Skip to main content

tv   New Books on World War II  CSPAN  November 21, 2018 10:38pm-11:30pm EST

10:38 pm
to organize actions and get southerners and northerners and political alliances together. >> sunday night at eight eastern. on c-span's q&a. a look now at some of the live events we will be covering next week. british ambassador to the u.s., kim derek will discuss the latest on the brexit negotiations and the latest on u.s. and uk relations. live coverage starts at 12 noon eastern on c-span. also on monday discussion on popular -- with authors and political analysts. we will hear from andrew sullivan who writes for new york magazine. watch love coverage beginning at 5 pm eastern time here on c- span 3. authors reflect on their recent thoughts about world war ii. and some of the military operations led by the u.s. and their allies. the association of the united
10:39 pm
states army host this event. >> as we were starting i overlooked and apologized for not commenting and introducing doctor roger cirillo. who is in the rear. by choice -- roger started off our program when general sullivan came to ausa. joe craig is a great replacement. roger we want to thank you for years past for some of the products that have come out and have been really well done. very meaningful for the audiences. we have transitioned in our time machine. it is not the disco and san antonio. to the second world war. we are going alphabetically. my right to you right -- you're right.
10:40 pm
>> my name is richard harrison. i have been connected with ausa since 2009. when the idea was put forward to produce a series of translated books. these are studies put out by the red army's, the director at -- starting the experience of the war. it was created within the general staff. during the war years. with the notion towards educating future generations of officers on the experience of past successful operations. i have yet to come across an operation that was a failure.
10:41 pm
during the source of this great track we have produced 9 books. these are books i was commissioned to translate them and edit them. by you ausa. they have since been published over the years by chilean press, a british firm. first was the battle of moscow. dedicated to the last stages of operation before moscow. the second was the so-called rollback. which encompasses everything from the time of the closing of the soviet ring around. to the stabilization of the front in late february and
10:42 pm
march 1943. that takes us all the way from the don river in southern russia to the eastern ukraine. third is dedicated to the battle of kursk's. we will be touching upon that again briefly. covering the period again, the soviet approaches to the operations not the german ones. which we are mostly familiar with. the operation encompasses the time period from the start of the german offense on july 5, 1943. you are talking about six months -- six weeks of very intense fighting. spreading out over hundreds of kilometers. the fourth book was -- dedicated to the study of the russian offensive operation in the summer of 1944. those are followed quickly by --
10:43 pm
the soviet army offensive into romania and the summer of 1944. after which they quickly segued following up on this victory. into turning north into hungry. where you have the operation, the budapest operation. from approximately october 1944 through february 1945. then you have -- to berlin. which encompasses the soviet offenses in eastern germany and poland during january and march, 1945. all the way up to the over river. after which follows the berlin operation. which encompasses the fighting in the german capital and the surrounding area. the last book in this series is the battle of -- which you see
10:44 pm
right there. december 1943. this picks up where the battle ends. could you please go to the map? i must apologize for the map. i found it to be superior. and certainly more legible to any of the english language maps i could come across. anyway, if i may go over there.
10:45 pm
the soviets could undertake their general offenses in eastern ukraine. which basically occurred all along the front. at this point, the german situation becomes very much like the situation they faced a year later in normandy. where the allies, having established the beachheads begin to push in order to move
10:46 pm
out into france. the pressure keeps building up. the germans of course being very good soldiers are doing a masterful job of defensive fighting. they can't hold out forever. in this case the soviets are bringing to bear. they are basically attacking all along the front. at some point something has to give. it does right up here. where the soviets finally achieved a major breakthrough. along the general central front. they begin to approach -- the
10:47 pm
germans christened the east wall. meaning this was supposed to be an impenetrable barrier. the battle is actually incompetent to this entire area. all the way down to the black sea. the book that i translated, which is taken from the -- only deals with the operation of two of the front's. this later became christened at the end of our tober -- october 1943. on the same day -- they begin -- as the germans begin to fall back -- at one point they are
10:48 pm
offering soviet union medals. like candy to anyone who can get across the river first. the soviets do succeed in capturing -- i will go to the second ukrainian front. this is -- the soviet bridge heads are small at first. the soviets are notorious for holding beachheads. despite all german efforts to
10:49 pm
eliminate them. they are able to eliminate some of them. they do this by the end of december. down here in the south. other front down here has closed up. let's move a little more dramatically up here in the north. the soviets are able to establish a -- they tried to make their initial breakout here. they are making an airborne landing. always willing to try something new. the soviets moved in and -- an
10:50 pm
entire army tank. they are able to break out. they get as far west before the german -- driving them back.
10:51 pm
10:52 pm
10:53 pm
10:54 pm
thought do i need to have a wheelchair on the ramp, we saw this guy wheeling his luggage coming up to the plane, he was a spark plug of a person. i got him in the car, he had nothing but great conversation and stories, i get him to his room and say okay that went well he can get a couple hours sleep. no. wanted to go down to the bar
10:55 pm
for a baseball layoff game . >> that was the start then through the course of the conference, i saw that everyone seem to want to be around him. as a person, in a suit, not a military guy with metals in a prestigious uniform, they all gravitated towards him because he had the gift, he had the gift of gab and he charmed men and women alike. >> suffice it to say it was a great assignment for me and at the end of the week he offered to take my wife hope and i out to dinner. we got there at 6 pm and, the next thing i remember is the valet tossing the keys of the car on the table and saying i'm going home. it was the beginning of a great friendship. i had written a previous book,
10:56 pm
a biography, and i gave it to him as a present. i think from that, he had a great story, if your career army guy, you my understanding you might have served with him, but anyway he had a great story to tell and he asked me, at 92 years old, he said i think i've got better things to do and 92 then write a book, so he trusted me with his papers and we communicated every d -- every day by telephone or email. what i tried to do is editor is to make his story readable, but i try to figure out how a man can be successful, how to start
10:57 pm
a lieutenant and end up a four- star general. everyone knows there is luck involved. >> his mind is sharp as a tack and he had great stories. so, as i try to figure out why he was so successful, his father was a general as well, not just general but general marshall's right-hand man. when dean graduated from west point he married a lady, her
10:58 pm
father was a general and her uncle was a general and her grandfather was a general. who, by the way were the medal of honor. he also had an uncle who was a drummer boy in the civil war, whose name was johnny shiloh who went on to become a general . so, i mean, his whole life, first of all, he loved doing what he did and he was surrounded with, it was just one big family to him. not to say that that got him where he was but certainly it made life easier for him. the gentleman seated in the center is general dean's father he
10:59 pm
served as marshall's secretary general of staff and in 1943 he was sent to russia to serve as the senior military commander for ambassador herrmann. when i visited i got some great pictures to put in the book and this is a classic. this is the first day at west point, you can just imagine what he's being put through contracting's graduation 1942, i almost said 20% death rate during the war, i think it was 1927 but one in five. the first
11:00 pm
class to graduate, so there was a luck factor. handsome guy there is and he? >> general dean is on the right as a lieutenant colonel. he's a battalion commander, less than three years from his graduation date he went from second lieutenant to lieutenant colonel in less than three years. this is also part of his reason why he moved up so fast, in world war ii. he was born, his service in the army came up the perfect time . >> next slide
11:01 pm
>> this is an interesting story , he becomes like a walter mitty, he's always popping up whenever there's a crisis, he happens to be there. this is a picture in berlin, right after the berlin wall went up they did a tv show in 1961 the berlin wall and there's dean talking to him about the m 14 rifle. i believe there's a story behind the picture that i have to tell you. this is the berlin wall, it's just been put up, dean is on patrol in august 1941, you go down the alley and there's a riot going on, you see the cobblestones lying there and at the bottom of the picture they were throwing cobblestones, the
11:02 pm
size of a pretty big they were tossing them at the east german soldiers and, they bring up this water cannon to shoot at the west german's. when dean gets out and he stands in front of this and you can see the v in the water, the water cannon shot to the left, shot to his right and then pointed right at him and dean still didn't back out. then, that ended the confrontation. the germans backed off. >> i always think if the picture had been taken sooner, it would've been the iconic photo of the cold war, staring down and east german water cannon . >> so, dean shows up in berlin
11:03 pm
as a commander and remember, his father had all this experience in russia at the time and his father was noted as the senior russian expert and he passed on a lot of his thoughts to his son and when the berlin wall went up, he said what will we do, and dean said let's knock it down. so, it didn't happen, of course but, the theory was that if the russians were going to go to war they were going to go to war no matter what so a decision like that left the wall up for another 50 years. this is general dean as the commander of the 82nd division.
11:04 pm
finally, four stars as an amc commander. so, i tried to tell a story the way he wanted, they were his words, he certainly wasn't right on all occasions, he had his biases but what he did was he made a stand and he told it the way it was in his eyes, isn't that all we want? we don't want some wishy-washy guy, we want somebody takes a stand and tells what is expected i can tell you that he had all kinds of integrity and i fell in love with it because he was just a great man. so, at the end, anyone out there
11:05 pm
that had any kind of personal contact with general dean, i'd like to talk you. he's an unsung hero in the military. thank you . >> thank you very much. laptop -- [ applause ] >> before the next presenter, the question is, can i share with the audience what general dean did when he retired? >> sure, i'd love to hear it . >> i got a call from the mayor of a small town, it was general dean. i forget the size of the town, i started -- one problem, because he was 95 years old, there were not a lot of people
11:06 pm
that we could reach out to, i ran into a guy today came down to buy a book. . >> he had three army groups, this is the pain in the [ null ] to the north , montgomery, very interesting correspondence between these two.
11:07 pm
we know who these gentlemen are.
11:08 pm
rick said you're gonna ride at scott. he had to write the forward. this is jacob, a biography of a man who lived 79 years, that's well and good in self. it's also a biography of he and his wife in the service together until she died and 67. a lot of her letters were used in the book that my wife worked with me on the books and that's a story that needs to be told about the army family and a person in wyoming to a four- star general it's a story worth telling and it goes on to service abmc. it's also a story of the united dates army, until 1949 i had a lot of fun writing it. that's not the purpose of today, i could talk about the book forever, i get excited about it >> october 1944, this time eisenhower is three army groups
11:09 pm
online into the north is mr. montgomery who i expect my views about and in the center is omar bradley who wrote to kiss and tell book, absolutely unreliable book and who was a really good corps commander. >> and, we had to this -- to the south, he had the first french army, the most forgotten army, it's an incredible army. so, he was the right flank. just to give you an idea of the relationship and then we head towards why in a minute, whenever i could he spent time with omar bradley, they played bridge together, i talked to him on the phone almost every day and went forward to see him , to see his friend omar bradley , very famous relationship same time i had to go see marshall montgomery. in that same
11:10 pm
period, there are like three instances where eisenhower has a face-to-face with diverse in his areas of operation. there are no daily phone calls no buddy buddy letters. it was interesting to me, what's this about when i'm doing the biography? >> there was a dysfunctional relationship divers was the second ranking officer in europe and was a theater commander for two theaters and helped build the air force so, we went further so, we had a stalemate in october 1944 eisenhower says we do a broad front so early november we all go launch major offensives, in the north, the british, in the center bradley and great. this is the approach. the results are not very significant
11:11 pm
in the northern set but they did force the germans out. in the center it's one of the worst disasters in american military history. 40,000 u.s. infantrymen were lost in that battle, in emasculate eight infantry divisions. it was awful . >> in the south, something different happens. the army group listened to the french army commander and the u.s. army commander, they made the plans and an amazing thing happens. they launched the attack and by 19 november, the french army is on the rhine river, you get a free trip to the bathroom if you can tell me when the other army group got to the rhine
11:12 pm
river. on the left the army pushes through and captures strasburg. the engineer of the seventh army has prepared to jump the rhine river, he's worked on it for three months, the army group will jump, that's his admission from eisenhower. is coming down to visit and not to congratulate them for being on the rhine river ahead of anyone else or penetrating the germans in capturing german prisoners with few officers, no such thing. he's down there to tell them he wants to take a core away and give it to patton. he arrives there and finds out that the whole group is rooming to cross the rhine. 450 ducks
11:13 pm
down the road on the way and timeout, stop, were getting ready to jump the rhine and he says no you're not. stop, cease and desist. , it was an opportunity to cross the rhine which was undefended, we had two divisions ready to cross, there's a huge confrontation between eisenhower endeavors and he tries to convince them it's an opportunity they must take, he adamantly refuses to listen and they don't jump the rhine. you can choose whether it was a good idea, you enjoy the story.
11:14 pm
>> the relationship between an army groove commander and the supreme commander. i always wondered why so when endeavors was the theater commander of england in 1943, he refused to release heavy bomber groups to eisenhower in sicily and italy, he was furious. that is all true, marshall overrode i, that also irritated ike, to say the least, but, it goes much deeper and much earlier. >> the next time these two don't listen to each other, is one month later. the battle occurred in the germans are preparing for the attack in the north, eisenhower's issues orders and
11:15 pm
we know it's going to be new year's eve, we knew the plan. when they attack, divers was ordered to pull completely out to improve giving up the city of strasburg. >> that 600,000 french citizens that would've been turned back over to the gestapo. he flies to headquarters near paris, argues all day with bolin eisenhower, saying you cannot do this and you don't have to do this, we've already planned a really well done mobile defense to stop the german attack and, i just won't hear it. he issues the order that when they attack you will go back. the germans attack as we thought they would, they attack when we thought they would and they run into general patches defense of the seventh army stop him. eisenhower is furious and on 1 january he says why has divers
11:16 pm
disobeyed me, he's talking about firing him, so, there's something really deep, when you have the second most senior man in europe with no sway at all with the supreme commander, he tries to dissuade the supreme commander for making that kind of mistake, a strategic mistake. because if you give up strasburg , you will not have nato the french are pivotal and de gaulle could not have survived had we given up strasburg and 600,000 frenchmen so, divers lost the fight but saw delaying action of three days which allowed the french to make a pitch in to get it done. why do they hate each other? back to the next slide, 1942, ike is in north africa getting his fanny kicked by the germans, marshall sent divers
11:17 pm
over for a tour and he spends 29 days and reports back to ike on 4 january, he was smoking four packs a day with blood pressure off the charts, he had pneumonia and he had marshall saying you've got to get forward and fight the fight, he was under huge stress and incomes mr. happy-go-lucky and tells ike everything is wrong, not a good idea. so blame goes both ways, it's a dysfunctional relationship. so he just looks at it, i will wrap it up. the point is it's a good book and it shows a different aspect of eisenhower who i deeply respect. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> it's a big book, the only fault i have with it is up until this afternoon i called him givers. it's well-written and if you
11:18 pm
know about world war ii you say why didn't these people get along. its comprehensive. >> good afternoon everyone. i'm roger cirillo, i'm sure first thing you're asking is why another book on george patton . >> my masters thesis was entitled patton at bay where i studied his campaign which immediately preceded the bulge and i thought i would follow patton into the bulge to see how he recovered from 50,000 casualties and systematically i went through the files and looked at every decrypt that
11:19 pm
arrive at the headquarters and could verify which ones came in through headquarters, which was a different range of material that actually went into the group headquarters. >> at the end of the day, when i assessed patton's operational technique, the way he intended to apply his military forces and seek a decision, i became thoroughly impressed with his willingness and openness to use intelligence and update intelligence and diversify intelligence and synthesize it all and tested. he did have incredible trust, but at the
11:20 pm
end of the day, he leveraged intelligence to the utmost and that was the basis of his intuition, that feeling about what was going to happen. it was built on incredible lifelong experience in the military but he done his homework. that's what often gets lost the bluster and the nicknames and the mannerisms tend to overshadow the fact that you're dealing with the first class professional warrior.
11:21 pm
patton is the highest card in the deck at the army level, as my colleague says, he didn't think bradley was any better than a good corps commander and that leads me to one of the conclusions from my book from this book, it's the notion that he was army level but it has no merit, he could easily have had the vision and the ability to anticipate what the situation could look like, if not better than bradley. that's the point for this endless discussion. >> at the end of the day, when i studied the operations, i became thoroughly impressed with his ability to physically move, his willingness to accept risk after he assessed situations.
11:22 pm
's estimate of attacking and being able to cross the line of departure, it's a bit contentious, if you create two columns line up the historians. based on my research he said he could go on the 21st so he gave ike a 48 hour window to get three divisions. i the end of the day he was ready to go, 12,000 vehicles. it's a thoroughly impressive
11:23 pm
performance, what happens is the inability to influence that they tried to determine the best course of action for defeating the germans. eisenhower made the decision to relieve bastogne and squeeze the two faced out of the tube -- squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube putting pressure on one of the anchors, forcing the germans to make decisions and seize the initiative. at the end of the day think his course of action was more than viable, he didn't physically attack. he could have put tremendous
11:24 pm
pressure, this book is ultimately an operational study , i want to understand how patton actually planned, adjusted to circumstances and brought his combat power to bear. at the end of the day, the actions that are taken by the germans, when the spearhead fails in the north, all the power of the german army filters into patton's past. so after the 26th, when he leaves bastogne the story doesn't end. most the literature ends there but the amount of fighting and the number of casualties sustained from the 27th onward is what really fascinated me. patton is faced with a formation
11:25 pm
after he attacks on the 22nd, every 1.5 days. he has to find a way to create reserves, generate combat power to gain ground. the other day, he achieves his mission, he sustains casualties at a rate just about equal to what the germans have sustained about 1.2-one, which speaks to the brutality of the opposition , conditions and train. but, at the end of the day, he did what he was ordered to do. finally, i will say that i do think that he was actually capable of more and i think, although he was in my opinion the highest card in the deck, he could've been used human better and given different circumstances could have east
11:26 pm
otto more superior performance in circuit and circumstances -- in certain circumstances. do hope you get a chance to read it its operational history , it's the hardest history have written, because, to actually tease out the nuggets, it's like mining for gold, to actually understand, it's a marathon not a sprint in terms of understanding. i think i've achieve that in the book and if that's your forte i think you'll understand the operation study. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you . >> we will take questions or comments from the audience.
11:27 pm
>> in world war ii and europe, my uncle was a commander and i families maintained -- confirmation of that or --? >> check the appendix. it has his assignments and i'm sure you're correct on that >> thank you to this panel group. it's all good reading and i recommend them to you . >> we will have another book coming out part of next year's but it's part of this year's trench that went out thunder in
11:28 pm
the argyle. the author could not be here because he's in france, working on another book so stay tuned for thunder, it's already out . >> enjoy the rest of your evening. be safe. [ applause ]. a look now at live events covering next week, the latest on brexit negotiations, it will be at the hudson institute monday, live coverage starts at 12 eastern. a discussion on populism, with
11:29 pm
authors and political analysts, we hear from and you settlement -- andrew sullivan on cspan-3. >> when the new congress starts in january there will be more than 100 new house and senate members. the democrats will control the house and the republicans the senate, new congress, new leaders, watch the process unfold on c-span. >> at the end of world war ii, thousands of serviceman part of the allied occupation, married japanese women and returned to the united states with their wives. up next on real america from 1952, japanese bride in america, this 30 minute u.s. army film documents the experience of a newlywed couple who settles in a soldier's hometown of cleveland.

24 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on