By Pat McTaggart It was June 1944. Two generals, one American and one German, faced each other with diametrically opposed missions. The American, Maj. Gen. Joseph Lawton “Lightning Joe” Collins, commander of the U.S. VII Corps, had led his men ashore on Utah Beach on June 6. Born in New Orleans in 1896, Collins attended West Point, graduating in 1917.  After Pearl Harbor, he was sent to Hawaii to work on the islands’ defenses. In May 1942, he commanded the 25th Infantry Division on Guad


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