The Folly of Generals


An examination of mistakes made by the Allied supreme commander General Dwight Eisenhower in 1944-45, and their implication for the shape of the last nine months of World War II.

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Imagine how many lives would have been saved had the war in Europe finished in December 1944 instead of five months later… David Colley analyses critical mistakes made by the Allied supreme commander, General Dwight Eisenhower, in the last nine months of the war. He argues that had Eisenhower been more adept at taking advantage of several potential breakthroughs in the Siegfried Line in the fall of 1944 the war in the European Theatre of Operations might have ended sooner. The book details the American penetration of the Siegfried Line in mid-September and their advance into Germany at Wallendorf before the troops were called back. It also examines in detail operations in the Stolberg Corridor and the actions of General Lucian Truscott. It compares the battles at Wallendorf and Stolberg with Operation Market Garden, and assesses the effectiveness of these operations and the use of the troops. Eisenhower later called off another operation in November 1944, already in progress, to cross the Rhine and destroy the German 1st Army north of Strasbourg. American and German generals believe this operation would have shortened the war. The Folly of Generals explores these potential breakthroughs – along with other strategic and tactical mistakes in the ETO and in Italy, some never before revealed – that might have shortened the war by a considerable margin.

Additional information

Weight 0.544 kg
Dimensions 22.8 × 15.2 × 2.5 cm










Professional and scholarly / Code: H