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Download Closing with the Enemy: How GIs Fought the War in Europe, 1944–1945 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Closing with the Enemy: How GIs Fought the War in Europe, 1944–1945, by Michael D. Doubler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael D. Doubler Narrator: Mel Foster Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Closing with the Enemy picks up where D-Day leaves off. From Normandy through the “breakout” in France to the German army’s last gasp in the Battle of the Bulge, Michael D. Doubler deals with the deadly business of war—closing with the enemy, fighting and winning battles, and taking and holding territory. His study provides a provocative reassessment of how American GIs accomplished these dangerous and costly tasks.

Doubler portrays a far more capable and successful American fighting force than previous historians—notably Russell Weigley, Martin Van Creveld, and S. L. A. Marshall—have depicted. True, the GIs weren’t fully prepared or organized for a war in Europe and have often been viewed as inferior to their German opponent. But, Doubler argues, they more than compensated for this by their ability to learn quickly from mistakes, to adapt in the face of unforeseen obstacles, and to innovate new tactics on the battlefield. This adaptability, Doubler contends, was far more crucial to the American effort than we’ve been led to believe.

Fueled by a fiercely democratic and entrepreneurial spirit, GI innovations emerged from every level within the ranks—from the novel employment of conventional weapons and small units to the rapid retraining of troops on the battlefield. Their most dramatic success, however, was with combined arms warfare—the coordinated use of infantry, tanks, artillery, air power, and engineers—in which they perfected the use of air support for ground operations and tank-infantry teams for breaking through enemy strongholds.

Doubler argues that, without such ingenuity and imaginative leadership, it would have been impossible to defeat an enemy as well-trained and heavily fortified as the German army the GIs confronted in the tortuous hedgerow country of northern France, the narrow cobblestone streets of Aachen and Brest, the dark recesses of the Huertgen Forest, and the frigid, snow-covered hills of the Ardennes.

Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the American victory in the Battle of the Bulge, Doubler offers a timely reminder that “the tremendous effects of firepower and technology will still not relieve ground troops of the burden of closing with the enemy.” As even Desert Storm suggests, that will likely prove true for future high-tech battlefields, where an army’s adaptability will continue to be prized.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This important book is a watershed in critical thinking that will be cited for years to come. Fluently written and beautifully detailed, it is essential for a complete understanding of American operations in World War II. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John | 8/31/2012

    " An excellent look at the way the US Army tactics developed during WWII. Probably not a book for those who don't already have a strong interest in the period, but a great read for those who do. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Richard | 5/13/2012

    " Excellent study of tactical innovations during WWII. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by John | 3/12/2010

    " An excellent look at the way the US Army tactics developed during WWII. Probably not a book for those who don't already have a strong interest in the period, but a great read for those who do. "

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About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel Michael D. Doubler serves in the office of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC. He received his PhD from Ohio State University and has taught at the US Military Academy at West Point.

About the Narrator

Mel Foster is a prolific audiobook narrator, having read dozens of titles throughout his career. He is the recipient of the prestigious Audie Award, as well as the AudioFile Earphones Award. A former advertising agency executive who used to record test tracks for commercials, his narration career was born out of encouragement from his clients who would often say, “why are we hiring someone else? I like this guy.”