April 11, 2008

Book Review - Corps Commanders of the Bulge

Corps Commanders of the Bulge: Six American Generals and Victory in the Ardennes
Harold R. Winton
D 756.5 .A7 W56 2007

Winton takes an unusual approach to an examination of the Battle of the Bulge by focusing on the leadership of the units who fought there. He focuses on the decisions and actions of six generals who commanded Corps during the battle, conveying the effectiveness of their leadership given the command climates in which they operated. In this way, Winton has written a collective biography as much as he has an analysis of the battle. He weaves this biography together with a narrative that chronicles the battle. He divides the battle into three main phases--German initiative, struggle for initiative during which the battle was in "flux," and American initiative. He does not limit his examination to the battle taking place on the ground, but also illustrates the role that air power played in the battle's outcome. As the American military is transformed into more modular fighting units, the role of Battalion and Corps-level leaders such as those examined by Winton will take on increasing importance to their operational success.