Air Support for Patton’s Third Army

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About the Book

As the United States Third Army’s tanks moved through Avranches, no one, not even the Third Army’s commander, Lieutenant General George S. Patton, could have foreseen that it was the start of one of the most successful offensives of World War II—an offensive that received a great deal of help from the air. As Patton later wrote to the chief of the Army Air Forces, “For about 250 miles I have seen the calling cards of the fighter-bombers, which are bullet marks in the pavement and burned tanks and trucks in the ditches.”
This book covers the units in the Ninth Air Force, which gave close air support to the Third Army, and the Third Army’s campaign in France from August to November 1944, with special emphasis on how support from the air helped the Third Army continue pushing toward the German border. The difficult logistics of the operation are discussed in detail: Both the Ninth Air Force and the Third Army were hurt by a lack of matériel, especially gasoline, and this affected the offensive.

About the Author(s)

John J. Sullivan served ironically enough in a U.S. Marine Corps aviation unit in World War II. He lives in Ormond Beach, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

John J. Sullivan
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: photos, diagrams, maps, tables, notes, glossary, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1465-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Tables, Diagrams, Maps      ix

Preface       1

Introduction      3

1. Breakthrough into Brittany       17

2. The Ninth Air Force       34

3. Close Air Support      

4. The Drive to the Loire       51

5. Ninth Air Force Engineers, Liaison Operations, Interdiction and Communications       62

6. XV Corps at Argentan       74

7. The Third Army Crosses the Seine       82

8. The Drive to the Meuse       90

9. The Capture of Brest       96

10. Air Supply for Ground Forces       106

11. British Receive Priority for Supplies       112

12. The Drive to the Moselle      121

13. Air Support for the Third Army’s Autumn Operations      135

14. The November Offensive      143

15. The Drive to Bastogne      151

16. Evaluations of Air Support for the Third Army      157

Glossary      163

Notes      165

Bibliography      177

Index      181

Book Reviews & Awards

“concise, compelling narrative”—Military Review.