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Albin F. Irzyk

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Brigadier General Albin F. Irzyk, USA (ret.) fought in “five WW II campaigns in Europe as a 27/28 year old - 8th Tank Battalion Commander  (76 Tanks) in the 4th Armored Division which spearheaded General George S. Patton’s Third Army all across Europe, and which relieved the surrounded forces at Bastogne. He was wounded twice (Purple Heart OLC), was awarded for extraordinary heroism the Distinguished Service Cross, and holds the Silver Star, (OLC), Bronze Star (3 OLC), and Legion Of Merit (2 OLC).

Served with the U.S. Constabulary in the Occupation of Germany until 1947.  During the Cold War, he commanded the famed 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the NATO “trip wire”, responsible for 300 miles of the “Iron Curtain” and the Fulda Gap. His command was at maximum alert during the Berlin Crisis in August 1961 when the Berlin Wall went up and Khrushchev threatened to block U.S. access to Berlin.

Brigadier General Albin F. Irzyk “served two years in Vietnam. During the first year, his Military Policemen and Reaction Forces saved the U.S. Embassy, and other key installations in Saigon during the TET attack of 1968. During his second year, as Assistant Division Commander of the 4th Infantry Division, he had over 600 combat hours in a helicopter supervising combat operations, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and 11 Air Medals.” (Ivan Steenkiste)

 

Brigadier General Albin F. Irzyk is the author of He Rode Up Front For Patton; Gasoline to Patton: A Different War; Unsung Heroes, Saving Saigon; What made the Fourth Armored Division great?; and, The 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment During the Berlin Crisis, 1961.

 

According to the book description of Unsung Heroes, Saving Saigon, it is “the latest work by retired Brigadier General Albin F. Irzyk, recounts the harrowing events that occurred in Saigon during the notorious TET Offensive of 1968. Irzyk, as the leader of Headquarters Area Command (HAC) in Saigon, was the city s unofficial Military Mayor, and was at the heart of the action in Saigon when the Viet Cong forces launched attacks all over Vietnam in the midst of that nation s greatest holiday. Though taken by surprise, the forces that Irzyk commanded, none of whom were trained for tactical engagement, rose to the occasion and courageously helped prevent VC attackers from taking control of key installations in the capital city. Many of these brave men have gone unrecognized for many years, but Unsung Heroes, Saving Saigon corrects that grave error by highlighting their amazingly bold deeds. From the U.S. Embassy to dark, dangerous alleys, numerous battles took place in the middle of Saigon. Many soldiers fought. Some were wounded. Others perished. Unsung Heroes, Saving Saigon will help ensure that they are never forgotten.”

 

Midwest Book Review said of He Rode Up Front For Patton, it “is the intimate and true story of a young tank commander whose own tanks were often the lead elements of General Patton's famed Third Army. This autobiographical account describes the detailed adventures of how American men lived and worked in their tanks during the arduous push from England, across Europe to Czechoslovakia. Irzyk's intuitive glimpses into the lives of the men around him provide an insightful portrayal of the daily struggles they faced. He Rode Up Front For Patton is a personalized chronicle about the constant fight to wrest ground and defeat the Germans while endeavoring to spare the men he had the honor to lead unnecessary hardships and useless losses during one of the most momentous times of World War II. It provides a rare, unique, first hand account of life during combat, culminating in Irzyk's final and unprecedented encounter with General Patton. He Rode Up Front For Patton is a terrific insider's account of the horrors and heroics and mechanized combat in the European theatre. No World War II collection is complete without He Rode Up Front For Patton.”


GASOLINE TO PATTON
ALBIN IRZYK  More Info

Unsung Heroes, Saving Saigon
Albin F. Irzyk  More Info
He Rode Up Front for Patton
Albin F. Irzyk  More Info
Bastogne, a fascinating, obscure vignette ;: The "Name Enough" Division ; The mystery of "Tiger Jack" ; What made the Fourth Armored Division great?
Albin F Irzyk  More Info
The 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment During the Berlin Crisis, 1961
Albin F. Irzyk  More Info

According to the book description of Gasoline to Patton: A Different War, “After the breakout from the Normandy hedgerows in late July 1944, Allied ground forces advanced so swiftly across France and Belgium that they soon were outrunning their supply lines. Materiel of all kinds grew scarce, but no commodity was more coveted than gasoline. At the end of August, George Patton's Third Army, the fastest of all the Allied outfits, had to pull up and wait five days after a requisition for four hundred thousand gallons was answered with a shipment of 31,975. "My men can eat their belts, " Patton complained, " but my tanks gotta have gas. " "There was plenty of gas in liberated France, but Allied supplies were still being unloaded way back where the campaign had begun, in Normandy, three hundred miles behind Third Army's spearhead.

 

In between the French railway system lay in shambles, Just as Allied bombing commanders had intended. Some gasoline was flown to Patton by pilots like Bill Perkins-but most of it had to be moved by truck. One convoy after another plied French roads, but the truckers could deliver to Third Army and the rest of the Allied forces only a small fraction of the million gallons a day they needed to keep moving.

 

“Patton wasn't the only Allied commander clamoring for more gasoline. At the direction of Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower, the attacking armies were arrayed along a broad front. To the north and west were the British and Canadian forces of the Twenty-first Army Group, led by Bernard Montgomery. To the south and east was the American Twelfth Army Group, led by Omar Bradley and made up of First Army, commanded by Courtney Hodges, on its left flank and Patton's force on its right. Ike's strategy had as much to do with holding together an alliance as with seizing territory, but the Anglo-American partnership was put to the test by Montgomery and Patton, both of whom repeatedly petitioned Eisenhower to be the anointed leader of a concentrated, fatal stab to Germany's heart, and to be granted the resources to deliver it. Gasoline may have been hard to come by as Eisenhower sought to manage the war, but he faced no shortage of ego among his talented but vexing subordinates. "No one can know what would have happened had Patton, instead of Montgomery, been armed with the knife to stab Germany's heart But it is known that Montgomery was given the opportunity to end the war in 1944, that he squandered it, and that the war lasted another seven grueling months.”

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