Raymond O. Barton and the US Army, 1889-1963

978-1-57441-943-6 Cloth
6 x 9 x 0 in
512 pp. 39 b&w illus. 6 maps. Notes.
Pub Date: 11/15/2024
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  • Cloth $34.95

Entering West Point from central Oklahoma, Raymond O. Barton’s prowess on the football field and wrestling team earned him the nickname “Tubby,” an appellation used by his friends and fellow officers for the rest of his life. Based on personal letters and documents, this biography explores Barton’s military career from his days as a cadet through thirty-seven years of military service, culminating with his command in World War II of the 4th Infantry Division during the US Army’s campaign in France. From the inside readers have a picture of officership during the intense days of training and expansion on the eve of World War II. Finally, thanks to the discovery of his war diary, we have a close-up view of his senior leadership as he trained in England for the landing on Utah Beach on June 6, 1944.

Through 204 days of continuous combat, Barton led the 4th Infantry Division as it fought through German defenses on its way into Cherbourg. His division led the VII Corps’ breakthrough on Operation COBRA and then held the north shoulder during the German counterattack at Mortain. Now assigned to the V Corps, the 4th Infantry Division liberated Paris alongside the French 2nd Armored Division. On September 12 he became the first American general to cross the border into Nazi Germany. In November he moved his command to the Hürtgen Forest and for two weeks fought through some of the most inhospitable terrain in Europe. In December Barton's exhausted soldiers moved to Luxembourg to a more restful portion of the front lines, only to face the southern flank of the German Ardennes Offensive. By the time the Ivy Division stopped the enemy outside of Luxembourg, Barton was exhausted and physically unable to continue in command. He returned home to live the rest of his life as a distinguished citizen of Augusta, Georgia.

North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series

Published by University of North Texas Press