and resourceful management, it can were most unlikely to defeat an enemy as well-trained and seriously fortified because the German military the GIs faced within the tortuous hedgerow state of Northern France, the slender cobblestone streets of Aachen and Brest, the darkish recesses of the Huertgen woodland and the frigid snow-covered hills of the Ardennes. Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the yankee victory within the conflict of the Bulge, this ebook bargains a well timed reminder that "the large results of firepower and know-how will nonetheless now not relieve flooring troops of the weight of final with the enemy." As even wasteland hurricane indicates, that might most probably turn out real for destiny high-tech battlefields, the place an army's adaptability will stay prized.

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Extra info for Closing With the Enemy: How GIs Fought the War in Europe, 1944-1945 (Modern War Studies)

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The tankers initially met fierce resistance, but coordinated tank-infantry-engineer teams successfully pushed the Germans back. Twelve dozer tanks played a major role in breaching the hedgerows. 58 CCA's attack proved that coordinated combined arms actions could overcome the German hedgerow defense but also showed that the Germans were a determined and resourceful enemy. Lead infantry elements noticed that extensive wire communications ran between all German positions, enabling FOs in trees to bring down accurate mortar and artillery fire.

3 Rainy weather turned marshlands into a bottomless morass and added immeasurably to the daily miseries endured by the foot soldier. Low visibility and cloud ceilings often grounded aircraft, denying commanders the air support they so desperately needed. Additionally, a major channel storm ravaged the invasion beaches during 19-23 June, severely restricting the movement of supplies onto the mainland and creating shortages in several key commodities. Extremely long days and short nights put a premium on the hours of darkness.

33 Battle in the early stages of the campaign showed that inadequate communications prevented close coordination between tankers and infantrymen. The din of battle and roar of tank engines drowned out voice communications between tank commanders and troops on the ground, and infantrymen could not get the attention of tankers busy inside their vehicles. The most significant problem was that the majority of tank and infantry radios operated on different wavelengths. Of the seven radios authorized in an infantry company, only the company commander's transmitted and received with tank radios.

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