Books: Backing Up Patton

SICILY-SALERNO-ANZIO (413 pp.)—Samuel Eliot Morison—Little, Brown ($6.75).

The morning he landed in Sicily in July 1943, General George Patton climbed a Rangers' observation post and watched a column of German tanks roll down on his invasion beachhead. A young naval ensign with a walkie-talkie said: "Can I help you, sir?" "Sure," roared the general, "if you can connect with your [profanity deleted] Navy, tell them for [profanity's] sake to drop some shellfire on that road." Somehow the ensign raised the cruiser Boise, which devastated the tanks with 38 rounds of 6-in. shells. "General Patton's conversion to the value of naval-gunfire support," observes...

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