We Weren’t Nearly As Good As We Thought

The Germans appear to be beaten and beaten badly…With better troops I see no reason why we could not run all over them. The public will never know or appreciate this. Our American army individually means well and tries hard but it is not the army one reads about in the press. It is untrained and completely inefficient…certainly our infantry lacks courage and elan.

-Diary entry from Major General James Gavin (later Lieutenant General)

Gavin was the assistant division commander of the 82nd Airborne division through the D-Day campaign and later commanded the division from “Operation Market Garden” through the end of the war. The diary entry refers to the standard US Army divisions sent from the US and not the elite Airborne divisions. During World War Two, he was the youngest Major General (in his mid-thirties) in the US Army.

(Source: Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 by Sir Max Hastings)

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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