A complete overview of the evolving organization, tactics, doctrine, weapons, and equipment of the US Infantry in the Pacific, Mediterranean, and European theatres from 1944 to the war's end.
This follow-up to Battle Orders 17: US Army Infantry Divisions 1942-43, covers the critical period 1944-45 when changes instituted by Lieutenant General Leslie J. McNair, the head of the Army Ground Forces and an organizational genius, were imposed on an army reluctant to change.
McNair wanted the infantry divisions to be as small, simple, and compact as possible so that a sufficient number could be manned and sent overseas. Commanders in theater wanted bigger divisions that had larger numbers of motor vehicles, as well as many organic elements that McNair thought should only be attached for specific operations. McNair's policies were (with a few exceptions) maintained until the end of the war in Europe, despite his accidental death at the hands of the Army Air Corps in August 1944.
The book includes a table outlining all 66 US Infantry Army divisions that served during World War II and analyzes the organization of manpower and resources that turned these divisions into a war-winning army. Strategic and battle maps show key infantry engagements whilst the variety of photographs illuminate troops, terrain, weapons, and equipment. Four key battles are also examined, demonstrating the capabilities and limitations of the US Army Infantry divisions of the time.