Major General Maurice Rose (1899-1945), commander of 3rd Amored, First Army's legendary "Spearhead" division, was the highest-ranking American Jewish officer ever killed in battle, and the only individual casualty to spark a War Crimes Investigation. This, the first and only biography of this important World War II figure, tells the dramatic story of Rose's life—-from his childhood as a son of a rabbi, through his experiences in World War I and in the U.S. cavalry, to his meteoric rise as America's answer to Rommel. In 1943, Rose negotiated and accepted the surrender of the German Army in Tunisia, the first large-scale surrender to an American force during World War II. At the Battle of Carentan in June 1944, he saved the 506th Parachute Infantry (of Band of Brothers fame), and might very well have saved the entire Normandy beachhead from a catastrophic German counterattack. His brilliant, daring, and aggressive defensive tactics during the Battle of the Bulge prevented an enemy breakthrough to the Meuse River and beyond, thereby frustrating the German advance.
Based on original archival research and exclusive interviews, this biography shatters old myths and factual distortions, and offers a refreshingly inquisitive and critical perspective. Steven L. Ossad and Don R. Marsh reveal new insights into Rose's controversial death—-was he killed because he was Jewish or because he went for his weapon?—-and about the even more controversial investigations that followed. As compelling and extraordinary as the life that it describes, this biography pays long-overdue tribute to one of America's greatest heroes.
Steven L. Ossad lives in New York City. Don R. Marsh, a World War II veteran who served under General Rose, lives in Tustin, California. Martin Blumenson, editor of The Patton Papers and author of Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, 1885-1945, lives in Washington, D.C.