Breakout and Pursuit (U.S. Army in World War II) CMH Pub 7-5, Cloth; CMH Pub 7-5-1

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The campaign in the summer of 1944 related in this volume included some of the most spectacular ground action of the U.S. Army during World War II. It began with the slow and costly hedgerow fighting against determined German efforts to contain the Normandy beachhead; it entered its decisive stage when the breach of German defenses permitted full exploita- tion of the power and mobility of U.S. Army ground troops; and it reached the peak of brilliance with successive envelopments of principal German forces and the pursuit of their remnants north and east to free ,most of France, part of Belgium, and portions of the Netherlands. By late August the war in the west appeared to be almost over, but the tyranny of logistics gave the enemy time to rally at the fortified Vest Vall and delay surrender for another eight months. In the European Theater subseries the backdrop for this volume is Cmss- Channel Attack, which carries the story to 1 July. Breakout and Pursuit follows the U.S. First Army through 10 September (where The Siegfried Line Campaign picks up the narrative), and the U.S. Third Army through 3I August (where The Lorraine Campaign begins). The logistical factors that played so large a part in governing the pace and extent of combat operations are described in much greater detail in Volume I of Logistical Support of the Armies. The tremendous scope of this campaign, and its partially improvised character, have left a heritage of controversies to which no final answers can be given. The author has had free access to the records and to many of the leading players in the drama, and his account should have wide appeal to the general reader as well as to the serious military student of grand tactics. Covering the period 1 July to 11 September 1944, Breakout and Pursuit takes up the story of the European campaign at the time when the Allies considered their cross-Channel beachhead well established on the Continent. How the Allies exploited the initial success of their landings and drove from the shores of Normandy to the German border is the subject of the volume. The events of the period comprise a rich variety of military experience. Virtually every sort of major operation involving co-ordinated action of the combined arms is found: the grueling positional warfare of the battle of the hedgerows, the breakthrough of the main enemy position, exploitation, encirclement, and pursuit, as well as a number of actions falling under the general heading of special operations-an assault river crossing, the siege of a fortress, and night combat, among others. In their variety and com- plexity, these operations frequently bring into sharp focus the delicate problems of coalition warfare.The point of view is from the top down-how the situation appeared to the commanders and what decisions they made to solve their problems. Though the author has tried to present at some time or other the situation at each command echelon on the Allied side, the most consistent observa- tion post is at the corps level where, because of the nature of the operations, particular independence of judgment and great initiative in action were required. The emphasis is on the ground combat performed by U.S. Army troops. The activities of the other Allied forces and of the opposing Germans are included to the extent required to bring the American effort into proper perspective. Air support and logistical arrangements have been detailed when necessary for a better understanding of ground operations. The attempt has been made to fulfill two objectives, each of which has sometimes excluded the other. On the one hand, the author has endeavored to present material of interest to the career soldier, who may seek instruc- tion and who may perhaps be prompted to further study. On the other hand, the author has tried to

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