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Invading Hitler's Europe (Kindle)

From Salerno to the Capture of Göring - The Memoir of a US Intelligence Officer

WWII Frontline eBooks Hitler & the Third Reich Frontline: WWII Military

By Roswell K Doughty, Introduction by Reiner Decher
Frontline Books
File Size: 11.1 MB (.mobi)
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9781526773241
eBook Released: 13th May 2021


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On the day that Roswell K. Doughty graduated from Boston University he also received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army of the United States of America. That, though, was in 1931 and it was not until 1942 that he was called to active duty – to face some of the toughest fighting of the Second World War.

With the rank of 1st Lieutenant, Doughty became an Intelligence Officer with the US 36th (Texas) Division. He subsequently saw action in North Africa, then at the disastrous Salerno landings in Italy – where the Allied divisions involved suffered 4,000 casualties – about which the author reveals that suspected intelligence breaches led to the Allies’ plans becoming known to the Germans.

Doughty was involved in the grueling battles against the formidable German defences of the Gustav Line, particularly in the tragic failed attempt to cross the Gari river (Battle of the Rapido River, January 1944) and the struggle to conquer Monte Cassino. After the Anzio landings and the liberation of Rome, Doughty and his infantry regiment, the 141st, took part in the invasion of Southern France in Operation Dragoon, fighting its way up the Rhône River and advancing up to the River Moselle in December 1944. In March 1945, his unit breached the Siegfried Line and crossed into the Germany itself.

Promoted to captain and later to major, Doughty led an Intelligence and Reconnaissance unit, the role of which was to learn what it could of enemy strengths, minefields, useable roads and so on, which involved going behind enemy lines to observe enemy movements first-hand. As an Intelligence Officer, it was also part of Doughty’s duties to interrogate enemy prisoners, which led him to being involved in the capture and detention of Reichsmarschall Göring and in negotiating the surrender of the still-armed and hostile German First Army in May 1945.

This is the fascinating and diverse account of one officer’s part in the liberation of Europe in the Second World War, one which led him from North Africa through Italy and France into the heart of the Third Reich.

Review by Jason Hubbard

This is one of those books that will appeal to military historians more than a wargamer, though it’s an interesting read from a wargaming perspective. I think those interested in the history of World War 2 will enjoy this book more. I did like the fact it was a memoir from a HQ officer rather than a frontline combat soldier, it gave another perspective that I found interesting to read about.

Irregular Magazine | Spring Issue 2021

Impressively informative, expertly presented, and inherently interesting read that will be especially appreciated by both academia and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the World War II European Theatre operations.

Click here for the full review

Midwest Book Review

I have a close connection to the stories told in this memoir. Roswell Doughty was my grandfather. Although the stories he told his grandchildren were carefully chosen for children's ears, I recall his retelling of a few stories found in the chapters of this book. Once you're past the historical introductions, the book reads like an on-the-ground and in-his-boots-experience. It is as close as I've been able to get to feeling the atrocities of war. Roswell's retelling from training camp to post war Germany is a good read.

Laura Ford

About Roswell K Doughty

ROSWELL K. DOUGHTY graduated from Boston University in 1931 with an Army ROTC second lieutenancy. He was called up for active duty as an S-2 (Intelligence) officer with the 36th (Texas) Division after the Pearl Harbor attack. He was shipped out April 1, 1943 and served in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany until after VE Day. Doughty later served as a G-1 (staff) officer in Korea from 1952-1953. Returning to civilian life, he worked for the General Motors Acceptance Corporation, residing primarily in New York State. Roswell married his wife Eleanore in 1936 and had three children born 1941, 1943, and 1948. He died residing in Vermont in 2001 at the age of 91.

About Reiner Decher

REINER DECHER’s father was an engineer, who worked on jet engines in Germany, France, and finally in the United States. Exposure to his father’s career led Reiner to complete a doctorate in aeronautical engineering at MIT and spend a career teaching and undertaking research at the University of Washington in Seattle. His academic focus was on aerodynamics, propulsion, and energy conversion. Industrial experiences include the AVCO-Everett Research Laboratory and The Boeing Company in the Propulsion Research Group.

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