Recommended Reading

The Fighting First: The Untold Story Of The Big Red One on D-Day [Paperback]

The author of two other WWII histories (Soldiers on Skis and The Rock of Anzio),Whitlock now focuses on the often overlooked 1st Infantry 

Division that, along with the well-chronicled 29th Division, stormed Omaha beach during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Nicknamed "The Big Red 
One," the 1st Division was already seasoned in the North Africa and Sicily campaigns and expected to be transferred from the Mediterranean to a
cushy 
job training green recruits stateside. Instead, the haggard, battle-hardy division was sent to England to train for Operation Overload under a new 
commander, Clarence Huebner. Through interviews, unpublished manuscripts and other primary sources, Whitlock recounts their determined, if 
exhausted, preparation for the invasion of France: they stoically survived warm British beer and rigorously trained replacements for their fallen brothers-
in-arms. Burdened with every piece of equipment they could possibly need (and some they didn’t), the 1st fought their way through barbed wire,
mines 
and machine guns, past formidable German fortifications and into the hedgerow country beyond the beach cliffs. They won three D-Day Medals of 
Honor for those 12 hours of fighting alone. The rest of the book covers the high points of the European campaign, moving along with the 1st through 
street fighting in Aachen, the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of Bonn. Altogether this book is a worthwhile chronicle of a small group of worn-out 
men who were called to do yet another duty and did it well. 50 b&w photographs, 20 maps
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Basic Books (May 10, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0813343178
ISBN-13: 978-0813343174

The Big Red One: America's Legendary 1st Infantry Division from World War I to Desert Storm

"No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great--Duty First!" For almost a century, from the Western Front of World War I to the deserts of Iraq, this 
Division, James Scott Wheeler chronicles its major combat engagements and peacetime duties during its legendary service to the nation.
The oldest continuously serving division in the U.S. Army, the "Fighting First" has consistently played a crucial role in America's foreign wars. It
was 
the first American division to see combat and achieve victory in World War I and set the standard for discipline, training, endurance, and tactical 
innovation. One of the few intact divisions between the wars, it was the first army unit to train for amphibious warfare. During World War II, the First 
Division spearheaded the invasions of North Africa and Sicily before leading the Normandy invasion at Omaha Beach and fighting on through the 
Hürtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge, the Ruhr Pocket, and deep into Germany. By war's end, it had developed successful combined-arms,
regimental 
combat teams and made advances in night operations.
Meticulously detailed and engagingly written, The Big Red One reflects the larger chronicle of America's military experience over the past century.

Hardcover: 594 pages
Publisher: University Press of Kansas; First edition (November 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0700615520
ISBN-13: 978-0700615520

The Battle for Sicily Stepping Stone to Victory


On the night of 9-10 July 1943, an Allied armada launched the invasion of Sicily, a larger operation than the Normandy landings the following year. 
Over the next thirty-eight days, half a million Allied servicemen fought the Germans and Italians for control of this rocky island, which was to become 
the first part of Axis homeland to fall during World War II.
Despite their success in capturing the island, inter-Allied and inter-service divisions and rivalries robbed them of the opportunity to inflict a
crushing 
defeat on the Germans and Italians, who were able to conduct a fighting withdrawal to the Italian mainland and save sizable forces to continue the war. 
Regarded by some as a 'blind alley', by others as the way into Europe via the 'soft underbelly', the decision to invade Sicily was and remains 
controversial. Notwithstanding the campaign's failure to achieve its potential, invaluable lessons were learned which contributed to success in France later.
Many of the leading generals who were to take prominent roles in North-West Europe - amongst them Eisenhower, Montgomery, Bradley and Patton - brought with them the experience of Sicily.

 

 

Seven Months to D-Day: An American Regiment in Dorset by Robin Pearce

Interesting and informative local history about the 16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st US Infantry Division in Dorset during World War II. There are 
plenty of personal recollections from the American soldiers that were part of the Division at that time and pictures of the regiment in Dorset. This is 
good for anybody with an interest in the Big Red One

World War II GI US Army Uniforms 1941-45 by Richard Windrow
 

Paperback - 86 pages

First Published 27 October, 2000

The Dovecote Press Ltd; ISBN: 1874336849


 

World War II GI US Army Uniforms 1941-45 by Richard Windrow

An exploration of the American soldier's dress and equipment throughout World War II. Logically arranged photographic sequences show a range of 
uniforms and authentic weapons in characteristic use, accompanied by concise identifying and explanatory captions. Rare original uniforms and gear 
are posed at different seasons and in convincing settings.

Hardcover - 143 pages

First Published 20 September, 1999

The Crowood Press; ISBN: 1861263023

 

G.I. Collector's Guide Vol 1 by  Henri-Paul Enjames

Inspired by the 1943 US "Quartermaster Government Issue Supply Catalog", this collection features photographs of the American soldier's kit from 
1943 to 1945. Text notes and extended captions accompany the photographs.

US 1st Infantry Division - "Big Red One" (Spearhead) by Ian West

 

Hardcover 252 pages

First Published December 8, 2003

Publisher: Histoire and Collections ISBN: 2913903878
 


G.I. Collector's Guide Vol 2 by  Henri-Paul Enjames

All chapters from volume 1 have been revised and updated (among others: uniforms, signal and medical equipment) and new sections have been added, 
including personal equipment, Stateside training, and the life of POWs in German camps. More than 1,000 new artifacts with detailed captions are 
featured in this completely revised new work. Volume 2 of the G.I. Collectors Guide provides a complete and unequaled source of American ground 
force documentation for collectors and enthusiasts alike

Hardcover 272 pages

First Published December 8, 2003

Publisher: Histoire and Collections ISBN: 13: 9782352500797

 

US 1st Infantry Division - "Big Red One" (Spearhead) by Ian West

The oldest continuously serving division in the US Army, the 1st Infantry Division, called the Big Red One because of the red numeral '1' on the 
uniform shoulder patch, was the first regular army division organised in June 1917 to fight in France with the Allied armies. More than 28,000 men - 
including soldiers with very familiar names, like George C. Marshall, Theodore Roosevelt Jnr, and Lesley J. McNair - served with the division in World 
War 1. It was selected for participation in Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, landing in Algeria on 8 November 1942. It then fought 
through Sicily, leaving the theatre to train for the invasion. It was part of the forces that landed on D-Day and then fought with distinction through 
Europe. 1st Infantry Division's battle honours are Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy, the Bulge, Germany. Postwar, the division served in Europe, Vletnam, 
Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Bosnia. It is currently based in Germany.

Paperback - 96 pages

First Published 30 September, 2002

Ian Allan Publishing Ltd; ISBN: 0711029237

Further Reading

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