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John C. McManus's award-winning Fire and Fortitude enthralled readers with an unforgettable and authoritative account of the US Army's evolution during the Pacific War, from the devastation of Pearl Harbor to the bloody battle for Makin Island in 1943. Now, in this second and final volume, he follows the Army as they land on Saipan, Guam, and Okinawa, climaxing with the American return to the Philippines, one of the largest, most complex operations in American history and one that would eventually account for one-third of all American casualties in the Pacific-Asia theater.
Brilliantly researched and written, the narrative moves seamlessly from the highest generals to the lowest foot soldiers and in between, capturing the true essence of this horrible conflict. It is a masterful history by one of our finest historians of World War II.
An engrossing, epic history of the US Army in the Pacific War, from the acclaimed author of The Dead and Those About to Die
“This eloquent and powerful narrative is military history written the way it should be.”—James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian
"Out here, mention is seldom seen of the achievements of the Army ground troops," wrote one officer in the fall of 1943, "whereas the Marines are blown up to the skies." Even today, the Marines are celebrated as the victors of the Pacific, a reflection of a well-deserved reputation for valor. Yet the majority of fighting and dying in the war against Japan was done not by Marines but by unsung Army soldiers.
John C. McManus, one of our most highly acclaimed historians of World War II, takes readers from Pearl Harbor—a rude awakening for a military woefully unprepared for war—to Makin, a sliver of coral reef where the Army was tested against the increasingly desperate Japanese. In between were nearly two years of punishing combat as the Army transformed, at times unsteadily, from an undertrained garrison force into an unstoppable juggernaut, and America evolved from an inward-looking nation into a global superpower.
At the pinnacle of this richly told story are the generals: Douglas MacArthur, a military autocrat driven by his dysfunctional lust for fame and power; Robert Eichelberger, perhaps the greatest commander in the theater yet consigned to obscurity by MacArthur's jealousy; "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell, a prickly soldier miscast in a diplomat's role; and Walter Krueger, a German-born officer who came to lead the largest American ground force in the Pacific. Enriching the narrative are the voices of men otherwise lost to history: the uncelebrated Army grunts who endured stifling temperatures, apocalyptic tropical storms, rampant malaria and other diseases, as well as a fanatical enemy bent on total destruction.
This is an essential, ambitious book, the first of three volumes, a compellingly written and boldly revisionist account of a war that reshaped the American military and the globe and continues to resonate today.
INCLUDES MAPS AND PHOTOS
Nicknamed the Big Red One, 1st Division had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear. Yet on D-Day, these jaded combat veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever. As the men hit the beach, their equipment destroyed or washed away, soldiers cut down by the dozens, courageous heroes emerged: men such as Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, a former minor-league pitcher who braved enemy fire to save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding, a former sportswriter, and Sergeant Phil Streczyk, a truck driver, who together demolished a German strong point overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed.
Along the way, McManus explores the Gap Assault Team engineers who dealt with the extensive mines and obstacles, suffering nearly a fifty percent casualty rate; highlights officers such as Brigadier General Willard Wyman and Colonel George Taylor, who led the way to victory; and punctures scores of myths surrounding this long-misunderstood battle.
The Dead and Those About to Die draws on a rich array of new or recently unearthed sources, including interviews with veterans. The result is history at its finest, the unforgettable story of the Big Red One’s nineteen hours of hell—and their ultimate triumph—on June 6, 1944.
John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those About to Die and September Hope, reveals the terror and triumph that shared the fiery skies of World War II—from the first dogfights over Europe to the last Kamikaze attacks over the Pacific.
This insightful chronicle takes readers inside the experiences of America’s fighter pilots and bomber crews, an incredible assortment of men who, in nearly four years of warfare all over the globe, suffered over 120,000 casualties with over 40,000 killed.
Their stories span the earth into every corner of the combat theaters in both Europe and the Pacific. And the aircraft explored are as varied, tough, and legendary as the men who flew them—from the indomitable heavy-duty warhorse that was the B-17 Flying Fortress to the sleek, lethal P-51 Mustang fighter.
In Deadly Sky, master historian John C. McManus goes beyond the familiar tales of aerial heroism, capturing the sights and sounds, the toil and fear, the adrenaline and the pain of the American airmen who faced death with every mission. In this important, thoroughly-researched work, McManus uncovers the true nature of fighting—and dying—in the skies over World War II.
“A riveting and deeply moving story of uncommon courage.”—Alex Kershaw, New York Times bestselling author of The First Wave
August 1944 saw the Allies achieve more significant victories than in any other month over the course of the war. The Germans were in disarray, overwhelmed on all fronts. Rumors swirled that the war would soon be over.
On September 17, the largest airborne drop in military history commenced over Holland—including two entire American divisions, the 101st and the 82nd. Their mission was to secure key bridges at such places as Son, Eindhoven, Grave, and Nijmegen until British armored forces could relieve them. The Germans, however, proved much stronger than the Allies anticipated. In eight days of ferocious combat, they mauled the airborne, stymied the tanks, and prevented the Allies from crossing the Rhine.
September Hope conveys the American perspective like never before, through a vast array of new sources and countless personal interviews to create a truly revealing portrait of this searing human drama.
In The Americans at D-Day, the first volume of this series, John C. McManus showed us the American experience in Operation Overlord. Now, in this succeeding volume, he does the same for the Battle of Normandy as a whole. Never before has the American involvement in Normandy been examined so thoroughly or exclusively as in The Americans at Normandy. For D-Day was only one part of the battle, and victory came from weeks of sustained effort and sacrifices made by Allied soldiers.
Presented here is the American experience during that summer of 1944, from the aftermath of D-Day to the slaughter of the Falaise Gap, from the courageous, famed figures of Bradley, Patton, and Lightnin' Joe Collins to the lesser-known privates who toiled in torturous conditions for their country. What was this battle really like for these men? What drove them to fight against all sense and despite all obstacles? How and why did they triumph?
Reminiscent of Cornelius Ryan's The Longest Day, The Americans at Normandy takes readers into the minds of the best American strategists, into the hearts of the infantry, into hell on earth.
Engrossing, lightning-quick, and filled with real human sorrow and elation, The Americans at Normandy honors those Americans who lost their lives in foreign fields and those who survived. Here is their story, finally told with the depth, pathos, and historical perspective it deserves.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
From the acclaimed author of The Dead and Those About to Die comes a sweeping narrative of six decades of combat, and an eye-opening account of the evolution of the American infantry.
From the beaches of Normandy and the South Pacific Islands to the deserts of the Middle East, the American soldier has been the most indispensable—and most overlooked—factor in wartime victory. In Grunts, renowned historian John C. McManus examines ten critical battles—from Hitler’s massive assault on U.S. soldiers at the Battle of the Bulge to counterinsurgency combat in Iraq—where the skills and courage of American troops proved the crucial difference between victory and defeat.
Based on years of research and interviews with veterans, this powerful history reveals the ugly face of war in a way few books have, and demonstrates the fundamental, and too often forgotten, importance of the human element in serving and protecting the nation.
On April 4, 1945, United States Army units from the 89th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division seized Ohrdruf, the first of many Nazi concentration camps to be liberated in Germany. In the weeks that followed, as more camps were discovered, thousands of soldiers came face to face with the monstrous reality of Hitler’s Germany.
These men discovered the very depths of human-imposed cruelty and depravity: railroad cars stacked with emaciated, lifeless bodies; ovens full of incinerated human remains; warehouses filled with stolen shoes, clothes, luggage, and even eyeglasses; prison yards littered with implements of torture and dead bodies; and—perhaps most disturbing of all—the half-dead survivors of the camps. For the American soldiers of all ranks who witnessed such powerful evidence of Nazi crimes, the experience was life altering. Almost all were haunted for the rest of their lives by what they had seen, horrified that humans from ostensibly civilized societies were capable of such crimes.
Military historian John C. McManus sheds new light on this often-overlooked aspect of the Holocaust. Drawing on a rich blend of archival sources and thousands of firsthand accounts—including unit journals, interviews, oral histories, memoirs, diaries, letters, and published recollections— Hell Before Their Very Eyes focuses on the experiences of the soldiers who liberated Ohrdruf, Buchenwald, and Dachau and their determination to bear witness to this horrific history.
Shooting at the enemy made a man part of the “team,” or “brotherhood.” There were, of course, many times when soldiers did not want to shoot, such
as at night when they did not want to give away a position or on reconnaissance patrols. But, in the main, no combat soldier in his right mind would have deliberately sought to go through the entire ear without ever firing his weapon, because he would have been excluded from the brotherhood but also because it would have been detrimental to his own survival. One of [rifle company commander Harold] Leinbaugh’s NCOs summed it up best when discussing Marshall: “Did the SOB think we
clubbed the Germans to death?”
June 6, 1944 was a pivotal moment in the history of World War II in Europe. On that day the climactic and decisive phase of the war began. Those who survived the intense fighting on the Normandy beaches found their lives irreversibly changed. The day ushered in a great change for the United States as well, because on D-Day, America began its march to the forefront of the Western world.
By the end of the Battle of Normandy, almost one of every two soldiers involved was an American, and without American weapons, supplies, and leadership, the outcome of the invasion and ensuing battle could have been very different.
In the first of two volumes on the American contribution to the Allied victory at Normandy, John C. McManus (Deadly Brotherhood, Deadly Sky) examines, with great intensity and thoroughness, the American experience in the weeks leading up to D-Day and on the great day itself. From the build up in England to the night drops of airborne forces behind German lines and the landings on the beaches at dawn, from the famed figures of Eisenhower, Bradley, and Lightin' Joe Collins to the courageous, but little-known privates who fought so bravely, and under terrifying conditions, this is the story of the American experience at D-Day. What were the battles really like for the Americans at Utah and Omaha? What drove them to fight despite all adversity? How and why did they triumph? Thanks to extensive archival research, and the use of hundreds of first hand accounts, McManus answers these questions and many more.
In The Americans at D-Day, a gripping narrative history reminiscent of Cornelius Ryan's The Longest Day, McManus takes readers into the minds of American strategists, into the hearts of the infantry, into hell on earth.
Impressively researched, engrossing, lightning quick, and filled with human sorrow and elation, The Americans at D-Day honors those Americans who lost their lives on D-Day, as well as those who were fortunate enough to survive.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
This straightforward guide examines the causes for each of America's wars and reveals how these conflicts have shaped the nation's borders, society, politics, culture, and future. You'll meet heroes, cowards, patriots, and traitors; relive great battles; and get a taste of what combat is really like, as you discover:
- How the French/Indian war sowed the seeds of the Revolutionary War
- Why America's battle for independence didn't end at Yorktown
- Early U.S. wars against Indians, tax cheats, and pirates
- The War of 1812: guaranteeing U.S. sovereignty
- "Manifest Destiny" wars that stretched America from sea to shining sea
- Why the American Civil War could not be avoided
- The Spanish American War and the U.S. as an emerging global power
- Why World War I failed to "make the world safe for democracy"
- How World War II changed America's role in the world
- Korea and Vietnam: hot wars during the Cold War
Featuring important insights on technological, political, and social changes that transformed the way America fights its wars U.S. Military History For Dummies is your key to understanding the evolution of the most powerful military force in history.