Patton’s Vanguard

The United States Army Fourth Armored Division


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About the Book

Stirring accounts of the almost legendary campaigns of the United States Fourth Armored Division, universally recognized as “Patton’s Best,” from its pre–World War II origins up through its famous relief of the 101st Airborne Division during the Battle of the Bulge are presented in this book. The break out of Normandy at Avranches, the isolation of the Brittany peninsula, the armored thrust across France, the tank battles at Arracourt that cemented the reputation of the Fourth Armored, the brutal struggle in Lorraine, and, ultimately, the legendary drive to Bastogne are among the topics. The accounts were assembled through the use of original unit combat diaries and after-action reports, memoirs of key historical figures and abundant supplementary documents and correspondences. But, the essence of the book is the first-hand recollections from members of the division gathered by the author.

About the Author(s)

Don M. Fox serves on the Board of Directors of the Army Historical Foundation and resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Don M. Fox

Foreword by Martin Blumenson

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 496
Bibliographic Info: 72 photos, maps, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007 [2003]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3094-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5516-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
List of Terms and Abbreviations      ix
Foreword      1
Preface      3
Introduction: Name Enough      7

1. Birth      11
2. Baptism      34
3. Breakout and Pursuit      56
4. The Encirclement of Nancy      101
5. A Legend Is Born      126
6. Rest      167
7. Back on the Offensive      174
8. The Relief      221
9. Pressing Toward Germany      233
10. The Battle for Singling      242
11. Recuperation      263
12. The Stage Is Set      270
13. Out of the Mist      284
14. Patton to the Rescue      295
15. Task Force Ezell      311
16. Nuts!      325
17. The Arlon-Bastogne Highway      336
18. Bigonville      358
19. Chaumont      370
20. Breakthrough      397
21. Widening the Corridor      417
22. Hitler’s Last Gamble      427
23. The Aftermath      447

Epilogue      457
Appendix A: The Units and Their Commanders      461
Appendix B: U.S. Armored Division-Organization and Weapons      463
Bibliography      465
Military Unit Index      471
General Index      477

Book Reviews & Awards

• Winner, Royal Palm Book of the Year Award—Florida Writers Association

• “A unit history worthy of the 4th’s exploits…highly readable…informative…an excellent job of describing the 4th’s victories…unflinching about its defeats…the action is conveyed well…larger, more detailed…well told”—ARMY

• “Riveting…Fox patiently gathered firsthand recollections, diaries, after action reports, rare documents, hitherto unpublished person photographs. With careful attention in amassing long forgotten attic, then skillfully writing, polishing, and finally, in a calm, yet feeling, narrative style, offers us one of the finest, most lively unit histories of World War II. The impact on the reader is stunning. …wonderful 500 page contribution to the Best in War Literature.”—ARGunners Magazine