The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945

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University Press of Kansas, 1999 - History - 346 pages
2 Reviews
The German Wehrmacht was one of the most capable fighting forces the world has ever known, but in the end it was no match for the Allies. Some historians contend that the Allies achieved victory through brute force and material superiority. But, as Peter Mansoor argues, all of the material produced by U.S. industry was useless without trained soldiers to operate it, a coherent doctrine for its use, and leaders who could effectively command the formations into which it was organized.

This book provides a comprehensive study of America's infantry combat performance in Europe during World War n, showing that the Army succeeded by developing combat effective divisions that could not only fight and win battles, but also sustain that effort over years of combat. While American industry admittedly enabled the U.S. to sustain its overseas armies, the effectiveness of those forces ultimately rested on their organizational capabilities and ability to adapt to combat in a variety of lethal environments and to learn from their mistakes.

Mansoor analyzes the impact of personnel and logistical systems on the Army's strength, explaining how leaders used these systems to keep a small number of divisions at a high state of combat effectiveness. During the, critical battles of 1944-45, American divisions were able to sustain this high level while their Wehrmacht counterparts disintegrated, demonstrating that the Army's endurance in extended combat was the most critical factor in its ultimate success. Mansoor also takes a close look at the personalities and capabilities of division commanders, infantry tactics and operations, logistics, and the benefits and weaknesses of stateside training.

TheAmerican army won, asserts Mansoor, because unit for unit at the division level it was more effective than its adversaries. By showing how U.S. infantry developed more quickly and fought better than commonly believed, The GI Offensive in Europe contributes significantly to the history of the U.S. Army in the European theater and to our overall understanding of military effectiveness.

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The GI offensive in Europe: the triumph of American infantry divisions, 1941-1945

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle once said of the infantry, "They are the guys that wars can't be won without," and he was right. Now Mansoor, a U.S. Army colonel, has written a compelling history ... Read full review

Review: The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945

User Review  - Howard Anders - Goodreads

Excellent historical study. Dr. Mansoor refutes the contention of authors like TN Dupuy and SLAMarshall that the Allies won World War II in Europe because of our overwhelming materiel advantage. He ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Peter Mansoor is the General Raymond E. Mason, Jr Chair of Military History at Ohio State University. He assumed this position in 2008 after a twenty-six-year career in the United States Army that culminated in his service in Iraq as the executive officer to General David Petraeus, the commanding general of Multi-National Force in Iraq. He is the author of The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941 1945, which was awarded the Society for Military History's distinguished book award and the Army Historical Society's distinguished book award in 2000. He also wrote a memoir titled Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's War in Iraq (2008), which was awarded the Ohioana Library Association distinguished book award.

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