David Alan Johnson


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Just read Betrayal. I have some additional information regarding Gerda Melind (Herbert Haupt's girlfriend). She is my mother. Is it possible to contact the author?
I really enjoyed reading this book!
Leslie Saure on FB

How may I reach The Author to share some slight bit additional info re: GJD ? I was 5 yrs old June 1942.
Lynne Smith Thor on FB

Like your perspective of G.J. Dasch in "Betrayal." see him as more of a quixotic, " tarnished", Figure, with a German Twist, than " bungler" or "Traitor" as some authors portray him. Betrayed, as you write, by Hoover, having done more harm to Nazi cause than ours. Tried to contact you to give slight bit of additional info. TY for such good writing. Lynne Smith Thor on FB

I'm enjoying your book 'Yanks in the RAF' so far. However I feel that I need to point out what should have been (in my opinion) an easy error to correct. On page 228 you talk about the re-formed 71 Squadron and a few of the aircraft the unit flew. You state that the squadron's Vampires were replaced by F-100 Super Sabers in 1953, an impressive feat considering the F-100 had its first flight I'm May of 53 and was not operational until Sept. Of 1954. While the fighter did see service with foreign air forces (Taiwan, Turkey, Denmark, and France) it never saw service with the RAF. I think you're thinking of its predecessor, the F-86 Saber, a very different animal in spite of the word 'Saber.' Sorry to sound so picky but it kind of jumped out at me.
Guy Aceto

My dad was in the r.a.f. he said he lied about his age,he was 17. He's the guy in all the pictures of him standing on the wing of his plane,it says little Joe on it.his name was Joseph Michael Kelly.my brother got rid of a lot of info about my dad,could you suggest where I could look. Thank you

What happened to George Dasch's family here in the U.S.?
Complicated matter..feel sorry for the man..he paid the price of returning to Germany and training as a spy. Yet, he saved the US from an "attack" that could of changed the production rate of military weapons (airplanes) production rate. Interesting story and sadly true.

Has the relationship between Britain and the United States been a 'Special Relationship?' Please give your opinion.

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Georg Dasch went to Germany because his mother was very ill. When he tried to return to the US the NAZI forced him to go in Abwehr traing or be shot as an American spy.

The Lincoln Association of Jersey City, the first and thus oldest group to honor the memory of our 16th President, has a dinner every year on his birthday at which a Lincoln scholar delivers a talk on some facet of Lincoln and/or his work.

We are compiling a list of persons who would be interested in filling that role. If you are interested, could you email me your requirements? If not, perhaps you can pass our request to someone you know who would have that background and interest.

You can visit our website at www.thelincolnassociationofjerseycity.com. There are other activities the Association has supported , all revolving around the name Lincoln.

Thank you,

John Hallanan, Past President
The Lincoln Association of Jersey City

Books by David Alan Johnson

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In your research of your book Betrayal during your review of the transcripts of the trials or FBI files, did you find any of the sabateurs caught, Neubauer, Haupt, etc attempt to steal any secrets in the Manhattan Project in Chicago?

Reviews of Decided on the Battlefield

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Decided on the Battlefield: Grant, Sherman, Lincoln and the Election of 1864
David Alan Johnson. Prometheus, $27 (340p) ISBN 978-1-61614-509-5

The summer of 1864 marked the nadir of Northern confidence in victory, as Civil War buffs generally know from works like Charles Bracelen Flood's 1864 (2009). Candidates who tapped into war weariness and angled to replace Lincoln, such as Salmon Chase, John Fremont, and George McClellan, are among the cast in this rendition of the interaction between political and military events that eventuated in the incumbent's reelection. Johnson writes of battles, party conventions, and newspapers' reflections of voters' sentiment in a popular manner that flows well and is not overly scholarly. Dispensing motes of opinion and counterfactual observations (his epilogue traces American history following McClellan's presidency), Johnson will appeal to the what-if aspect of Civil War discussion that animates debaters. The crucial contingent event, he argues, was the replacement of Confederate general Joseph Johnston by John Bell Hood, whose defeats are detailed in The Day Dixie Died: The Battle of Atlanta (2010), by Gary Ecelbarger. With lively narration of Union victories at Mobile and the Shenandoah Valley, Johnson delivers a readable account of the unlikely revival of Lincoln's electoral prospects.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Popular historian Johnson (Betrayal: The True Story of J. Edgar Hoover and the Nazi Saboteurs Captured During WWII) is persuasive in demonstrating that if George B. McClellan, the Union general whom Lincoln relieved of battlefield command in 1864 only to see him go on to be the Democratic presidential candidate against Lincoln that year, had bested his old commander-in-chief in that election, the course of American history would have been different. The Peace Democrats could have ceased hostilities immediately, granted the Confederacy its independence, and permitted the continuation of slavery where it existed. But as 1864 progressed, Lincoln's political salvation came with Grant's war of attrition against Lee's army. Equally important for this study was Sherman's dramatic push through Georgia with modest Confederate resistance. Johnson correctly notes that these Federal advances compelled the Confederate replacement of the dithering Gen. Joseph E. Johnston with the more reckless Gen. John Bell Hood. Sherman benefited from Hood's mistakes and took Atlanta in September 1864. The author concludes that this iconic victory, in turn, buoyed Northern confidence in Lincoln's prosecution of the war and insured his return to office. Johnson's wry epilog is a masterpiece of alternative history predicated on Lincoln's defeat for reelection. Verdict An engaging narrative, solid research, and command of detail all do great credit to the significance of this topic in Civil War historiography. Highly recommended to all devotees of Civil War history.-John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Cleveland (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Decided on the Battlefield: Grant, Sherman, Lincoln and the Election of 1864
David Alan Johnson. Prometheus, $27 (340p) ISBN 978-1-61614-509-5
As if it weren't hard enough to win the Civil War, Generals Grant and Sherman labored under the knowledge that if they failed, Lincoln would lose his bid for a second term as President Ė he knew the weary citizens of the North despaired of victory after several defeats and Jubal Early's demoralizing attack on Washington. In the political arena, he struggled against The Radical Republicans who threatened to split the party, as well as the leading Democratic candidate, failed head of the Army of the Potomac, George McClellan the Virginia Creeper. The Confederacy recognized that it couldn't beat the Union, but if they could outlast them until a new president was elected in 1864, victory would be theirs. At the same time, Grant knew that his advantage in terms of manpower and resources would ensure success if his troops could hold out long enough. In the summer of 1864, two rays of hope shone on the Union Army: Rear Admiral David Farragut took Mobile Bay, the last major port on the Gulf Coast, and General Philip Sheridan following orders from Grant to make all the Valley south of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad a desert drove Early out of the Shenandoah Valley, and destroyed the Confederacy' breadbasket. By September, Lincoln's victory had been decided on the battlefield. In a fascinating epilogue, Johnson illustrates the dire implications of a McClellan win. Historians will appreciate this excellently researched book for its level of insight, while casual readers will enjoy Johnson's deft narrative management of battles and strategy. Photos. (Jan.)

Decided on the Battlefield: Grant, Sherman, Lincoln and the Election of 1864 by David Alan Johnson Prometheus Books, 2012, $27
In Decided on the Battlefield, author David Alan Johnson makes the case that the United States likely would have ceased to exist in practical terms had Lincoln lost the 1864 election to his Democratic counterpart, General George B. McClellan. Johnson highlights a North America that might well have split into several different countries, including a yet again independent Texas Republic; a collection of smaller states that, for instance, might not have later rescued European allies in two world wars.

One of the hidden surprises in the book is Johnson's account of the 1864 Democratic and Republican national conventions. For readers somewhat familiar with how 20th- and 21st-century conventions work, there will be delightful surprises about how these democratic and raucous events functioned in the mid-19th century, without television, microphones or even lights. It is clear that some aspects of politics were still "politics," though in other ways America was still raw and unfinished.

It is a book that will certainly stimulate students of "what if," and perhaps remind once again to what extent great turning points in the war often began in the anxious mind of a worried president haunting the War Department telegraph office.
ó Jack Trammell

University of Wisconsin Libraries
Decided on the Battlefield: Grant, Sherman, Lincoln and the Election of 1864 David Alan Johnson. Prometheus, $27 ††

In the summer of 1864, Abraham Lincoln made a gloomy prediction about the upcoming presidential election. The American Civil War had dragged on for over three years with no end in sight. Things had not gone well for the Union, and the public blames the president for the stalemate against the Confederacy and for the appalling numbers killed and wounded. Lincoln was thoroughly convinced that without a favorable change in the trajectory of the war he would have no chance of winning a second term against former Union general George B. McClellan, whom he had previously dismissed as commander of the Army of the Potomac. In this vivid, engrossing account of a critical year in American history, the author examines the events of 1864, when the course of American history might have taken a radically different direction. It's no exaggeration to say that if McClellan had won the election, everything would have been different- McClellan and the Democrats planned to end the war immediately, grant the South its independence, and let the Confederacy keep its slaves. What were the crucial factors that in the end swung public sentiment in favor of Lincoln? The author focuses on the battlefield campaigns of generals and a tactical error that would change the whole course of the war as he brings to life this important series of episodes in our nation's history.
Chronicles the battles of the Civil War, how they influenced the future of the generals who fought in them, and how they impacted the election of 1864.

Newark (New Jersey) Star-Ledger
Decided on the Battlefield: Grant, Sherman, Lincoln and the Election of 1864 by David Alan Johnson Prometheus Books, 2012, $27
In David Johnsonís ďDecided on the Battlefield: Grant, Sherman, Lincoln and the Election of 1864,Ē we find an embattled Lincoln staring squarely at the prospect of a one-term presidency. Johnsonís approach is to focus on battlefield victories, rather than political ones.
His thesis is a simple one: Had Generals Ulysses Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman not scored impressive victories in the fall of 1864, Lincoln could have easily lost re-election to Gen. George McClellan, the former chief of staff of the Union Army and the man whom Lincoln considered most responsible for the Northís perilous predicament, even two years after his removal.
Johnson paints a vivid portrait of the military campaigns that would ultimately turn the tide in both the war and Lincolnís re-election.
Johnson ó a New Jersey native who spent 15 years in England as a freelance journalist before returning to the Garden State and writing books óreveals insights about Grantís and Shermanís military triumphs, which after three long years finally provided the Union with the upper hand, and in the process assured Lincoln of re-election.
Itís a fast-paced, entertaining, narrative recounting of Grantís and Shermanís whereabouts in the months leading up to the election, and an easy read for those interested in learning more about the critical battles that aided Lincolnís re-election.

Selected Works

Civil War Non-Fiction, Psychology
How the backgrounds of Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant influenced their campaign against each other in Virginia in 1864 and 1865.
Abraham Lincoln's re-election in 1864 was decided on the batlefields of Virginia and Georgia as much as at the ballot box.
J. Edgar Hoover sends an innocent man to prison to save his own reputation. Includes chapter on the Bush Administration's use of this case as a precedent for military tribunals to try terrorist suspects.
The relationship between Britain and the United States has been long, frequently contentious, and sometimes comical.
How anti-Nazi Intelligence officers tricked Hitler regarding the time and place of D-Day.
Britain not only had to fight the German Luftwaffe, but also had to battle isolationism in the US.