Keeping History Alive: Historian Kevin Hymel

Patton's War bookKevin Hymel, the historian who leads our In Patton’s Footsteps Tour, has been busy keeping history alive. His new book on General George S. Patton comes out in November; his latest article is now available in WWII History Magazine; and he made yet another appearance on WW2TV to discuss the Battle of Mayenne, a stop on the Patton tour.

Patton’s War

During his life, George S. Patton Jr. starred as an Olympic athlete in the 1912 Stockholm games, chased down Mexican bandits, and led tanks into battle in World War I. But he is best remembered for his exploits on the field of battle in World War II. Patton’s War, the first of three volumes, follows the general from the beaches of Morocco to the fields of France, right before the birth of Third Army on the continent.

In his highly engaging new book, Patton’s War: An American General’s Combat Leadership, Volume I: November 1942 – July 1944, Kevin Hymel uncovers new facts and challenges long-held beliefs about the mercurial Patton, not only examining his relationships with his superiors and fellow generals and colonels, but also with the soldiers of all ranks whom he led. Through extensive research of soldiers’ memoirs and interviews, Hymel adds a new dimension to the telling of Patton’s WWII story.

Preorder Patton’s War: An American General’s Combat Leadership >

Patton: From Gafsa to El Guettar

WWII History Magazine has published Kevin’s latest article, “Patton: From Gafsa to El Guettar.” It covers General George S. Patton’s first week commanding the II Corps in combat in Tunisia in the winter of 1942. The article is an adaptation from his new book, Patton’s War, Volume 1. Now available online and on newsstands!

WWII History Magazine >

WW2TV: The Battle for Mayenne

Kevin recently appeared on the WW2TV episode: The Battle for Mayenne. 

The Battle of Mayenne occurred on 5th August 1944 when Patton’s US Third Army advanced towards the Mayenne River in the town of Mayenne in Normandy. The Third Army had to secure the vital bridges to push their armour on towards Laval and Paris and at the same time hope the Germans did not destroy them.

Kevin and host Paul Woodadge talk about a bold decoy column deployed to lure some of the German defenders away and the story of James McRacken, known as the “The Savior of Mayenne,” who was mortally wounded in an attempt to disarm explosives set by Germans to destroy one of the bridges.


In case you missed it, check out Kevin’s last appearance on WW2TV, Patton’s War.


About Historian Kevin Hymel

Kevin Hymel is a Historian for the U.S. Army and lives in Arlington, Virginia. He is the author of Patton’s Photographs: War as He Saw It and has served as a historian at the U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. He was also the Research Director for WWII History and Military Heritage magazines and has written numerous articles for each. Kevin has been a popular historian with Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours for more than 15 years, and has appeared in numerous documentaries on the History Channel and American Heroes Channel. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from LaSalle University and Master’s Degree from Villanova University, both in History. 


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