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Forward with Patton: The World War II Diary of Colonel Robert S. Allen

by Robert S. Allen edited by John Nelson Rickard

Availablecloth$50.00s 978-0-8131-6912-5
AUSA Books - American Warriors Series
338 pages  Pubdate: 08/25/2017  6 x 9  11 b&w photos, 14 maps, 5 figures, 17 tables

Soldier, journalist, and Soviet spy Robert S. Allen (1900–1981) was a deeply controversial figure. After serving in France during World War I, he left the military, forged a successful career as a syndicated columnist, and even rose to become the Washington, DC, bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor. During this period, he developed a sideline as a paid informant for the KGB. Still, Allen returned to the army following America’s entry into World War II and served as General George S. Patton’s chief of situation and executive officer for operations. He was considered such an authority on Patton after the war that Twentieth Century-Fox asked him to develop a film script about the general.

In Forward with Patton, John Nelson Rickard presents a complete, annotated edition of Colonel Allen’s World War II diary for 1944-1945. The entries reflect Allen’s private thoughts on his experiences, provide insight into the employment of the Third Army staff, and survey the strengths and weaknesses of individual staff members. They also provide an invaluable and rare perspective of Patton, with whom Allen worked closely while gathering intelligence, and whom he deeply admired. At times objective and at others intensely personal, Forward with Patton offers a distinctive eyewitness account of one of the US military’s most important armies by one of its most colorful soldiers.

John Nelson Rickard works in the Professional Military Education section of the Canadian Army Command and Staff College in Kingston, Ontario. He is the author of Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge, winner of the US Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award (Operational/Battle History) in 2011.

Rickard has brought forth an important and interesting view of staff action and intrigue as recorded by Allen. The author’s editing produced a highly readable and fascinating look at the inner operation of Third Army’s tactical employment of available forces. -- Armor Magazine

[This] is a firsthand account of the day-to-day experiences of a staff officer in Patton's Third Army—an interesting and relatively novel perspective in a genre that is largely composed of infantry battle memoirs. [A] fascinating account. -- H-War

Allen’s diary, with its blunt, scathing language and often outrageous criticism, has permanent importance as a window into how the Third US Army functioned on a daily basis during the campaigns of Northwest Europe in 1944-45. -- Carlo D’Este, author of Patton: A Genius for War

An important addition to the history of World War II. Rickard has done superb work in the editing and further secures his reputation as a first class historian whose work is informed by his own experience as a soldier. -- Colonel Gregory Fontenot, USA (Ret.), former commander Battle Command Training Program and Director, School of Advanced Military Studies, United States Army Command and General Staff College