Lost Battalions: Going for Broke in the Vosges, Autumn 1944

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9780891416227: Lost Battalions: Going for Broke in the Vosges, Autumn 1944

In the autumn of 1944, during fierce fighting in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France, one of the most amazing incidents in military history occurred: the rescue of two infantry battalions, one American, one German, cut off, far behind the enemy lines of each. The 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry ("Alamo Regiment"), had been cut off for six days with food, water, and ammunition running out, when the Japanese-American Nisei of the famed "Go For Broke" 442d Regimental Combat Team were called upon to give their all to break through and save the Texans. At virtually the same time and place, the Wehrmacht's 202d Mountain Battalion, thrown into combat without adequate preparation, had also been cut off, and its sister unit - the 201st Mountain Battalion - had to perform an equally desperate rescue. The weather was abysmal, the terrain almost impassable. For the Germans, it was a last stand, and they would fight to the death. The Americans, caught in their bloodiest fight since Anzio, came to call the battlefield "the crossroads of hell." Nisei casualties were devastating. Some generals lost their sons there, and other generals lost only their honor.

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About the Author:

Franz Steidl served as an infantry platoon leader during the Vietnam War and is an expert on militaryoperations from the small-unit perspective.

Review:

Mesmerized by the breakout from Normandy and the race to the Rhine, the world hardly seemed to notice the U.S. Seventh and French First Armies' sweep up the Rhone Valley, miscalled by some a "cakewalk". If that term seemed to apply to their rapid advance during the first weeks after the Riviera landings, it quickly lost meaning when the German Nineteenth fortified the Vosges Mountains for one of the hardest-fought battles of the European Theater. This well told history recounts that largely unknown struggle, concentrating on two "lost battalions", one German, the other the 141st "Alamo Regiment" of the 36th (Texas) Division, which was rescued by the heroic 442nd RCT, which was composed of Japanese-Americans and was the most-decorated unit of the U.S. Army. Based on many interviews, and with photos, maps, and appendices, this is a worthwhile addition to the scarce literature of the Vosges Campaign. --A Customer

Throughout the last fifty years since the end of World War II there have been many accounts of the many battles fought and the people who fought them. There is one group which is almost always left out. The 442nd RCT. This group of Americans fought some of the bloodiest battles in the war. This book truly places the stellar record of the men of the 442nd in the history books. I gives me a new found respect for these men and the job that they did through what must have been tremendous pressure to succeed. Some of these men I know personally and have the utmost respect for the job that they did. It makes me proud to be an American. This book really does them justice in a time of great injustice. This is one to pass down to the next generation. --Dean T. Ochi

Having been one of the men rescued, there is no way we can thank the men of 442 for their heroic efforts. The American press ignored the fact that they were Japanese- Americans. Unfortunately, it is only of late we became aware of the casualties, killed and wounded, suffered in releasing us. It is my beleif they were one of the finest combat units that fought in Europe. The book is extremely well written. --A Customer

Throughout the last fifty years since the end of World War II there have been many accounts of the many battles fought and the people who fought them. There is one group which is almost always left out. The 442nd RCT. This group of Americans fought some of the bloodiest battles in the war. This book truly places the stellar record of the men of the 442nd in the history books. I gives me a new found respect for these men and the job that they did through what must have been tremendous pressure to succeed. Some of these men I know personally and have the utmost respect for the job that they did. It makes me proud to be an American. This book really does them justice in a time of great injustice. This is one to pass down to the next generation. --By Dean T. Ochi -

Having been one of the men rescued, there is no way we can thank the men of 442 for their heroic efforts. The American press ignored the fact that they were Japanese- Americans. Unfortunately, it is only of late we became aware of the casualties, killed and wounded, suffered in releasing us. It is my beleif they were one of the finest combat units that fought in Europe. The book is extremely well written. --A Customer

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