Destination Berchtesgaden - The US Seventh Army during World War II, John Frayn Turner & Robert Jackson

Destination Berchtesgaden - The US Seventh Army during World War II, John Frayn Turner & Robert Jackson

This book looks at the history of the US Seventh Army, which fought on Sicily, in France and took part in the final invasion of Germany between its combat debut in 1943 and the end of the Second World War.

We start with the background and planning for the invasion of Sicily, where the Seventh Army would be the main American force involved. After the fighting on Sicily, the Seventh Army lost all of its combat units and was reduced in size to just a headquarters. This HQ was given the task of planning Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of Southern France. This took place in August 1944, and from then on the Seventh Army was in constant combat, first during the advance across France, then in the battles on the German border and in the Ardennes, and finally the crossing of the Rhine and the advance into Germany.

For me the value of the book varied depending on how well known each of the Seventh Army's campaigns were. The fighting on Sicily is well documented, as the Ardennes offensive and the advance into Germany, but Operation Dragoon is rarely given a full treatment, and so I found this section the most illuminating. The authors have also largely ignored the political controversies that surrounded the campaign, which makes a refreshing change, and instead concentrated on producing a good narrative account of the fighting.

This is a good quality narrative history of the campaigns of the US Seventh Army, with each one given equal billing, and is a handy guide to the actions of that army during two years of fighting.

1 - Operation Husky: The Invasion of Sicily
2 - The Battle for Sicily
3 - Operation Dragoon: The Allied Invasion of Southern France
4 - The Fight for a Bridgehead
5 - The German Retreat
6 - The Seventh Army Advances
7 - River Crossings, German Defenses and Resistance
8 - To the Siegfried Line
9 - The Ardennes Offensive
10 - Breaking the German Defenses
11 - Crossing the Rhine
12 - An End in Sight

Author: John Frayn Turner & Robert Jackson
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 222
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2013

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