From Victory to Stalemate
The Western Front, Summer 1944, Decisive and Indecisive Military Operations, Volume 1
C. J. Dick
University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 2016, 456 pages
From Defeat to Victory
The Eastern Front, Summer 1944, Decisive and Indecisive Military Operations, Volume 2
C. J. Dick
University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 2016, 368 pages
Book Review published on: September 1, 2017
C. J. Dick in his two-volume set—From Victory to Stalemate: The Western Front, Summer 1944 and From Defeat to Victory: The Eastern Front, Summer 1944—presents an excellent historical narrative on the operations by Allied forces during the summer of 1944. This comprehensive study is at the strategic and operational level of war and the events that framed the fighting. He compares the conduct of operations of the American, British, and Canadian in volume one and Soviet forces in volume two. This book is about the execution of operations at the army and army group or front level. Each volume begins with a complete and thorough discussion of the doctrine of each nation and their view or philosophy of warfare.
His in-depth discussion of the operations includes how each of the forces adapted their combat methods and the many challenges they faced in fighting the German forces on both fronts. For the military reader, these volumes give the reader a detailed discussion of military leadership, the challenges leaders faced militarily and politically, the role that logistics played in the operations, and how they employed forces using operational maneuver and art to defeat the tough and resilient German forces in the summer of 1944.
These volumes are a necessary and relevant read for military leaders or historians. They give a comprehensive discussion and study of operational art and the operational to strategic level of war. Both volumes discuss at length the abilities of individual Allied generals to execute operations at the operational level and the influence that political considerations had on their plans and operations and their ability to employ large formations in World War II. This is an excellent discussion of the role that mass, concentration, deception, logistics, and maneuver versus attritional warfare and many others in the conduct of large-scale combat and joint operations. His historical analysis and detailed discussion will lead to a greater understanding and will educate and develop leaders to recognize many of the issues (military as well as political) present in modern warfare and the need for adaptation to meet the challenges of major combat operations.
Book Review written by: Lt. Col. Jeffrey L. LaFace, U.S. Army, Retired, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas