Title:                      G-2

Author:                 Oscar W. Koch

Koch, Oscar W. (1971, 1999) with Robert G. Hays. G-2: Intelligence For Patton. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History

LCCN:    98089030

D810.S7 K6 1999


Date Updated:  February 10, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

General Koch served with General Patton in the invasion of North Africa. He then became his G-2 for the remainder of the war. He describes the organization and functioning of Patton’s intelligence staff and intelligence support for Patton’s operations. In this short book, most matters get a broad-brush treatment; but a number of anecdotes and examples of intelligence at work are found to whet the appetite. Koch touches on the security of the operation for invading Africa (Torch); the use of Patton as part of the deception plan for the invasion of Normandy; the correct intelligence estimate of the Italian army’s intelligence chief on Sicily that this island was the target for Husky (the Allied Sicilian invasion plan); the labeling of the National Redoubt as a myth by his staff, the only one to do so. Writing before the declassification of Ultra, Koch cannot treat the role communications intelligence played in his intelligence work and in the operational decisions of Patton. There are hints, however, as in his version of what happened at Avranches. Any future study of the role of intelligence before the Battle of Bulge will have to include his staff’s estimates of German capabilities before the battle. Accounts by U.S. Army intelligence officers at Koch’s level of responsibility in World War II are rare. Robert Allen in Lucky Forward[2], about the Third Army, called Koch brilliant, scholarly, self-effacing, and “the greatest G-2 in the U.S. Army,” whose merits went unrewarded.

This is a review by the Defense Intelligence School.[3]

General Patton’s successes on the battlefield could not have been accomplished without an effective and aggressive intelligence effort and the commander’s appreciation and use of the intelligence product. BG Koch, Patton’s G-2 in the North African, Sicily, and European campaigns, relates his experiences with this controversial leader in a highly readable fashion. The insider’s view of the intelligence support for Patton’s operations, particularly its role in the Ardennes campaign, is of great interest and value to the student of military intelligence. Regretfully, this book was published prior to the public revelation that the British had broken the German World War II codes. Therefore, the role of communications intelligence on General Patton’s decisions is not included.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[4]

The late General Koch was Patton’s assistant chief of staff, intelIigence (G-2} and in this all-too-short book he describes his own tested methods of collecting battlefield information and producing tactical intelligence. He also tells how Patton utilized Koch’s intelligence in making command decisions in the battles after the North Africa campaign, before the invasion of Germany.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 276-277

[2] Allen, Robert S. (1947). Lucky Forward: The History of Patton’s Third U.S. Army. New York, Vanguard Press [LCCN: 47030945]

[3] Defense Intelligence School (1981). Bibliography of Intelligence Literature: A Critical And Annotated Bibliography of Open-Source Literature (7th ed, rev.). Washington, DC: Defense Intelligence School, p. 38

[4] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., pp. 63-64


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  1. Pingback: Captains Without Eyes | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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