Preparing Your Team for Atlantic Resolve

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Operation Dragoon Ride

By LTG Frederick “Ben” Hodges

For those leaders of rotational brigades who will participate in great training exercises and opportunities with our European Allies, I do not want you to view your mission in isolation. Understanding the context for which you are being called forward will be an essential component to your success. You need to understand the histories, the personalities, and the peoples that have shaped Europe over the last two hundred years to best grasp the significance of the current operational environment. Without this background, I believe that many of you will miss the importance of the work you do here.

Next, I think you need to understand the lessons learned from military leaders who once fought on this continent. Their experiences with the people, the terrain, and the weather might prove useful to you as you maneuver your formations across the same ground.

Below is a list of recommended books that I believe will help give you the context and the foundation that will make you successful during your time here in Europe.

Army Strong! Strong Europe!

War, Peace and International Relations by Colin S. Gray is a great starting point. His book provides a brief, easily readable survey of the last two hundred years of strategic European history, explaining how war and conflict has made, unmade, and remade the European Continent.

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Tim Snyder

Danubia: A Personal History of Hapsburg Europe by Simon Winder

Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History by Simon Winder

Eastern Approaches by Sir Fitzroy Maclean

The Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson

Ataturk by Lord Kinross

Eisenhower’s Guerrillas: The Jedburghs, the Maquis, and the Liberation of France  by Ben Jones

The Secret War: Spies, Cyphers, and Guerillas by Max Hastings

Panzer Battles by F.W. Von Mellinthin

Lost Victories: The Lost Memoirs of Hitler’s Most Brilliant General by Erich Manstein

The Limits of Glory: A Novel of Waterloo by James McDonough

Attacks by Erwin Rommel

The Fall of Eben Emael: Belgium 1940 by James Mrazek

Poland: A Novel by James A. Michener

Editor’s Note: To learn more about U.S. Army Europe, I encourage readers to check out their homepage here.  If you have additional reading or podcasts suggestions, please include them in the comments section below. 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Preparing Your Team for Atlantic Resolve

  1. After sharing this list with strategists in my network, they recommended the following additional reading:

    The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark (talks about the geopolitical dynamics just prior to and in the run up to WWI…a good way of assessing how current countries are interacting with each other)

    A History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples by Paul Magocsi (an obvious place a good knowledge of history would be beneficial today)

    The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers 1804-1999 by Misha Glenny (shows the history of the Balkans…a critical area of E Europe)

    The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War by Misha Glenny (his follow up that details the modern history of the Balkans)

    The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    God’s Playground: A History of Poland, Vol. 2: 1795 to the Present by Norman Davies

  2. >>>The Brothers Karamazov
    As a Russian, I do not recommend.
    I insist on “Heart of a Dog” Bulgakov :).
    Go out to the Internet – the types of characters as living. From professor Preobrazhensky to the сommisаr Shvonder to Sharikov.
     www.amazon.com/Heart-Dog-Mikhail-Bulgakov/dp/1612192882
    Especially in the patriotic and political discussions 🙂 The film 1989 is also good.
    About Magocsi reputation have to ask my friends – professional historians. In the west, a very few specialists, so worthy to be called, on the history of Eastern Europe, and the “Canadian Ukrainians” in general has become something like the stigma. However, the mere fact that he insists that “Rusyns” old name “Ukrainians” may suspect an exception.

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