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Patton's War: An American General's Combat Leadership, Volume 2: August–December 1944 (American Military Experience #2) (Hardcover)

Patton's War: An American General's Combat Leadership, Volume 2: August–December 1944 (American Military Experience #2) By Kevin M. Hymel Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 2 in the American Military Experience series.


This second of three volumes of Patton’s War picks up where the first one left off, examining General George S. Patton’s leadership of the U.S. Third Army. The book follows Patton’s contributions to both the Normandy and Brittany campaigns—the closing of the Falaise Pocket in Normandy, and racing to the port cities in Brittany. It ends with Patton and his corps rescuing the besieged town of Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge.

As he did in the preceding volume, Hymel relies not only on Patton’s diaries and letters, but countless veteran interviews, sur­veys, and memoirs. He also provides a unique insight missed by previous Patton scholars. Instead of using Patton’s transcribed diaries, which were heavily edited and embellished, he consults Patton’s original, hand-written diaries to uncover previously un­known information about the general.

This second volume of Hymel’s groundbreaking work shows Patton at the height of his generalship, successfully leading his army without the mistakes and caustic behavior that almost got him sent home earlier—even if we also see a Patton still guided at times by racism and antisemitism.


About the Author

Kevin M. Hymel (pronounced Heemel) is a contract historian at Arlington National Cemetery and a Historian/Tour Guide of Ambrose Historical Tours, leading the “In Patton’s Footsteps” tour. For fifteen years he was the research director of and regular contributor to WWII History and WWII Quarterly. He is the author of four books, including Patton’s Photographs: War as He Saw It. His article “Fighting a Two-Front War,” in WWII History is being made into the Netflix movie “6888,” written and directed by Tyler Perry. Mr. Hymel served as a technical advisor to the film.


Praise For…

“The volume of work on Patton is so extensive that one might presume it a difficult task to add something meaningful to all that has been done to date. Yet Kevin Hymel has managed to do just that.”—Don M. Fox, official historian for the U.S. Army, author of Final Battles of Patton's Vanguard

“Kevin Hymel's scholarship has done much to further illuminate the life and career of General George Patton, in the process helping increase and refine our understanding of one of America's greatest combat leaders. This book is no exception, and breaks important new ground even while discussing some of the most famous events in Patton's career. It also excels as a description of a senior leader and army headquarters at war. Hymel's conclusions will spur further research and interpretation. This volume is essential to understanding Patton and his army in World War II.”—Christopher L. Kolakowski, Director, former Director, General George Patton Museum of Leadership and author of Nations in the Balance: The India-Burma Campaigns, December 1943–August 1944

“Kevin Hymel proves once again that he is the best Patton historian in the business. Rightfully focusing on the all-important ground combat and eschewing postwar my­thology, Patton’s War is everything military history should be: objective, authoritative, and compelling—a damn fine page-turner.”—Paul Woodadge, WW2TV host, author, and Normandy Battlefield guide

“A revelatory biography, and one that not only enhances the reputation of its extraordinary subject, but sees him further develop as a combat commander in one of the most challenging and demanding theaters of the war. Not only has Hymel been the first to effectively analyze Patton’s original hand-written diaries, but he also has produced an authoritative, compelling, and incredibly entertaining account of how Patton became a master of the battlefield.”—James Holland, author of Brothers in Arms:One Legendary Tank Regiment’s Bloody War from D-Day to VE-Day

“Kevin Hymel has mined every possible source, including Patton’s original diary, to capture as much of this enigmatic personality as possible. As a military historian, he adeptly meshes Patton the person with Patton the military commander of Third Army as it races across Europe from Normandy to the German border. Well-researched and written, with a wealth of superb photographs and maps, Hymel’s biography will remain the standard for decades. Moreover, it is a required reference for any future scholarship on the U.S. Army’s 1944 campaign in France.”—Stephen A. Bourque, Professor Emeritus, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, author of Beyond the Beach: The Allied War Against France

“In the second volume of his trilogy Patton’s War, acclaimed historian Kevin M. Hymel dives deep, charting the legendary general over the course of five action-packed months, from the tail end of the Normandy Campaign through the bloody Battle of the Bulge. Along the way, Hymel combines groundbreaking scholarship with a storytelling verve, revealing that even after eight decades there is much to learn about one of America’s most famous commanders.”—James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Black Snow and Rampage

"In this, his second volume on George Patton, Kevin Hymel brings new life to the dash from Normandy to Bastogne with persuasive evidence of why the enemy considered him their most dangerous foe in the West. It was his lightning decision-making, coupled with his daring and insistence on action. With admirable honesty, Hymel dismisses myths about his sixth sense of battle. The truth was that Patton paid more attention to intelligence than many of his peers. This is a worthy addition to your Patton collection."—Thomas M. Hatfield, Emeritus Dean, Director of the Military History Institute in the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin

“Hymel has demonstrated once again that he is one of Patton’s most distinguished biographers, on par with Martin Blumenson in The Patton Papers and Carlo D’Este in Patton: A Genius for War. Readers will anxiously await the concluding volume of Patton’s War to accurately assess Hymel’s opinion that ‘World War II was truly his war’.”—Army Magazine

"A massive and impressively informative military biography . . . This seminal volume is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library World War II Histories & Biographies collections and supplemental WWII curriculum studies lists."—Midwest Book Review

“This is turning out to be probably my favorite books on Gen Patton in WWII. As you begin Vol II you are going to see that the
author, Kevin Hymel, has drifted from previous authors on Patton. Kevin has followed what I call Gen Irzyk’s guidance on writing,
do your own research. And this has led him down paths that previous authors chose not to go.” —Patton Newsletter 
Product Details
ISBN: 9780826222787
ISBN-10: 0826222781
Publisher: University of Missouri
Publication Date: May 17th, 2023
Pages: 490
Language: English
Series: American Military Experience