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Patton's Forward Observers: History Of The 7th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, XX Corps, Third Army Paperback – July 31, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Brandylane Publishers, Inc. (July 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883911621
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883911621
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...the touching humanity of boys growing up…in the crucible of war and the fascinating details of artillery forward observation." -- General James T. Hill, U.S. Army, Commander, United States Southern Command

"John Rieth has mastered an amazing amount of detail…and woven it into a lively tale of citizen soldiers...." -- Ed Ruggero, Author of Combat Jump: The Young Men Who Led the Assault into Fortress Europe, July 1943

"This much-researched volume provides insight to the lives we lived and lost." -- Charles J. Wright, Jr., Veteran, 7th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, 1943-1945

From the Publisher

More than any other, General George S. Patton Jr. conjures up the image of the ultimate World War II American warrior, and even today, the Patton mystique continues to grow. Despite his renowned egotism, Patton understood that it was the blood of his soldiers that earned the glory attributed to him.

Patton’s Forward Observers is told by a unique collection of highly trained artillery observers who fought every step of the war with Patton’s famed Third Army. We remember Patton today only through the service of men like these.

Formed on the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the 7th Field Artillery Observation Battalion (7th FAOB) was assigned the hazardous task of determining the source of enemy artillery fire. The exceptional level of training prepared the battalion well for combat in July 1944 when they landed in Normandy. Serving as XX Corps (the Ghost Corps) primary counterbattery unit, the battalion quickly advanced through France. Stopped cold by a ferocious German defense in Metz and Saarland in the bitter winter of 1944-1945, the 7th FAOB participated in some of the bloodiest, yet least well published, fighting of the war. Finally breaking through the German West Wall, XX Corps and the 7th FAOB ultimately crossed the Rhine and ended the war at Hitler’s birthplace in Braunau, Austria.

Patton’s Forward Observers is a soldier’s story. Derived from wartime letters and oral histories told by the veterans themselves, we see the classic American Army experience of WWII—the friendships, courage, terror, carnage, humor and ultimate victory that is all part of the Patton legend—a legend built by soldiers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terry Hale on December 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I've read many books on WWII, this book surprised me with information about the detailed surveying, flash and sound observations and measurements that were a very important part of suppressing German artillery. The book had a good mix of historical place setting, technical information, and personal recollections. I definitely recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book tells the story of the 7th FAOB from its inception till it came home after the war. The author, whose father served in the unit, manages to weave together both technical detail with great storytelling. That's not easy. It also gives us insight into a lesser known part of the war: the role of forward artillery units, particularly those "sound and flash units." These men were highly skilled. Whether they were laying listening devices or peering through a transit looking for a flash of enemy artillery, it was dangerous. They were at the tip of the spear. This would be a great addition for anyone looking for untold stories of the war.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a factual account of the "Forward Observers" or range finders of Pattons army. These men are most frequently in "no man's land" or enemy territory, in order to determine the position of the enemy guns that are raining down death on our troops. They direct our artillary to the correct target to wipe out this barrage. My brother was one ofr those men.
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More About the Author

John Kurt Rieth, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, holds a lifelong interest in military history. He is the author of Patton's Forward Observers; The History of the 7th Field Artillery Observation Battalion and is a member of the Army Historical Foundation.

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Patton's Forward Observers: History Of The 7th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, XX Corps, Third Army
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