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

Volume 1 - Mobilization to 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 :
November 2021
Publisher :
Illustration :
maps and photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636240466
Pages : 456
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


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

Robert Noel 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.


Part I: “Soldiers are citizens”: Preparing the Nation for War
Chapter 1: The Strategic and Political Situation
Chapter 2: Congress and the Army of the United States
Chapter 3: Unexpected End of Formula
Chapter 4: The 34ID Federalized: Prewar Mobilization and Early Training
Chapter 5: The War Comes to America
Chapter 6: 34ID in Ireland

Part II: “Soldiers are sworn to Action”: OPERATION TORCH
Chapter 1: Algiers
Chapter 2: The Early Tunisian Campaign, November 1942–February 1943
Chapter 3: Operation SATIN
Chapter 4: Allied Plans and Dispositions, January 1943
Chapter 5: The Enemy's Attack on the Eastern Dorsal Passes, 18-28 January 1943
Chapter 6: Allied Expectations and Axis Intentions
Chapter 7: Changes in Allied Field Command: Eisenhower’s Directives
Chapter 8: The Enemy Attacks to Seize Faïd Pass
Chapter 9: The American Attack toward Maknassy
Chapter 10: II Corps Goes on the Defensive

Part III: “Citizens of death's grey land”: THE KASSERINE BATTLES
Chapter 1: Allied Dispositions
Chapter 2: Axis Offensive: 34ID at Sidi bou Zid and Sbiba
Chapter 3: Combat Command A and the 168th Infantry at Sidi bou Zid
Chapter 4: The Destruction of Two Battalions of the 168th Infantry
Chapter 6: The Red Bull’s Fight at Sbiba
Chapter 7: The Axis Breakthrough at Kasserine Pass
Chapter 8: The Enemy Is Held on the Tèbessa Road
Chapter 9: “Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows”: Balance Sheet of the February Battles

Part IV: “Some flaming, fatal climax”
Chapter 1: The Allies Prepare to Destroy the Axis Armies in Tunisia
Chapter 2: II Corps and 34ID Prepare to Attack
Chapter 3: The Battle of Supply: The Buildup for the Allied Offensive.
Chapter 4: An Axis Spoiling Attack.
Chapter 5: The Crucible of Combat
Chapter 7: 34ID and the Aftermath of Second Fondouk
Chapter 8: II Corps and 34ID Move to the North
Chapter 9: “In the great hour of destiny”:
Chapter 10: Bizerte and Victory.
Chapter 11: “Time's Tomorrows”:

APPENDIX B: Selected U.S. Army Weapons and Vehicles
APPENDIX C: Organization and Equipment of a Second World War U.S. Army InfantryDivision
APPENDIX D: Selected German weapons and Vehicles

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