From Publishers Weekly
General Omar Bradley called it "an opportunity that comes to a commander not more than once in a century." General Dwight Eisenhower, in a letter to his wife, predicted that the war could be over in 10 days. Blumenson reveals how the two military chiefs, along with British General Bernard Montgomery, let slip an opportunity to destroy a large portion of the German army at the Falaise Gap in Normandy in August 1944 by failing to close the jaws of a trap as quickly as they could have. Though several thousand German soldiers were killed, wounded and captured in the Falaise pocket, the Allied victory was disappointingly incomplete, and the war continued for another eight months. Blumenson ( Patton ) analyzes the emotional dynamics among the three ill-matched generals, showing how their mutual antipathy affected the conduct of operations and led them to neglect the basic precept of warfare: instead of concentrating on destroying the enemy, they focused on capturing territory. His careful examination of General George Patton's role at Falaise Gap brings into clearer focus his skills as a high-level field commander. "Unlike most of his contemporaries whose reputations have steadily declined since the war," writes the author, "Patton's has continued to rise." Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In the months following the D-Day landings in Normandy, Allied forces fought to dislodge defending German troops from northern France. A huge encirclement at Falaise destroyed the German position but allowed the escape of many troops, prompting accusation that the war in Europe could have been won months earlier. Blumenson ( Patton , LJ 11/1/85) masterfully examines the complex, behindthe-scenes relationships of generals Eisenhower, Montgomery, Bradley, and Patton to provide a command-level view of the incident. Blumenson's work is insightful and analytical, with no new surprises. It makes a nice companion to Alwyn Featherson's account of the Mortain siege, Saving the Breakout ( LJ 4/15/93). Recommended for general collections.- Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.