Yeide, Harry 1960-
Yeide, Harry 1960-
Born January 10, 1960; married; wife's name Nancy.
Home—Hyattsville, MD. E-mail—[email protected]
Foreign affairs analyst for the U.S. federal government, Washington, DC.
Steel Victory: The Heroic Story of America's Independent Tank Battalions at War in Europe, Presido Press (New York, NY), 2003.
The Tank Killers: A History of America's World War II Tank Destroyer Force, Casemate (Havertown, PA), 2004.
The Longest Battle: September 1944 to February 1945, from Aachen to the Roer and Across, Zenith Press (St. Paul, MN), 2005.
(With Mark Stout) First to the Rhine: The 6th Army Group in World War II, MBI (St. Paul, MN), 2007.
Steeds of Steel: A History of American Mechanized Cavalry in World War II, Zenith Press (St. Paul, MN), 2008.
Harry Yeide is a foreign affairs analyst who writes primarily in the field of military history. In an interview for the Axis History Factbook Web site, Yeide answered questions about the difficulty of writing in this genre. He explained: "When I write a branch history, I try to capture the war from the viewpoint of the men who actually fought it. This tends to introduce certain elements of nationalism and heroic behavior (who records or retells stories of cowardice and failure?) that are not ‘neutral.’ The biggest challenge in writing a battle book is that there is a huge number of moving parts, and you have to figure out how they fit together." Speaking of his book First to the Rhine: The 6th Army Group in World War II, he said, "My coauthor Mark Stout and I had to find ways to continually reflect the different views of the campaign from the American and French perspectives—to overgeneralize, a pragmatic desire to end the war quickly and go home versus a desire to rebuild French honor and prestige."
In the same interview, Yeide also discussed how he decides on what topics to research and publish. He related that "the idea for my first book … arose from doing some research with the aim of basing some wargame scenarios on actual events. I was amazed at what I found in the records of the U.S. separate tank battalions and realized there was a great story waiting to be told. I was equally amazed when I determined that nobody had written such a history before." Yeide added that "this experience led to my general approach to picking topics: I try to find good stories that have not been told to the broad audience of popular military history."
Yeide published his first book, Steel Victory: The Heroic Story of America's Independent Tank Battalions at War in Europe, in 2003. The account centers on the U.S. Army's independent tank battalions, which were used as reserves for the regular armored divisions during World War II. The battalions, comprised mostly of M-4 Sherman tanks, contained sound infantry support vehicles but were outmatched when facing German antitank guns and German Panther and Tiger tanks. Despite their numerous problems, the battalions were present on D-Day and the crossing of the Rhine River and therefore played an important role in the victory. Booklist contributor Roland Green commented that "the tankers of the independent battalions have long deserved the tribute Yeide gives them."
In his second book, The Tank Killers: A History of America's World War II Tank Destroyer Force, the author looks into the wartime service of the American Tank Destroyer Force in Italy, North Africa, and Europe during World War II. Yeide uses interviews and official records to recreate their experiences from 1941 until the war's end several years later. A contributor to the Midwest Book Review said that "what is new and most captivating about" The Tank Killers "is the continuing innovation and scrappiness of the men of the Tank Destroyer Force" as they learned more about their enemy and as their "weapons evolved" throughout the course of the war. Another critic reviewing the book in the Midwest Book Review observed that the book is "compelling and extensively researched." The same critic concluded that with this book the Tank Destroyer Force finally "gets the in-depth treatment it deserves."
Yeide published The Longest Battle: September 1944 to February 1945, from Aachen to the Roer and Across in 2005. The account takes a day-by-day approach to the American and Allied advances against the Axis forces of World War II from September 1944 to February 1945 as they moved deeper into Europe and across Germany. The attacks were catastrophic and crippled the German Wehrmacht forces to the extent that they were not a significant player for the remainder of the war's last three months. This push into Germany's heartland, called the Roer River campaign, was the longest single battle of the war. Jeffrey L. LaFace, writing in the Military Review, noted the veterans' heroism and declared that "this book is an outstanding tribute to their efforts." And a contributor to the Midwest Book Review commented that the author's "informed and informative history is superbly written and is an enthusiastically recommended addition to any … history collection."
In 2007 Yeide wrote First to the Rhine with Mark Stout. The authors uncover the little-known story of how the Sixth Army Group moved into Southern France on VE Day with American and French support to secure the French ports and join the efforts further inland near the border. A contributor to the Midwest Book Review remarked that "a handful of official U.S. Army photographs illustrate this thorough chronicle, accessible to lay readers as well as military historians." Dan C. Fullerton, reviewing the book in the Military Review, mentioned that the authors "do not get bogged down in unnecessary details" and asserted that "First to the Rhine fills a long-felt void in the European Theater's operational histories. It is a valuable book for both the casual historical reader and the serious student of military history."
Yeide published Steeds of Steel: A History of American Mechanized Cavalry in World War II in 2008. This "in-depth review," according to a Midwest Book Review contributor, highlights the mechanized cavalrymen of the U.S. Army during World War II, including tanks, armored cars, and jeeps. Yeide uses official records and recollections to show how these units functioned during the war.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Armchair General, August 2, 2007, Richard N. Story, review of Weapons of the Tankers: American Armor in World War II.
Booklist, December 15, 2003, Roland Green, review of Steel Victory: The Heroic Story of America's Independent Tank Battalions at War in Europe, p. 724.
Journal of Military History, July 1, 2005, Barry M. Stentiford, review of The Tank Killers: A History of America's World War II Tank Destroyer Force, p. 869.
Midwest Book Review, March 1, 2005, review of The Tank Killers; April 1, 2005, review of The Tank Killers; January 1, 2006, review of The Longest Battle: September 1944 to February 1945, from Aachen to the Roer and Across; October 1, 2007, review of First to the Rhine: The 6th Army Group in World War II; May 1, 2008, review of Steeds of Steel: A History of American Mechanized Cavalry in World War II.
Military Review, January 1, 2006, Jeffrey L. LaFace, review of The Longest Battle; March 1, 2008, Dan C. Fullerton, review of First to the Rhine.
Axis History Factbook,http://www.axishistory.com/ (August 24, 2007), author profile and interview.
Harry Yeide Home Page,http://homepage.mac.com/ yeide (June 20, 2008).