From October 8–10, over 30,000 attendees and over 700 exhibitors met in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to take part in the largest land warfare trade show in the United States and North America—the AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition.
The University Press of Kentucky is beyond proud of our authors who were represented in the authors’ panel on Monday for the AUSA Book Program, and we wanted to showcase their explosive new releases.
After the United States declared war against Germany in April 1917, the US Army established the Tank Corps to help break the deadlock of trench warfare in France during World War I. The army envisioned having a large tank force by 1919, but when the war ended in November 1918, only three tank battalions had participated in combat operations. Shortly after, Brigadier General Samuel D. Rockenbach, Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) Tank Corps under General John J. Pershing, issued a memorandum to many of his officers to write brief accounts of their experiences that would supplement official records. Their narratives varied in size, scope, and depth and covered a range of topics, including the organizing, training, and equipping of the tank corps.
For the first time since these reports were submitted, Pershing’s Tankers: Personal Accounts of the AEF Tank Corps in World War I presents an unprecedented look into the experiences of soldiers in the US Army Tank Corps. The book provides fresh insight into the establishment and combat operations of the tank corps, including six personal letters written by Colonel George S. Patton Jr., who commanded a tank brigade in World War I. Congressional testimony, letters, and a variety of journal, magazine, and newspaper articles in this collection provide additional context to the officers’ revealing accounts.
To remember and honor the memory of the American soldiers who fought and died in foreign wars during the past hundred years, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) was established. Since the agency was founded in 1923, its sole purpose has been to commemorate the soldiers’ service and the causes for which their lives were given. The twenty-five overseas cemeteries honoring 139,000 combat dead and the memorials honoring the 60,314 fallen soldiers with no known graves are among the most beautiful and meticulously maintained shrines in the world.
In the first comprehensive study of the ABMC, Thomas H. Conner traces how the agency came to be created by Congress in the aftermath of World War I, how the cemeteries and monuments the agency built were designed and their locations chosen, and how the commemorative sites have become important “outposts of remembrance” on foreign soil. War and Remembrance: The Story of the American Battle Monuments Commission powerfully demonstrates that these monuments—living sites that embody the role Americans played in the defense of freedom far from their own shores—assist in understanding the interconnections of memory and history and serve as an inspiration to later generations.
John R. Deane Jr. (1919–2013) was born with all the advantages a man needs to succeed in a career in the US Army, and he capitalized on his many opportunities in spectacular fashion. The son of one of George C. Marshall’s closest assistants, Deane graduated from West Point with the first class of World War II and served in combat under the dynamic General Terry de la Mesa Allen Sr. After the war, he led a German espionage unit in operations against the Soviets, personally led the first foot patrol following the course of the Berlin Wall as it was being constructed, participated in the 1965 Dominican Republic intervention, and saw combat in Vietnam. In 1975, he received his fourth star and became commander of the US Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command.
In Lessons in Leadership: My Life in the US Army from World War II to Vietnam, this exceptional soldier not only discusses working with some of the army’s most influential and colorful leaders—including James M. Gavin, William E. DePuy, William Westmoreland, and Creighton Abrams Jr.—but also the many junior officers who helped him develop the leadership skills for which he became well known. Throughout, he offers eyewitness accounts of key Cold War–era events as well as wise observations concerning the leadership and management challenges facing the Department of Defense. Ably edited and annotated by Jack C. Mason, Deane’s illuminating memoir also features interviews with several of Deane’s contemporaries, whose comments and recollections are interspersed to provide depth and context to the narrative.
Although much has been written about the Western Front in World War I, little attention has been given to developments in the east, especially during the crucial period of 1914–1915. Not only did these events have a significant impact on the fighting and outcome of the battles in the west, but all the major combatants in the east ultimately suffered collapses of their political systems with enormous consequences for the future events.
Available for the first time in English, The Forgotten Front: The Eastern Theater of World War I, 1914-1915 features contributions from established and rising scholars from eight countries who argue German, central, and eastern European perspectives. Together, they illuminate diverse aspects of the Great War’s Eastern Theater, including military strategy and combat, issues of national identity formation, perceptions of the enemy, and links to World War II. They also explore the experiences of POWs and the representation of the Eastern Front in museums, memorials, and the modern media.
General Jacob L. “Jake” Devers (1897–1979) was one of only two officers—the other was Omar C. Bradley—to command an army group during the decisive campaigns of 1944–1945 that liberated Europe and ended the war with Nazi Germany. After the war, Devers led the Army Ground Forces in the United States and eventually retired in 1949 after forty years of service. Despite incredible successes on the battlefield, General George C. Marshall’s “dependable man” remains one of the most underrated and overlooked figures of his generation.
In Jacob L. Devers: A General’s Life, James Scott Wheeler delivers a groundbreaking reassessment of the American commander whose contributions to victory in Europe are topped only by General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s. Wheeler’s exhaustively researched chronicle of Devers’s life and career reveals a leader who demonstrated an extraordinary ability to cut through red tape and solve complex problems. Nevertheless, Eisenhower disliked Devers—a fact laid bare when he ordered Devers’s Sixth Army Group to halt at the Rhine. After the war, Eisenhower’s and Bradley’s accounts of the generals’ disagreements over strategy and tactics became received wisdom, to the detriment of Devers’s reputation.
In the winter of 1944–1945, Hitler sought to divide Allied forces in the heavily forested Ardennes region of Luxembourg and Belgium. He deployed more than 400,000 troops in one of the last major German offensives of the war, which became known as the Battle of the Bulge, in a desperate attempt to regain the strategic initiative in the West. Hitler’s effort failed for a variety of reasons, but many historians assert that Lieutenant General George S. Patton Jr.’s Third Army was ultimately responsible for securing Allied victory. Although Patton has assumed a larger-than-life reputation for his leadership in the years since World War II, scholars have paid little attention to his generalship in the Ardennes following the relief of Bastogne.
In Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge, Captain John Nelson Rickard explores the commander’s operational performance during the entire Ardennes campaign, through his “estimate of the situation,” the US Army’s doctrinal approach to problem-solving. Patton’s day-by-day situational understanding of the Battle of the Bulge, as revealed through ULTRA intelligence and the influence of the other Allied generals on his decision-making, gives readers an in-depth, critical analysis of Patton’s overall effectiveness, measured in terms of mission accomplishment, his ability to gain and hold ground, and a cost-benefit analysis of his operations relative to the lives of his soldiers. The work not only debunks myths about one of America’s most controversial generals but provides new insights into his renowned military skill and colorful personality.