Maurice Rose was a lean and handsome man, a warrior, and the son of a rabbi. He never seems to have mentioned his religion to his fellow soldiers, and his grave is marked by a Christian cross in the Dutch cemetery where he came to rest, the highest-ranking American officer killed by enemy fire in Europe. Few Americans have heard of him, though thousands of Cold War soldiers ought to remember his name from the troopship General Rose that carried them overseas in the 1950s and 1960s.
Gen. Rose’s story is now wonderfully told by Daniel Bolger, himself a three-star general who in retirement has become a masterly historian. “The Panzer Killers” has a tantalizing subtitle: “The Untold Story of a Fighting General and His Spearhead Tank Division’s Charge Into the Third Reich.” For once, the phrasing is fully justified.