Academic journal article Military Review

Generals of the Bulge: Leadership in the U.S. Army's Greatest Battle

Academic journal article Military Review

Generals of the Bulge: Leadership in the U.S. Army's Greatest Battle

Article excerpt

GENERALS OF THE BULGE: Leadership in the U.S. Army's Greatest Battle

Jerry D. Morelock, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, 2015, 384 pages

In Generals of the Bulge: Leadership in the U.S. Army's Greatest Battle, Jerry Morelock's compilation of historical biographies reexamines the leadership of six general officers directly involved in combat during the Battle of the Bulge. Morelock, a soldier and historian, looks at the actions and decisions of the general officers through the lens of how their personalities and character influenced the performance of their duties. His work is particularly valuable and instructive in its examination of the effectiveness of the "American brand" of leadership exemplified by these senior-level commanders in battle--as successes and failures.

The opening chapter provides a comprehensive, yet succinct, summary of the Army's posture as well as that of the German forces at the time of the Ardennes offensive. Additionally, the author describes the leadership, doctrine, organization, manpower, and equipment of the U.S. Army in the European theater. These details of the structure and organization are researched well. They provide a skillful depiction of the background of the Army at the time. The book's appendices have a wealth of information regarding orders of battle and lists of key individuals. Of particular note in this chapter is a description of how Gen. George C. Marshall Jr. groomed selected officers during the interwar years for significant future assignments. The information provided in this chapter offers a broad context of the overall condition of the Army leading up to the Battle of the Bulge.

In the subsequent chapters, Morelock provides insightful details and battlefield leadership analysis of six general officers who led large Army formations in late 1944. Morelock begins with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander, Allied Expeditionary Force; then it continues with Lt. …

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