Red Bull - A History of the 34th Infantry Division in World War II

Volume 1: From Mobilization to Victory in Tunisia

Robert Noel Stokes Jr

The story of the US Army National Guard's 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division from mobilization through to their bitter but victorious fight at Hill 609 in Tunisia.
Date Published :
March 2022
Publisher :
Casemate
Illustration :
maps and photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636240466
Pages : 560
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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$39.95

Overview
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The story of the US Army National Guard's 34th "Red Bull" Infantry Division from mobilization through to their bitter but victorious fight at Hill 609 in Tunisia.

The US Army National Guard’s 34th 'Red Bull' Infantry Division was mobilized against the complex backdrop of the United States’ lack of readiness for modern war before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. After training, the 34th ID would be deployed in early 1942 to the United Kingdom as the first US division sent overseas, before participating in Operation TORCH and the capture of Algiers. Shocking engagements with Axis forces led to early traumatic defeats in Tunisia, battles that ultimately transformed the division’s men into the killer soldiers they needed to become. Their mettle would be tested when they won the bitter fight at Hill 609, where the Red Bull broke the Axis defensive line in Tunisia, resulting in the destruction of two Axis armies and the Allied conquest of the North African shore.

For the first time, almost 80 years after Nazi forces in Italy surrendered to the Allies, the complete story of the US Army National Guard’s 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division during WWII is finally told. The Division comes to life through a narrative based on original papers, declassified documents, and personal accounts of the soldiers themselves as they changed from green troops to veteran destroyers of the Third Reich. With constant focus on what happened to the men on the battle line, this book vividly sets forth major battles and little-known events of the Red Bull’s brutal introduction to war and its heroic metamorphosis into an effective combat organization, within the context of Allied strategy and leadership.

About The Author
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Robert N. Stokes Jr. is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and of the University of Maryland School of Law. Both his parents, Robert Noel Stokes, Sr. and Elva Catherine George Stokes, were US Army officers in WWII; his father served as a Red Bull soldier. His formative years were spent on Army bases, including Fort Kobbe in the former US Canal Zone in Panama, where he gained an appreciation for Army infantry weapons and began studying the tactics and devices of war from WWII War Department Intelligence Bulletins.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction xviii

PART I: “SOLDIERS ARE CITIZENS”: PREPARING THE NATION
FOR WAR
1 The Strategic and Political Situation
2 Congress and the Army of the United States
3 National Pre-War Mobilization and Foreign Policy
4 The 34ID Federalized: Prewar Mobilization and Early Training
5 The War Comes to America
6 34th Infantry Division in Ireland

Part II: “SOLDIERS ARE SWORN TO ACTION”: OPERATION TORCH
7 Algiers
8 The Early Tunisian Campaign, November 1942–February 1943
9 Allied Dispositions and Plans, January 1943
10 The Enemy’s Attack on the Eastern Dorsal Passes, January 18–28, 1943
11 Allied Expectations and Axis Intentions
12 Changes in Allied Field Command: Eisenhower’s Directives
13 The Enemy Attacks to Seize FaÏd Pass
14 Failure at Maknassy and the Loss of FaÏd Pass

PART III: “CITZENS OF DEATH’S GREY LAND”: THE KASSERINE
BATTLES
15 The Axis Strikes at II Corps
16 Combat Command A and the 168th Infantry Regiment at Sidi Bou Zid
17 The Destruction of Two Battalions of the 168th Infantry
18 SbeÏtla
19 The Red Bull’s Fight at Sbiba
20 The Axis Breakthrough at Kasserine Pass
21 The Battles on the Roads to Thala and Tébessa
22 “Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows”: Balance Sheet of the February Battles

PART IV: “SOME FLAMING, GATAL CLIMAX”: THE FINAL BATTLES
IN TUNISIA
23 The Allies Prepare to Destroy the Axis Armies in Tunisia
24 II Corps and 34ID Prepare to Attack
25 The Battle of Supply: The Buildup for the Allied Offensive
26 An Axis Spoiling Attack Fails
27 The Crucible of Combat
28 “Death Rides With Us”
29 34ID and the Aftermath of Second Fondouk
30 II Corps and 34ID Move to the North
31 “In the great hour of destiny they stand”
32 Reducing the Outworks
33 Breaching the Citadel
34 Victory in Tunisia
35 “Time’s Tomorrows”

Appendices
Appendix A: Documents

Appendix B: Organization and Equipment of a World War II
U.S. Army Infantry Division

Infantry Division Assault Doctrine
Bibliography
Glossary
Code Names
Endnotes
Index

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