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Book Review of Decision at Strasbourg: Ike's Strategic Mistake to Halt the Sixth Army Group at the Rhine in 1944 (Ausa)

Decision at Strasbourg: Ike's Strategic Mistake to Halt the Sixth Army Group at the Rhine in 1944 (Ausa)
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Revisionist history is not always well received. This is often because people don't always deal well with the truth about their heroes. Of course, that's not to say that all revisionist history is correct. A good example of this is Civil War revisionist history. Many of the books written about that war were based on the memoirs of the generals who fought in it. Later historians determined those generals had an ulterior motive for writing what they did, as many of them were later running for political offices, or to defend their reputations against serious mistakes they made by blaming someone else. For example, most Confederate generals' memoirs often fall into the category of "If they had listened to me, instead of them, we'd have won the war."

World War II revisionist history tends to show those we once considered as great heroes made a great many mistakes that cost the lives of the men under their command. Don't even get me started on Douglas MacArthur.

The author of this book presents the theory that because General Eisenhower was better at politics than military strategy, and had a personal dislike for General Devers, the commander of the 6th Army Group, the Allies lost a golden opportunity to win the war months before they actually did. I think he made a very good case for that in this book, despite the fact I have a very good opinion of Eisenhower, especially as president.

If you are as fascinated by World War II as I am, you really should read this book. If you are not, then it will not interest you much. However, if you have a French background, due to your ancestors, you might want to read it, as the author says a lot of nice things about the First French Army which served under General Devers.

I only noticed one historical mistake in the book. When describing Operation Cobra, which enabled the Allied armies to "break out" of Normandy, the author relates how "The German troops, only yards away from the American lines..." Considering American ground forces and air forces often had trouble communicating with each other on how the Air Force bombers would approach the battle lines before releasing their bombs, the American troops had pulled back about 1,000 yards from the German lines during the night. Yet they still suffered casualties from the bombing, one of which was a now-dead American lieutenant general.

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