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Patton's Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton's Rise to Glory

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A stirring World War II combat story of how the legendary George Patton reinvigorated a defeated and demoralized army corps, and how his men claimed victory over Germany’s most-feared general, Erwin Rommel In March 1943, in their first fight with the Germans, American soldiers in North Africa were pushed back fifty miles by Rommel’s Afrika Korps and nearly annihilated. Only A stirring World War II combat story of how the legendary George Patton reinvigorated a defeated and demoralized army corps, and how his men claimed victory over Germany’s most-feared general, Erwin Rommel In March 1943, in their first fight with the Germans, American soldiers in North Africa were pushed back fifty miles by Rommel’s Afrika Korps and nearly annihilated. Only the German decision not to pursue them allowed the Americans to maintain a foothold in the area. General Eisenhower, the supreme commander, knew he needed a new leader on the ground, one who could raise the severely damaged morale of his troops. He handed the job to a new man: Lieutenant General George Patton. Charismatic, irreverent, impulsive, and inspiring, Patton possessed a massive ego and the ambition to match. But he could motivate men to fight. He had just ten days to whip his dispirited troops into shape, then throw them into battle against the Wehrmacht’s terrifying Panzers, the speedy and powerful German tanks that U.S. forces had never defeated. Patton, who believed he had fought as a Roman legionnaire in a previous life, relished the challenge to turn the tide of America’s fledgling war against Hitler—and the chance to earn a fourth star.


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A stirring World War II combat story of how the legendary George Patton reinvigorated a defeated and demoralized army corps, and how his men claimed victory over Germany’s most-feared general, Erwin Rommel In March 1943, in their first fight with the Germans, American soldiers in North Africa were pushed back fifty miles by Rommel’s Afrika Korps and nearly annihilated. Only A stirring World War II combat story of how the legendary George Patton reinvigorated a defeated and demoralized army corps, and how his men claimed victory over Germany’s most-feared general, Erwin Rommel In March 1943, in their first fight with the Germans, American soldiers in North Africa were pushed back fifty miles by Rommel’s Afrika Korps and nearly annihilated. Only the German decision not to pursue them allowed the Americans to maintain a foothold in the area. General Eisenhower, the supreme commander, knew he needed a new leader on the ground, one who could raise the severely damaged morale of his troops. He handed the job to a new man: Lieutenant General George Patton. Charismatic, irreverent, impulsive, and inspiring, Patton possessed a massive ego and the ambition to match. But he could motivate men to fight. He had just ten days to whip his dispirited troops into shape, then throw them into battle against the Wehrmacht’s terrifying Panzers, the speedy and powerful German tanks that U.S. forces had never defeated. Patton, who believed he had fought as a Roman legionnaire in a previous life, relished the challenge to turn the tide of America’s fledgling war against Hitler—and the chance to earn a fourth star.

30 review for Patton's Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton's Rise to Glory

  1. 5 out of 5

    Arthur Bradford Morrill III

    “Patton's Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton's Rise to Glory,” by Stephen L. Moore (ISBN: 9780593183403) publication date 17 May 2022, earns five stars. The US II Corps, the focus of this book, was the first American formation of any size to see combat in North Africa or Europe during World War II. The II Corps held the southern flank of the British First Army during the destruction of the remaining Axis forces in North Africa. This book traces the conduct of the war in that mil “Patton's Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton's Rise to Glory,” by Stephen L. Moore (ISBN: 9780593183403) publication date 17 May 2022, earns five stars. The US II Corps, the focus of this book, was the first American formation of any size to see combat in North Africa or Europe during World War II. The II Corps held the southern flank of the British First Army during the destruction of the remaining Axis forces in North Africa. This book traces the conduct of the war in that military theater from the initial landing of Allied Forces to the surrender of Axis forces in North Africa via two mechanisms—the story of the senior leaders and the personal stories of the individual soldiers. Together, they made “Patton’s Payback” a reality. US Major General Lloyd R. Fredendall commanded the US II Corps during the early stages of the Tunisia Campaign. His detached command style led to his defeat by German Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel and Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen von Arnim in the Battle of Kasserine Pass. Consequently, US General Dwight D. Eisenhower replaced him with US Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr., a very different kind leader. General Patton was a personally engaged warrior leader who was ultimately successful as the II Corps Commander, which was his “payback” for his earlier lesser assignments, which frustrated his aspirations. Against this backdrop of senior leaders, the author presents a plethora of vignettes of small-scale combat engagements largely featuring individual American soldiers. General Patton’s leadership style and the individual soldier star. Documents such as official reports and General Patton’s diary complement. The author illustrates the effect that personality has on leadership effectiveness and how great results come from personal bravery and initiative. Cleverly, these fast-paced vignettes provide a frank and personalized “boots on the ground” perspective that effectively depicts the “fog of war,” which is the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants at all levels in military operations. It’s a fascinating read. Thanks to the publisher, Penguin Group Dutton/Dutton Caliber, for granting this reviewer the opportunity to read this Advance Reader Copy (ARC), and thanks to NetGalley for helping to make that possible.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ManOfLaBook.com

    For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com Patton’s Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton’s Rise to Glory by Stephen L. Moore tells of the way Lieutenant General George S. Patton shaped, and beat, Erwin Rommel’s German troops in North Africa. Mr. Moore is an author who writes about World War II and Texan history. Overall, book introduces the readers to General Patton, as seen through the North African battlefield, and throughout the theater. Patton For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com Patton’s Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton’s Rise to Glory by Stephen L. Moore tells of the way Lieutenant General George S. Patton shaped, and beat, Erwin Rommel’s German troops in North Africa. Mr. Moore is an author who writes about World War II and Texan history. Overall, book introduces the readers to General Patton, as seen through the North African battlefield, and throughout the theater. Patton was put in charge of the 2nd Armored Division, becoming a prominent, indeed, the prominent, warrior in the US armor doctrine. Patton’s Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton’s Rise to Glory by Stephen L. Moore tells of the events which lead to Patton successfully turning around a losing battle, as well as becoming the face of the US Army in the African campaign. How Patton shook up the troops, restored discipline, and earned the men’s respect by leading from the front, particularly not afraid to face danger himself. I especially enjoyed reading about the overall viewpoint of the campaign from different aspects, which certainly gave me great insight. We see the campaign through the eyes of Eisenhower, Patton, field commanders, soldiers in the trenches, as well as the Germans. The high and low overviews, however, are also the weakness of the book. The author goes into great detail about the fighting, introducing dozens of men, and narratives. Nevertheless, this is a well-written, well-researched historical account of the events which led to the victory of the Allied forces, led by Patton, over the Axis forces, led by General Erwin Rommel. Strangely, George Patton himself is very little in this book, because the author concentrates more on how his command affected the battlefield, then worrying about biographical information. Former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, and politician, Rafael “Raful” Eitan (רפאל “רפול” איתן) used to say that “discipline starts at the shoestring”. I have a feeling that Eitan and Patton would get along famously together.

  3. 5 out of 5

    William Harris

    "Patton's Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton's Rise to Glory" is an entertaining read focusing on Patton's rise to prominence in the battle for Tunisia just as things were wrapping up on Hitler's abortive attempt to destroy British resolve in the Western Desert. Events here date from around the time when General Erwin Rommel, in failing health and increasingly regarded as a loose cannon, was withdrawn from Africa. This is just shortly after the disastrous American baptism of fi "Patton's Payback: The Battle of El Guettar and General Patton's Rise to Glory" is an entertaining read focusing on Patton's rise to prominence in the battle for Tunisia just as things were wrapping up on Hitler's abortive attempt to destroy British resolve in the Western Desert. Events here date from around the time when General Erwin Rommel, in failing health and increasingly regarded as a loose cannon, was withdrawn from Africa. This is just shortly after the disastrous American baptism of fire at Kasserine Pass. It was, in fact, that debacle that highlighted massive failures in American command and training, thereby inflicting longstanding damage on the relationship between the Brits and the Americans. Only Eisenhower's formidable powers of persuasion smoothed things out, but that was after Patton had demonstrated his mettle in leading a resurgence of American morale and command against the battered remnants of the Afrika Korps in Tunisia, ultimately contributing significantly to the surrender of remaining Axis forces in Africa. The book takes pains to look closely at the evolution of American tactical doctrine as it occurred when confronted with the enormously experienced Italian and German troops deployed against the Allies in North Africa. The detailed descriptions of Patton's role in turning things around focuses much more on the tactics and weapons usage of American soldiers than it does on Patton per se. Indeed, it is a marvelous primer on how American troops adapted to the experience of combat against some of the finest soldiers in the world at the time. Reading of how American tactics and weapons handling improved when it became clear to them that their command actually knew something about battle does a great deal to explain Patton's importance to Allied victory in the European theater of war while simultaneously highlighting the dangers of throwing an inexperienced army with very mixed commanders against a far more experienced foe. It was illuminating, and I enjoyed it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Evan Ladouceur

    Stephen L Moore does an effective job of capturing the chaos and action of war. This is in part through the focus on individuals at all ranks and their experiences in battle. It is also a result of a somewhat chaotic writing style; Moore switches viewpoints, introduces dozens of individuals, and intersperses their narratives in a very freewheeling manner. This often made the text hard for me to follow. Furthermore, his indiscriminate use of defined military terms - division, regiment, battalion, Stephen L Moore does an effective job of capturing the chaos and action of war. This is in part through the focus on individuals at all ranks and their experiences in battle. It is also a result of a somewhat chaotic writing style; Moore switches viewpoints, introduces dozens of individuals, and intersperses their narratives in a very freewheeling manner. This often made the text hard for me to follow. Furthermore, his indiscriminate use of defined military terms - division, regiment, battalion, company - often left me puzzled about units and needing to reread to ensure I was following what was going on. That said, the book is brisk and offers insight into combat during a major transitional period for the US Army during the war. It also effectively uses excerpts from Patton’s diaries to help explore his character. I expected more about Patton and less about his troops but at the end of the day came away reasonably but not totally satisfied with this history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Mullady

    Thank you NetGalley for this preview! This was a very focused period of the battle in North Africa but was well written and focused on how Patton's energy and approached changed the way the allies challenged the Germans for North Africa. The location as noted was key to launching landings in Italy as well as making sure the hard work of the tank corp. punished the German Panzers and Rommel directly. Well written and the battle scenes were drawn out clear along with the help of maps. I will say t Thank you NetGalley for this preview! This was a very focused period of the battle in North Africa but was well written and focused on how Patton's energy and approached changed the way the allies challenged the Germans for North Africa. The location as noted was key to launching landings in Italy as well as making sure the hard work of the tank corp. punished the German Panzers and Rommel directly. Well written and the battle scenes were drawn out clear along with the help of maps. I will say that most of the chapters focused on the leaders below Patton and how they handled different battles and situations. While Patton gets his due we do get to see some leaders that we aren't as familiar with which I feel was a breath of fresh air.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Perry

    I received this an ARC through Netgalley. I was very excited to read this book and learn more about Patton and his first major battle. While there were interesting facts and I learned some new things, I was very underwhelmed by this book. There were a lot of different military terms and personnel which made it extremely hard to follow. The focus also was not on Patton, I feel the title is rather misleading. If you'd like to read about the battles that occurred in Africa and how the players in Pa I received this an ARC through Netgalley. I was very excited to read this book and learn more about Patton and his first major battle. While there were interesting facts and I learned some new things, I was very underwhelmed by this book. There were a lot of different military terms and personnel which made it extremely hard to follow. The focus also was not on Patton, I feel the title is rather misleading. If you'd like to read about the battles that occurred in Africa and how the players in Patton's world came together for WWII, then go ahead and pick it up. If you want to read a book about Patton, this is not it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aneil

    I was expecting more about Patton than this author provided. While the heroism of the soldiers fighting under Patton and the other generals in Tunisia was undeniably beyond impressive, the recurring depictions of every advance, skirmish, and setback became tedious well before I finished the book. I also thought the treatment of Patton was slanted against him. I recommend Carlo D’Este’s A Genius for War instead.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Drea

    Man, can Stephen Moore write non-fiction! This was great - full of fascinating details and stories about the battle in North Africa under Patton. To add to my enjoyment, I took basic notes throughout to glance at as there are lots of names and places to keep track of as I’m not a history buff and was unfamiliar before reading this. History came alive and I learned lots and enjoyed doing so. Heartfelt thanks to Dutton for the advanced copy. Highly recommend!

  9. 4 out of 5

    CASPER HILEMAN

    Stephen L. Moore tells the reader of the rise of General George S. Patton in North Africa. Patton took over the horribly led II Corps after the Battle of Kasserine Pass and the relief of General Lloyd Fredendall. Patton with all of his faults fit the need for aggressive leadership and accountability. A very good character study of Patton.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ron Baumer

    A truly great read restarting the first major battle one of America’s greatest generals took part in. His decisive leadership and courageous is truly inspirational! This is a great military read. Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    John Stevenson

    War is HELL!!! Very detailed analysis of Patton's recovery of the initiative in America's first taste of combat in north Africa. War is all about confusion after the first shot and this book attempts to put it all on paper. War is HELL!!! Very detailed analysis of Patton's recovery of the initiative in America's first taste of combat in north Africa. War is all about confusion after the first shot and this book attempts to put it all on paper.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elliot

  13. 4 out of 5

    John M. Arnold

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robert B. Love

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Medved

  16. 5 out of 5

    Keith M. Baker

  17. 4 out of 5

    Harold Corbran

  18. 5 out of 5

    James J.Guerin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Terry Ryman

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robert E Samuelson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christian Cederberg

  22. 5 out of 5

    neil r lerner

  23. 4 out of 5

    beth nance

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charlie McGehee

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alfred Rossow

  26. 4 out of 5

    Urey Patrick

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gary M. Vale

  28. 5 out of 5

    Grouchy Historian

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  30. 4 out of 5

    Corey Bourne

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