This entry in the 'versus' series focuses on three clashes between American and German infantry in the European theatre of operations in 1944. The three skirmishes are well chosen, and include one from Normandy, one from the first clashes on the German frontier and one from the battle of the Ardennes. The Americans are thus the attackers in two and the defenders in one. I must admit I'm not entirely convinced by the concept of this series for modern history - the battlefield was more complex than a simple clash between two similar units - here the infantry did indeed do much of the fighting, but the outcome of the fighting was always influenced by how each side was supported by air, armour, artillery, engineers and other support services. In this particular case I couldn't quite get into the perfectly well written battle accounts, which are supported by good maps and are nicely varied.
I found the supporting information to be more valuable, looking at how the two armies were organised, trained and equipped and how that impacted on the fighting in 1944. The basic difference between the two was that the Americans were much better equipped than their German opponents, leading the Germans to taunt them as being too willing to rely on machines and not men, and to being casualty averse - two 'accusations' that the Americans would probably have been perfectly happy to acknowledge.
The Opposing Sides
Montebourg - June 7-10, 1944
The Scharnhorst Line, October 2-3, 1944
The Krinkelterwald, December 16, 1944
Author: Steven J. Zaloga