The Fighting 30th Division

They Called Them Roosevelt's SS

Michael Collins, David Hilborn, Martin King

In World War I the 30th Infantry Division earned more Medals of Honor than any other American division. In World War II it spent more consecutive days in combat than almost any other outfit. Recruited mainly from the Carolinas and Georgia and Tennessee, they were one of the hardest-fighting units the U.S. ever fielded in Europe. What was it about
Date Published :
July 2015
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
16pp photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612003016
Pages : 360
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
Available
$32.95

Overview
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In World War I the 30th Infantry Division earned more Medals of Honor than any other American division. In World War II it spent more consecutive days in combat than almost any other outfit. Recruited mainly from the Carolinas and Georgia and Tennessee, they were one of the hardest-fighting units the U.S. ever fielded in Europe. What was it about these men that made them so indomitable? They were tough and resilient for a start, but this division had something else. They possessed intrinsic zeal to engage the enemy that often left their adversaries in awe. Their U.S. Army nickname was the “Old Hickory” Division. But after encountering them on the battlefield, the Germans themselves came to call them “Roosevelt’s SS.”

This book is a combat chronicle of this illustrious division that takes the reader right to the heart of the fighting through the eyes of those who were actually there. It goes from the hedgerows of Normandy to the 30th’s gallant stand against panzers at Mortain, to the brutal slugs around Aachen and the Westwall, and then to the Battle of the Bulge. Each chapter is meticulously researched and assembled with accurate timelines and after-action reports. The last remaining veterans of the 30th Division and attached units who saw the action firsthand relate their remarkable experiences here for the first, and probably the last time. This is precisely what military historians mean when they write about “fighting spirit.”

There have been only a few books written about the 30th Division and none contained direct interviews with the veterans. This work follows their story from Normandy to the final victory in Germany, packed with previously untold accounts from the survivors. These are the men whose incredible stories epitomize what it was to be a GI in one of the toughest divisions in WWII.

About The Author
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Michael Collins is an American historian who lives outside of Albany, New York. He co-authored the book Voices of the Bulge with his good friend and co-author Martin King and he is currently the historian for the 10th Armored Division Veterans Western Chapter. With help from the Western Chapter and Martin King, he fundraised and ran logistics for having a 10th Armored Division plaque dedicated next to a tank turret in Bastogne, Belgium in December, 2011 to commemorate the 10th Armored Division veterans who fought during the Battle of the Bulge. His primary interest is preserving the memory of World War II veterans through oral history and photographs. He has lectured on the importance of oral history and the Battle of the Bulge at numerous venues including colleges, military bases, and museums. He travelled on an extensive book tour of the north eastern United States with fellow co-author Martin King which included stops at West Point Military Academy, Fort Dix, Valley Forge Military College, and the U.S. Navy Museum. He has worked for various museums in the north eastern United States including the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum, the New York State Military Museum and Veteran’s Research Center, Irish American Heritage Museum and Connecticut’s Old State House. He currently works at Siena College in Loudonville, NY in the library’s audio-visual department.Michael is interested in World War II history and 20th Century U.S. and European History. He received his Bachelor’s degree in history from Siena College and his Master’s degree in Public History from Central Connecticut State University.

Martin King is a highly qualified British Military Historian/Lecturer who’s had the honor of reintroducing many US, British and German veterans to the WWII battlefields where they fought. He lives in Belgium near Antwerp where he spends his time writing, lecturing and visiting European battlefields.He is a British citizen who has been resident in Belgium since 1981. Previous to that he attended Wakefield Technical and Arts College and followed a foundation course in Teacher Training. In 1981 he decided to continue his academic career firstly with a teacher training course at the famous Berlitz Language School, and secondly with a degree course in European History at the ULB University in Brussels, where he also began studying military history. In 2000 he was offered a position at Antwerp University.Around this time he began writing the first draft of ‘Voices of the Bulge’, a book based on a series of one to one interviews with veterans who participated in the Battle of the Bulge. Later he was joined by co-author Michael Collins who assisted in this project. His voluntary work with veterans and the tracing the individual histories of veterans has been a labor of love for almost 20 years. He speaks fluent German, Dutch, Italian and French. Frequently in demand as a public speaker he has lectured at many British and US military bases throughout the world. His activities came to the attention of some major military documentary makers in Hollywood. The History Channel hired Martin to be their Senior Historical Consultant on their series “Cities of the Underworld”. In 2007 he began a three year assignment to work on the hit series ‘Greatest Tank Battles’, currently the most watched military documentary in the US. Shortly thereafter he accepted an invitation to work as a Presenter/Historical Consultant on the series ‘Narrow Escapes’ with Bafta Award winning documentary makers WMR.He was recently invited to the prestigious West Point Military Academy and Valley Forge Military College in the United States. Due to his extensive work on veteran research, at Valley Forge he was honoured by being asked to officially open the ‘Eric Fisher Woods’ Library. His documentary film based on the book ‘Voices of the Bulge’ is currently in production.Widely regarded as an authority on European Military History, General Graham Hollands referred to him as the “Greatest living expert on the Battle of the Bulge”. Fellow writer and notable historian Professor Carlton Joyce said “He really is the best on the Ardennes". Stephen Ambrose author of ‘Band of Brothers’ referred to him as ‘Our expert on the Battle of the Bulge’.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
FOREWORDS
INTRODUCTION

PART ONE NORMANDY AND NORTHERN FRANCE
Normandy Campaign: 6 June–24 July 1944
Northern France Campaign: 25 July–14 September 1944
1 HELL IN LE BOCAGE!
2 THE “BREAKOUT”
3 “THE ROCK OF MORTAIN”

PART TWO THE RHINELAND CAMPAIGN 155
Rhineland Campaign, Part 1: 15 September 1944—15 December 1944
4 TO THE EDGE OF THE REICH
5 AACHEN!
6 ADVANCE TO THE EAST

PART THREE THE ARDENNES
Ardennes-Alsace Campaign, 16 December 1944–25 January 1945
7 THE THIN GREEN LINE
8 COUNTEROFFENSIVE

PART FOUR GERMANY AND VICTORY
Rhineland Campaign, Part 2: 26 January–21 March 1945
Central Europe Campaign: 22 March–11 May 1945
9 SETTING THE PACE 283
10 THE FINAL PUSH 292

EPILOGUE
APPENDIX A: Units of the 30th Infantry Division
APPENDIX B: US Army Organizational Structure
ENDNOTES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

REVIEWS
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"Another fantastic true story that will fascinate historians and fans of McNab - Boys Own Paper stuff."

- Books Monthly

...read this book mainly for the perspective of the GIs who fought and bled to give the Old hickory Division its well earned reputation. In the words of former infantryman Jim Nolan "The 30th was topnotch".

- The Journal of America’s Military Past

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