General Jacob Devers: World War II's Forgotten Four Star

By John A. Adams | Go to book overview

ONE
Early Years

BORN ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1887, IN THE PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH town of York, Jacob Loucks Devers was the oldest of four children born to the very upright couple of Philip and Ella Kate Loucks. Philip Devers was a sturdy, good-natured Irishman, 5′ 10″ and 220 pounds or so, with a thick crop of curly hair, olive complexion, and a moustache. Oddly, the American who was to free Alsace descended on Ella Kate’s side from stock that hailed from Strasbourg. A heavyset semi-invalid, she needed domestic help to raise her three sons and a daughter. Altogether they were a gregarious and friendly family – a touch of the Irish in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Father worked his way up to become a highly skilled watchmaker and partner in the well-regarded jewelry store, Stevens and Devers. “My father had to put those damned watches together – he had to do everything right or it didn’t work. That impressed me,” his son later commented.1 Afterward, Philip became the only one in York who could repair the new “high tech” adding machines. As the junior partner in the jewelry business, he often had to work late hours. He was a Democrat active in civic affairs and a Thirty-Second Degree Mason. A boyhood friend remembered him as “one of the great fathers I knew. He was a real companion to the boys.”2 Jacob’s sister remembered him as “a man’s man”: “He had a horse and fancy pigeons which he trained. Father would come home from work for meals on the trolley car. For the boys he made the first skis in the area. He had a great deal of fun in him. Our childhood was happy and carefree.”3 The children remembered spending a lot of time with their father. He helped them to build a coaster that the

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General Jacob Devers: World War II's Forgotten Four Star
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Prologue 3
  • One - Early Years 5
  • Two - The Interwar Years 21
  • Three - Marshall Recognizes Devers 35
  • Four - Chief of Armored Force 52
  • Five - The Debate over Doctrine 72
  • Six - Commander, Eto 94
  • Seven - Deputy Supreme Commander, Mto 118
  • Eight - The French and a Southern Front 140
  • Nine - Dragooned 157
  • Ten - Up the Rhône Valley 176
  • Eleven - An End to Champagne 193
  • Twelve - Into the Cold Vosges 216
  • Thirteen - Cross the Rhine? 233
  • Fourteen - Throw Down at Vittel and Its Aftermath 261
  • Fifteen - Nordwind Strikes Devers 290
  • Sixteen - The Colmar Pocket Finally Collapses 315
  • Seventeen - Undertone to Austria 334
  • Eighteen - Postwar 372
  • Epilogue 390
  • Notes 395
  • Bibliography 419
  • Index 425
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