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Task Force Butler:: A Case Study In The Employment Of An Ad Hoc Unit In Combat Operations, During Operation Dragoon, 1-30 August 1944by Major Michael J. Volpe
On 15 August 1944, an Allied army launched a second amphibious landing against the coast of southern France. The Allies, having shattered German defenses around the beachhead, decided to exploit the chaos in the enemy camp. On 17 August 1944, Major General (MG) Lucian K. Truscott Jr., with no mobile organic strike force assigned to his VI Corps, ordered the assembly of and attack by an ad hoc collection of units roughly equivalent to an armored brigade. This provisional armored group (Task Force (TF) Butler) experienced remarkable success despite a dearth of planning, no rehearsals, and no history of working together in either training or combat. This case study examines the success of TF Butler from the perspectives of doctrinal development in the United States (U.S.) Army, the unit's unique task organization, and the leadership's employment of the unit in combat. The use of ad hoc formations to meet unforeseen situations was not unique to World War II; American units currently serving in the Middle East are regularly assigned units they have no habitual relations with to conduct combat operations. This case study may prove useful in preparing contemporary military leaders for the types of challenges they will face conducting operations in the contemporary operational environment.
Dr. Rogers was a New Zealander who, after duty with British troops in North Africa during the early years of the war, made the decision to enter guerrilla warfare in the Balkans and was accepted for training to join the Jugoslav partisans. The account of his experiences, written a decade ago after he had just left the country, has the freshness of recently known people and events and the detachment of a thoughtful mind which could pause to analyse and indicate their meaning for the course of victory and for future Balkan politics. On one level the narrative is full of the scenes of daily life. There are conversations with his aids Bill and Ian (important people in the book), the work in makeshift hospitals, the dangers of movement and escapes and the developing friendships with many of the partisani. But these last, for example, are also geared to show their tendency towards Russian sympathies and the unfortunate handling of British propaganda which made the partisansi think that Britain's main contribution to the war was in helping Mikhailovich. We see too Dr. Rogers' concern with medical methods. He was appalled at the rough and unsympathetic operation room techniques he found among German trained doctors; he saw the possibility for a system of evacuating the wounded to Italy. Eventually he became so valuable that Tito commandeered him from the base in Croatia, where Rogers was beginning to feel at home, to start a medical school in Bosnia. A personal history which is exciting and perceptive enough to hold its own in the war annals market.--Kirkus Book Review
Personal account of a young Russian nobleman and his life through the Russian Revolution, leaving Russia, and serving in two World Wars, including the U.S. Army (OSS) during WWII.Obolensky was a Russian prince who became a publicist and international socialite. Scion of a wealthy White Russian family and husband of Czar Alexander II's daughter, the Oxford-educated Obolensky fled his native country after battling Bolsheviks as a guerrilla fighter. The tall, mustachioed aristocrat subsequently divorced Princess Catherine, married the daughter of American Financier John Jacob Astor, settled in the U.S. and worked with his brother-in-law, the real estate entrepreneur Vincent Astor. During World War II, Obolensky at 53 became the U.S. Army's oldest paratrooper and earned the rank of colonel. He started his own public relations firm in New York in 1949, handling accounts like Piper-Heidsieck champagne. "Serge," a friend once remarked, "could be successful selling umbrellas in the middle of the Sahara." A legend in the hotel business, Colonel Obolensky became a Director of Zeckendorf Hotels, then Vice Chaiman of Hilton Hotels.
This paper presents an historical account of the operations of United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) special operations units in the French campaign of 1944. The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, it is intended to be a brief history of the creation, development and combat record of these units. Second, it is intended for use as an example of the utility and effectiveness of air force special operations in high intensity conventional warfare.The narrative basically begins in early 1943, as the Western Allies began making plans for the cross-Channel invasion of Normandy. At the request of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the USAAF commands in the United Kingdom and North Africa secretly organized a small number of special operations squadrons for use in covert operations over France. Their overall mission was to provide specialized airlift for clandestine warfare activities intended to support the conventional ground forces during the critical days and weeks immediately after D-Day.From October 1943 through September 1944, these squadrons flew thousands of clandestine missions, parachuting guerrilla warfare teams and intelligence agents deep behind German lines, dropping weapons, ammunition, explosives and other supplies to French resistance fighters, and extracting teams from enemy territory.The USAAF squadrons, operating in conjunction with similar British squadrons, enabled American and British special forces and French irregular units to operate with great effectiveness in the vulnerable rear areas behind German lines.
By 1950 General George C. Marshall was seen by the American public an outstanding hero of their time; his masterful direction as chief of the US Army Staff during World War Two has set him up as an almost unassailable public figure. However hardline senator Joseph McCarthy took no prisoners, and in this well researched account, he takes a furious swipe at the General. Although future generations were only to know McCarthy for his ill-advised witchhunts later in his career, this book still stands as a damning indictment of the conduct of the American War Policy during the Second World War and particularly General Marshall.
Originally published in 1948 and used as a textbook by the United States Army for years, this authoritative guide provides a complete theoretical exploration of the purpose and nature of propaganda in times of war. Detailing and defining the history, strategies, limitations, and effectiveness of psychological warfare, this reference allows readers to draw comparisons to the modern usage of such techniques that exist in the news media and within advertising and political campaigns.--Print Ed.
Arthur Bliss Lane was a hugely experienced American Diplomat, having worked all over the world before his posting to the Polish Government in 1944. The Polish Government was then in exile in London and he gained a great deal of respect for the Polish leadership. He followed them back to their homeland in 1945 as the Poles sought to set-up a democratic state from the smashed debris of years of Nazi domination. What transpired was a new form of despotism in Soviets, in this memoir Bliss gives a detailed history of Poland from 1944-1947, the post-war border changes and the Soviet creation of a puppet state in Poland after WWII. In Bliss' view the Poles were hung out to dry by the Allies after 1945 and his memoir provides compelling evidence of this.
This thesis discusses the role of airpower in the Mesopotamian Campaign of World War I. Britain conducted military operations against Ottoman forces in Mesopotamia to defend Britain's oil interests and lines of communication, but also to open an additional front against the Turks. The battles conducted from the commencement of hostilities in November 1914 until the Turkish surrender in October 1918 were carried out with the use of a new technology on the battlefield--the aeroplane.This thesis explores the roles of airpower in the Mesopotamian Campaign, and what affect airpower had on military operations. The thesis also looks at the missions of the Royal Flying Corps in Mesopotamia, how they evolved during the course of the conflict, and what impact they had on post-war Royal Air Force development. The study concludes by determining airpower in the Mesopotamian Campaign influenced the policy of air control in the post-war British Empire, and positively influenced the perception of ground commanders to the value of airpower to ground maneuver.
Includes the Aerial Warfare In Europe During World War II illustrations pack with over 180 maps, plans, and photos.Heinz Knoke was one of Nazi Germany's outstanding pilots, and this dramatic record of his experiences, illustrated with personal photos, has become a classic among aviation memoirs. He joined the Luftwaffe at the outbreak of the war, rose to the rank of commanding officer, and received the Knight's Cross. Knoke's account crackles with vivid accounts of air battles; and captures his utter desolation at Germany's defeat.--Print Ed.
A fictional portrayal of real events that occurred during WWII from Afro-American author John Oliver Killens, who had previously served in the Amphibian Forces in the South Pacific. Through his characters, the reader gains a close-to-the-bone account of what it was like to be a Negro soldier fighting in segregated units under racist commanding officers. The final chapters reveal one of the war's best-kept secrets concerning the escalating racial tension between black American GIs and their white commanding officers. The story climaxes in a terrifying race riot, which took place on the seedy night streets of South Brisbane in March 1942.Editorial Reviews:"...a big and powerful, angry novel, pulsating with love and hate, laughter and tears, sex and violence, and all the other juices of life."--Sidney Poitier"...that big, polyphonic, violent novel...calls James Jones to mind."--Saturday Review"...A beautiful and powerful book."--James Baldwin
This paper investigates General Dwight D. Eisenhower's roles as strategist and strategic general during World War II. Eisenhower had zero combat experience and was still a colonel on the Army rolls when selected for four-star unified command. Yet, he fought and won the war in Europe on his own terms. He designed his own chain of command, drafted the terms for Allied cooperation and strategy, built the Allied command structure, disobeyed heads of state, engaged in military diplomacy with political enemies, and enforced his personal morality upon an entire theater of war. He was the field commander for four great campaigns including the first Allied effort in North Africa and the final drive from the English Channel to the Elbe. In his humble and disarming way, Eisenhower was the most unreasonable general of all time.This study concludes that Eisenhower was an unconventional military thinker whose success as strategic general was due primarily to his capacity for progressive and creative vision. His extraordinary personal energy, initiative, creativity, and integrity enabled him to translate his unique vision into reality.
The Battle of Guadalcanal marked the first offensive ground operations conducted in the Pacific theater during World War II. One divisive issue of the Guadalcanal campaign is the withdrawal of carrier based aviation support on 8 August 1942, by Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher. The historical record is dominated by the argument that Fletcher faced very little threat and could have supported the invasion forces longer than he did. What influenced Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher to withdraw carrier based aviation from direct support of the Guadalcanal invasion and was the decision valid? In order to objectively evaluate Fletcher's decision, this paper will first review historical literature and outline how the dominate opinion of Fletcher's decision developed. Next, it will look at Fletcher's character, development as a leader, and record from commissioning through the Watchtower campaign. This study will also review of the orders and guidance at the strategic level and the operations of subordinate commanders within Watchtower. Finally, the metrics of 1942 and the modern strategic military decision-making model will be applied to evaluate the validity of the decision to withdraw. The evidence clearly suggests that Fletcher's decision was strategically valid, in addition to being characterized inaccurately by historians.
It is the story of the 24th Division's Naktong River crossing with which this thesis is concerned. In writing an account of the 24th Division's crossing, the historian cannot detract from the praise due the officers and men of the division who sacrificed so much in crossing the Naktong River barrier; neither can he omit the roles played by the non-divisional troops who supported the crossing. Likewise, he should not disregard the adjacent units' actions that materially assisted the 24th Division in accomplishing its mission. For these reasons, I have chosen to relate the 5th Regimental Combat Team's attack on Waegwan and the 5th Cavalry Regiment's attack to secure the Taegu-Waegwan highway. Both of these operations were vital to the 24th Division's success; the first cleared the enemy from the east bank of the river and the second secured a main supply route for the division.
The story of General Nathaniel Lyon, whom the author aptly calls a "Missouri Yankee," is a drama of stirring political-military events breaking on the Western Border in the spring of 1861. In exactly 90 days, Missouri was forever lost to the Confederacy.The Lyon story is high tragedy staged at the sanguine second battle of the American Civil War--Wilson's Creek.Colonel Hans Christian Adamson in Rebellion in Missouri combines all the necessary elements in the dramatic story. He expertly re-examines Lyon's generalship of the Union Army of the West. He ably reflects upon the significance of the Battle of Wilson's Creek now, a century later, in the light of all the evidence. Moreover, he brings to us, during the centennial year of Lyon's death, a monumental biography of Lyon. The others are eulogistic and written in the stilted and artificial speech of the eighteen sixties.
The major ground component of the active Marine Corps Reserve is the 4th Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. The combat record of this division in World War II was exemplary; in the short space of one year it participated in four major amphibious assaults and won two presidential citations. The interest in its battle record among the reservists who now serve in its ranks has prompted the republication of this brief history, originally published in August 1945 and reprinted in 1974. This new reprint contains a brief history of the reserve 4th Division, written by Colonel Joseph B. Ruth, USMCR, a former member of the 25th Marines. Also included are copies of the division's lineage and honors, a list of its commanders, and a list of its units and their locations.The author of the 1945 history, then First Lieutenant John C. Chapin, served in the 3d Battalion, 24th Marines of the 4th Division. Assigned to the Historical Division when he recovered from wounds received in combat in Saipan, he completed this history and a similar one of the 5th Marine Division before his release from active duty.--E.H. Simmons, Brigadier General, U. S. Marine Corps (Ret.), Director of Marine Corps History and Museums
In 1942, a dashing young man who liked nothing so much as a heated game of poker, a good bottle of scotch, and the company of a pretty girl hopped a merchant ship to England. He was Robert Capa, the brilliant and daring photojournalist, and Collier's magazine had put him on assignment to photograph the war raging in Europe. In these pages, Capa recounts his terrifying journey through the darkest battles of World War II and shares his memories of the men and women of the Allied forces who befriended, amused, and captivated him along the way. His photographs are masterpieces -- John G. Morris, Magnum Photos' first executive editor, called Capa "the century's greatest battlefield photographer" -- and his writing is by turns riotously funny and deeply moving.From Sicily to London, Normandy to Algiers, Capa experienced some of the most trying conditions imaginable, yet his compassion and wit shine on every page of this book. Charming and profound, Slightly Out of Focus is a marvelous memoir told in words and pictures by an extraordinary man.--Print Ed.
Vivid, intensely human impressions of the war in China, Malta, Tunisia and Sicily, by the author of "Retreat with Stilwell."Belden's first book, ""Retreat with Stilwell"" (Knopf) was one of the most distinguished correspondent's books. It did not have the sale it deserved--he insists on saying things that should be said rather than things people want to read...Even more true of this book, which--though two thirds of the text records war through battle, the remaining third dominates--sums up Belden's conclusions and grim determination to help his readers recognize the falsehood of war--falsehood not only in its reportage, but in its underlying causes, rooted in the world soul sickness, fascism, which he feels is pregnant in America and must be fought now. No analyzes the determining factors of the battlefield,--uncertainty, insecurity; need for political conviction of the importance of this war; divorce of the combat army from civilians; etc. The balance deals specifically with Ksuchow, Malta, the Mareth Line, Sicily, Messina, Salerno. Pungent phrase and fire for crusading passion.-Kirkus Reviews.
The Great Escape: An Analysis Of Allied Actions Leading To The Axis Evacuation Of Sicily In World War IIby Major Barton V. Barnhart
As Allied armies advanced in North Africa, Allied leadership established Sicily as the next target. As the invasion unfolded, the Allies pushed Axis forces into northeastern Sicily where a well-organized evacuation moved over 100,000 Axis troops, with equipment, to the Italian mainland. The central research question is: Did an opportunity exist for the Allies to trap and compel the capitulation of Axis forces during the Sicily campaign? Analysis of the invasion decision, the planning cycle, and the operation resulted in several conclusions. First, strategic guidance adequately promoted successful planning. Second, operational planning was disjointed and lacked senior ground commander involvement. Finally, Generals Eisenhower and Alexander did not communicate to their field army commanders a campaign strategic vision or commander's intent, which led to two decisions that eliminated the possibility to trap Axis forces. Additionally, the newness of combined operational practices and differences in command relationships caused coordination problems that hindered operational responsiveness. Though Sicily was a tactical success, the Allies missed an opportunity to capture a substantial Axis force, which demonstrates the importance of commander's vision and intent, cultivating unity of command in an allied environment and preserving the ability to exploit favorable conditions with an eye toward operational goals.
This paper examines the development of the American Army corps structure during World War I. The corps formation developed in World War I by General John J. Pershing was the culmination of 56 years of lessons learned from the Civil War through the beginning of World War I. The success of the American Expeditionary force (AEF) in World War I was, in large part, the result of the development and combat effectiveness of the corps formation. The corps formation allowed commanders flexibility, concentrated firepower, sustainability, and increased command and control.The American corps formation in World War I led the AEF to victory in the Saint Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. The American corps formation provided resources and capabilities that helped provide the needed edge to defeat the Central Powers and help end World War I.
Since the early stages of World War II, militaries in general, and the U.S. Army in particular, have studied the German way of war, specifically as practiced in the 20th century. While acknowledging that Germany--and before that nation came into existence, Prussia--produced some excellent armies, major problems with the German way of war must not be ignored.Even the casual observers should have noted that, despite the military prowess of Germany, it lost both of the major wars of the 20th century. This Letort Paper, authored by Dr. Samuel J. Newland, explores the reasons why a nation with such a strong military reputation was unable to win its wars and achieve its goals. He emphasizes that military power, tactical and operational brilliance, and victories in the field can easily be squandered if a nation has failed to set achievable goals and develop strategies to reach them. This failure, which led to Germany's defeat in these wars, should not be lost on modern nations as they proceed into the 21st century.--Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr., Director, Strategic Studies Institute
Global tensions and threats such as terrorist acts continue to pressure America's effort to provide peace and stability to regions around the world. Consequently, military leaders have traditionally been called to protect American interests at home and abroad. Today's Army is faced with the important task of producing competent leaders who can successfully accomplish America's worldwide endeavor to combat the contemporary challenges it faces. Yet, the process of developing individuals into consummate leaders requires a great deal of time, planning, resourcing, and a collection of skilled cadre. Illustrating the meaningful development of victorious wartime leaders is one way to educate today's aspiring leaders. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and General George S. Patton Jr. demonstrated superb leadership in World War II. Their childhood upbringing, military education, Army assignments, as well as the mentoring they received during the interwar period essentially strengthened their development, making them triumphant leaders. Therefore, Eisenhower and Patton's leadership growth, coupled with their personal determination to become successful commanders in World War II, is an indispensable model and a valuable lesson for today's leaders.
The U.S. Department of Defense predicts that ground forces of the future will wage tomorrow's wars by replacing large numbers of personnel and organic firepower for advanced technology and superior maneuverability. Those forces must be prepared to face an unconventional enemy who will operate in small, lethal units interspersed with the civilian population rather than facing coalition forces with massed formations. This scenario of blurred lines of battle and difficulty determining friend from foe resembles very closely what the U.S. military faced in Vietnam.This paper will address the successes and failures of United States airborne forward air controllers (FACs), particularly in Vietnam, and whether combat lessons learned were passed from service to service or historically from conflict to conflict. The FAC mission has not significantly changed since the end of the Vietnam War, and a thorough study of operational and tactical lessons learned by those aircrew will significantly enhance today's FACs ability to find and destroy dispersed enemy forces in a wide array of environments.
The year 1968 was the year of the Tet Offensive including Khe Sanh and Hue City. These were momentous events in the course of the war and they occurred in the first three months of the year. This book, however, documents that 1968 was more than just the Tet Offensive. The bloodiest month of the war for the U.S. forces was not January nor February 1968, but May 1968 when the Communists launched what was called their "Mini-Tet" offensive. This was followed by a second "Mini-Tet" offensive during the late summer which also was repulsed at heavy cost to both sides. By the end of the year, the U.S. forces in South Vietnam's I Corps, under the III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF), had regained the offensive. By December, enemy-initiated attacks had fallen to their lowest level in two years. Still, there was no talk of victory. The Communist forces remained a formidable foe and a limit had been drawn on the level of American participation in the war.Although largely written from the perspective of III MAF and the ground war in I Corps, the volume also treats the activities of Marines with the Seventh Fleet Special Landing Force, activities of Marine advisors to South Vietnamese forces, and other Marine involvement in the war. Separate chapters cover Marine aviation and the single manager controversy, artillery, logistics, manpower, and pacification.--E. H. SIMMONS, Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate Napoleon Bonaparte's command and control of the Grand Armée through the lens of organizational design. Napoleon's methodology behind the design of the Grand Armée is analyzed using modern principles of organizational design. The structure that Napoleon created within his organizational design was a vast information network that served as the framework for a highly effective command and control system. This command and control network allowed Napoleon to dominate a war with his enemies within the information domain.The Grand Armée transited the European countryside with lightning speed as Napoleon out maneuvered his enemies. Napoleon's dominance was a direct result of his organizational masterpiece that was the Grand Armée. From an organizational design perspective, Napoleon's methodology applied the ideas of others and exploited existing technology to affect his design.The reorganization of the military corps became one of the most important transformations made by Napoleon. The army corps was considered a key component in Napoleon's strategic deployments. The command and control system he engineered for his corps was essential in the Napoleonic philosophy to march divided and fight united.
Through the narration of the stories of six Grand Inquisitors, this compelling book by Catholic historian William Thomas Walsh serves to refute the many lies about the Inquisition raised by the enemies of the Church, illustrating why it was instituted, the purpose it served, its long-term effects, and why it preserved Catholic countries from the infamous witch-hunts besmirching Protestant history.