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This engrossing and meticulously researched volume reexamines the decisions made by Dwight D. Eisenhower and his staff in the crucial months leading up to the Battle of the Bulge. In late August 1944, defeat of the Wehrmacht seemed assured. On December 16, however, the Germans counterattacked. Received wisdom says that Eisenhower's Broad Front strategy caused his armies to stall in early September, and his subsequent failure to concentrate his forces brought about deadlock and opened the way for the German attack. Arguing to the contrary, John A. Adams demonstrates that Eisenhower and his staff at SHAEF had a good campaign strategy, refined to reflect developments on the ground, which had an excellent chance of destroying the Germans west of the Rhine.
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Not the Smooth Machine of Legend
Much has been made of the relationship between Eisenhower and Montgomery, and their respective strengths and weaknesses. Too little light has been shed on Bradley and the American Army commanders. Bradley did not serve Eisenhower as well as he could have, and perhaps was not the best man for his position. The man best qualified, (and Marshall's choice for the position), was disliked by Eisenhower, and only entered the ETO after Dragoon. The commanders of Army Group 12 are covered, but not in as great detail.
Eisenhower's strategy for the ETO wasn't the most brilliant militarily, but in all likelihood was the most practical politically. Both of his ground commanders decided to vary from agreed strategy without informing SHAEF. Both, knew that without a major Channel port, there would be a shortage of all supplies D-Day +120. Both angled to get the majority of those supplies. Both were insulted when they didn't get the majority of the supplies.
The blunders made on the Allied side have been omitted from most history books due to political correctness; 'the winners write the history books'. Personalities get lost, hindsight re-writes, winning forgives, (somewhat),
People forget that in WWII the Allies were a coalition and that various commanding officers were reporting to separate governments in addition to their chain of command. Those governments placed additional and extraneous strains on Eisenhower. In addition each countries' military had it's own 'old boy' network, and that's where the senior officers all came from. Mr. Adams gives a reasonable description of most the major players, (on both sides). I'm relatively well read and didn't detect any political slant in the narrative. Jim Wood's narration is invisible.