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Four times since the breakout at Avranches Patton and his army had given Eisenhower opportunities which might well have proved decisive, shortened the war, saved thousands of lives and left the West in a better strategic posture than it would be more than a quarter of a century later. H. Essame’s classic study of Patton in the “Military Commanders” series offers an outstanding description of his operational doctrine at all levels, from his own personal demeanor, the performance expected of his subordinates, the morale and discipline of his troops, to the actual tactics he used on the battlefield.Essame shows clearly how Patton’s education and background enabled this cavalry officer to master the new battlefield conditions created by the tank and the airplane. Recognizing his lack of tact in dealing with allies and government leaders, Essame, who served in Europe as a brigade commander, nevertheless rates Patton as the greatest of all the Allied commanders.

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