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

By John A. Adams | Go to book overview

ELEVEN
An End to Champagne

ON 3 SEPTEMBER 1944, JACOB DEVERS AND HENRY “JUMBO” Wilson, still the leadership of MTO, traveled to Dwight Eisenhower’s headquarters to go over his overarching intentions for the order he would issue the next day. Much of the meeting revolved around logistics. The northern two groups were starved for supplies. George Patton’s Third Army was grounded for lack of them. Eisenhower wanted tonnage transshipped up the Rhône Valley to supply them, which couldn’t be done until the Third and Seventh Armies welded a firm connection.

About the same time, Eisenhower met with his current subordinates to give strategic guidance. The supreme commander was under intense pressure. Both of the army groups that stemmed from Normandy were running out of supplies, and their commanders, Bernard Montgomery and Omar Bradley, were screaming for more. Both were in the process of derailing Eisenhower’s carefully set plans. Despite his explicit instructions to the contrary, Montgomery was circumventing the capture of the great port of Antwerp in an effort to tackle the Rhine. Bradley evaded Eisenhower’s carefully laid out verbal instruction to concentrate the First Army in a strike through the Aachen Gap, which is north of that city, and instead splattered V Corps all over the Ardennes. Dealing with Devers and his supernumerary army group was almost an afterthought.

For the fall, Eisenhower outlined the same theme he had been pushing for some time. The First and Ninth Armies in Bradley’s group would make the theater main effort north of the Ardennes toward the Ruhr. This would force the Germans to commit the bulk of their forces west of the Rhine in defense of their principal industrial base. There the Al-

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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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