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Omar Bradley: General at War Hardcover – September 12, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Omar Bradley: General at War

“In Omar Bradley: General at War, Jim DeFelice brings a war hero to life. Through the pages of this fast-paced and thoroughly researched story, the crack shot from Middle America emerges as an intellectual force behind some of America’s greatest victories—and a man who held his own against titans like Eisenhower, Patton, and Montgomery. From the deserts of Tunisia to the blood-stained snows of Bastogne, DeFelice’s saga of war, heroism, and humility gives America’s last five-star general a literary monument he never had in life. Omar Bradley: General at War is a truly remarkable book you’ll enjoy for its skillful writing as well as its historical credibility. Highly recommended!”
—Jonathan W. Jordan, bestselling author of Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe

“Jim DeFelice has written an entertaining and readable account of a great leader’s life, showing what shaped his character and how he faced some of the greatest military challenges of the twentieth century. Military buffs will be pleased. Anyone who reads it will be enriched.”
—Larry Bond, author of New York Times bestseller, Cold Choices

“People are familiar with the Omar Bradley of film and history books that depict him as a sidekick to more celebrated American generals—but they do not know anything close to the truth about him. In this vital, triumphant work, Jim DeFelice at long last dispels all the misconceptions with the definitive story of this towering U.S. military figure. And he does it with the masterful style of a veteran writer.”
—Jerome Preisler, New York Times bestselling author of All Hands Down: The True Story of the Soviet Attack on the USS Scorpion and the forthcoming Codename Caesar, an exploration of German-Japanese cooperation during World War II

“General Bradley was a mid-American to the core with those values being illustrated throughout his life. This is an enjoyable read for followers of military history, students of leadership skills, and good old ‘human interest’ fans. . . . A quick read and a big help in understanding the major players and strategies of the European campaigns during WWII.”
—Richard Marcinko, ROGUE WARRIOR, aka Richard Marcinko CDR, USN (Ret.)

About the Author

JIM DEFELICE is an award-winning writer, former political columnist, and prolific bestselling author of more than three dozen military books and spy thrillers. His previous works explore the effects of war, politics, terrorism, and technology on soldiers and civilians. He lives with his family in Warwick, New York. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery History; 1St Edition edition (September 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596981393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596981393
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By matt8386 VINE VOICE on February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Jim DeFelice's bio on Omar Bradley fails on several levels. The first is his reliance on secondary sources. To me, I think he read a dozen or so other books, formulated an opinion and wrote this. He admits in the author's notes his almost complete reliance on Bradley's autobiography. He also used many internet sites, the bibliography is tellingly short. The maps are at the end of the book rather than the in the text, a minor annoyance.

Another failure on his part is that rather than state what was said or felt, based on accurate records, he supposes - example Bradley probably felt, or could have said or may have thought. DeFelice criticizes author John Toland for lack of reference notes, but has no problem creating dialogue that General Bradley may have said? I guess that's ok because that text is italicized for the reader?

In the end, Defelice tries to show that there was more to Bradley than history gives him credit. According the author, Bradley saved the US soldiers in North Africa, Sicily, perfected the invasion of Normandy, and created the concept of ground air support and many other ideas that either were directed to him or already existed. Despite DeFelice attempts to show Bradley as more than a quiet, humble, competent general and leave it at that, he fails; leaving the reader to conclude that other historians got it right. Omar Bradley was a quiet, competent general. Not the best, but not the worst. I finished the book only so I could write this review and say I read the whole book. Otherwise, I would have stopped ½ way through.
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Format: Hardcover
Regnery Publishing's newest imprint, Regnery History has found something new to tell about one of the most written-about parts of one of the most written-about parts of World War II: D-Day. You may ask yourself, what else can be said about D-Day that hasn't been said? We have had powerful, visceral movies like Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day and Patton and the famed HBO series Band of Brothers. Article after article and book after book have been written about D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge and the final days of Nazi Germany but somehow we have failed to have had a serious biography of one of the invasion's central planners and one of the men who engineered the entire campaign from the beaches of Normandy until the defeat of Germany: American 5 star general Omar Bradley.

The problem with Omar Bradley and historians is that he is not Patton. Patton is brash, daring and iconic. Bradley did not chase headlines and did not wear fancy pistols. He was daring, but not as daring as Patton. He knew that he should keep his mouth under control and he was too humble for his own historical reputation. But, one could seriously doubt if Patton could have been the remarkable general he was without the support of Omar Bradley - a man who kept Patton supplied (no small task) and innately understood and supported the battlefield tactics and strategy that Patton espoused so loudly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having just read McCullough's "Truman," this was an excellent follow-on read. Overall it was a great portrait of a legendary WWII-era military leader.

However, I was disappointed at shallow development leading to his senior Army years, and especially his life after WWII, which was summarized in three or four pages. Not even Truman's firing of MacArthur while Bradley was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was covered. Interestingly, I felt the narrative followed in consistent manner with the 1970 movie "Patton," which would make sense given that Bradley was the primary technical advisor in its filming.

On a different perspective, being a retired Air Force officer, I tended to get lost in the detailed Army tactical information, but then Army folks tend to roll their eyes at their brothers in blue. Some photos in the e-book version would have been a nice complement to the maps...that were difficult to read. Thank you Mr Google for serving in backup capacity.

One other observation, the author draws a lot of material, with appropriate attribution, from the two books that Bradley wrote or co-authored. At times you get a feeling he is simply re-telling Bradley's own story. But I do appreciate he used that material to reinforce his thesis that Bradley was the real mastermind of the ground war in the WWII African and European Theaters of Operations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good revelation of one of the key Generals of WWII, whom we know mainly via Carl Malden's portrayal in the movie Patton. He was a self-effacing guy who didn't work on his own PR, yet his reliability and general character made him a battlefield man that was always reliable, and never twitchy.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read practically every serious volume around about the ETO and
Eisenhower's lieutenants, I have to strongly disagree that any serious
evaluation of Bradley would produce any rating beyond "adequate" or
more specifically "unimaginative" but steady. That's not to say there
were any other commanders in the ETO of his rank that shone far brighter
than he. One of Bradley's biggest deficiencies was his meekness and inability
to think in any imaginative manner about the business of war. The very fine
analysis contained in "Flawed Victory" provides a very detailed look at Bradley
in action, as (supposed) commander of First Army during Overlord. The picture
one gets is not a pleasant one. Once could argue that every single decision
Bradley made was wrong, and that only Gee Gerow saved the operation from being
a total disaster, rather than the major disaster that it turned out to be.
After the Germans attacked in Dec 44 in the Ardennes, Eisenhower lost practically
all confidence in Bradley after learning that he had failed to protect the
Allied dumps as ordered months before. He then basically demoted Bradley and
called in Montgomery to take over half of Bradley's forces. After the Bulge was
closed, Bradley allowed his thin skinned ego to get the better of him, ordering
his exhausted forces forward against an immovable German defense, taking casualties
for no purpose. The claim of Bradley as "the GI's general" should have died right
then and there. But the media needed its self-effacing hero, and Bradley was who
they picked. Patton wrote in his diary that Bradley was the "biggest nothing in the
ETO.
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