ARMY HISTORY The Professional Bulletin of Army History
PB 20-05-1 (No. 62) Washing t o n , D . C .
In This Issue 4 20
From Gentility to Atrocity:
The Continental Army’s Ways of War By Wayne E. Lee
Transformation or Troop Strength? Early Accounts of the Invasion of Iraq By W. Shane Story
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3 Chief’s Corner
29 News Notes
41 Book Reviews
By Order of the Secretary of the Army: PETER J. SCHOOMAKER General, United States Army Chief of Staff Official: SANDRA R. RILEY Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army
Managing Editor Charles Hendricks, Ph.D. The U.S. Army Center of Military History publishes Army History (ISSN 1546–5330) for the professional development of Army historians. Correspondence should be addressed to Managing Editor, Army History, U.S. Army Center of Military History, 103 Third Ave., Fort Lesley J. McNair, D.C. 20319–5058, or sent by e-mail to [email protected]
hqda.army.mil. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors, not the Department of Defense or its constituent elements. Army History’s contents do not necessarily reflect official Army positions and do not supersede information in other official Army publications or Army regulations. This bulletin is approved for official dissemination of material designed to keep individuals within the Army knowledgeable of developments in Army history and thereby enhance their professional development. The reproduction of images that were not obtained from federal sources is prohibited. The Department of the Army approved the use of funds for printing this publication on 7 September 1983. Cover illustration: A detail of John Trumbull, The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, 26 December 1776, Yale University Art Gallery, Trumbull Collection
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This issue of Army History opens with an article by Professor Wayne E. Lee of the University of Louisville that compares the style of warfare employed by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War against regular British forces and their British colonial supporters, on the one hand, with the way the Continental Army campaigned against the Iroquois Indian allies of the British. This examination is part of an ongoing historical analysis of the United States military’s way of making war. The issue then turns to more current history. Maj. W. Shane Story of the Center of Military History examines seven commercially published books issued in 2003 and 2004 that discuss the planning and execution of the invasion of Iraq. While each of these books appeared quite promptly after the offensive that overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein, some provide more depth than others in analyzing the issues that military action involved. This essay offers readers an overview of this literature. After Major Story’s piece, the issue contains two essays by civilian Center historians examining official Army efforts to capture quickly the basic historical outlines of recent military campaigns. The first, by Richard W. Stewart, focuses on three accounts of the Gulf War, Afghan War, and Iraq War. The second, by Jeffrey J. Clarke, takes a longer view of official military historians’ efforts to evaluate recent campaigns, observing an increasing demand in recent decades for speedier analysis, to which the Army’s historians have responded. Sadly, the issue also includes a half-dozen obituaries of men who made significant contributions to the Army’s historical efforts. The issue concludes with nine reviews of individual books on military history from 1776 to the Afghan War. A policy question relating to book reviews arose in the aftermath of the publication of the previous issue of Army History. While this bulletin has on rare occasions reprinted with permission reviews of books on military history that appeared first in other journals, it always acknowledged their earlier appearance. The Spring 2005 issue of Army History (No. 61) contained a review by Samuel Watson of the book by Alan Peskin, Winfield Scott and the Profession of Arms (Kent, Ohio, 2003), that was very similar to, albeit somewhat more extensive than, the review Watson contributed to the January 2005 issue of the Journal of Military History. I learned of Watson’s earlier review of this book only after the Spring issue was published and thus did not acknowledge the earlier piece there. I regret that omission. To avoid a recurrence, authors and reviewers are hereby informed that the policy of Army History is that all articles and reviews appearing in this bulletin will contain the initial presentation in print of the writer’s analysis of the subject at hand, unless clear acknowledgment is made to the contrary. Charles Hendricks, Managing Editor
The Chief’s Corner John S. Brown
As I come to the end of my time at the Center of Military History, I think back of course over the past seven years and the wonderful experiences I have had as chief of military history. Most central to my sense of satisfaction and well-being have been the many friendships I have made and the warm sense of collegiality I have enjoyed the entire time. I also am buoyed by the demonstrable achievements of the entire Army Historical Program in addressing both the routine and the unique. At the risk of neglecting important contributions, let me make a few observations on these accomplishments—your accomplishments—here. We have been through war together, each in our own capacity. Virtually all of the military history detachments have deployed, many of them more than once. Their training and preparation was a commendable group effort that reached well beyond those who deployed. The Army has also deployed a great many individual historians and curators for special purposes and as augmentees. The historical materials returned to the United States by the detachments and augmentees will provide an invaluable resource that I am confident will be put to excellent use by our Army and its historians for years to come. In preparing for and gathering this material we have seen remarkable innovations in organizations such as the modularly built Military History Group; in training such as Exercises Slam and Delbruck and rotations to the Army’s combat training centers; in equipment such as digital recorders and cameras; and in the technology involved in our digital collection software, which organizes the documents, interviews, and photos collected on the battlefield. In addition to serving and observing our soldiers around the world, Army historians have ably served the Army Staff, Joint Staff, Department of Defense, and Congress as each struggles with the Global War on Terror, defense transformation, the Quadrennial Review, and other imperatives. This support to decision-makers at the highest
level has been one of the most visible challenges for the Center of Military History throughout my tenure here and one of the most rewarding as well. We have provided extensive historical background and documentation on subjects as diverse as occupation, denazification, counterinsurgency, advisory efforts, convoy security, force structure development, code talkers, irregular warfare, the military experiences of Afghanistan and Iraq, and past homeland defense work. Our involvement with Task Force Modularity has put historians in the midst of this major structural reorganization of the Army, particularly since our longstanding responsibilities for naming and perpetuating units have broadened to providing more fundamental counsel and advice. Oral historians have assisted in providing these historical services, especially when ranking officers want the benefit of the thoughts and words of their predecessors. I can honestly say that our senior leaders have listened to us attentively, and it has been gratifying to have history thoughtfully considered at so high a level. It is also gratifying to know that historians and curators in the field are providing similar services to their commanders around the world. The past several years have seen considerable innovation in the goods and services we provide our customers around the world. The Center of Military History continues to produce definitive official histories of the highest caliber, supported by superb editing, cartography, and graphics. During my tenure Center historians brought to publication meticulously researched books on the origins of Army aviation, the leadership of American troops exercised by the command post of General Courtney Hodges in World War II, ground combat operations in Vietnam, and the Army’s role in the recent decades in restoring peace after episodes of domestic civil disorder. The Center also published books on the operations of VII Corps in the Persian Gulf War, the Army’s role in reconstructing Kuwait and assisting continued on page 58
From Gentility to Atrocity:
The Continental Army’s Ways of War Yale University Art Gallery, Trumbull Collection
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The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, 26 December 1776, by John Trumbull, 1789–1828. General Washington magnanimously directs Maj. William Stephens Smith, aide de camp to General Sullivan, to assist the mortally wounded Col. Johann Gottlieb Rall, commander of the Hessians defeated at Trenton. Sullivan is the seventh person from the right, astride a brown horse. First Lt. James Monroe lies wounded at left, his head partially obscured by Rall’s extended right hand. Smith served in the Iroquois campaign as the lieutenant colonel of Spencer’s Additional Continental Regiment.
“The Indians shall see, that there is malice enough in our hearts to destroy everything that contributes to their support.” Continental Army Maj. Gen. John Sullivan
“Indians were seen as a ‘special’ enemy, not deserving of the usual protections for combatants.” Wayne E. Lee
Army History Winter 2006
By Wayne E. Lee
n the fall and winter of 1777 to 1778 General George Washington and the main part of the Continental Army fought a profoundly conventional campaign against the British expeditionary force sent to Philadelphia. The period is traditionally seen as the start of the Continental Army’s transformation into a professional force modeled along European lines that fought in the traditional European style, with all the Enlightenment-era accouterments that such a statement entails.1 In the summer of 1779 many of the very same regiments, with the same officers, and following Washington’s orders, marched into the Iroquois country of upstate New York and fought a very different kind of campaign—one marked not only by a different strategic use of violence, but also by a qualitatively different interpersonal style of violence.2 Here were two “American ways of war” coexisting at the same time in the same Army, producing very different results. The use of the phrase American way of war is of course deliberate. Russell Weigley’s landmark volume of that title argued that Americans since the Civil War have primarily relied upon war of annihilation—seeking to destroy the enemy as a military power. Prior to the Civil War, Weigley argued, the American military usually lacked the resources to undertake such an overwhelming strategic goal and thus developed techniques of limited war. Weigley highlighted two different strategies of limited war: Washington’s conventional war of attrition, designed to avoid decisive engagement and keep an “army in being,” and Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene’s more innovative combination of guerrilla and conventional forces in a running war against the British in the south. In either case, Weigley saw limited resources dictating American strategic choices.3 There is much wisdom here but also some inevitable oversimplification. What I would like to do is to suggest an increase in the number of variables that should be considered and then use those multiple variables to compare the choices made in the two campaigns, Philadelphia 1777–78 and Iroquois 1779, to examine how the same Army arrived at two very different ways of war.
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Must win their hearts and minds to win,” or even “we Must not kill all the farmers whose produce feeds us.” A somewhat more sophisticated approach to the level of frightfulness in war acknowledges economic, technological, or social-organizational restraints on violence in the overall capacity of a society to wage destructive war. Upper limits on the sizes of armies that can be deployed or the destructive potential of the weapons in play limit the ability, or as I have abbreviated it, the Can, of a society to escalate the frightfulness of war. Here it is not so much a choice, as an upper limit. The importance of this perspective in a historical analysis is that it allows us to recognize what an army could have done but did not do; stopping short of its full capacity for destruction implies restraint. There is also a relationship between the limits of the possible and the choices of strategy. We have already noted how Weigley pointed to the limited resources of the Continental Army as an explanation for the calculations of necessity underpinning both Greene’s partisan strategy and Washington’s strategy of attrition. To this two-legged model, I suggest the addition of a third, and by doing so, open up whole cans of cultural worms. The third component is what I have called Should. What level of violence Should we use? The Shoulds that usually come to mind in this context are either morality in line with conscience or the more or less formal laws of war, both acting as restraints on violence. These are important considerations, but there are other kinds of Should as well. The most obvious example is the common cultural insistence on retaliation (either from simple passion or from a broader cultural definition of retaliation as justice). A belief in retaliation may demand a level of violence that Should be done, without regard to issues of necessity. Furthermore, Should encompasses levels or types of violence “authorized” by a society. That is, as a bottom line, societies generally authorize killing armed enemies in wartime. Such authorization is designed to overcome any natural resistance to killing. The question then
becomes, once freed to kill by being “at war,” how is one expected to kill? And what limits exist on who and when one kills? This issue of authorization seems to me to be separate from personal conscience-based decisions and not easily made subject to articulated, collective rules as found in “laws of war.” Fundamentally, these considerations of Should allow us to consider the ways in which the landscape of violence within war, and thus an army’s overall way of war, transcends commanders’ choices or calculations of necessity or possibility. The frightfulness of war is also very much affected by the choices of local leaders and individual soldiers, and their choices are rooted in broader cultural predilections. But let us consider these issues in the light of the two campaigns of the Continental Army in 1777–78 and 1779.
The Continental Army and “Gentility”
As a whole, General Washington and the Continental leadership approached the waging of war in a typical eighteenth-century fashion. Washington struggled to establish a conventional eighteenth-century army capable of fighting on the same field and in the same style as the British Army. Included in this vision of war was an Enlightenment ideal of limiting war’s ravages, and by and large the Continental Army proved relatively restrained in its application of violence. There were always problems with foraging, especially for firewood, but the Continentals avoided the more violent crimes and did pretty well even on the foraging front.5 As evidence for these generalizations and as a standard against which to compare the second example, let us consider the campaign around Philadelphia in 1777–78 and particularly the decisions related to the winter encampment in Valley Forge. Note the situation, which has important parallels to the campaign against the Iroquois. The British had moved into and occupied east-central Pennsylvania, and they threatened the surrounding area with devastation. Washington tried to stop them twice in
conventional battles at Brandywine and Germantown and then tried and failed to isolate the garrison in Philadelphia by controlling forts on the Delaware River. With winter approaching, he reassessed his strategy for the remainder of the year. By examining both his calculations and his soldiers’ beliefs and attitudes as reflected in the Can/Must/Should model, we can see how they affected the level of violence used in the following months. First, let us ponder the possible. The range of Washington’s possible strategies was limited primarily by the obvious Atlantic Ocean problem. The enemy British population was not accessible to Washington. (The Loyalists are a separate issue.) This simple geographic fact restrained the potential level of wartime violence that Continental forces could inflict. This may seem an obvious point, but it is overwhelmingly significant in limiting the potential of the war to get out of hand—and of course the war most closely approached a breakdown in the conflicts with the more accessible Loyalist population. Within this case study of the 1777–78 Pennsylvania campaign, however, the Loyalists were not a major issue.6 There was another significant restraining factor in terms of “possibility,” although outweighed by the larger geographic one, and that was the extremely limited coercive and financial powers of the rebel government to raise large armies. This is essentially Weigley’s point about limited resources. Given these limitations, as Washington turned to the question of Must, of how to win, he put a strong and repeated emphasis on three things: keeping his Army in being, maintaining at least the tenuous support of the population, and using a conventional army to do these things. All three decisions greatly affected the level of wartime violence, mostly by restraining it, but with one escalating effect. Let us analyze each of these overall goals within the context of the campaign of 1777–78 around Philadelphia. Keeping the Army alive meant essentially to avoid a crushing defeat. In practice this led Washington not to defend fixed positions unless at an overwhelming advantage. It led him to avoid battle or at
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
In addition to increasing the number of variables under consideration, as I will detail shortly, I would like to alter slightly the definition of a way of war. Instead of merely considering strategic choice (annihilation, attrition, etc.), we can define a way of war by analyzing its overall level of “frightfulness,” in the determination of which strategic decisions are but one component. In other words, in what ways is violence in warfare restrained or unleashed, both inside and outside the deliberate, strategic decisions about its use? Note that frightful is a more inclusive term than merely destructive, and it also allows us to consider decisions within their own cultural norms. Deliberate decisions to destroy resources, for example, can accompany but do not require atrocity-laden interpersonal violence, unless that too is chosen in an effort to terrorize a population. Furthermore, specific acts are more or less frightful depending upon the cultural context. For example, scalping was considered a norm by Native Americans, but a terrible violation by Europeans. Thus a European decision to scalp implies a clear escalation of violence. Indeed, when analyzing the differences in these two campaigns, looking at their relative destructiveness will not be enough; we must also qualitatively and contextually assess their frightfulness. Such an assessment requires considering the intersection of three different variables: what it was possible to do; what it was necessary to do; and what the participants believed they should do. For the remainder of this article I will abbreviate and capitalize these variables as “Can,” “Must,” and “Should.” The usual historical explanation for an escalation of frightfulness has simply been that of necessity. Leaders calculated what level of violence they needed to win. Laws of war, peacetime morality, and other such restraints were all willingly discarded when confronted with immutable “military necessity.” There is a great deal to be said for this argument, and it forms one leg of this model: What Must we do to win? But there are occasions when calculations of Must also mandate restraint—at least within their cultural purview at the time.4 For example, “we
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Washington after the Battle of Princeton by Charles Willson Peale, 1780. Washington wears a blue ribbon across his chest and three stars on his epaulets to denote his position as commander in chief. Celebrating victories at both Trenton and Princeton, the painting shows the American colors flying high above captured British and Hessian flags.
least to keep from getting stuck in one. The councils of war Washington held in late fall 1777 made these considerations explicit. As one of his brigadiers, Wil-
liam Maxwell, argued, “if we throw the Armey away we have, without some good appearance of success we are much more likely not to get another one nor support
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was hoping to achieve quite the reverse of devastation. The decision to encamp at Valley Forge, so close to Philadelphia, was very consciously designed to limit the ability of the British to ravage the countryside.10 At one point during the Valley Forge winter, for example, Washington rejected Brig. Gen. Lachlan McIntosh’s proposal to depopulate an entire district then between the lines so as to cut off residents’ illicit trading with the British.11 While Washington could not make a desert, he could deprive the British of certain key resources, for example, ordering the Pennypack mills outside Philadelphia to be destroyed.12 Second, in his efforts to retain the loyalty of the people, Washington had to supply his Army in a way that best avoided outraging the countryside. The Continental Army generally eschewed the impressment of supplies in the early years of the war (until 1778), and as historian Don Higginbotham has pointed out “even when impressing, the supply officers under Washington’s immediate control made every effort to obey state laws on the subject.”13 The Continental leadership also attempted to maintain at least the pretence of reimbursement by providing receipts or certificates. Finally, Washington had to restrain the troops, as best as he could, from the traditional excesses or even the simple needs of soldiers.14 The Continental Army had promulgated clear articles of war that outlined offenses and prescribed punishments. The articles changed over the course of the war but only in the direction of increasing severity against plundering.15 Continental Army orderbooks are filled with warnings to the soldiers not to plunder, accompanied by dire threats of punishment.16 Those same orderbooks often record the infliction of such punishment, to include flogging and execution. Courts-martial were exceedingly common, and the punishment severe.17 The Continentals were never perfect, but one cannot doubt that the damage they inflicted on the countryside was greatly reduced by Washington’s disciplinary efforts.
The third major leg of Washington’s strategy for the war was to fight it with a conventional army, conforming to eighteenth-century expectations. This element is placed last in the Must category because it was partly a perception of necessity and partly an expression of Should. There is a significant overlap here. The seventeenth-century shift to drilled infantry armies firing volleys of muskets in line was a creation of necessity—a response to changing technology and the expansion of army size. But by the third quarter of the eighteenth century it had become accepted as the way an army “should look.” Washington sought international respectability, and to achieve it he had to win, but the Army also had to “look” right.18 As historian John Shy put it, “Washington and other native American leaders stressed a regular army, I suspect, because they felt a need to be seen as cultivated, honorable, respectable men, not savages leading other savages in a howling wilderness.”19 The victory at Saratoga was the key to gaining the French alliance, but the French Army would not fight the war on its own; it needed a recognizable and respectable American equivalent to fight alongside. What was the effect of this preference for a conventional army on the level of violence? The eighteenth-century European army carried with it a host of structures that tended to limit violence in warfare. For example, the eighteenthcentury disciplinary system associated with preventing desertion—regulations keeping the soldiers in camp—helped prevent unauthorized “foraging” and plundering. Furthermore, the logistical system as understood in the late eighteenth century acknowledged that living off the countryside might become necessary but had developed techniques to lessen the effect. Quartering officers, for example, were sent ahead of a marching army to give the inhabitants of a district time to gather food and prepare a market.20 One telling incident reveals Washington’s deliberate emulation of the forms and restraints of eighteenthcentury warfare. When Pvt. Joseph
Plumb Martin was attached to a foraging party during the Valley Forge winter, it consisted of a lieutenant, a sergeant, a corporal, and eighteen privates. This conforms exactly to the recommendations of Humphrey Bland’s Treatise of Military Discipline, the bible of the British Army during Washington’s apprenticeship in the French and Indian War, which recommended not sending out detachments of fewer than eighteen men plus a sergeant. This eighteen-man minimum, Bland said, was designed “to prevent a small Number from being detach’d, who can only be sent to pilfer and steal, which is look’d upon, by all Sides, as an ungenerous way of making War, since it can only make a few People unhappy, without contributing any thing to the Service, or the bringing the War to a Conclusion.”21 Lastly, emulating the European style of war in the eighteenth century meant adhering to the “customs and usages” of war that mandated at least a minimal respect for prisoners, the paroling of captured officers, norms for the negotiated surrender of a besieged town, respect for flags and messengers of truce, and other well-established (and sometimes showy) apparatuses of Enlightenment-era restraint. The leaders of the army responded to these considerations of possibility and necessity. But within the parameters set by those choices there were countless individual incidents and decisions made by soldiers and lower-level leaders according to their notions of what they Should do. These individual decisions also shaped the landscape of violence in war, although, again, very much within the parameters set at higher levels, as strategic decisions to devastate would obviously greatly up the ante. Nevertheless, we must assess the way the values and morés of common soldiers and lower-level leaders shaped their daily decisions about the use of violence in war. We have already discussed a kind of Should at play in motivating Washington to create a conventional-style army. Other Shoulds sometimes evolved similarly from calculations of necessity predicated on assumptions of what others would expect. Many examples may
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y.
the Credit of our money.” He favored “harassing” the enemy “by every means in our power.” In short, the same general concluded, “If they cannot meet [read: catch] us in the field they will make very slow work in conquering the Country.”7 For the most part this strategic preference for avoiding battle and waging a war of attrition restrained violence only in the sense that it preserved the soldiers themselves, but it did have the important side effect of avoiding desperate sieges, a situation traditionally fraught with unpleasant consequences for civilians. It also produced the exception mentioned previously—Washington’s strategy of avoidance produced an escalation in the violence the British employed in waging war. Unable to catch and decisively defeat Washington’s Army, the British sometimes turned to a fire-and-sword strategy. In fact, in their frustration they would seriously devastate the countryside around Philadelphia, particularly during their evacuation in the spring of 1778.8 The second imperative, maintaining the loyalty of the countryside, brings us closer to the heart of the matter. Armies had always been a burden on the surrounding countryside, whether made so deliberately or simply because of their vast needs. In assessing what he had to do to win, Washington made three clear choices designed to ease that burden as much as possible. First, he would not devastate the countryside to make a desert for the British. In hindsight avoiding such destructive efforts may again seem obvious, but engaging in them was not an uncommon strategy in the eighteenth century. General Greene strongly encouraged burning New York City during the American retreat in 1776, and Washington expressed ambivalence on the subject until Congress resolved to preserve the city.9 This willingness to consider burning New York, however, was tied to the perception of a substantial Loyalist element in the city. In the countryside around Philadelphia, Washington had to steer a more cautious course designed to preserve revolutionary loyalty. In fact, Washington
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Major-General Baron Frederick William August von Steuben by Ralph Earl, 1786. A veteran of the Prussian Army staff, Steuben in 1778 introduced into the Continental Army a system of drill and discipline based on European models, which was given official sanction in his Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States (Philadelphia, 1779).
be found in the codes of war—the whole complex of quarter, paroles, and prisoner exchanges. These codes were at root created from notions of mutual self-interest, and the Continental Army’s observation of them derived in part from a calculation of necessity based on the need for international respectability. But the codes had also acquired moral force through the medium of personal honor. To violate one of the codes could be seen as a violation of one’s honor, and Continental officers were nothing if not touchy about their honor. In perhaps an extreme incident, one Continental officer, sent scouting with his
regiment toward British lines, posted his troops at the approach of dawn in an ambush along the road. A short time later a party of Hessian horsemen advanced up the road. Motivated by his own obscure interpretation of honorable war, when the front of the enemy formation “arrived ‘within hail,’” the colonel “rose up from his lurking place and very civilly ordered them to come to him.” The Hessians were at first confused and then turned to leave; only then did the colonel order the regiment to rise and fire.22 Individual soldiers had their own sense of honor, restraint, or simple moral
ity as well. Private Martin remembered one incident during his own personal foraging expedition of 1777, when he found himself among a flock of “geese, turkeys, ducks, and barn-door fowls.” He recalled that he could “have taken as many as I pleased, but I took up one only.”23 When Sgt. John McCasland, a Pennsylvania soldier in the Valley Forge encampment in 1778, was out in the countryside to “prevent the Hessians from plundering and destroying property,” he and his party sneaked up on a group of Hessians plundering a mansion house. Seeing a sentinel outside, the group settled on McCasland to shoot him. McCasland recalled, “I did not like to shoot a man down in cold blood. The company present knew I was a good marksman [and thus would not believe a miss], and I concluded to break his thigh.” He did, and as they ran up to the house, the Hessians surrendered, one of them waving a bottle of rum “as a flag of truce.” They took them all prisoners and delivered them to camp.24 In these two stories a whole series of choices are being made about what one Should do in time of war. Not all such decisions were in favor of restraint, but, in the context of fighting against the Brit10 Army History Winter 2006
ish, many of them were—in part because of the decisions of individuals and in part because of the strategies chosen by Washington out of necessity and from his conceptions of respectable warfare. Again, the Continentals were not perfect. Occasionally they were far less than genteel. The Iroquois campaign of 1779 would be one of the most notable of such occasions.
The Continental Army and Atrocity
In the spring and summer of 1778 the British succeeded in persuading a number of the component groups of the Six Nations of the Iroquois to join with Tory rangers led by Maj. John Butler, a Connecticut native, to raid the frontiers of New York and Pennsylvania. The most notorious of those raids was the attack led by Butler and supported by 400 to 800 Indians, mostly Senecas, in July 1778 against settlements in the Wyoming Valley near modern Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The Tories and Indians heavily defeated a militia and Continental force and then killed many of the fleeing soldiers. Butler offered terms to the surviving troops and civilians in a nearby fort, and he was largely successful in protecting their lives though not their
Chicago Historical Society
New York University Press
Continental Army expeditions against the Iroquois, 1779, from Max M. Mintz, Seeds of Empire: The American Revolutionary Conquest of the Iroquois (New York, 1999)
property. The raid was quickly reported, and it was remembered as an unadulterated massacre—with the important result of driving many settlers along the frontier to abandon their fields and flee eastward.25 Small American forces tried to retaliate during the ensuing months, but their retaliation succeeded only in bringing down yet more destructive raids from the Indians. Reports of the raids and particularly of the flight of inhabitants from productive fields needed by the Continental Army led Washington to address the problem, although it was one he might have preferred to ignore as peripheral to his main contest with the British.26 Washington’s strategic goal, therefore, was to stop the raids, thus restoring stability to the region and faith in his Army’s ability to defend the people. To do this he detached Maj. Gen. John Sullivan and a significant slice of the Continental Army on a campaign against the Iroquois homeland. Since the resulting “Sullivan Campaign” is somewhat less familiar than the contest around Philadelphia and the Valley Forge encampment, let me give a brief summary. Sullivan set out from Pennsylvania with approximately 2,500 Continentals, while Brig. Gen. James Clinton set out from the Mohawk River in New York with 1,500 more. There is an important point to be made here about the composition of this army. It ended up being almost a purely Continental force. Very few militia troops participated, which greatly simplifies the question of “laying blame” for atrocities—these were virtually all regular troops. The two columns converged south of the Finger Lakes, at the “door” to the center of Iroquois country, and then proceeded to march together into the Seneca and Cayuga country around the lakes, burning crops and destroying villages as they proceeded. The Iroquois, with the assistance of a few British regulars and somewhat more Tory rangers, occasionally harassed the combined force and put up one serious roadblock, which was quickly overwhelmed, at the Delaware Indian village of Newtown, near the modern city of Elmira, New York. Between early August
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Massacre of Wyoming, July 3 to July 4, 1778, by Alonzo Chappel, 1859, a mid-nineteenth-century interpretation of the key 1778 victory of allied British and Iroquois forces over Continental militiamen in northeastern Pennsylvania that prompted the 1779 campaign against the Iroquois.
and the end of September 1779 Sullivan and Clinton destroyed thirty to forty Iroquois and allied towns, burned 160,000 bushels of corn, and girdled thousands of fruit trees. No significant groups of Iroquois were killed or captured—or even seen for that matter, other than at Newtown. Before rejoining Washington’s army, Sullivan lost approximately forty men to Indians, accidents, and disease. While extraordinarily destructive of property, the expedition did not destroy the Iroquois’ will to resist. Provisioned by the British at Fort Niagara, which Sullivan did not attack, the Indians vigorously resumed raiding the frontier in 1780, kill-
ing or capturing over 300 Americans and destroying six forts and over 700 houses and barns.27 So what conclusions can be drawn by applying the Can/Must/Should model? To begin with Can, the level of possible destruction was immediately much higher than it had been in the Philadelphia campaign (or in most other Continental operations) for two simple reasons. First, the enemy homeland and population was accessible. Second, the total population of the Iroquois relative even to the limited size of the Continental Army theoretically put them at serious risk of destruction. Washington’s sources suggested that
there was a maximum of 2,050 men (Indians, British, and Loyalists) who would oppose the campaign, defending a total Iroquois population I estimate at 6,400.28 To confront them, Washington initially proposed sending a full 6,000 men and eventually dispatched 4,000.29 Such a ratio of invading army to invaded population rarely occurred in European military history, and this situation alone created the potential for very high levels of destruction, although it did not necessitate that outcome. The most serious limitation in terms of possibility was the inability to surprise members of a society that had long fought 11
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Clinton’s Brigade at Canajoharie by Edward P. Buyck (1888–1960). This painting depicts the departure of General Clinton’s supply column from the Mohawk Valley en route to his rendezvous with General Sullivan south of the Finger Lakes.
warfare based on surprise. Strategically the Iroquois had plenty of warning of the expedition, and tactically the Continentals repeatedly tried and failed to surprise populated villages.30 In just one example, Continental scouts reported a body of Indians and Tories in the Seneca village of Chemung, and Sullivan quickly planned a night attack with converging columns to cut off its escape. At dawn, in an oft-repeated scene, they found only an empty village.31 Continental Surgeon Jabez Campfield described a similar scene when the Army entered Canadasega: “The Indians had deserted the place some short time before our arrival. It seems we are not to see any more of these people. It was expected they would have made a great stand at this place. . . . It is difficult to account for the conduct of the Indians, who quit their towns, & suffer us to destroy them, their corn, their only certain stock of provisions, without offering to interrupt us.”32 Accounts of the expedition and the raids immediately prior to it show that there were at least ten separate occasions on which American troops made a concerted effort to surprise a village they believed still occupied, and in 12 Army History Winter 2006
all but one of them they failed completely.33 This inability drastically limited the total possible human damage that the Continentals could do and shaped their perception of how to win. The ability of the Continentals to wreak human and property damage was limited by the available time on target and the available force size. Strategic priorities limited the time available; the main opponent after all continued to be the British, and Washington could not afford to have so many troops deep in the interior for too long. Furthermore, the British might intervene or take advantage elsewhere once they realized just how much force Washington had committed to the campaign against the Iroquois.34 Finally, once the goal of the operation became one of destroying crops, that too limited the optimal time for the campaign. General Greene advised that the campaign begin in mid-June when the corn could be caught half grown, but Sullivan did not get under way until August.35 Other strategic and logistical considerations further limited the size of the force and the overall time available. Ad-
James Clinton, painted from life by James Sharples Sr., 1795–97. A French and Indian War veteran, Clinton led a regiment in the failed attack on Quebec, helped fortify the Hudson Highlands, and assumed command of the Continental Army’s Northern Department before participating in the Iroquois campaign.
vancing so deeply beyond the European American frontier required Sullivan to drop off detachments along the route to secure his communications, and there were only so many troops that could be fed in such an environment.36 The expedition severely strained Continental logistics, and the Army ultimately had to live off the land for much of the march. In the end, logistical considerations were what cut short the campaign and sent Sullivan and his troops back to Pennsylvania.37 This logistical restraint would become less and less significant in the Indian campaigns of the future, and thus their destructive potential would rise. What about Washington’s perception of necessity? Again, the policy goals of the campaign were to convince the white settlers that the Army would protect them (a goal that did not presumptively demand high levels of violence) and to provide sufficient stability for those settlers to bring in their harvests for the use of the Army (again, a nominally low demand for violence here).38 The immediate practical means of meeting these needs was to find a way to stop the Iroquois raids. The question remains, how did Washing-
New-York Historical Society, accession 1867.314
Independence National Historical Park
Canajoharie Library and Gallery
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ton hope to meet that goal? Washington’s eventual orders to Sullivan, based on extensive discussion and consultation with Maj. Gens. Philip Schuyler, Greene, and Sullivan himself, were twofold: “The immediate objects [of the expedition] are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more.” Washington went on to suppose that these actions would create a “disposition for peace,” but he directed that overtures for peace be ignored until “the total ruin of their settlements is effected—It is likely enough their fears if they are unable to oppose us, will compel them to offers of peace.” Peace would then be maintained through hostages, which were “the only kind of security to be depended on.”39 Where does this thinking come from? Why are devastation and hostages perceived as the way to win—the calculation of military necessity? Note that the problem is not entirely unlike the one Washington faced in the Philadelphia campaign, that of preventing an enemy from devastating the countryside. In part this decision to devastate and imprison is a result of factors already discussed: What Can be done? The Iroquois homeland was accessible; therefore making it a desert was possible. This calculation formed the basis of Schuyler’s advice: “Destroy the Seneca towns and the Indians must fall back to Niagra. . . . This is a long distance from the frontier. With no intermittent place to use as a supply base, no sizable body of Indians can raid the frontiers through the winter and into the spring.”40 But the real underlying assumption behind this calculation of necessity was an expected inability to surprise Indians and catch them in battle. This was a “strategic” decision made at the outset, based on much past precedent. By the eighteenth century the “feed fight,” the deliberate destruction of crops and villages, was the Americans’ assumed strategy against Indians, not merely an expedient alternative borne of frustration.41 Schuyler and Washington reassured each other of this truth, although continuing to hope for hostages. Schuyler first wrote to Washing-
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Gayentwahga, also known as Cornplanter by F. Bartoli, 1796. This young, half-white Seneca chief led Indian forces allied with the British on the New York frontier and at the Battle of Newtown.
ton: “Much as I wish that the Onondagas & Cayugas should be surprised because I esteem the having their familys in our possession as an almost certain means of bringing the whole confederacy to proper terms, yet, I confess I have many doubts whether matters can be conducted so secretly when a large body of troops moves as to give reasonable hopes of success.”42 Washington confirmed that opinion, writing back to Schuyler just a few days later: “I should esteem it difficult to effect
a surprize upon an enemy so vigilant and desultory as the Indians.”43 Such expectations proved true. Surprise was difficult if not impossible, and some of the soldiers on the expedition even began to believe that starving the Iroquois was impossible. Maj. Jeremiah Fogg expressed his frustration at being unable to catch any of the enemy Indians or convince them to be friendly and went on to opine that “To starve them is equally 13
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Joseph Brant/Thayendanegea, painted from life by Charles Willson Peale, 1797. This Connecticut-schooled Mohawk leader led devastating raids on New York frontier settlements, fought Sullivan’s forces at Newtown, and twice traveled to England.
crucial role in the minds of individual soldiers. It made normally immoral acts into legitimate acts of war, clearing consciences and creating the freedom to be frightful.48 In the case of war against Indians retaliatory-style war was almost traditional by the middle of the eighteenth century, but there were also specific retaliatory issues in play in this campaign. Rightly or wrongly, the Indian and Tory attack on Wyoming was seen as a massacre, and the November 1778 attack at Cherry Valley, New York, actually was quite vicious.49 As a result, the whole Sullivan campaign was perceived by its participants
in part as a campaign of retaliation. A chaplain accompanying Sullivan’s expedition, when he learned of the planned devastation of the Iroquois country, declared it “a just & speedy retaliation for British & savage barbarity.”50 Furthermore, a number of incidents or reminders on the march further cemented the urge to retaliate in Continental soldiers’ minds and defined the nature of the war they saw themselves fighting. When the army arrived at Wyoming, the site of the battle the year before, they were shown around the massacre site, where they witnessed unburied bodies and scalped
skulls.51 Even more personal to the Army, a few days after the Newtown fight, a Continental patrol under the command of 1st Lt. Thomas Boyd was caught, overwhelmed, and wiped out. Two white members of the patrol were tortured and killed. Their heavily mutilated bodies and that of an Indian member of the same patrol were left for the rest of the Army to see, and, almost without fail, each of the diarists of the campaign carefully described the extent of the damage.52 The Boyd incident, however, occurred well after Continental troops committed other atrocities. Retaliation alone is an insufficient explanation. Essentially, by the middle of the eighteenth century, white American society had come to “authorize” a level of wartime violence against Indians that it simply did not sanction against European enemies. This authorization pervaded the mentality of the troops and led to acts of violence even when the leadership’s calculations of necessity or their notions of honor suggested mercy and restraint. For one thing, the Continentals readily and immediately engaged in scalping the Indian dead. (Whether any Tories were scalped is not clear.) They did not get many opportunities to do this, but after the battle at Newtown, twelve Indian dead that had been scalped by the troops were found in the woods. A signature event in the history of white-Indian atrocity took place there: Continental soldiers skinned the legs of two of the Indians to make leggings for their officers, who accepted them with no apparent qualms.53 Such assumed levels of violence are revealing of the kind of “social authorization” in place, but perhaps even more telling are those incidents in which the standard was contested or seemed less clear. For example, on 2 September, as the Army marched out of Catherine’s Town (Shechquago), south of Seneca Lake, having found it abandoned and destroying it, they discovered an old woman on the edge of town hiding in the bushes, too feeble to flee. Virtually every diarist recorded the incident,
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Behring Center
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impracticable for they feed on air and drink the morning dew.”44 The consequences of such a strategy on the level of violence should be obvious. The effects of the feed fight could be dramatic and would certainly be indiscriminate, but the approach also fit within certain European traditions of destructive war: When necessary the resources of the enemy could be seen as legitimate targets.45 But within these strategic parameters considerations of Should also contributed a very different quality to the violence of this campaign from that pursued around Philadelphia in 1777–78. In general the category of Should becomes much more complex in intercultural war because in those circumstances perceptions of ought to can often unleash violence rather than restrain it. In this campaign there were a number of Shoulds that increased the level of violence. First was the desire for retaliation. The concept of retaliation was, in general, culturally accepted within American society: If an enemy act had exceeded certain bounds, then retaliation was equally authorized to exceed the bounds. In European notions of war the customary right of retaliation had been codified explicitly as the only means of enforcing the behavior expected between enemies. The legal theorist Emmerich Vattel wrote in 1758 that retaliation should be avoided, but a prince or general who “is dealing with an inhuman enemy who frequently commits atrocities such as . . . [hanging prisoners without just cause] may refuse to spare the lives of certain prisoners whom he captures, and may treat them as his own men have been treated.”46 Vattel thus acknowledged a “Law of Retaliation,” a phrase frequently used by eighteenth-century combatants. In their minds retaliation was not only a human urge but a quasi-legal right. This legalistic view of retaliation blended with the more generalized popular ideology of an individual’s right of self-redress—the right “to make oneself whole” in response to injury or affront.47 This expansive and quasi-legal vision of retaliation played a
Regimental coat of Col. Peter Gansevoort, commander of the 3d New York Regiment in the attack on the Iroquois.
because she provided some good intelligence of the Iroquois’ and Butler’s intentions and because of her apparent extreme age. The allied Indians built her a small hut, and Sullivan ordered sufficient food to be left for her. Stories conflict regarding what happened next, but when the army returned by her hut on 23 September they clearly found her still there but nearby observed the corpse of a younger woman, who apparently had returned to care for her. The diarists presumed that she had been shot by some soldiers serving as messengers.54 An even more striking example occurred when a detachment under the command of Lt. Col. Henry Dearborn, a future secretary of war, was marching along the western shore of Cayuga Lake and encountered three women and a young male cripple hiding in a wigwam. Dearborn, seeking hostages, took two of the middle-aged women captive. The others were too old or crippled to move. Dearborn left their house standing amid the ruins of the town and ordered his men not to harm them. As the troops began
to march away, two soldiers sneaked back, locked the woman and boy in the house, and set it on fire. The marching column noticed the fire, and some officers and soldiers tried to save the two.55 Of course, Dearborn had not wanted them hurt at all, but enough freedom of action existed and enough social authorization outside the military hierarchy remained to allow such an extreme act of cruelty. And note that while it may not have reflected the army’s overall willingness to inflict that kind of violence, this kind of act would be precisely what was most remembered by the Iroquois.56 Atrocity creates its own momentum. The social authorization for violence against Indians rested on a wellestablished race prejudice, based in turn on a host of perceived differences between Indian and European culture, all of which have been thoroughly explored by other historians. This set of cultural assumptions about Indians was a developed one, derived from a long history of conflict. Where the first English colonists were preconditioned to expect “good” and “bad” Indians, by the middle of the eighteenth century (at the latest), that dichotomy had for the majority of the American colonists been reduced to just “bad.” Thus, while New England publicist William Wood in 1634 could be generally positive about the local Indians, his 1764 editor, Nathaniel Rogers, instead grumbled about “their immense sloth, their incapacity to consider abstract truth . . . and their perpetual wanderings” and commented that “The feroce manners of a native Indian can never be effaced.”57 The Indians, always a kind of “other,” had evolved into the notorious other, one against whom extreme violence was justified.58 When British Maj. Gen. James Wolfe issued orders to his regulars during the French and Indian War to “strictly” forbid “the inhumane practice of Scalping,” he specifically excepted “when the Enemy are Indians, or Kanadians dressed like Indians.”59 Historians have debated when and how this shift in vision of the Indians 15
Henry Dearborn, painted from life by Charles Willson Peale, 1796–97. Having served as an officer in the New Hampshire line since April 1775, Dearborn was the lieutenant colonel of the 3d New Hampshire Regiment in the campaign against the Iroquois.
took place, frequently citing one war or another as the moment when all Indians became “bad Indians.” Choices have included the 1622 attack on Jamestown, the Pequot War of 1637, King Philip’s War in 1675–76, and, most recently, the French and Indian War (1754–63).60 Within Sullivan’s campaign one can still find reference to some of those old presumed differences, despite more than 150 years of direct experience with Indians, including, of all things, the inaccurate belief that the Indians left the land unused. Major Fogg could wonder, after having marched through the Iroquois country and having burned countless fields of crops, “whether the God of nature ever designed that so noble a part of his creation should remain uncultivated, in consequence of an unprincipled and brutal part of it.” He therefore thought that to “lay some effectual plan, either to civilize, or totally extirpate the race” was appropriate. 61 Fogg’s willful blindness left him open to genocidal war in a way that had nothing to do with calculations of military necessity. His and others’ values and attitudes set the parameters for the frightfulness of the violence used within a campaign already designed for destruction. Even where cal16 Army History Winter 2006
to destroy everything that contributes to their support.’ Some of the officers however, who were sent out with parties to lay waste the Indian territory, would see no apple or peach tree; so that they were left to blossom and bear. . . . Thus did gen. Hand and col. Durbin [Dearborn] do honor to their own characters,” Gordon observed.66 Although the Should in war with Indians generally pointed to a lack of restraint, as this last anecdote about fruit trees suggests, there were arenas or moments of choice in which individuals or leaders deliberately tried to contain the violence of the war. We have seen how some care was taken for abandoned elderly women. A surgeon on the expedition expressed guilt and remorse at the level of destruction: “I very heartily wish these rusticks may be reduced to reason, by the aproach of this army, without their suffering the extreems of war; there is something so cruel, in destroying the habitations of any people . . . that I might say the prospect hurts my feelings.”67 In another incident General Schuyler successfully interceded on behalf of several captured Mohawk families whom he argued had obeyed agreements to remain peaceful and should not have been taken.68 In general, however, if the normal restraints of Should in war were tenuous at best, in an Indian war they were largely inconsequential. In the end the level of frightfulness in any conflict is contingent upon choices, but those choices are rooted in experience and perception and constrained by physical possibility. In Sullivan’s expedition experience suggested the necessity of a strategy of devastation, and values about Indians authorized high levels of personal violence, even atrocity. In combination this produced a frightful way of war, ironically a war waged by the very same regiments who had struggled so hard in a different context around Philadelphia to restrain that frightfulness. Perhaps the lesson here is that when commanders endorse a style of warfare that reduces their society’s normal limitations on the exercise of violence, in essence creating a special category of enemy, they may venture onto a slippery slope, appearing to authorize individual soldiers to make violent choices that ex-
Independence National Historical Park
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culations of necessity might seem to be the determining factor in choices about how to wage war, more careful consideration demonstrates how the kind of social authorization of violence, or Should, that influenced Fogg allowed the Continental Army’s leaders choices of tactics that would otherwise have been inaccessible. The decision to take hostages, for example, was intended to force the Indians to return to neutrality. Continental leaders sought a similar outcome in dealing with Loyalists, but against the vast majority of that population they never considered employing such tactics.62 The hostage strategy for the Iroquois was calculated from a Must perspective, but authorized by a Should. Washington did not invent the hostage strategy; it had started to emerge as an option against Indians during the eighteenth century and had been specifically advocated by British Maj. Gen. Jeffery Amherst during the French and Indian War, but it was an option reserved only for Indians.63 Ironically, in one sense the hostage option represented a kind of restraint. The usual colonial practice had been simply to kill Indian prisoners. The Iroquois noticed the difference in ways of war. In a conference in 1782 the Iroquois pointed out that when the Americans took British prisoners, “the Rebels don’t put them to death; But we have no mercy to expect, if taken, as they will put us to death immediately, and will not even spare our Women and Children.”64 Even the more prosaic destruction of fruit trees involved an escalation that many Continentals perceived as excessive and unnecessary. Europeans’ expectations of war included the possible necessity of devastating the countryside, but even in those circumstances they found the idea of destroying fruit trees to be egregious.65 The thought of destroying fruit trees also apparently disturbed some of the officers on the Sullivan expedition, who, as the Rev. William Gordon reported, “thought it a degradation of the army to be employed in destroying apple and peach trees, when the very Indians in their excursions spared them, and wished the general to retract his orders for it.” Sullivan refused, countering that “‘The Indians shall see, that there is malice enough in our hearts
The Author Dr. Wayne E. Lee is an assistant professor of history at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. The author of Crowds and Soldiers in Revolutionary North Carolina: The Culture of Violence in Riot and War (Gainesville, 2001), he received his doctorate from Duke University in 1999.
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John Sullivan, painted by Richard Morrell Staigg in 1876 after a depiction by John Trumbull. A New Hampshire lawyer and delegate to the Continental Congress, Sullivan was one of seven men whom Congress appointed brigadier general when it formed the Continental Army in June 1775. He briefly led the American troops in Canada in June 1776; commanded formations in Washington’s victories at Trenton and Princeton and his defeats at Long Island, Brandywine, and Germantown; and led Continental forces in Rhode Island in 1778, before Washington selected him to lead the attack on the Iroquois.
ceed even the more frightful modes of warfare the commanders had envisioned. Indians were seen as a “special” enemy, not deserving of the usual protections for combatants. Everyone had come to agree that scalping them was legitimate, but the Continental Army’s leaders continued to expect certain other kinds of restraint. Having discarded their usual, Europeanderived rules of war, however, they found enforcing that lesser, more poorly defined level of restraint impossible. The distance from officially accepted scalping and hostage-taking to bootmaking and the killing of helpless women turned out to be a very short step.
This is a revised version of a paper the author delivered at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association held in Washington, D.C., in January 2004. 1. The influx of European influences in this period is detailed in Robert K. Wright, Jr., The Continental Army, Army Lineage Series (Washington, D.C., 1983), pp. 121–46. 2. There were nineteen regiments and smaller supporting units on Sullivan’s expedition. Of these all but one participated in some part of the 1777–78 campaign around Philadelphia, and eleven were present throughout that campaign from Brandywine to Monmouth. 3. Russell F. Weigley, The American Way of War (Bloomington, Ind., 1973), pp. xx–xxii, 3–39. See also the recent critique of Weigley in Brian Linn, “The American Way of War Revisited,” Journal of Military History 66 (April 2002): 501–30. 4. This is essentially the editors’ conclusions in Mark Grimsley and Clifford J. Rogers, eds., Civilians in the Path of War (Lincoln, Nebr., 2002). 5. See my comments on this subject in Wayne E. Lee, Crowds and Soldiers in Revolutionary North Carolina: The Culture of Violence in Riot and War (Gainesville, 2001), pp. 212–19. 6. For the most part physical mistreatment of Loyalists was carried out by the Rebel militias. The Continentals, however, had their moments. Perhaps the most notorious incident involved the Continental dragoons under Lt. Col. Henry Lee, who, in some accounts, “massacred” a group of Loyalist reinforcements confused by the Dragoons’ green jackets. Henry Lee, The American Revolution in the South (1812, originally entitled Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department; revised ed. by Robert E. Lee, 1869, reprint, New York, 1969), pp. 257–59; George W. Troxler, Pyle’s Massacre, February 23, 1781 (Burlington, N.C., 1973). Continental Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler also once recommended removing Loyalists from a threatened region, and Loyalists were in fact removed on a number of occasions. Richard M. Ketchum, Saratoga: Turning Point of America’s Revolutionary War (New York, 1997), p. 247; Wallace Brown, The Good Americans: The Loyalists in the American Revolution (New York, 1969), p. 127. 7. Quoted in Harry M. Ward, General William Maxwell and the New Jersey Continentals
(Westport, Conn., 1997), p. 86. See also Wayne K. Bodle, The Valley Forge Winter: Civilians and Soldiers in War (University Park, Pa., 2002), pp. 55–67; Ira D. Gruber, “The Anglo-American Military Tradition and the War for American Independence,” in Kenneth J. Hagan and William R. Roberts, ed., Against All Enemies: Interpretations of American Military History from Colonial Times to the Present (New York, 1986), pp. 35–36. 8. For devastation in and around Philadelphia, see Bodle, Valley Forge, pp. 63, 77, 182–83, 217; Steven Rosswurm, Arms, Country, and Class: The Philadelphia Militia and “Lower Sort” during the American Revolution, 1775–1783 (New Brunswick, N.J., 1987), pp. 151–52. For a general discussion of the vacillations of British policy regarding “fire and sword” strategies, see Stephen Conway, “To Subdue America: British Army Officers and the Conduct of the Revolutionary War,” William and Mary Quarterly 3d Series, 43 ( July 1986): 381–407. 9. Richard K. Showman and Dennis M. Conrad, eds., The Papers of General Nathanael Greene, 12 vols. to date (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1976–), 1:295; Philander D. Chase et al., eds., The Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, 14 vols. to date (Charlottesville, Va., 1985–), 6: 200–01, 252, 273; Worthington Chauncey Ford, ed., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, 34 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1904–37), 5: 733. Philip Schuyler also deliberately laid waste the countryside in front of Burgoyne’s invading army prior to the battle at Saratoga in 1777. See Ketchum, Saratoga, p. 330. 10. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799, ed. John Fitzpatrick, 39 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1931–44) (hereafter WGW), 10: 167–68; Bodle, Valley Forge, pp. 57–71. 11. Bodle, Valley Forge, pp. 214–15. 12. Pension Record of William Hutchinson, in John C. Dann, ed., The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence (Chicago, 1980), p. 151. 13. Don Higginbotham, George Washington and the American Military Tradition (Athens, Ga., 1985), pp. 94–95, quote, p. 94; E. Wayne Carp, To Starve the Army at Pleasure: Continental Army Administration and American Political Culture, 1775–1783 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1984), p. 77. 14. Thomas Jefferson to Maj Gen Nathanael Greene, 18 Feb 1781, in Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 31 vols. to date (Princeton, 1950–), 4: 648; Greene to Daniel Morgan, 16 Dec 1780, and Greene to the North Carolina Board of War, 18 Dec 1780, in Showman and Conrad, Papers of General Greene, 6: 589–90, 598. These are just a few of the many examples of official, highlevel communications expressing the need to restrain the soldiery and to procure supplies in an orderly manner. 15. Robert H. Berlin, “The Administration of Military Justice in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, 1775–1783,” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1976); S. Sidney Bradford,
“Discipline in the Morristown Winter Encampments,” New Jersey Historical Society Proceedings 80 (1962): 1–30. The Massachusetts articles of 1775 (the basis for those adopted by the Continentals) and the Continental articles of 1775 and 1776 are conveniently reprinted in William Winthrop, Military Law and Precedents (1886; reprint, New York, 1979), pp. 947–52, 953–60, 961–71. Bradford, “Discipline,” p. 4, discusses the minor alterations to the 1776 articles made during the remainder of the war. 16. Examples abound. A few include General Orders, 25 Jul 1777, Jacob Turner Order Book, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N.C.; Entry for 21 Aug 1776, Gates’ General Orders When in Command of the Northern Army, 10 Jul 1776–3 June 1777, and entries for 6 Aug 1780 and 20 Sep 1780, Copy Book of Orders Issued by Major General Gates While Commanding the Southern Army, 26 Jul–4 Dec 1780, Horatio Gates Papers, 1726– 1828, Microfilm edition, 20 reels (Sanford, N.C., 1978); Entry for 11 Nov 1779, 4th New York Order book, in Almon W. Lauber, ed. Orderly Books of the Fourth New York Regiment, 1778–1780, the Second New York Regiment, 1780–1783 by Samuel Tallmadge and Others, with Diaries of Samuel Tallmadge, 1780–1782 and John Barr, 1779–1782 (Albany, N.Y., 1932), pp. 114–16. 17. James C. Neagles’ extensive survey of courts-martial recorded in orderbooks found 194 examples of soldiers charged with plunder or theft from civilians, constituting 7.3 percent of the of the court-martial charges he surveyed. There were undoubtedly more, but the orderbooks often did not include enough details to determine if certain offenses like stealing were committed against civilians or other soldiers. See James C. Neagles, Summer Soldiers: A Survey & Index of Revolutionary War Courts-Martial (Salt Lake City, 1986), p. 34. The Continental Army also frequently used summary punishment for plunderers and occasionally sentenced them to death. See entry for 26 Aug 1780 in Israel Angell, Diary of Colonel Israel Angell, Commanding the Second Rhode Island Continental Regiment during the American Revolution, 1778–1781, ed. Edward Field (1899; reprint, New York, 1971), pp. 108–09; Jeremiah Greenman, Diary of a Common Soldier in the American Revolution, 1775–1783, eds. Robert C. Bray and Paul E. Bushnell (DeKalb, Ill., 1978), p. 168; Berlin, “The Administration of Military Justice,” p. 140. 18. This is not to imply that eighteenthcentury warfare had not continued to develop with its own logic. But there was also a considerable cultural component to the preference for the linear style of warfare. See John A. Lynn, Battle: A Cultural History of Combat and Culture (Boulder, Colo., 2003), Chapter 4. 19. John Shy, “American Society and Its War for Independence,” in Don Higginbotham, ed., Reconsiderations on the Revolutionary War (Westport, Conn., 1978), p. 78. 20. For examples of quartering officers in the southern campaign, see Adelaide L. Fries et al., eds., Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, 12 vols. to date (Raleigh, N.C., 1922–), 4: 1554,
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1571, 1666–67, 1674. For Greene’s order to a subordinate to make sure he sent such an officer, see Greene to Jean-Baptiste, Vicomte de Lomagne, 15 Dec 1780, in Showman and Conrad, Papers of Nathanael Greene, 6: 577–78. 21. Joseph Plumb Martin, Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary War Adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin, 2d ed., James Kirby Martin, ed. (1830, originally entitled A Narrative of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier; Saint James, N.Y., 1999), p. 64; Humphrey Bland, Treatise of Military Discipline: In Which Is Laid Down and Explained the Duty of the Officer and Soldier, thro’ the Several Branches of the Service., 4th ed. (1727, London, 1740), p. 186. Washington had read Bland’s treatise. Higginbotham, George Washington, pp. 14–15. For field evolutions and drilling Bland had been replaced in 1764, but the new manual confined itself to simple drilling. For broader issues in the management of an army Bland was still used, although the most popular military manual among American officers at the outset of the war was probably Thomas Simes, The Military Guide for Young Officers, 2 vols. (1772; reprint, Philadelphia, 1776). It contained similar admonitions against marauding. (p. 108) In general, Washington regularly resorted to European models, and even the specific advice of the foreign officers in his service, for mechanisms to help control his troops. One clear example was the creation of the Maréchaussée Corps to act as special mounted military police. See Henry Emanuel Lutterloh to Timothy Pickering, 15 Nov 1777, and Capt. Bartholomew Von Heer to Washington, 17 Nov 1777, in Chase et. al., Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, 12: 289–91. 22. Martin, Ordinary Courage, p. 83. 23. Ibid., p. 60. See p. 66 for another example of Martin’s sense of morality in dealing with civilians. 24. Pension Record of John McCasland, in Dann, Revolution Remembered, pp. 156–57. 25. The Iroquois participation in the war and the American response has been well covered in three recent monographs. Unless otherwise noted, the following account is derived from Barbara Graymont, The Iroquois in the American Revolution (Syracuse, N.Y., 1972); Joseph R. Fischer, A Well-Executed Failure: The Sullivan Campaign against the Iroquois, July–September 1779 (Columbia, S.C., 1997); Max M. Mintz, Seeds of Empire: The American Revolutionary Conquest of the Iroquois (New York, 1999). 26. Fischer, A Well-Executed Failure, pp. 31, 36; Graymont, Iroquois in the American Revolution, pp. 192–94. 27. Mintz, Seeds of Empire, pp. 153–54; Graymont, Iroquois in the American Revolution, pp. 229–41. 28. Not all six Iroquois nations fought against the Continentals. The Tuscarora and Oneida actually fought as Continental allies, but this only accentuates the disparity of forces. The population estimate for the Iroquois is based on a count of warriors produced in 1779, totalling 1,600. William C. Sturtevant, ed., Handbook of North American Indians, 17 vols. to date (Washington, D.C., 1978–), 15: 421,
527. I used a generous multiplier of 4 to reach the 6,400 number. Peter H. Wood found a total population-to-warrior ratio among the Cherokees to be 3: 1. Peter H. Wood, “The Changing Population of the Colonial South: An Overview by Race and Region, 1685–1790,” in Peter H. Wood, Gregory A. Waselkov, and M. Thomas Hatley, eds., Powhatan’s Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast (Lincoln, Nebr., 1989), p. 61. The figure 6,400 may still be a bit low. At the end of the campaign some 5,036 Indian refugees crowded around Niagara for British help. Graymont, Iroquois in the American Revolution, p. 220. 29. Fischer, A Well-Executed Failure, p. 43. 30. For intelligence of the impending expedition, see ibid., pp. 53, 79. 31. Ibid., pp. 80–82; Journal of Lieut. William Barton in Frederick Cook, ed., Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 (1887; reprint, Bowie, Md., 2000), p. 6. See ibid., pp. 9, 10, for similar incidents. 32. Journal of Surgeon Jabez Campfield in Cook, Journals of the Military Expedition, p. 58. 33. Continental troops failed in their attempts to surprise Chemung, eight towns around Bucktooth (today’s Salamanca, New York), Catherine’s Town, Canadesaga, Canandaigua, Unadilla, Oquaga, Tioga, and a Delaware village near Ft. Pitt. Col. Goose Van Schaick’s attack on Onondaga succeeded, taking 34 prisoners and killing 13. See Mintz, Seeds of Empire, pp. 68–71, 84–85, 116, 129, 136, 138. 34. Fischer, A Well-Executed Failure, pp. 57, 104. 35. Greene to Washington, 5 Jan 1779, in Showman and Conrad, Papers of Nathanael Greene, 3: 144–45. 36. For a discussion of the problem of security detachments, see Washington to Sullivan, 5 Jul 1779, in WGW, 15: 372. 37. Fischer, A Well-Executed Failure, pp. 47–50, 102–28. 38. Ibid., pp. 31, 36, 58. 39. Washington to Sullivan, 31 May 1779, Otis G. Hammond, ed., Letters and Papers of Major-General John Sullivan, Continental Army, 3 vols. (Concord, N.H., 1930–39), 3: 48–53. 40. Schuyler to Washington, 1 Mar 1779, in Maryly B. Penrose, comp., Indian Affairs Papers, American Revolution (Franklin Park, N.J., 1981), pp. 186–90. 41. J. Frederick Fausz, “Patterns of AngloIndian Aggression and Accommodation along the Mid-Atlantic Coast, 1584–1634,” in Cultures in Contact: The Impact of European Contacts on Native American Cultural Institutions, A.D. 1000–1800, ed., William W. Fitzhugh (Washington, D.C., 1985), p. 246; Lee, Crowds and Soldiers, p. 121; Colin G. Calloway, New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America (Baltimore, 1997), p. 109. See also the recent study by John Grenier, The First Way of War: American War Making on the Frontier, 1607–1814 (New York, 2005). 42. Schuyler to Washington, 1 Mar 1779, in Penrose, Indian Affairs Papers, p. 190. 43. Washington to Schuyler, 21 Mar 1779, in WGW, 14: 271. 44. Journal of Maj. Jeremiah Fogg, in
Cook, Journals of the Military Expedition, p. 98. 45. See, for example, the French use of devastation tactics in John A. Lynn, “A Brutal Necessity? The Devastation of the Palatinate, 1688–1689” in Grimsley and Rogers, Civilians in the Path of War, pp. 79–110. 46. Emmerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations or the Principles of Natural Law Applied to the Conduct and to the Affairs of Nations and of Sovereigns, trans. Charles G. Fenwick, The Classics of International Law (1758, New York, 1964), pp. 280–81, quote, p. 281. 47. Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (New York, 1982), pp. xv, 34. See also Richard Maxwell Brown’s studies of the vigilante tradition in America, No Duty to Retreat: Violence and Values in American History and Society (New York, 1991) and Strain of Violence: Historical Studies of American Violence and Vigilantism (New York, 1975); David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (New York, 1989), pp. 765–68. Quote is from “Sermon against Plundering,” Samuel E. McCorkle Papers, Duke University Special Collections, Durham, N.C. 48. It is significant that popular rhetoric about retaliation did not confine itself to titfor-tat equivalence. Threats were frequently made to kill many of the enemy for every friendly person killed. See Harry M. Ward, Between the Lines: Banditti of the American Revolution (Westport, Conn., 2002), pp. 78, 126; Lee, Crowds and Soldiers, pp. 109, 193–97, 276 n.27. This was distinctly different from the carefully calculated equivalencies discussed by the antagonists at higher political levels, as between Washington or the Continental Congress and British authorities. See Charles H. Metzger, The Prisoner in the American Revolution (Chicago, 1971), pp. 154–58; Betsy Knight, “Prisoner Exchange and Parole in the American Revolution,” William & Mary Quarterly 3d Ser., 48 (April 1991): 201–22. 49. Armstrong Starkey, European and Native American Warfare, 1675–1815 (Norman, Okla., 1998), pp. 122–23; Graymont, Iroquois in the American Revolution, pp. 189–90. 50. Cited in Mintz, Seeds of Empire, p. 98. 51. Ibid., p. 97. 52. Journals of 1st Lts. Barton, Erkuries Beatty, and Rudolphus Van Hovenburgh, all in Cook, Journals of the Military Expedition, pp. 11, 32, 281. These are merely samples. Other Continentals were killed and scalped during some of the small harassing-fire incidents. See Journal of Lieutenant Barton, pp. 6, 11. 53. Journals of Sgt. Thomas Roberts and Lieutenants Barton and Van Hovenburgh in Cook, Journals of the Military Expedition, pp. 244, 8, 279, respectively. Barton received one pair of the leggings. Van Hovenburgh may have had some qualms about this incident. In a diary otherwise free of abbreviations, he described the incident like this: “Sm. Skn. by our S. fr. Bts.” (Some skinned by our Soldiers for Boots.) 54. Virtually every diarist mentions this old Indian woman. For accounts that deal with her as the army returned see Journals of Lieutenants Barton and Beatty, pp. 9, 12, 28, 33. 55. Journal of Lieutenant Barton, p. 13;
Lloyd A. Brown and Howard H. Peckham, eds., Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn, 1775–1783 (New York, 1971), p. 191. 56. Some Iroquois reported atrocities beyond those recorded in the soldiers’ diaries. An Onondaga chief claimed that the Americans who attacked his town “put to death all the Women and Children, excepting some of the Young Women, whom they carried away for the use of their Soldiers & were afterwards put to death in a more shameful manner.” Quoted in Colin Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (New York, 1995), p. 53. 57. Quoted in editor’s introduction to William Wood, New England’s Prospect, ed. Alden T. Vaughn (1634; reprint, Amherst, Mass., 1977), p. 12. 58. For other examinations of this process see Gary B. Nash, “Red, White, and Black: The Origins of Racism in Colonial America,” in Gary B. Nash and Richard Weiss, eds., The Great Fear: Race in the Mind of America (New York, 1970); Alden T. Vaughan, “From White Man to Redskin: Changing AngloAmerican Perceptions of the American Indian,” American Historical Review 87 (October 1982): 917–53; Gregory T. Knouff, “The Common People’s Revolution: Race, Class, Masculinity, and Locale in Pennsylvania, 1775–1783” (Ph.D. dissertation, Rutgers, 1996), pp. 248, 255; most recently, Daniel K. Richter, Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America (Cambridge, Mass., 2001), p. 180. 59. Cited in Peter Way, “The Cutting Edge of Culture: British Soldiers Encounter Native Americans in the French and Indian War,” in Martin Daunton and Rick Halpern, eds., Empire and Others: British Encounters with Indigenous Peoples, 1600–1850 (Philadelphia, 1999), p. 134. 60. Lee, Crowds and Soldiers, pp. 117–29; Adam J. Hirsch, “The Collision of Military Cultures in Seventeenth-Century New England,” Journal of American History 74
(March 1988): 1187–1212; Alden T. Vaughan, “‘Expulsion of the Salvages’: English Policy and the Virginia Massacre of 1622,” William and Mary Quarterly 3d Series, 35 ( January 1978): 57–84; Jill Lepore, The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity (New York, 1998), pp. 10, 16, 45; Jane T. Merritt, At the Crossroads: Indians and Empires on a Mid-Atlantic Frontier, 1700–1763 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 2003), pp. 11–12, passim. 61. Journal of Major Fogg, p. 98. 62. Loyalists were, however, occasionally forced to move, and of course the revolutionary governments confiscated large amounts of loyalist property. See Brown, The Good Americans, p. 127. 63. Amherst’s manuscript manual on war in North America written in the 1760s advocated a plan closely parallel to Washington’s advice to Sullivan. Amherst suggested that the villages be destroyed and the women and children captured to draw out the men. Ms., “On War in North America,” Amherst Papers, Public Record Office, London, file WO 34/102, p. 13. 64. Rpt, meeting of the principal chiefs and warriors, 11 Dec 1782, quoted in Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650– 1815 (New York, 1991), p. 391. 65. Vattel, The Law of Nations, pp. 292–93; Francis Bland, The Souldiers March to Salvation (Yorke [sic], England, 1647), p. 26. Even John Barnwell’s 1712 march of destruction through the Tuscarora towns of North Carolina deliberately spared the fruit trees. See John Barnwell, “Journal of John Barnwell,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 5 (1898): 396. 66. William Gordon, The History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the United States of America, 4 vols. (London, 1788), 3: 311 67. Journal of Surgeon Campfield, p. 54. 68. Mintz, Seeds of Empire, pp. 151–52; Graymont, Iroquois in the American Revolution, pp. 219–20.
Errata Army History, no. 61, Spring 2005: Nenninger, Timothy K., “John J. Pershing and Relief for Cause in the American Expeditionary Forces, 1917–1918,” pp. 20–33. Two endnotes listed at the end of the article are numbered 7; the second of these corresponds to endnote 8 in the text. Accordingly, endnotes 9–45 in the text correspond to endnotes 8–44 at the end of the article. And endnote 46 in the text corresponds to endnote 47 at the end of the article. No endnotes are missing.
Transformation or Troop Strength? Early Accounts of the Invasion of Iraq By W. Shane Story
Rick Atkinson, In the Company of Soldiers: A Chronicle of Combat. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 319 pp., cloth, 2004, $25; paper, 2005, $14. Anthony H. Cordesman, The Iraq War: Strategy, Tactics, and Military Lessons. Washington: CSIS Press, 2003, 572 pp., $25. Michael DeLong with Noah Lukeman, Inside CentCom: The Unvarnished Truth about the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2004, 222 pp., $24.95. Tommy Franks with Malcolm McConnell, American Soldier. New York: Regan Books, 590 pp.; cloth, 2004, $27.95; paper, 2005, $16.95. Williamson Murray and Robert H. Scales, Jr., The Iraq War: A Military History. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 312 pp., cloth, 2003, $25.95; paper, 2005, $16.95. Jeffrey Record, Dark Victory: America’s Second War against Iraq. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2004, 203 pp., $24.95. Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004, 467 pp., cloth $28, paper $14. Satan’s Sandbox (above) and Street Fight, both by Sfc. Elzie Golden
“The most contentious military debate surrounding the 2003 invasion of Iraq centered on the size of the forces required for the operation.” W. Shane Story
20 Army History Winter 2006
he most contentious military debate surrounding the 2003 invasion of Iraq centered on the size of the forces required for the operation. The debate turned on the effects of changes in the U.S. armed forces, ranging from the fielding of new technologies to the reorganization of tactical units and higher headquarters. In planning for Iraq, traditional advocates of robust land power stressed that these changes enhanced the nation’s military superiority but did not alter the nature of war or the importance of ground troop strength. On the other side, “transformationalists” argued that advanced technologies had made small forces operating jointly with air power both decisive and efficient. This debate went public before the invasion of Iraq as traditionalists and transformationalists diverged sharply on the size of the force that should be employed.1 Privately, Secretary of State Colin Powell encouraged Army General Tommy Franks, the commander of U.S. Central Command, to insist on using overwhelming force. Franks dismissed Powell’s concerns, explaining to the National Security Council that “we are moving into a new strategic and operational paradigm” that justified a small invasion force.2 Although problems during the invasion brought the debate back into the headlines, with critics assailing the Pentagon for invading with too few troops, Baghdad’s swift fall appeared to vindicate the small-force strategy.3 21
Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in July 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld hailed the way victory was won in Iraq as a triumph of transformation.4 Some analysts accepted Rumsfeld’s thesis and gushed about the Pentagon’s new small-force, high-tech strategy and its ability to produce fast, decisive results.5 Rumsfeld’s arguments likewise shaped one of the first books on the war, The Iraq War: A Military History, by emeritus Ohio State University history professor Williamson Murray and retired Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales Jr. Murray and Scales describe a conflict that began with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The dictator survived his 1991 defeat because of American “mistakes,” which the United States rectified in the brilliant campaign of spring 2003. Murray and Scales offered the public its first overview of the ground war in southern Iraq, the air war, the British campaign, and the capture of Baghdad. Finishing the book quickly, however, precluded significant research, and the content and depth of the final product resembled that of a two-hour CNN special. In lieu of an original thesis, Murray and Scales re22 Army History Winter 2006
peat the Pentagon’s emphasis on information technology, special operations capabilities, and enhanced training. According to the authors, the campaign foreshadowed a future of “smaller, leaner, brigade-sized units that can deploy more quickly and fight independently.” (p. 243) Murray and Scales wrote late enough in 2003 to acknowledge that Iraq was not yet stable, but this did not raise questions for them about the campaign’s transformational success. Noting that they had not undertaken an academic effort, Scales and Murray dispense with documentation and offer sparse information about the enemy. Written in the afterglow of victory, The Iraq War little appreciates the invasion’s greatest problems, however, including a fractured mobilization and deployment process, logistics stretched beyond the breaking point, and the lack of a posthostilities strategy. National security analyst Anthony Cordesman’s The Iraq War: Strategy, Tactics, and Military Lessons, an extensive study covering 572 pages, appeared almost simultaneously with Murray’s and Scales’s work. Cordesman seems to have relied heavily on the armed services’ initial reports of lessons
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Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division use High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles with mounted machine guns to guard an intersection in Mosul, Iraq, August 2003.
As occupation problems and a burgeoning insurgency increasingly undermined the transformation thesis in 2004, Rick Atkinson’s In the Company of Soldiers offered a fresh perspective on the ground campaign in southern Iraq. Atkinson’s division-level view stresses the non-transformational effects of a micromanaged deployment process. A Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and historian, Atkinson accompanied Maj. Gen. David Petraeus’s 101st Airborne Division command post for six weeks beginning in late February 2003. Petraeus’s war was an act of
improvisation throughout. Longdelayed deployment orders forced the division to issue desert uniforms at the last minute and rushed its road, rail, and sea movements. The division hastened through final preparations in Kuwait but did not receive all of its equipment before the invasion began. Thus the 101st attacked without enough trucks to move its troops. Soldiers cursed the imbroglios that followed and blasted all the “callous” and “incompetent” higher headquarters they assumed were responsible for the deployment’s ridiculously poor coordination. (p. 236)
Capt. Paul Stanton, left, accompanies General Peter J. Schoomaker, Army chief of staff, and General Petraeus on foot patrol in Mosul, Iraq, August 2003.
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Soldiers of the 3d Infantry Division prepare for an enemy counterattack in southern Iraq, 24 March 2003.
learned, with both good and bad results. He gives detailed explanations of many obscure technologies, weapon systems, and organizations engaged in the fight. On the other hand, Cordesman accepts claims of transformation-driven success uncritically, using Rumsfeld’s and Franks’s July 2003 statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee as half of his introduction. (pp. 1–6) In the summer of 2003, insurgent attacks worsened the many strategic dilemmas confronting the United States in Iraq, pitting the desire to redeploy and reconstitute military units against the need to secure Iraq and pitting the wish to minimize the American troop commitment against a determination to shape Iraq’s future. These dilemmas prompted Cordesman to criticize policymakers’ best-case assumptions on post-invasion Iraq as he detailed the occupation’s myriad challenges. He contends that the military has traditionally failed to plan for conflict termination or nation-building despite having repeatedly confronted chaos among civil populations, a failing Cordesman attributes to having a “non-political” military with limited resources. (pp. 506–08) While capturing the hubris of victory that drove the transformation thesis, Cordesman repeats the military’s mistake of mentally separating combat from civil chaos. If, as Cordesman avers, the invasion and occupation periods represented separate problems, then occupation failures did not diminish the luster of the invasion’s successes. However, if occupation problems originated in the execution of the invasion, then Cordesman would have to reassess his endorsement of Rumsfeld’s view that “the speed and scale of the coalition victory speaks for itself.” (p. 149) Regarding the occupation period, Cordesman sees troop strength issues as incidental to the failure of strategic vision and planning, both by the administration and the military. He thus neglects mobilization and deployment issues and devotes only a few pages to the use of reserve forces.
Using its helicopters and rationing its trucks, the 101st provided rear security along V Corps’s vulnerable lines of communication, seeing action in a number of cities before Baghdad fell. With the collapse of the regime, the 101st occupied part of northern Iraq. Believing the first thirty days of the occupation would be crucial, a brief honeymoon in which to win the peace, Petraeus had the 101st launch an ambitious stabilization campaign. Atkinson’s book ends with the beginning of the occupation. While recognizing faults in the soldiers and leaders he encountered, Atkinson also admires them as both humane and fierce. Petraeus stands out as a commander and an intellect, both driven and thoughtfully cautious. On the other hand, Atkinson has no sympathy for the strategic planning or the conceptions of warfare that shaped the invasion, and the rhetoric of transformation finds little reflection on the battlefield he describes. Even the fall of Baghdad fails to impress Atkinson. An old Arab told him the city had been conquered thirty-one times. “Now,” Atkinson dryly adds, “the count was thirty-two.” (p. 278) Atkinson’s sober account accompanied growing concerns about American operations in Iraq, worries that two recently retired generals try to allay with insiders’ versions of the campaign. Rejecting criticism of the invasion in his memoir American Soldier, General Franks claims that the invasion was both brilliant and transformational, but he sidesteps critical issues. Instead, he uses some 200 pages to describe what he learned while growing up not-quitepoor in west Texas, enjoying a bacchanalian freshmen year at the University of Texas at Austin, flunking out and enlisting in the Army, attending officer candidate school, serving in Vietnam, and rising steadily through the ranks. Franks took over Central Command in 2000. Regarding Iraq, Franks was unhappy about the United States’ failure to safeguard the pilots enforcing U.S. containment policy from the risks posed by Iraqi missiles. He determined 23
24 Army History Winter 2006
Franks submitted this plan to Rumsfeld in November 2002 and implies in his book that Rumsfeld approved Central Command’s deployment schedule. (pp. 410–11) In fact, Rumsfeld rejected the schedule, and this emasculated the plan. The lack of a coordinated schedule made the subsequent deployments extremely dysfunctional. Fortunately, Saddam’s regime collapsed before the consequences of the deployment fiasco became clear. Tactical success made the deployment’s mistakes seem less painful, almost forgettable. Within weeks, however, underequipped and undersupplied soldiers were struggling through unplanned missions in the desert sun. Unfortunately, Franks avoids the subject of deployments in American Soldier, a glaring omission that lessens the value of his account. For Franks, the regime’s collapse vindicated the planning. Against charges that he went to war without enough forces, he asserts that “today, our ground troops operate ‘leaner and meaner,’” that strength derives “from the mass of effective firepower, not simply the number of boots or tank tracks on the ground,” and that talk could never “convince the strategic kibitzers that the force we’d be moving into Iraq was adequate to accomplish the mission.”
silencing the chiefs, however, Franks also made the Pentagon’s support planning and execution more difficult. After Baghdad fell, Iraq’s problems dwarfed Franks’s expectations. Having fought two campaigns in three years and extended his command tour once, Franks had seen enough of military challenges and decided to retire rather than accept Rumsfeld’s offer to serve as chief of staff of the Army. Franks, therefore, suddenly became a lame duck in the crucial early days of the occupation. He seems to have been a cipher on the all-important decisions surrounding de-Baathification and disbanding the Iraqi Army, quietly leaving these matters to others much as he had earlier acquiesced on the deployment process. He did conclude that the key to security and civil reconstruction in Iraq was to get “an international bureaucracy moving— quickly.” (p. 526) But he apparently did little to arrange for that or to push for any preferred course for the occupation. In American Soldier Franks prefers to blame others for failing to make decisions that he shrank from advocating, such as fence-mending through the United Nations to build a
animosity toward the service chiefs. As Franks’s deputy, DeLong tracked events from the attacks of 9/11 to the fall of Baghdad, and he reports that Franks’s difficult, alienating, and distrustful attitudes shaped an adversarial relationship with the Pentagon. (pp. 8, 27–28, 86) Conflicts with the Joint Chiefs of Staff came to a head over the new Iraq war plan, and Central Command, with Rumsfeld’s support, shot down all objections to the plan from the service chiefs. (pp. 86, 102) In DeLong’s account, Central Command’s strategies in Afghanistan and Iraq were brilliant and “both campaigns were an unqualified success.” (p. 136) Others were responsible for those things that went wrong, beginning with the Iraqis themselves. Saddam bore the first responsibility for post-invasion disorder because he freed criminals just before the war. Iraq’s soldiers and police fostered chaos by abandoning their posts, and Iraqi civilians destroyed their country with rampant looting. Unnamed American officials made things worse when they disbanded the Iraqi Army without naming a provisional government. (pp. 117–18) Written in haste, DeLong’s account contains numerous factual errors, such
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that the United States “needed a new policy” on Iraq but believed that more time and study were needed to determine options for either squeezing Saddam harder or backing off. (p. 200) Rather than a new policy, what came next was 9/11, operations in Afghanistan, and renewed planning for operations in Iraq. Franks dismissed the existing Iraq plan, which detailed all the “requirements for a major operation,” as too conservative, unimaginative, and unsuited to the strategic situation. (p. 331) The plan was too big because it used 500,000 troops and too slow because it required six months for deployment. Moreover, the plan did not account for technological advances and the lessons of Afghanistan. Franks’s rejection of the Iraq plan he had inherited initiated the force requirements debate on Iraq in 2002, pitting minimalists, who wanted to invade quickly with only 50,000 troops, against traditionalists who insisted that only an overwhelming force of hundreds of thousands of troops could mitigate the risks of the operation. A compromise “Hybrid Plan” gradually emerged. A small force, conceivably a reinforced division, would launch a surprise attack to seize immediate objectives, while follow-on forces would deploy to complete the mission.
bigger coalition, committing unlimited American troops and treasure to Iraqi security, or limiting the American commitment by rejecting such policies as de-Baathification, which primarily excluded Sunnis and thus fed insurgent resistance. Avoiding such choices brought the worst outcome in all three spheres: a limited coalition, a shortage of American resources to secure Iraq, and a sizable, armed, and angry group of Sunnis who were convinced the Americans had stolen the Sunnis’ birthright. Regarding the occupation, Franks only regrets mistakes he attributes entirely to others—the illdefined, all-purpose scapegoat known as the international community, the U.S. Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, the George W. Bush administration, the Clinton administration, Congress, Rumsfeld, Powell, and, not least, the much maligned service chiefs. (pp. 544–45) While he managed to grasp the laurels before they withered, Franks passed up an opportunity to place the occupation on a more secure foundation. In Inside CentCom: The Unvarnished Truth about the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, retired Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong confirms Franks’s deeply held
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Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division mingle with Iraqis while on patrol in Mosul, 24 April 2003.
(pp. 475–77) Information operations—a euphemism for propaganda—fascinated Franks, but he did not recognize their limits. He claims to have slyly deceived Saddam Hussein with a ruse about a northern attack, and he cites personal warnings from Jordan’s king and Egypt’s president as proof that Iraq had chemical weapons. (pp. 418–19) Unwavering self-confidence likely made Franks a better commander in many ways, but it left him oblivious to the dangers of self-deception. If the physical evidence of Iraq’s weapons programs was sparse, the dictator’s back-channel warnings of chemical warfare—apparently an attempt to deter an attack—only emboldened Franks to invade because they “proved” Iraq had such weapons. Franks claims credit for successes but denies responsibility for post-invasion chaos. He expressed little concern over reports of disorder in Basra after being assured that “it looks like looting, but it’s actually revenge.” (p. 520) Franks’s most important contribution to the transformation debate is the considerable attention he gives to other factors that shaped the campaign. He shows that the campaign plan did not result from some automatic war making process, but rather from the difficult interactions of complex bureaucracies, marked by personal rivalries and strained relationships. Franks lauds the secretary of defense and himself but subjects other officials outside his control to unwavering, unsubstantiated criticism. For Franks, the most significant contribution of General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was keeping a lid on the service chiefs while Rumsfeld and Franks carried on the business of war. Franks repeatedly belittles the service chiefs, describing them as “inflexible bean counters” and “Chihuahuas,” and he reports excoriating them to Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. (pp. 207, 275–78, 301, 383, 440) The coup de grâce came in a memo to Wolfowitz explaining that the chiefs lacked “sufficient Joint background or understanding to be operationally useful.” (p. 441) In marginalizing and then
26 Army History Winter 2006
Secretary Rumsfeld outlines his defense plans at a Pentagon briefing, May 2001.
The gist of the plans “was to move a vast portion of the American military machine, and in some cases a portion of the U.S. transportation infrastructure and logistics capability” to troubled regions, whereupon the Army expected to fight big battles. (p. 33) Appalled, he berated long-serving officers, spoke of his predecessor’s job performance “with disdain,” and thought the institution had caused “fine, talented people” to waste their efforts through wrong-headed thinking. (pp. 33, 35) Rumsfeld wanted quick-strike contingency plans that would eliminate threats before they matured. Before solutions emerged, the 9/11 terrorist attacks signaled a national crisis, and Pentagon planning and execution accelerated into reaction and crisis management. Initially daunted at the need to rout Al Qaeda from Afghanistan, planners’ first efforts called for a massive deployment and a slow, difficult conquest of the country. Rumsfeld was furious; military planners were proposing precisely the kind of ponderous operation he had been tearing apart for months. Discarding
planners’ recommendations, Rumsfeld had Franks link together Special Forces and Central Intelligence Agency teams. These joined teams used air power, precision weapons, cash, and indigenous forces to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Triumphant there, Rumsfeld thought he had found the formula that would vindicate and sustain transformation, and Franks became Rumsfeld’s point man for the new strategy. (pp. 5–6, 37, 41) Rumsfeld and Franks tossed out the existing plan for Iraq and spent a year negotiating the size and shape of an invasion force. Franks finished his new plan in November 2002 and submitted it to Rumsfeld with an accompanying schedule, asking him to begin mobilizing and deploying some 300,000 troops. Rumsfeld thought the plan called for too many troops. Worse, by virtually committing the armed forces to an invasion of Iraq—and signaling invasion to the entire world—the plan deprived the administration of the flexibility it needed to pursue diplomacy. Rejecting Franks’s schedule, Rumsfeld instead
started dribbling out incremental and uncoordinated deployment orders. Lacking clear guidance, the services could not coordinate mobilizations and deployments, and confusion spread. Everything depended on Rumsfeld’s day-to-day schedule and priorities. As Rumsfeld later explained to Woodward, some of the deployment decisionmaking “was criticized. The fact that it took the deployment process and disaggregated it to support diplomacy was never understood out there, and I didn’t want to say that’s what we were doing so we sat here and took the hit.” (p. 234) There were, in fact, numerous factors over which Rumsfeld had little control. These included diplomacy, overflight and access rights within the region, coalition building, and domestic political concerns, all of which complicated the decisions on deployment scheduling. President George W. Bush and his administration faced a delicate task of balancing military preparations and diplomatic pressure. These measures were mutually reinforcing, but any misstep risked undermining the effort to remove Saddam. Further, the leaders of America’s partners in the war on terrorism and Iraq’s neighbors had their own concerns and their own domestic constituencies to pacify, causing them to develop independent roles for their nations. These complexities forestalled the timely decision-making on which military efficiency depended. However, Rumsfeld exacerbated the problems, as his elusive style and refusal to explain to the military “what we were doing” left the Army leadership, at least, perplexed on the eve of war. Indeed, just days before the president’s 17 March ultimatum, the press carried stories that Rumsfeld nearly fired Army Secretary Thomas White for failing to rebuke the Army chief of staff, General Eric Shinseki, over the general’s estimates that occupying Iraq would require “hundreds of thousands” of troops. By Rumsfeld’s own account, the defense secretary handled criticism stoically, but he also did not seem to appreciate the confusion and consequences of
Department of Defense
Department of Defense
as dating the 1988 chemical attacks on the Kurds as 1995, citing the alleged concrete bunker at Dora Farms that was never found, and referring to Third Army when the author means the 3d Infantry Division. Journalist Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack, published in the spring of 2004, deals in greater depth with the institutional bureaucracies behind the war. Woodward’s focus is not on the efficacies of force ratios but on the individuals, relationships, politics, and diplomacy that shaped the planning, with a particular focus on Secretary Rumsfeld’s personality and reputation. According to Woodward, Rumsfeld returned to the Pentagon in 2001 with thoughtful use-of-force guidelines that would weigh necessity, purpose, cost, political viability, and diplomatic options before committing American troops to combat. At the same time, Rumsfeld was deeply suspicious of the Pentagon and its ways, believing that civilian and military bureaucrats had stultified innovation in the Department of Defense and left it mentally stuck in the Cold War. The secretary addressed the problem with a reform agenda that he christened “transformation.” These lofty efforts, however, sometimes foundered on Rumsfeld’s personality, which former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft described as “secretive” and “difficult if not impossible to read.” (p. 19) Rumsfeld led by raising doubts, a technique Secretary of State Powell found maddening, believing his defense counterpart prone to hypercritical and noncommittal questioning and mute when circumstances called for making recommendations or taking responsibility. (p. 183) Hell-bent on reforming the military, Rumsfeld combined an opaque style of leadership with an abrasive skepticism toward the uniformed brass and the Pentagon, which he found was “more broken than he had anticipated.” (p. 19) Briefed on the military’s war plans, he judged them an egregious example of everything that was wrong with the Department of Defense.
Secretary Rumsfeld speaks with General Franks from his Pentagon office.
impromptu deployments. As a result, the invasion of Iraq was not based on any model of transformation. Instead, it was a series of ill-coordinated acts of improvisation that led—through skill, hard labor, soldiers’ sacrifices, and some luck—to the toppling of the Iraqi regime. Woodward demonstrates the many complexities of the war that loom much larger than transformation. “Transformation” stood for a newstyle military that exploited the latest technological advances to reduce the fog and friction of war; it came to imply great results, quickly achieved, with controlled risks. Baghdad’s fall reinvigorated Rumsfeld’s vision, but the insurgency provoked a backlash against the invasion’s architects. Critics blasted the Pentagon for not sending enough troops and for failing to prepare for post-hostility operations. Jeffrey Record argues the case against the administration in Dark Victory: America’s Second War against Iraq, concluding that the invasion “was not only unnecessary but also damaging to long-term U.S. political interests in the world.” (pp. xiv,
142) He directs his unrelenting criticism against both Bush administrations. The first “erred egregiously” in 1991 when it announced a unilateral cease-fire; since Saddam had not been forced to ask for terms, he was able to avoid admitting defeat. (p. 7) Record describes the development in the 1990s of a neoconservative agenda dedicated to “an ambitious, forward-leaning foreign policy reliant on force to rid the world of tyranny and promote the spread of democracy.” (p. 18) President George W. Bush entered office as a moderate realist, but the attacks of 11 September 2001 converted him to the neoconservative viewpoint (pp. 26–27) and by early March 2003 “he linked the case for war with Iraq to the 9/11 attacks.” (p. 53) Although U.S. security interests were at stake in the region and regional change was needed, the costs and risks of the invasion of Iraq rendered the operation a dubious enterprise at best. (pp. 64–77) The coalition’s military campaign was not remarkable; its success “was never in doubt,” and Iraq’s military was “doomed to defeat.” 27
(p. 90) Secretary Rumsfeld ignored valuable military advice, and transformation shaped a war plan that depended heavily on early success and Iraqi submission. (pp. 98–100) Just as experienced officers predicted, post-invasion Iraq descended to a level of chaos that demonstrated the folly and arrogance of the U.S. military’s post-hostilities, or Phase IV, planning. (pp. 117–39) Finally, Record argues that the “transformation” mindset exacerbated post-invasion problems. Transformation, sometimes described as the search for silver-bullet military technology, failed because it neglected the human element of war. (pp. 154–55) Record’s criticism is odd because it amounts to an unacknowledged disavowal of the bulk of his previous writings, which called for precisely the kind of operation that the military mounted in 2003. In 1993, he castigated the first Bush administration for leaving Saddam in power and for sanctions that punished the Iraqi people without weakening him.6 Such criticism could only inspire and encourage those who concluded the United States had to overthrow the Iraqi government, a course of action that Dark Victory argues ex post facto was unnecessary and the result of a neoconservativeinspired assertiveness. In 2001, the course of American interventions in Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo prompted Record to criticize “exit strategy delusions.” Military operations had such unpredictable outcomes, he then argued, that to conceive appropriate end-state planning assumptions before the fighting began was impossible.7 He thereby anticipated and justified the second Bush administration’s sketchy planning for post-invasion Iraq. The early success of military operations in Afghanistan further inspired Record to advocate new ways of war. Several months after the fall of the Taliban, Record strongly advocated strategies he would firmly oppose in Dark Victory.8 Afghanistan, he wrote, demonstrated that “modern airpower, under the right conditions, can achieve decisive strategic effects even against the kind of irregular, pre-industrial enemy once thought unbreakable by air attack.”9 Further, transformation made possible “the use of force 28 Army History Winter 2006
without significant risk.”10 On Iraq, the failure to remove Saddam in 1991 “laid the groundwork for a potentially terrifying day of reckoning with the dangerous dictator.”11 At the very time that military planners and policy-makers were debating how many troops would be needed in Iraq, Record undercut land-power advocates by denying there was any need for the United States “to assume complete political and economic responsibility for failed states in the wake of American military intervention.”12 His conclusion again trumpeted transformation: “Air power plus small supporting ground forces plus local surrogates” could coerce or overthrow regimes. He takes the opposite view in Dark Victory, however, blasting the Pentagon for its obsession with “the technologies of aerial precision strike.” (p. 154) Record’s 2002 caveat that considerable ground forces would be required to conquer, occupy, or administer territory did little to discourage transformationalists, who tended to minimize the difficulties those responsibilities involved.13 The Record canon damns problems and extolls successes but collectively offers no insight for mitigating the former or enhancing the latter. Dark Victory’s analysis derives more from frustration over Iraq and the rhetoric of transformation than from any substantive insight regarding strategic policy or military operations, and this frustration is what produces his myopia. In light of Record’s abrupt reversals, planners and policy-makers would be well advised to be skeptical about his latest critique. Controversies surrounding the importance of transformation and troop strength will continue, if only for purposes of budgetary wrangling. As Record recognizes, the debate was always “an extension of the prewar argument within the Pentagon over the future size and structure of U.S. armed forces.” (p. 104) For historians and military analysts studying the war in Iraq, the debate oversimplifies difficult issues and can obscure our understanding of the origin, course, and outcome of the invasion. Woodward’s and Atkinson’s books are particularly valuable because they demonstrate that the planning, preparation, and execution
of the invasion were sufficiently awkward to undercut exaggerated claims that Operation Iraqi Freedom was a transformational campaign. However, placing two mechanized divisions in the enemy capital in twenty days time was no mean feat, and the tools of transformation, including advances in communications and information technology, air power developments, and joint interoperability made that possible. The interpretive problem appears to have originated in Rumsfeld’s overselling early success in Iraq as transformational.14 Murray and Scales’s cursory effort and Franks’s and DeLong’s self-congratulatory versions of the war take up Rumsfeld’s theme. In their uncritical heralding of transformation as efficient and decisive, these works offer the least insight into the campaign. Record’s criticism derives so much from frustration with the insurgency that it is more partisan than analytical, a problem made worse by his inconsistency. Cordesman’s work stands out because it explains the rationale for transformation as well as the policy dilemmas that defied military solution. The Emperor, transformation, was not naked, but his fine clothes were not appropriate for every occasion, and they left unanswered the problem of what to do after the parade.
The Author Maj. W. Shane Story has been assigned to the Histories Division of the Center of Military History since November 2003. He was an instructor in the History Department at the U.S. Military Academy in 1996–98 and holds a doctorate in history from Rice University. He served in 2002 as the historian of the U.S. element of the multinational Kosovo Force and in April through November 2003 as a member of the Military History Group of the Combined Forces Land Component Command in Kuwait.
1. Thomas E. Ricks, “Timing, Tactics on Iraq War Disputed,” Washington Post, 1 Aug 2002, p. A1; Bernard E. Trainor, “An Attack Strategy to Win,” Washington Post, 18 Sep 2002, p. A29. 2. Tommy Franks with Malcolm McConnell, American Soldier (New York, 2004), pp. 394–95, quote, p. 395. 3. Richard T. Cooper and Paul Richter, “Former Commanders Question U.S. Strategy,” Los Angeles Times, 26 March 2003, p. A10; Vernon Loeb, “Rumsfeld Faulted for Troop Dilution,” Washington Post, 30 Mar 2003, p. A19; Vernon Loeb, “Rumsfeld Assails War Critics and Praises
the Troops,” Washington Post, 29 April 2003, p. A11. 4. Statement of Secretary of Defense Donald R. Rumsfeld, 9 Jul 2003, pp. 1–2, posted at http://armed-services.senate.gov/statemnt/2003/July/ Rumsfeld.pdf. 5. Peter J. Boyer, “The New War Machine: A Reporter at Large,” New Yorker 79 (30 June 2003): 55; Max Boot, “The New American Way of War,” Foreign Affairs 82 ( July/August 2003): 41–42. 6. Jeffrey Record, Hollow Victory: A Contrary View of the Gulf War (Washington, D.C., 1993). 7. Jeffrey Record, “Exit Strategy Delusions,” Parameters 31 (Winter 2001/2002): 21.
News Notes Call for Papers: July 2006 Conference of Army Historians The Center of Military History is soliciting papers for the 2006 biennial Conference of Army Historians, which will be held on 25–27 July 2006 in the Washington, D.C., area. The theme of the conference will be “Terrorists, Partisans, and Guerrillas: The U.S. Army and Irregular Warfare, 1775–2005.” Papers may address any aspect of the U.S. Army’s role in irregular warfare. Conference organizers will especially welcome papers that focus on structuring the Army to fight irregular conflicts, the development of doctrine and training necessary to engage in these types of operations, and the American experience in Vietnam. Presenters should be prepared to speak for twenty minutes. An individual interested in presenting a paper should send a proposed topic, a one-page prospectus on the paper, and some information about his or her background to Dr. Stephen Carney, either by email to [email protected]
or by mail to U.S. Army Center of Military History, ATTN: DAMH-FPF (Dr. Carney), 103 Third Avenue, Fort Lesley J. McNair, D.C. 20319-5058. Further information may be obtained by calling Dr. Carney at 202-685-2728.
Army Museums Open New Exhibits The U.S. Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, opened an exhibit in February 2005 on the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, a World War II airborne unit with African American enlisted personnel. The 1st Armored Division Museum in Baumholder, Germany, opened in April 2005 a new exhibit on Operation Iraqi Freedom, as did the 1st Infantry Division in Würzburg, Germany, in July 2005. The U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia, opened in November 2005 an exhibit on the evolution of Army footwear, “From Shoe Leather to Gore-TexTM”; the exhibit traces Army combat boots from the Civil War to the Iraq War.
8. Jeffrey Record, “Collapsed Countries, Casualty Dread, and the New American Way of War,” War,”Parameters 32 (Summer 2002): 4–23. 9. Ibid., p. 5. 10. Ibid., p. 14. 11. Ibid., p. 7. 12. Ibid., p. 8. 13. Ibid., p. 20. 14. United States Department of Defense, “News Transcript: Secretary Rumsfeld Town Hall Meeting in Qatar,” 28 April 2003, posted at http:// www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2003/tr20030428secdef0133.html; Statement of Secretary Rumsfeld, 9 Jul 2003, p. 1.
Engineer History Office Publishes Korean War Volume The Office of History of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a nicely illustrated collection of excerpts of interviews with Engineer officers who served in the Korean War. Edited by Barry W. Fowle and John Lonnquest, the book is entitled Remembering the “Forgotten War”: U.S. Army Engineer Officers in Korea, and its publication number is EP 870-1-66. The book contains excerpts from twenty-six oral history interviews and one published memoir. The interviewers include seven current or former members of the Army Historical Program. Readers may obtain a complimentary copy of this book by submitting a request, including the title and publication number, to the Publications Depot, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, by mail addressed to 2803 52nd Avenue, Hyattsville, Maryland 207811102, or by fax to 301-394-0084. Army Medical History Office Issues Book on Medical Response to 2001 Pentagon Attack The Office of Medical History, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army, has published a 164-page, illustrated compilation of excerpts of interviews relating to the medical response to the attack made on the Pentagon by a hijacked commercial airliner on 11 September 2001. Edited by Sanders Marble and Ellen Milhiser, the book is entitled Soldiers to the Rescue: The Medical Response to the Pentagon Attack. It includes accounts of forty-two individuals, primarily uniformed medical personnel, who provided assistance at the Pentagon, along with interview-based summaries of the responses to the attack of nearby Army medical facilities and top Army medical commands. The text of the book and thirteen of its illustrations are posted at http://history.amedd.army.mil/memoirs/soldiers/ frontpage.htm. Requests for copies of the printed book, which includes two additional illustrations, may be sent by email to [email protected]
or by mail to the Office of Medical History, Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Army, ATTN: DASG-MH (Room 401B), 5111 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia 22041-3258. Supplies of the printed edition are limited.
News Notes continued on page 34
Commentary “Instant” History and History: A Hierarchy of Needs By Richard W. Stewart
“History is not what happens; history is what historians say happened.”
Robert H. Scales Jr., Certain Victory: The U.S. Army in the Gulf War. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Staff, United States Army, 1993, 434 pp. Gregory Fontenot, E. J. Degen, and David Tohn, On Point: The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Staff, United States Army, 2004, 542 pp.; Naval Institute Press, 2005, 539 pp., $34.95. Charles Briscoe, Richard L. Kiper, James A. Schroder, and Kalev I. Sepp, Weapon of Choice: U.S. Army Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan. Fort Leavenworth, Kans.: Combat Studies Institute Press, 2003, 399 pp. As a practicing military historian, I am often engaged in pondering (and defending) how the profession of official historian fits into the wider historical profession and to what degree the official historian’s product is “real” history as opposed to “court” history. However, that is not what this short article is about. Others have dealt with this topic in the past, and only the ignorant or obtuse would somehow insist that those working for the military as historians produce only “good-news” court histories, especially of events in the recent memories of senior leaders. However, the confusion is made somewhat worse by initial studies of military operations that appear to be official histories but are not. That is not to say that these studies do not have their place; they do serve a valuable purpose as long as one also understands their limitations. As examples, I would like to share with you my thoughts on three works covering recent conflicts that, though not official histories, are officially sanctioned studies of an operation and are often confused with official histories. These works are Brig. Gen. Robert H. Scales Jr., Director, Desert Storm Study Project, Certain Victory: The U.S. Army in the Gulf War (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Staff, United States Army, 1993); Gregory Fontenot, Lt. Col. E. J. Degen, and Lt. Col. David Tohn, On Point: The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Staff, United States Army, 2004); and Charles Briscoe, Richard L. Kiper, James A. Schroder, and Kalev I. Sepp, Weapon of Choice: U.S. Army Special Operations Forces 30 Army History Winter 2006
in Afghanistan (Fort Leavenworth, Kans.: Combat Studies Institute Press, 2003). The problem of writing studies about on-going or recently completed military operations is hardly a new one, yet the practice is not always crowned with success. Observers or participants are often so close to the event that it is hard for even the most careful writer to see the true context of contemporaneous events or to attain a level of objectivity that later historians can, neither overly praising nor criticizing the participants or decisions. All historians of contemporaneous events, however, have a role model or patron saint in Thucydides, a stronger claimant to the title “Father of History” than that fabulist Herodotus. Thucydides was a contemporary of the events he reported in his timeless work, History of the Peloponnesian War; participated in many of the events he discussed; and had his own axes to grind for and against many individuals in that war. Nevertheless, he clearly attempted to leave all of that in the background and tried his best to restrict his account to the facts as objectively as he could, facts often confirmed from other sources. Most other chroniclers of the time did not even attempt such a feat. Thucydides shows us that excellent histories of contemporary events can be written and written well. Before reviewing each of the listed books in turn, perhaps a moment to discuss the theory of the creation of historical works is in order. In many ways historical theory (what is history) drives historical methodology (how do we create history), which in turn creates history (what we think happened and why). So historical theory is important. And military history, while it has its own peculiarities and problems, is a subset of history in general. In understanding the creation of military histories we can gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the various levels of historical products that can and should be produced after military operations. Essentially the creation of military history is a very sloppy process with many, many chances to get it wrong in the short run and, at best, less wrong, in the long run. To understand how sloppy the process is should give all historians and readers of history a more critical eye for all historical products, especially the “instant” histories now much in vogue. So much of the quality of the final historical product depends on the almost haphazard collection and preservation of the records of military operations. The fact that this collection and preservation has grown much more haphazard of late is a matter of much distress to all military historians. The U.S. Army records management program remains broken and no one seems to have the interest, resources, or enthusiasm to fix it. The increasingly problematic collection of documents makes contemporary history more challenging to write about than events further in the past. Many military historians would prefer to write about the Civil War, World War II, or even Vietnam than attempt to write with any measure of certainty on current
military operations. The sources, despite the flood of electronic data, are simply not collected and preserved as thoroughly as in the past. Restrained by this hit-or-miss collection process, writers about current operations must, of necessity, create layers of history. There is a specific hierarchy of official historical products relating to these operations: the initial after-action report, a summary of what a unit reports that it just did; an initial chronicle of the events, including some measure of analysis; and finally the official history that seeks to create a reasonably definitive version of the events that will stand the test of time. All three types of report have their value and each one tends to build on the other. The first official account produced after a military event, operation, or war, is the unit after-action report. It is produced rapidly, based heavily on memory and some unit journals and messages, and it tries to capture what occurred using the narrow focus of a single unit. Analysis is limited, and there is little cognizance of what happened to other units, even those nearby, let alone at the operational or strategic levels. The after-action report is written quickly, generally by the participants and often within weeks or at most months of the event to fulfill a regulatory requirement. It is fresh and raw and often captures facts from such sources as journals, messages, situation reports, radio traffic, and now e-mail “chat” rooms and instant messages that may fail to reach official records repositories. After-action reports are often reasonably accurate as far as they go and, if done carefully, are invaluable and irreplaceable resources for future writers or historians. If more after-action reports were carefully prepared, future historians would have excellent guides, chronologies, and summaries of events from which to work. Those that are hurriedly and haphazardly prepared or, worse, are just briefing charts with a few bullets and an attempt to jot down a few “lessons learned” are highly suspect and of little value. The second type of account is a subtler and more complete form of report but cannot yet be judged to be “history.” It is the contemporary study or report. Contemporary studies attempt to look at a wide variety of secondary sources, often making heavy use of journalists’ accounts in particular; to consult some primary sources, including oral history interviews; and to offer some analysis. These reports try to provide a theater-wide or conflictwide perspective far beyond that of the after-action report. Often this type of account is written by a participant in or veteran of the event or else someone able to talk to enough participants to gain, vicariously, a sense of what happened. It relies heavily on oral history interviews. However, the urge of the author of this type of report is still to generate a quick study filled with instant analysis and, given today’s problems with classification, often without being able to look at most of the official documents.1 The study tends
to focus on dramatic events or personalities and can lapse into a paean on how successful the Army has been. It is no coincidence that instant accounts from official or semiofficial Army writers or teams of writers of Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Iraqi Freedom abound, but no such official impetus created a releasable product on the failed mission to Somalia.2 Nevertheless, such instant accounts can satiate the appetite for a time and give the official history—slow, ponderous, and yet more complete—time to marinate until it is ready. Producing the third and final category of written report on a military event, the official history, is necessarily the most time consuming. The audience for an official history cannot be in a hurry. Given today’s highly classified environment, it now takes about a generation before the sources and the events are ripe for the creation of this type of volume.3 After about a generation a number of events have occurred which make the preparation of the definitive volumes of official history possible. The documents, if not all unclassified, are at least generally collected into repositories and available for thorough examination and selective declassification. The other products—afteraction reports, contemporary studies, journalists’ accounts, and memoirs—are also more readily available to examine and compare in an attempt to discern what is fact from what is opinion. And, not least important from an official history perspective, those major participants in a military event or war—the senior generals—have retired and are no longer directly in the chain of command, where they might seek to influence a process that has such a direct bearing upon their eventual reputation—although this has been less of a problem than laymen or non-official historians seem to believe. The result is a definitive account of an operation, heavy on analysis and rich in detail, which will stand the test of time. Varying interpretations of events will, of course, continue to be published—even official histories are not the “last word.” But their use of primary sources is so thorough and their examinations of all available evidence so detailed, that while their interpretations can be disputed, the general outline of facts they present should remain secure. Official histories at their best—the multivolume official series, the U.S. Army in World War II, known as the Green Books, fits this category—are generally the starting point for all future histories and interpretations. Their greatest weaknesses are their tendency toward dryness—detailed, objective studies of military operations, including sections on logistics, supply, training, plans, and troop movements are often deadly dull—and the length of time needed to produce them. When a book is published twenty years after an event, however stirring the action or the prose, some of the essential currency has worn off. Having discussed these three levels of products and postulated their general content and the time frame for 31
Commentary their production, how do the three studies listed above fit into this context? That each book falls into the middle category, the contemporary report, should be readily apparent to even a casual reader. Thus they are not official history, even though each book was supported officially. Let us take them in turn. Certain Victory: The U.S. Army in the Gulf War was prepared by a team of Army officers and other assigned personnel under a serving Army brigadier general, Robert H. Scales Jr. It begins with a stirring tale of the Battle of 73 Easting on 26 February 1991 and then flashes back to the immediate post-Vietnam period to show how far the Army had come since those days. Only after completing a lengthy section on “Forging a New Army” do the authors proceed to chronicle the rapid buildup in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield, the elaborate and evolving process of generating plans as the mission changed from defense by one U.S. corps to an offensive by two U.S. corps as part of a wider coalition, and ultimately the combat of Desert Storm. The study ends with a short section on the rebuilding of Kuwait and the redeployment of the Army in mid-1991, along with a discussion of some of the lessons learned. The book’s theme is a relentlessly upbeat story of the rebirth of the Army after Vietnam for which Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm constituted the final proof of success. Certain Victory was produced quickly after the war primarily from documents and after-action reports gathered from throughout the Army with the full official support of the Army hierarchy. It was published in 1993, less than two years after the events of the Gulf War, and is loaded with maps and firsthand stories. It is a “good news” account that does not attempt to be the final word on the Gulf War. In fact, General Gordon R. Sullivan, chief of staff of the Army, wrote in the book’s Foreword: “We leave it to scholars with broader perspectives to write the definitive history of the entire period.” As such, Certain Victory is a worthwhile book that tells a number of great stories of the war, while attempting to place the conflict in the wider context of the previous two decades. The director of the project, his team, and the entire Army hierarchy were so proud of their role in the war, and even prouder of the renaissance of the Army in the twenty years after the Vietnam War, that they could not resist the temptation to preen a little. This is not entirely bad given the audience and the reason behind the report, but the unwary reader needs to know this up front. Yet the book is well written and engaging, with lots of maps and a good story to tell. As long it does not try to pass itself off as the “official history” of the war, it is a very useful work that serves the type of interim purpose for which such reports are designed. If one is looking for hard-hitting, exhaustive, critical analyses of decisions, events, and personalities, however, one needs to look elsewhere.4 Certain Victory was apparently the model for the instant history of the Second Gulf War, On Point: The United States 32 Army History Winter 2006
Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This volume was prepared very quickly after the end of major ground operations and had a cut-off date for the events covered of 1 May 2003. It begins with a discussion of campaign “firsts” and a list of themes from the operation, more as an executive summary of what the authors believe was learned from the operation rather than a true introduction. It then summarizes the situation in the Middle East in the 1990s to set the stage for discussions of the technological advances of the period, the growth of the military infrastructure in Kuwait, and the generation of plans to attack Iraq, starting with the establishment of Combined Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) headquarters in November 2001. The majority of the book is a detailed, blow-by-blow account of the actual attack into Iraq and up to Baghdad in three weeks. On Point, like Certain Victory, was prepared by a team of Army officers, headed in this case by a retired officer, Col. Gregory Fontenot, and the book was published within a year of the events covered. It is based heavily on oral history interviews and unit after-action reports and seeks to “tell the Army story” with numerous highlighted sections on specific acts of sacrifice or heroism on the part of Army leaders and soldiers. It deals with some controversies—it does not hide the appallingly near-run nature of the logistics system nor the chaos caused to the plan by the Defense Department’s decision to scrap the time-phased force deployment list (TPFDL) and turn to a politically driven request-for-forces process—but on the whole, like Certain Victory, it is essentially a good-news story. It wants to put the Army, its soldiers and leaders both, in the most favorable light, and it must be read with that in mind. On a lesser note, it is also hard for a nonmilitary person to read. It is shot through with acronyms, describes complex military movements that need more careful explanation, and has a few too many (one is too many) instances of repeating cute nicknames for some senior Army leaders. (Does anyone really care that a senior officer goes by the nickname of “Spider,” “Rock,” or “Binky”?) On Point is, in essence, just a more detailed and comprehensive after-action report, rather than a history. On the positive side, On Point is, again like Certain Victory, a very useful contemporary study of a recently completed military operation, and thus it serves a valuable purpose. It does not pretend to be official history. It is a solid attempt to impose order on a complex operation and tell the story of how the Army’s leaders and soldiers accomplished their missions. It is a dense narrative, written primarily for a professional military audience, with more than a few redundancies, chronological problems, and omissions. It is a very good first cut of the story, however, that will serve the Army well until the official histories are produced. It has bought the official historians the time they need to tell the story in all of its wellwritten, detailed, and comprehensive glory. Finally, we come to our last instant history, one that is both excellent and troubling. The book is entitled Weapon of Choice: U.S. Army Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan.
It was primarily written by a civilian Army historian, Dr. Charles H. Briscoe, and three contractors, Dr. Richard L. Kiper, Dr. Kalev I. Sepp, and Mr. James A. Schroder, all former special operations soldiers. It was published about two years after the events it covers, which occurred from September 2001 to May 2002, and tells the story of U.S. Army special operations forces—special forces, rangers, special operations aviation, psychological operations, and civil affairs—during early operations in Afghanistan. It is most detailed when telling the story of Joint Special Operations Task Force ( JSOTF)-North (Task Force Dagger) but is light on information about JSOTF-South (Task Force KBar, a joint and combined task force). It also excludes the stories of other joint special operations in the region, mostly because of security considerations. But it does not purport to be inclusive; it is the Army special operations forces’ story. The wonder is that the U.S. Army Special Operations Command history office managed to publish what it did, and the office should be congratulated for the effort. There are some problems with the book, however. It is, like Certain Victory and On Point, determined to focus relentlessly on good-news stories and vignettes. The special forces operators want to talk about what a great job they are doing, and this book fills that purpose. This is fine, but the reader needs to be aware that this is happening. Next, one of the most annoying and troubling aspects is the use throughout the book of pseudonyms for all personnel involved except the most public, such as the JSOTF-North commander, Col. John Mulholland; his deputy, Air Force Col. Mark Kisner; and the follow-on commander Col. Mark Phelan. The historian in me is troubled by this since what purports to be history where “the stories are true, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent” may work on TV with Dragnet but, I wonder, does this approach work for historians? And yet, without the use of such pseudonyms, this book would certainly not have been published in such a quick time frame and perhaps not at all.5 The historian cringes, but the civil servant understands and finally must approve such a subterfuge. There are other small problems with Weapon of Choice. I have to fault the lack of an index. This alone makes the work much less usable by any audience. Speed of production is important, but this is an unnecessary and unhelpful shortcut. It is even harder to understand the lack of an index in this day and age since so many automated programs now exist that could with ease generate a simple name list—or, in this case, a pseudonym list, perhaps matched with a unit—and a crude topic index. And how can we explain the indiscriminate use of black tape over the eyes of all special operations personnel in the photographs, even civil affairs soldiers, who are not really super-secret warriors, and even in those photos that have already been published, unmasked, by Special Warfare magazine? This is an annoying affectation that should have been used selectively and with more discretion. These are mere quibbles, however, given the amount of
detail the authors of Weapon of Choice have obtained from their unprecedented access to the members of a portion of the special operations community. The vignettes tell some great stories, and if the analysis is a little weak, it is apparent that the book has captured and preserved enough facts to enable analysts and historians to refine the interpretation at some future date. As the Introduction states, “This historical project is not intended to be the definitive study of the war in Afghanistan. It is a ‘snapshot’ of the war.” Indeed it is a very detailed snapshot that tells great stories and serves the special operations community and the Army well as an initial account. It is a valuable “mark on the wall” for all future historians of these stirring events.6 As I have stated, I believe that all three of the studies reviewed above fall into the middle category of contemporary, “officially sponsored” studies or reports and that they serve the valuable purpose of being “place holders” for later, more definitive official histories. Their tendency toward good-news stories is understandable, but all readers need to be aware of this and not use these books uncritically. On the whole, however, even though they were produced quickly, while public and Army interest was still focused on the events at hand, they tell the Army story in sufficient detail and with enough overall fidelity that they ought to be read, yet with the constant awareness that they are not the final word. Still, being the final word is not their purpose. Their raison d’être is to serve as an interim product. And in each instance listed above, these books fulfill that purpose admirably. Speaking in the shadow of Thucydides, a chronicler of contemporaneous events, I can sympathize with the authors of all of these studies. Objectivity is hard to achieve when one is so close to or actually involved in the events one is writing about. However, we can learn from Thucydides, whose work has stood the test of time to become the epitome of the type of history toward which historians of contemporaneous events should aspire. Objectivity, however difficult to attain, must always be the goal of historians, and this is especially problematical when one tries to write about events so soon after they occur or as members of an organization involved in the events. Certainly historians must try to capture events and write about them as objectively as possible as they occur, leaving the more definitive version to future historians. The Army and the American public deserve no less.
Dr. Richard W. Stewart has served as chief of the Center’s Histories Division since 1998. He holds a doctorate in history from Yale University and has served as historian of the Army Center for Lessons Learned and chief historian of the Army Special Operations Command. He was general editor of the two-volume American Military History (CMH, 2005).
1. Some instant accounts are better than others. Some, such as Williamson Murray and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Robert H. Scales Jr., The Iraq War: A Military History (Cambridge, Mass., 2003), which received heavy official sponsorship and can almost be considered an “official” product, are published in such a hurry after a conflict that they are little more than quick analyses of a handful of senior leaders (not very objective sources) blended with journalists’ accounts and are often shot through with the most elementary of military errors. These are not histories at all, even if the word “history” appears in the title, but are just expanded, somewhat more knowledgeable, accounts of subject matter experts trying their hand at being semi-official reporters. 2. Upon his return from Somalia, Lt. Gen. Thomas Montgomery, who had commanded U.S. forces in that country, assembled a team of writers and participants to prepare an after-action report and summary of lessons learned in Somalia. The report was so sensitive, however, that it was classified secret and not released, amid rumors of Clinton administration pressure to keep it under wraps. With no official report, it took a journalist to write a later instant analysis (more of a novel) on some of the dramatic aspects of the mission to Somalia. This book, however, was not officially sponsored and did not place the events in context. The United States Army in Somalia, 1992–1994, a pamphlet published by the Center of Military History in time for the ten-year anniversary of the intervention, tried to place the events in context. The Center printed an unclassified version of the Somalia after-action report at the same time. Somalia provides a case study of the adage “success has a thousand fathers; failure is an orphan.” 3. While one can rightly argue that many of the first volumes of the official U.S. Army history of World War II did not take a generation to be published, the circumstances of the time made such a sequence possible. Not only did the Army devote to the project huge amounts of financial and personnel resources (records managers, historians, clerks, etc.), but the excellent records preparation, collection, retirement, and declassification also created an ideal situation. Neither the resources nor the records are available to begin writing official histories of current operations so quickly today.
4. Certain Victory does not compare unfavorably, however, with the Center of Military History’s own instant history of the Gulf War, The Whirlwind War: The United States Army in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, edited by Frank N. Schubert and Theresa L. Kraus, which was published in June 1995. The Center’s product was somewhat more objective and analytical but less rich in detail and not published as quickly. In its defense, the book apparently was written even more quickly than Certain Victory but because it was not viewed in as positive a light by the Army hierarchy, it took longer to get permission to publish it. It too is a “bridging the gap” type of study meant to satisfy the Army’s interest in what happened before the definitive official history, or histories, could be written. 5. A study produced in 1992 by the Army Special Operations Command history office on Army special operations forces in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm has still not been published, in part because of security concerns about the use of the real names of the participants. The Army Special Operations Command history office plans to compile for those with the appropriate clearances a classified version of Weapon of Choice containing the names and oral history sources omitted from the published version. 6. The Center’s own brief essay on events in late 2001 and early 2002 is a pamphlet entitled The U.S. Army in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, October 2001–March 2002, written by the author of this review essay. A former Army Special Operations Command historian, he had traveled to Afghanistan under the auspices of the joint U.S. Special Operations Command as the historian for Task Force Dagger. Even though the pamphlet tries to summarize events from an Army and not just a special operations perspective, it too focuses heavily on TF Dagger, the source of most of the author’s data, with an assist from some material from 10th Mountain Division. It avoids the identification and clearance problems by mentioning few names of special operations soldiers. It is little more than an introduction to the events and admittedly only whets the appetite of the reader. The author cannot claim it to be an official history in the full sense of the word.
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Center Publishes Annual Army Historical Program and Directory The Center of Military History is publishing the Army Historical Program, Fiscal Year 2006. This document reports the activities of the Center and other Army elements with substantial historical programs; lists works published, in progress, and projected; and presents Army Museum System statistics. It is anticipated that this publication will appear in December 2005. The Center will also publish an Army Historical Directory, 2006, listing the names, business addresses, and other contact information about Army historians and others associated with Army historical work. It is anticipated that the new directory will appear in January 2006. These publications will be distributed widely within the Army historical community; staffers who deal with the Army historical program may request additional copies from R. Cody Phillips by phone at 202-685-2624 or by email at [email protected]
Commercial Presses Publish Work of Army Historians Westholme Publishing has issued Year of the Hangman: George Washington’s Campaign against the Iroquois by Glenn F. Williams. The author has been a historian at the Center of Military History since June 2004. The book describes the 34 Army History Winter 2006
course of the Revolutionary War in the Iroquois country of western New York through 1779. The Naval Institute Press has issued two books to which John T. Greenwood contributed. Greenwood is chief of the Office of Medical History at the U.S. Army Medical Command. He and F. Clifton Berry Jr. are coauthors of Medics at War: Military Medicine from Colonial Times to the 21st Century, an illustrated survey history of U.S. military medicine from the Revolutionary War to the present. Greenwood also oversaw the preparation of The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West, an English translation of Blitzkrieg-Legende. Der Westfeldzug 1940, by Karl-Heinz Frieser. This book was initially published in Munich, Germany, in 1995. The Association of the U.S. Army sponsored the publication of these two books by the Naval Institute Press. Greenwood’s work on The Blitzkrieg Legend began at the Center of Military History in 1996, when he was chief of the Center’s Field Programs and Historical Services Division.
Army Museum Director Authors New Books Roger S. Dunham, director of the Army Heritage Museum at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has written High Seas and Yankee Gunboats: A Blockade-Running Adventure from the Diary of James Dickson (University of South Carolina Press, 2005). He also compiled the book on Fort McAllister, Georgia, that appeared in 2004 in the Images of America series issued by Arcadia Press. News Notes continued on page 38
Commentary The Care and Feeding of Contemporary History By Jeffrey J. Clarke Following the Second World War, the gradual rise of what some have called “instant history” has bedeviled decisionmakers and analysts of current events—not to mention the historical profession itself. So compelling has been our thirst for understanding that we have tried to re-create key contemporary events almost as soon as they have occurred, mining them for their immediate significance and attempting to use them as a foundation for future action. In the rush for relevance, professional standards have often been discarded or ignored and causal relationships asserted with minimal factual evidence. Nowhere is this phenomenon more prevalent than in the realm of military history. In the past, traditional military history focused on battles lost and won, both for their human drama and for their decisive influence on the course of history. Since about 1850, the telling of such events has followed a well-marked trail. Initial accounts have almost always been journalistic in nature, based on limited but contemporary observations of the battlefield and its vicinity. While accuracy has sometimes been problematic (“truth is the first casualty”), the attention paid to the more sensational aspects of these conflicts often captured the imagination of contemporaries and the curiosity of those that followed. The next historical generation was normally dominated by memoir literature as dutifully recalled by generals and corporals alike, who, in the telling often weaved the fanciful with the factual. Meanwhile, almost unseen, the less glamorous but hopefully objective documentary records of these clashes quietly made their way to staid government and private archival institutions, where they were sifted and sorted into comprehensible masses of source material. Finally, and often after many years had passed, professional historians—those with academic training or inclination employed either by government or private institutions—drew upon these archives to produce more factual and scholarly accounts, often ushering in a succession of interpretations and reinterpretations that might compete for many decades, depending on the richness and popularity of the material. Key elements underlying the entire process have been a reading public, an unfettered press, a commercial publishing industry, and a government bureaucracy with paperwork requirements designed to produce an institutional memory, as well as a historical profession dedicated to examining what its members considered the great questions of the times. Several trends have tended to complicate this happy picture. Perhaps the most obvious has been the desire of governments to restrict the flow of military information in time of war. For
the evolving nation-states, even their democratic variants, such wartime restrictions seemed sensible, especially when national survival was at stake. However, as the line between war and peace became increasingly blurred after 1945, the practice of restricting public information broadened in both scope and duration, threatening at times to limit the understanding of government actions that is vital to a healthy democratic process. The gradual fusion of military and commercial technologies in the modern industrial state has further encouraged such tendencies. More ominous still has been the politicization of both the release of such information and its historical use. National institutions, private entities of all sizes and political orientations, and individuals representing a broad variety of professions have increasingly sought to use historical data to support a wide range of agendas. Indeed, since 1960 a new form of political correctness tending to impose on the academic world an ideology of opposition to government policies at home and abroad has increasingly rivaled the contrary biases that have sometimes infected official history products sponsored by governments seeking to put their actions in the best possible light. A final ingredient in this porridge has been the professionalization of the military itself. The American Civil War may have been the last struggle dominated by such “Great Captains” as Robert E. Lee and Ulysses Grant, with their military genius subsequently replaced by the collective wisdom of the general staff. In truth, war had become too complex to be controlled by one man, be he a Frederick or a Napoleon, with the expansion of the battlefield, the creation of the “home front,” and the profusion of military capabilities in terms of weapons and trained manpower, all necessitating a highly educated officer corps and soldiery. One result has been a new appreciation of the ability of history and its teaching tools, including staff rides and war games, to supplement practical experience, which in warfare tends to be both costly and intermittent, with military training and classroom instruction. To better train their officers, armies have demanded that their histories be accurate, balanced, and comprehensible, even suggesting a marriage, however rough, between the academic and military professions. Although the narrow world of tactical lessons learned cannot be compared to the causal analysis that constitutes the core and heartbeat of narrative history, the net effect of this new appreciation has been to more fully sensitize military leaders to historical change and to the historical relationships between their contemporary endeavors and the larger human environment in which they operate. Military historians have, in fact, been among the first to expand their horizons beyond the narrow confines of their discipline, tackling such subjects as institutional history and war economies and topics relating to race, gender, and ethnicity before such fields became fashionable elsewhere. On the debit side, the quest for immediate assistance has led the military to a preference for instant history before the entire documentary record can be gathered and adequately digested. Some military history writers, meanwhile, have thrived on the ties between the 35
Commentary Army’s “heritage,” or the glorification of its positive historical experiences—no one in the Army speaks of America’s heritage of resistance to the draft—and troop morale, and even the morale of the nation-state at war. In sum, the study of history— the examination and interpretation of things past—must still be guided by the warning caveat emptor. Government historians have often been afflicted by these trends. After World War II, the U.S. Army broke from its tradition of documentary history, producing the much acclaimed “Green Book” narratives that avoided the institutional biases plaguing earlier efforts abroad. While these detailed new studies generally lacked sophisticated analyses and refrained from discussing the character of individual military leaders, they relied for sources on official documents, many still classified; employed professional academic standards in their methodology; and were subjected to a rigorous system of peer review that saw draft manuscripts regularly savaged by both independent military and academic reviewers prior to publication. The authors assumed credit and responsibility for their work, and the products in no way reflected official government policy, a factor that alone appeared to ensure their legitimacy. The output of the history offices of the other services and many foreign governments joined to a greater or lesser extent in this pioneering effort, the products of which not only saw extensive use in the Army school system but also served as a foundation for many of the academic and commercially published interpretations that followed. Yet, as each succeeding decade accelerated the problematic trends noted above, producing official military history that would meet such rigorous standards became increasingly difficult, if only because resources for such work remained scarce and the demand for more immediate, short-range historical products grew exponentially. Security restrictions became an even greater problem as classification authorities multiplied and their purview became increasingly compartmentalized. At the same time, greatly improved electronic communications worldwide enabled contemporary historical products to have more immediate political and social ramifications than anyone hitherto had thought possible, sometimes influencing not only public support—or non-support—for the military or the administration, but also the fates of the individual services and their components. In addition, many defense leaders and defense intellectuals—a category of history consumers that grew after World War II—looked to analyses, or histories, of current events to formulate or justify their own prescriptions regarding future security needs. Not surprisingly, the contemporary potpourri of works produced by the U.S. Defense Department’s greater historical community reflects many of the trends, developments, and influences noted above. For example, on the heels of the Persian Gulf War of 1991 almost all participants scrambled to put their stories before a greedy public. Rick Atkinson’s Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War (Boston, 1993) was perhaps the best of the journalistic genre—the prose is superb and 36 Army History Winter 2006
the factual material fairly reliable—while the initial memoir accounts, seeking to capitalize on the commercial interest in the conflict, proved less illuminating. In the U.S. Defense Department arena, the Air Force initiated the effort with a huge project headed by Johns Hopkins University that drew upon significant service participation. Following the lead of the post–World War II 317-volume United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Washington, D.C., 1945–47), the five-volume Gulf War Air Power Survey (Washington, D.C., 1993) promised to validate the claims of contemporary air power advocates regarding the primacy of the air service on the modern battlefield, making extensive use of service documentation and oral histories. The results, however, were less than satisfactory for those who expected a paean to the service’s efforts rather than an objective analysis. Consequently, the tomes were published in an unattractive format, received limited distribution, were never reviewed in peer journals, and suffered from the omission of significant material contained only in a security-classified version. Neither version received the attention it deserves, for the survey contains a wealth of data that still needs to be mined, especially as the limits of air power in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq have become more evident, just as its new capabilities were showcased in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The Army made more diverse efforts to capture the “immediate history” of Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. The first project to be completed was the draft “Whirlwind War,” assembled at the U.S. Army Center of Military History less than a year after the end of the liberation of Kuwait from contributions written by more than a dozen military and civilian Army historians. Based entirely on unclassified sources, it provided a good overview of the experience but little detail on controversies such as the decision not to deploy National Guard combat brigades, the level of effectiveness of Patriot missiles, and the larger command and control questions at the theater level. However, criticism within the Army over the limited credit for the operation’s success given to certain high-ranking individuals nearly caused the entire project to be scrapped, and the manuscript was ultimately published only in 1995. Equally troubled was an account produced by the Army’s Center for Lessons Learned, which was more technically and topically oriented rather than a true narrative history. Ultimately the project—which was grounded on rich sources of both documentary material and oral testimonies—was taken over by a special uniformed task force led by Brig. Gen. Robert H. Scales Jr. and the results published as Certain Victory: The U.S. Army in the Gulf War (Fort Leavenworth, Kans., 1993), accompanied by no less than three informational videos to boot. Given only a limited initial distribution—about 500 copies—the result was severely panned in Joint Force Quarterly for its “shameless selfpromotion of Army doctrine and prowess” and for addressing few of the problems highlighted by the campaign.1 The third attempt, Col. Richard M. Swain’s “Lucky War”: Third Army in Desert Storm (Fort Leavenworth, Kans., 1994), also sponsored by the Center of Military History, fared much better, its title
reflecting the author’s more critical approach. However, Swain’s refusal to subject his draft to the Center’s review process, while it may have speeded the publication process, did not enhance the book’s quality. More disquieting overall was the fact that these last two books masqueraded to some extent as balanced, comprehensive histories—which they were not—and that all three were published almost simultaneously with the first memoir and book-length journalistic accounts and well in advance of the migration of official records to their archival resting places. A full sifting of those records remains to be accomplished. The Army has now begun issuing historical accounts of operations undertaken in the aftermath of the attacks made against the United States on 11 September 2001. Weapon of Choice: U.S. Army Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan (Fort Leavenworth, Kans., 2003), produced by the historical office of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, examines the military campaign in Afghanistan from September 2001 to May 2002. On Point:The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom (Washington, D.C., 2004), prepared by a team of three officers led by retired Col. Gregory Fontenot at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, showcases Operation Iraqi Freedom and the spring 2003 drive on Baghdad. Neither project was associated with the Center of Military History; neither addressed the more extensive and costly stabilization campaigns that followed; and neither managed to beat the accelerated outpouring of memoirs and journalistic accounts. But both used extensive collections of interviews and official records as primary sources and within the scope of their directives tried to be as critical and accurate as possible. The first, Weapon of Choice, bravely highlights the normally highly classified activities of U.S. special operations forces, which played a key role in the destruction of the Taliban regime, and details, as much as can be revealed, how that was done. The work is well written, well organized, and extremely heavily footnoted. The sources in fact are both its strength and its weakness, as they generally consist of either press releases or, in the author’s own words, “non-attributable sources.” Both text and citations rely heavily on pseudonyms—made up names— with perhaps over one thousand sprinkled liberally throughout the work. Thankfully an unsanitized version with keys to the actual names of the participants and sources will be prepared and presumably will be released at some future date. A different animal is On Point, representing an effort modeled after the earlier Certain Victory, but with a totally different outcome. Assembled by a group of three Army officers—two active and one retired—this instant history of the operation that overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq is jam-packed with detailed information on small tactical actions as well as the equally vital minutia relating to combat support and service support for the three-week endeavor. The extensive use of acronyms and the book’s semi-topical organization make for hard reading at times, but if one wishes an explanation of such matters as “Blue Force Tracking” or the attack’s “running start,” this is the place to find it. Within its narrow scope, it is also extremely forthright in exposing problem areas and
shortcomings, leading the New York Times (3 February 2004, page A1) to trumpet a purloined early draft as an internal report exposing all manner of military deficiencies. Both histories illustrate the risks of trying to issue historical products too quickly without adequate time for study and analysis. Yet even the Army’s Historical Advisory Committee, a group dominated by such senior academics as Gerhard Weinberg and Jon Sumida, has consistently encouraged service history offices to publish more contemporary history, if only to ensure the relevance and survival of their programs. One solution to the dilemmas of instant history pursued by the Center of Military History has been the publication of shorter studies, campaign brochures providing a limited overview, chronology, and analysis of such ventures as the 1989 invasion of Panama (Operation Just Cause), the Somalia intervention, and the Bosnian peacekeeping effort (Operations Joint Endeavor, Joint Guard, and Joint Forge). For Somalia, that short history, coupled with the Center’s publication of a Somalia “source book,” combining a chronology with a list of available oral histories, and the declassified version of the contemporary after-action report of the top American military headquarters in Somalia, seems wholly adequate until a more definitive account can be written. Meanwhile, works like Black Hawk Down— both Mark Bowden’s 1999 book and the movie—do a good job of capturing some of the human flavor of the experience before it has dissipated. As more of the documentation has become available, the Army Historical Program’s Desert Storm coverage has continued with the publication of more specialized works like Janet A. McDonnell’s Supporting the Troops: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Persian Gulf War (Alexandria, Va., 1996), Stephen P. Gehring’s From the Fulda Gap to Kuwait: U.S. Army, Europe, in the Gulf War (Washington, D.C., 1998), Stephen Bourque’s Jayhawk!: The VII Corps in the Persian Gulf War (Washington, D.C., 2002), and Gordon W. Rudd’s Humanitarian Intervention: Assisting the Iraqi Kurds in Operation Provide Comfort, 1991 (Washington, D.C., 2004). But whatever the future holds, the old historiographical model of publication has clearly been ended, replaced by a more rambunctious and free-wheeling pattern whose course is shaped by a larger number of conflicting variables and a more interested and a better informed audience.
Dr. Jeffrey J. Clarke has been the chief historian of the Center of Military History since 1990. He is the author of Advice and Support: The Final Years, 1965–1973 (CMH, 1988), a volume in the series United States Army in Vietnam, and coauthor of Riviera to the Rhine (CMH, 1993), a volume in the series United States Army in World War II. He received his doctorate from Duke University.
1. Grant T. Hammond, “Desert Storm Warnings: A Book Review,” Joint Force Quarterly, No. 8 (Summer 1995), p. 129.
News Notes continued from page 34
Army Military History Detachments Continue Covering Operations in the Middle East Army Reserve military history detachments have continued to chronicle ongoing U.S. Army operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 45th, 46th, and 49th Military History Detachments served in Iraq for most of 2005. These units are based in Georgia, Arkansas, and Illinois, respectively. When the 49th departed in October 2005, it was replaced by the 35th Military History Detachment, which is based in California. The 47th Military History Detachment, based in the state of Washington, has served in Afghanistan since March 2005. The members of these detachments conducted interviews and collected documents and artifacts for use by military historians and museums.
Museum Director Honored by Association of the United States Army The Sixth Region, Association of the United States Army, named Alan H. Archambault, director of the Fort Lewis Military Museum, as its Army civilian of the year in a ceremony held at Fort Lewis, Washington, on 15 September 2005. Archambault also received a citation for exceptional service as an Army civilian in October 2005 at the annual meeting of the national association in Washington, D.C. Among other accomplishments Archambault prepared the concept drawing for the statue of Capt. Meriwether Lewis and his Newfoundland dog Seaman that was recently erected next to the visitors’ center at Fort Lewis. Brig. Gen. John W. Morgan III, deputy commander of I Corps, dedicated the statue in a ceremony on 30 September 2005 held as part of the 200th anniversary commemoration of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Dr. John Jewell, who consulted with Archambault, sculpted the statue.
Former Center Historians Write Military History Dr. Judith Bellafaire, a historian at the Center of Military History from 1989 to 1996, is one of four coauthors of A Defense Weapon Known To Be of Value: Servicewomen of the Korean War Era (Hanover, N.H., 2005), along with Linda Witt, Britta Granrud, and Mary Jo Binker. Dr. Bianka Adams, who was a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History from 2002 to July 2005, wrote an article on postwar Bremen, Germany, “From Crusade to Hazard: The Denazification of Bremen,” which appeared in the Society for History in the Federal Government’s Occasional Papers, 5 (2005): 1–32. Dr. Adams is now a historian with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. 38 Army History Winter 2006
Center Artist Wins Fine Arts Competition The painting Fallujah by Sfc. Elzie Golden, artist in residence at the Center of Military History, garnered first place honors in the 2004 fine arts competition held by the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.
Battle Issued in Paperback Edition Basic Books has issued Battle: A History of Combat and Culture, by John A. Lynn, in a paperback edition at a list price of $16.95. This book was reviewed in the Spring 2005 issue of Army History (No. 61).
Upcoming Military History Conferences The Council on America’s Military Past will hold its annual conference from 10 to 14 May 2006 at Chattanooga, Tennessee. The conference will highlight papers and site tours related to military activities in Tennessee and Georgia, including the removal of the Cherokee Indians and the Civil War combat in the area. Further information on the conference may be obtained by contacting the council’s executive director, retired Marine Corps Col. Herbert Hart, at [email protected]
The Society for Military History will hold its 2006 annual conference from 18 to 21 May at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Its theme will be “The Construction, Reconstruction, and Consumption of Military History.” The conference coordinator will be Kansas State University history professor Michael Ramsay. His email address is [email protected]
Subject of Army History Article Memorialized The burial site of Maj. James R. Wasson, whose career was the focus of an article by Roger D. Cunningham in the Winter– Spring 2004 issue of Army History (No. 60), has now been memorialized thanks to the efforts of a subscriber. After reading the article “‘Recreant to His Trust’: The Disappointing Career of Major James R. Wasson,” Randy Thies, an archeologist with the Kansas State Historical Society, decided to visit Wasson’s grave in Hartford, Iowa, while in that state on business. Thies located the Wasson family plot in the small town’s cemetery but found no monument marking the site where the Civil War and Philippine War veteran had been buried in February 1923. A records search followed by a limited archeological investigation subsequently indicated the probable location of the grave. Thies then contacted the Veterans Administration, requested a military gravestone for Wasson, and coordinated its delivery with members of the Hartford Cemetery Board. Cemetery officials were able to set the gravestone in place by Memorial Day 2005, and Wasson then received full military honors in a ceremony that featured an honor guard from a local American Legion post. The marker identifies Wasson as a private in the 34th Iowa Infantry, the Civil War unit in which he served, rather than as a Regular Army major, a position from which he was dismissed by a court-martial.
Center of Military History Issues New Publications The Center of Military History has issued a new book about federal military responses to civil disorder in the past sixty years; a newly revised, two-volume edition of its survey of American military history; a collection of essays on operational art in modern warfare; proceedings of the 2004 Dwight D. Eisenhower National Security Conference and a conference on U.S. defense acquisition since World War II; a booklet and several pamphlets; and a print set. The Role of Federal Military Forces in Domestic Disorders, 1945–1992, by Paul J. Scheips, completes the Center’s trilogy on this subject, which begins with the organization of the federal government in 1789. This volume treats federal military actions in the wake of court-ordered school integration, urban rioting, and antiwar demonstrations in the decades after World War II. The author, who worked as an Army historian for thirty-four years, twenty at the Center, died in 2002. The book was issued as CMH Pub 30–20 (cloth) and 30–20–1 (paper). It may be purchased from the Government Printing Office in a cloth edition for $66 under stock number 008-029-00397-0 and in a paper cover for $49 under stock number 008-02900400-3. The chief of the Center’s Histories Division, Richard W. Stewart, served as general editor of the new edition of the textbook American Military History, which supersedes the onevolume text issued in 1989. The new edition, designed for use in college military history courses, is replete with photographs, maps, and artwork and spiced with sidebars on historical topics. It retains much of the thoughtful content of earlier editions while incorporating new research and providing updated lists of recommended readings. New chapters have been added on rebuilding the U.S. Army from Vietnam to the Gulf War, Army operations in the first decade after the Cold War, and the global war on terrorism. The first of these was prepared by Charles E. Kirkpatrick and Richard Stewart, the latter two by retired Brig. Gen. John S. Brown. Lt. Col. Michael E. Bigelow contributed a revised chapter on the U.S. Army in World War I. Andrew J. Birtle and William M. Donnelly revised the chapters on the United States’ emergence to world power status and the Korean War, respectively. The first volume of this survey is subtitled The United States Army and the Forging of a Nation, 1775–1917. It may be purchased from the Government Printing Office in a cloth edition for $65 under stock number 008-029-00416-0 and in a textbook edition for $60 under stock number 008-02900398-8. This volume was issued as CMH Pub 30–21 (text) and CMH Pub 30–21–2 (cloth). The second volume, issued as CMH Pub 30–22 (text) and CMH Pub 30–22–2 (cloth), carries the subtitle The United States Army in a Global Era, 1917–2003. The Government Printing Office is selling both cloth and textbook editions of this volume for $69 each, the former under stock number 008-029-00424-1, the latter under stock number 008-029-00423-2.
Retired Col. Michael D. Krause, a former deputy commander of the Center of Military History, and R. Cody Phillips of the Center’s Field Programs and Historical Services Division joined in editing Historical Perspectives of the Operational Art, which contains fifteen essays applying the concept of operational art from Napoleon’s Jena campaign to the U.S. Army’s Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Five of the essays focus on the U.S. Army, four on the armies of Russia and the Soviet Union, three on the German Army, two on the French Army, and one on the origin of the concept. Three Center of Military History authors are represented, Brig. Gen. Harold W. Nelson, General Brown, and Colonel Krause. Bruce W. Menning, who teaches at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, contributed two essays, and two others were written by former staff members of the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This book is CMH Pub 70–89–1. We expect that the Government Printing Office will soon offer it for sale. Those interested in purchasing it may look for updated information at http://bookstore.gpo.gov. The proceedings compiled in Dwight D. Eisenhower National Security Conference, 2004, edited by James R. Craig, detail the presentations made by nineteen distinguished speakers at a conference held in Washington, D.C., in September 2004 that focused on alliances, nuclear nonproliferation, and terrorism. The speakers included retired General Montgomery C. Meigs; Harry C. Stonecipher, chief executive officer of The Boeing Company; Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; General Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton. This book is CMH Pub 70–95–1. Providing the Means of War: Historical Perspectives on Defense Acquisition, 1945–2000, edited by Shannon Brown, publishes the fifteen papers presented at a symposium held in Virginia on 10–12 September 2001 on American military procurement since World War II. The Center of Military History and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces collaborated in the book’s publication. Among the papers’ authors are Blair Haworth of the Center of Military History and John Lonnquest of the Office of History, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The book, CMH Pub 70–87–1, may be purchased from the Government Printing Office for $33 under stock number 008-029-00414-3. The Center has published the first two pamphlets of eight ultimately projected in a series on the U.S. Army campaigns of the Mexican War. Both initial pamphlets were authored by Center historian Stephen A. Carney. They are entitled Guns along the Rio Grande: Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma and Gateway South: The Campaign for Monterrey. These are CMH Pubs 73–2 and 73–1, respectively. The Government 39
Printing Office is selling both pamphlets. Guns along the Rio Grande may be purchased for $3.50 under stock number 008029-00412-7. Gateway South may be purchased for $3.25 under stock number 008-029-00411-9. The Center has also issued the pamphlet Bosnia-Herzegovina: The U.S. Army’s Role in Peace Enforcement Operations, 1995–2004, written by R. Cody Phillips. This is CMH Pub 70–97–1. It may be purchased from the Government Printing Office for $5 under stock number 008-029-00420-8. The Center issued in 2005 a new edition of The Guide to U.S. Army Museums. Compiled by R. Cody Phillips, this booklet provides brief descriptions of the holdings of 100 Army museums and other military artifact collections maintained by the Army. The guide states the location of each museum and its hours of operation. This booklet, which is CMH Pub 70–51, may be purchased from the Government Printing Office for $14 under stock number 008-029-00399-6. The Center has also issued a set of six color prints, each 16 by 20 inches in size, reproducing works of art by Sfc. Elzie Golden depicting American fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The print set is entitled Today’s Soldier, 2005, and it was issued as CMH Pub 70–96. The individual pieces are entitled Satan’s Sandbox,
Liberator, Tracking Bin Laden, Street Fight, The Hizara Province, and Fallujah. Sergeant Golden is an artist assigned to the Center of Military History. The Government Printing Office is offering this set for sale for $12 under stock number 008029-00418-6. Each of the aforementioned publications may be obtained by Army publication account holders from the Directorate of Logistics–Washington, Media Distribution Division, ATTN: JDHQSVPAS, 1655 Woodson Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63114-6128. Account holders may also place their orders at http://www.apd.army.mil. The facility accepts customer service inquiries by phone at 314-592-0910 and by email at the customer service link at the aforementioned website. Some of the recent publications of the Center not currently available for sale may be offered to the public later. The issuance of the CD ROM version of Correspondence Relating to the War with Spain (2d ed., CMH, 1993), under the title The United States Army and the War with Spain, was announced in the Spring 2005 issue of Army History (No. 61). The CD ROM could not be purchased then but can be now. The Government Printing Office is now offering this CD ROM to the public for $21.19 under stock number 008-029-00428-3.
In Memoriam, Charles Edward Kirkpatrick (1947–2005)
Retired Army Maj. Charles Edward Kirkpatrick, long an active member of the Army’s historical program, died in Frankfort, Germany, on 29 October 2005. He was 57. Kirkpatrick was born in western North Carolina in December 1947. He earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in history from Wake Forest University in 1969 and a master’s degree in European history there the following year. He earned a doctorate in modern European history from Emory University in 1988. Kirkpatrick was commissioned in the Army in 1969 and served in the United States and Europe as an air defense artillery officer, retiring as a major in 1991. While in uniform, he served as an assistant professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy, taught military history and tactics at the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School, and spent five years as a military historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, where he worked in the Center’s Analysis and Operational History Branches. He worked briefly at the Center of Military History as a civilian historian before becoming historian of V Corps in Germany in 1992, a position he held until his death. Kirkpatrick was the author of three books, Archie in the A.E.F.: The Creation of the Antiaircraft Service of the United
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States Army, 1917–1918 (U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School, 1984); An Unknown Future and a Doubtful Present: Writing the Victory Plan of 1941 (CMH, 1990); and “It Will Be Done!”: The Victory Corps, 1918–2002 (V Corps History Office, 2003), an organizational history of V Corps. He wrote the chapter on “The Army of Desert Storm” in The Whirlwind War: The United States Army in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (CMH, 1995) and contributed an essay on the U.S. Army’s formal schooling of its junior officers between the two world wars in Elliott V. Converse III, ed., Forging the Sword: Selecting, Educating, and Training Cadets and Junior Officers in the Modern World (Chicago, 1998). He also authored the Center of Military History’s commemorative pamphlets on the life of General Omar Bradley and the defense of the Americas in World War II and papers published by the Association of the U.S. Army on building the Army for Operation Desert Storm and the close air support received by V Corps during the United States–led invasion of Iraq. The Center of Military History is currently preparing for publication Kirkpatrick’s manuscript on the post–Cold War transformation of V Corps, 1990–2001.
United States Army Unit and Organizational Histories: A Bibliography By James T. Controvich 2 vols., Scarecrow Press, 2003, 635 and 633 pp., respectively, $135 each Review by Roger D. Cunningham In 1983 James T. Controvich, an employee of the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, and “a serious collector of army unit histories” (1: 635), published the first edition of United States Army Unit and Organizational Histories. The subject of this review is an updated version of that book, now issued in a two-volume format because the compiler discovered that over two decades the number of entries had nearly doubled. Since these two volumes do not have to be purchased as a set, each one is considered separately. The first volume covers units from the Colonial era to World War I, and the second volume proceeds from 1917 to the present. The first volume focuses primarily on the Civil War, and the compiler acknowledges that Charles E. Dornbusch’s Military Bibliography of the Civil War (3 vols., New York, 1961–72) served as one of the main sources for his entries. The volume’s first 100 pages list non-state unit/organizational histories according to their related branch—Artillery, Infantry, Signal Corps, etc.—with separate chapters for titles related to divisions, corps, armies, miscellaneous units, and geographic commands. The remaining five-sixths of the volume consists of a single lengthy chapter listing militia and National Guard unit histories organized according to their respective state or territory, including the District of Columbia and the Philippines. With some exceptions, the last item in each entry is a code identifying one library where the book may be found.
The compiler readily admits that “a bibliography of this nature must be considered a work in progress” (1: 1), so there are some omissions. In the section of the artillery chapter listing histories of United States Colored Troops units during the Civil War, there is no entry for an article on the Independent Battery (“Douglas’s Battery”), U.S. Colored Light Artillery, that appeared in early 2001. In the Virginia section of the militia chapter, there are no entries for two articles that appeared in 1972 and 1998 on the 6th Virginia Volunteer Infantry of the SpanishAmerican War. There are also no entries in the Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Ohio sections for six other scholarly journal articles on black Spanish-American War units by Willard B. Gatewood Jr. that appeared between 1971 and 1973. This suggests that the compiler did not thoroughly screen the many journals published by state historical societies.1 The second volume is organized in the same manner as the first, with additional chapters to cover newer branches, such as the Chemical, Military Intelligence, and Military Police Corps. Because state National Guard units have fought under federal designations since World War I, this volume’s National Guard chapter is much smaller, accounting for only about one-ninth of its length. Thus a journal article discussing the 1916 mobilization of the District of Columbia’s First Separate Battalion for service on the Mexican border is listed in the National Guard chapter in Volume 1, while histories of the 372d Infantry, with which that National Guard organization served in two world wars, are listed in the infantry chapter in Volume 2. Entries concerning units with long histories, such as Joseph I. Lambert, One Hundred Years with the Second Cavalry (Kansas City, Kans., 1939), are listed only in Volume 2. This volume is particularly
successful in listing the many books and pamphlets issued by individual units. Neither volume handles multi-unit histories well. The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West by William H. Leckie is listed under the 10th Cavalry but not under the 9th Cavalry, even though a significant portion of its text deals with the latter regiment. Controvich also misspells the name of the author of this classic as “Liekie.” Clay Blair’s Ridgway’s Paratroopers: The American Airborne in World War II (Garden City, N.Y., 1985) is listed under XVIII Airborne Corps but does not appear under either the 13th, 17th, 82d, or 101st Airborne Divisions. Also neither volume seems to have any entries from post-2001 sources, so researchers hoping to find information on articles and books written during the past four years are advised to look elsewhere, as are researchers seeking works covering military issues that transcend a narrow unit focus. Within these limitations, the 2003 edition of United States Army Unit and Organizational Histories provides a very useful two-volume bibliography and an excellent place for a military historian to begin locating both printed primary and secondary sources. Unfortunately, the volumes’ $270 total price tag will probably discourage all but very serious (or wealthy) researchers from adding the set to their personal libraries. Retired Lt. Col. Roger D. Cunningham served as an infantry and military police officer in the United States and Korea and as a foreign area officer in Pakistan, Egypt, and Nepal. He was the U.S. defense attaché in Kathmandu in 1991–92. His article “‘Recreant to His Trust’: The Disappointing Career of Major James R. Wasson” appeared in the Winter–Spring 2004 issue of Army History (No. 60). 41
Note 1. Roger D. Cunningham, “Douglas’s Battery at Fort Leavenworth: The Issue of Black Officers during the Civil War,” Kansas History 23 (Winter 2000–2001): 200–17; Willard B. Gatewood Jr., “Virginia’s Negro Regiment in the Spanish-American War,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 80 (April 1972): 193–209; Ann Field Alexander, “No Officers, No Fight!: The Sixth Virginia Volunteers in the Spanish-American War,” Virginia Cavalcade 47 (Autumn 1998): 178–91; Willard B. Gatewood Jr., “Alabama’s ‘Negro Soldier Experiment,’ 1898–1899,” Journal of Negro History 57 (October 1972): 333–51; Willard B. Gatewood Jr., “An Experiment in Color: The Eighth Illinois Volunteers, 1898–1899,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 65 (Autumn 1972): 293– 312; Willard B. Gatewood Jr., “Indiana Negroes and the Spanish-American War,” Indiana Magazine of History 59 ( June 1973): 115–39; Willard B. Gatewood Jr., “Kansas Negroes and the Spanish-American War,” Kansas Historical Quarterly 37 (Autumn 1971): 300–13; Willard B. Gatewood Jr., “North Carolina’s Negro Regiment in the Spanish-American War,” North Carolina Historical Review 48 (October 1971): 370–87; Willard B. Gatewood Jr., “Ohio’s Negro Battalion in the Spanish-American War,” Northwest Ohio Quarterly 45 (Spring 1973): 55–66.
Field Artillery and Firepower By J. B. A. Bailey Naval Institute Press, 2004, 633 pp., $49.95 Review by Boyd L. Dastrup British Maj. Gen. Jonathan B. A. Bailey has established himself as a leading authority on the history of field artillery in war as the author of Field Artillery and Firepower, first published in 1989 and issued in a substantially expanded version in 2004. The Military Press of Oxford, England, brought Bailey’s treatise to light in 1989 as the first volume in its Combined Arms Library series of historical studies to fill a gap in the literature on military history, which has concentrated for the most part on the combat contributions of the maneuver arms, the beneficiaries of field artillery firepower. A major in the British Royal Artillery in 1989, Bailey examined field artillery tactical missions and the importance of field artillery firepower in relation to the other combat arms. Although Bailey discussed some often neglected field artillery 42 Army History Winter 2006
operational concepts, ancillary services, and specialized missions, the core of his book focused on the development of fire support from the 1800s to the 1980s in Europe and the United States. In this book Bailey superbly augmented Age of Great Guns: Cannon Kings and Cannoneers Who Forged the Firepower of Artillery (Harrisburg, Pa., 1965) by Frank E. Comparato; Fire-power: British Army Weapons and Theories of War, 1904–1945 (Boston, 1982) by Shelford Bidwell and Dominick Graham; and Red God of War: Soviet Artillery and Rocket Forces (Washington, D.C., 1986) by Chris Bellamy. Discussing the evolution of firepower from the era of direct fire to the age of indirect fire, Bailey correctly argued in 1989 that field artillery has been viewed either as a supporting arm or a decisive arm. When it was employed as a supporting arm in a decentralized fashion in small batteries scattered across European battlefields prior to the Napoleonic Wars, it failed to make a significant contribution to the outcome of the battle. In comparison, the practice that emerged during the Napoleonic Wars of massing fire from large concentrations of field pieces at a critical point in the battle could produce sufficient shock to neutralize, paralyze, or destroy the enemy. Such massing of fire from cannons positioned in the open for direct-fire engagements demonstrated field artillery’s ability to determine the outcome of the battle. With the emergence of long-range, rifled field artillery at the end of the nineteenth century and the acceptance of indirect fire during the early years of the twentieth century as a defensive measure to protect field pieces from enemy small arms and field artillery fire, commanders no longer had to form large batteries in the open to mass fire. From hidden and dispersed batteries, commanders could mass indirect fire to provide close support to the maneuver arms or to engage enemy batteries in counterbattery work. Although indirect fire was first employed effectively in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 and World War I, it came of age during
World War II with the development of man-portable radios and new fire direction techniques that permitted field artillery elements to shift responsive, massed, indirect fire around the battlefield to support mobile operations—something that could only be done with great difficulty during World War I. As technology improved with the introduction of computers and precision munitions during the decades following World War II, massed field artillery fire grew even more responsive and devastating. The first edition of Bailey’s Field Artillery and Firepower unquestionably made a solid contribution to our understanding of the history of combined arms warfare, especially through its analysis of the relationship of field artillery firepower to the other combat arms. For scholars and students alike, the book was one of the best sources on the interaction of field artillery firepower and maneuver. Early in 2004 the Naval Institute Press in cooperation with the Association of the United States Army published a revised and expanded edition of Field Artillery and Firepower. Like the first edition of 1989, this one furnishes a scholarly analysis of the historical evolution of field artillery firepower and its contribution to combined arms warfare and repeats Bailey’s argument about the efficacy of massed fire. Although the 2004 edition covers much of the material Bailey examined in 1989, it provides additional insight into the history of firepower and examines the contemporary operational environment. Published soon after Bailey completed his term as director of artillery for the British Army, the new Field Artillery and Firepower analyzes the history of field artillery from the 1300s to the 1990s, projects its future, and covers topics that were not discussed in the 1989 edition. For example, Bailey analyzes littoral operations and the interaction of land power, maritime power, and naval gunfire. In an insightful chapter Bailey explores field artillery force protection, arguing that firepower
and force protection are interdependent. Field artillerymen must achieve a balance between the two by furnishing effective firepower and concurrently protecting themselves and their field pieces. This situation is particularly true on the asymmetrical battlefield. Besides considering force protection and examining the role of field artillery in peacekeeping missions in his revised and expanded edition, General Bailey perceptively examines the legacy of the Cold War. He points out that the long standoff produced large, well-equipped, and welltrained military forces in Europe and the United States with high states of readiness. While the Soviet and Warsaw Pact militaries lagged behind the armed forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the application of high technology to weapon systems and relied upon massed formations, NATO, with the United States assuming the lead, developed in the 1970s and 1980s precision munitions and sophisticated command, control, and communication systems to offset the numerical superiority of their potential Warsaw Pact adversaries. Many of the field artillery systems introduced or designed during the Cold War still equip the West’s militaries in the twenty-first century. For example, the U.S. Army’s MultipleLaunch Rocket System, introduced in the 1980s, and the Army Tactical Missile System, fielded early in the 1990s, remain critical field artillery weapon systems today. Published in a threat environment very different from that encountered by the first edition, Bailey’s new book makes its most valuable contribution in its chapter on the future of field artillery firepower. As the need to limit collateral damage to civilian populations and non-military targets has grown, Western militaries have faced the imperative of relying more intensively on air- and ground-delivered precision munitions. According to General Bailey, Western armed forces must continue to seek decisive results on the battlefield. However, they will engage non-state
enemies, such as terrorist groups, that fight asymmetrically by employing human shields, hugging military forces friendly to the West, enticing Western military forces to fight in urban centers, or adopting other means to offset the military and firepower superiority of the West, particularly that possessed by the armed forces of the United States. Although firepower gives the West dominance now and in the foreseeable future, General Bailey argues that it must be applied with precision and rapidity throughout the arena of battle to provide both strategic and tactical support to mobile maneuver forces. In the future field artillery must be more strategically deployable than today, must depend heavily upon precision munitions to minimize collateral damage, and must be able to employ non-lethal fires to disable equipment without killing noncombatants. To remain relevant in the twenty-first century, General Bailey concludes, field artillery must provide precision effects against highpayoff targets as part of a joint system of fires, twenty-four hours a day and in all weather. New technologies must perceptively detect, accurately locate, and specifically identify more targets than current capabilities permit, and new weapon systems must furnish the delivery means and munitions to attack targets precisely and rapidly. Although airpower with its precision munitions threatens field artillery firepower with obsolescence, General Bailey firmly believes that field artillery systems will remain relevant as a viable source of firepower in the near future. With the 2004 edition of Field Artillery and Firepower General Bailey has reaffirmed his status as one of the premier field artillery intellectuals and historians of the early twentyfirst century. For the scholar and the general reader, he lucidly explains the evolution of field artillery firepower from its beginnings and perceptively forecasts its future. This makes General Bailey’s work the foundation for any serious study of the field artillery’s relationship to the other combat arms and its contribution to combat.
Dr. Boyd L. Dastrup served as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1974, received his doctorate in history from Kansas State University in 1980, and has been the command historian for the U.S. Army Field Artillery Center and Fort Sill since 1984. He has written The U.S. Army Command and General Staff College: A Centennial History (Manhattan, Kans., 1982); Crusade in Nuremberg: Military Occupation, 1945–1949 (Westport, Conn., 1985); King of Battle: A Branch History of the U.S. Army’s Field Artillery (Fort Monroe, Va., 1992); Modernizing the King of Battle: 1973–1991 (Fort Sill, Okla., 1994); and The Field Artillery: History and Sourcebook (Westport, Conn., 1994). He has also written articles for various publications.
Washington’s Crossing By David Hackett Fischer Oxford University Press, 2004, 564 pp., $35 Review by Alan C. Cate In December 1776 the cause of American independence appeared hopeless. Imperial forces had recently humiliated the Continental Army, driving it out of New York and New Jersey and across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania, while threatening at any moment to seize the rebel capital in Philadelphia. George Washington commanded a beaten host, decimated by battle and sickness and on the verge of disintegrating due to the impending expiration of the twelvemonth enlistments of many of his best regiments. At this juncture the revolutionary pamphleteer Thomas Paine published the first number of The American Crisis with its immortal opening, “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” This furnishes the dramatic setting for David Hackett Fischer’s brilliant Washington’s Crossing, the fifth 43
book in a series on “Pivotal Moments in American History” and winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in history. Fischer is one of America’s preeminent living historians and, working here in the same imaginative vein as he did in Paul Revere’s Ride (New York, 1994), he shines new light on an old tale. The author is known primarily as a social and cultural scholar of colonial America, not as a military historian. Nevertheless, employing an impressive array of American, British, and German primary sources, including some used here for the first time, he vividly describes Washington’s masterful 1776–77 winter campaign in New Jersey. These operations included two separate battles at Trenton (the second often overlooked by historians) and one at Princeton. Additionally, the campaign pitted American regulars— Continentals—and militiamen against British and Hessian troops and their American Loyalist supporters across the Jersey countryside during three months of bitter fighting that combined elements of conventional, guerrilla, and civil war. Fischer expertly captures it all by blending gripping combat narrative with keen analysis at the tactical, strategic, and political levels of the conflict. Along the way, Fischer offers fresh interpretations and dispels several myths that have grown up over the years. The most engaging, if least consequential, example centers on Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s iconic 1850 painting,Washington Crossing the Delaware. This is surely one of the most familiar images in American culture (rivaled militarily only by that of the Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi). This highly allegorical picture, while accurately conveying the high drama of the perilous descent on Trenton, was not intended as a realistic depiction. Still, critics and self-styled wits frequently deride it for portraying Washington “standing up in the boat.” (p. 217) Fischer responds that in all probability Washington did stand up. As the barges and bateaux used to cross the Delaware that frigid Christmas night in 1776 had few if any seats, most 44 Army History Winter 2006
of the troops making the crossing stood too, rather than sit in the icy water that lapped over the sides of the boats. Similarly, Fischer disposes of the canard that the Hessians in Trenton were in a drunken stupor after their evening’s revels when taken by Washington’s men on the morning of 26 December. In fact, although badly surprised and outnumbered, they resisted vigorously until their commander, Col. Johann Gottlieb Rall, was mortally wounded and they were overwhelmed. More substantively, the book challenges alternative images many of us carry of Washington either as a “marble man,” distant and cold, or as an oft-beaten, amateur general whose only military contribution to independence was to hold his ragtag army together until the British gave up. In Fischer’s rendering—and through the eyes and accounts of Washington’s contemporaries—we encounter an energetic, brave, and innovative commander who demonstrated tremendous ability to inspire his men and learn from his mistakes. Indeed, this Washington displays in abundance all the requirements of successful combat leadership. He employs superior intelligence about the New Jersey terrain in a manner that resembles Stonewall Jackson’s campaign of bafflement against Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley. He builds consensus among subordinate generals. He employs his troops in accordance with their capabilities and to take advantage of their unique strengths. And he leads from the front, positioning himself at the decisive point on the battlefield and repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire. Time and again during the campaign, Washington showed a penchant for bold maneuver. Following the Christmas night raid across the Delaware, he launched a second, larger surprise crossing four days later and occupied the high ground just south of Trenton. Here, along Assunpink Creek, the Americans fought a successful defensive battle against a British riposte on 2 January 1777. Most daring of all was Washington’s stroke after this
second battle of Trenton. Despite their initial repulse, the British reinforced heavily and threatened to crush the patriot army in a subsequent attack the following morning. Washington’s inferior force, pinned with its back against the Delaware, seemingly had no option but to remain in position or attempt a withdrawal to the south, where British pursuit would most likely have annihilated it. Instead, in a classic move again reminiscent of Jackson—this time his flank march around the Federals at Chancellorsville—or even MacArthur at Inchon, Washington chose to slip around the enemy under cover of darkness and strike deep against the British rear at Princeton, where, despite spirited opposition, he won another stunning victory on 3 January. Fischer compellingly argues that these battles represent a true turning point in American fortunes. Washington’s victories lifted patriot morale and dampened the enemy’s, both in the field and—more significantly— back in England, where the war grew increasingly unpopular. Beyond the psychological impact, the campaign inflicted heavy losses on British and Hessian forces, unbalanced the Loyalist position in New Jersey, and gave the patriot cause breathing space at a critical juncture. Throughout this tour de force, Fischer powerfully illustrates the importance of contingency, the historians’ term for expressing the idea that peoples’ beliefs and choices—not vast, impersonal forces—are what really count in history. Deeply researched, creatively reconstructed, and gracefully written, Washington’s Crossing provides a model of the military historian’s craft. Retired Col. Alan C. Cate teaches history at the University School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Prior to his retirement from the Army in 2004, he was the director of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and earlier in his career was an assistant professor in the History Department of the U.S. Military Academy. He holds a master’s degree in history from Stanford University.
Napoleon’s Italian Campaigns: 1805–1815 By Frederick C. Schneid Praeger Publishers, 2002, 228 pp., $64.95 Review by Frederick H. Black Jr. Historians have long documented the glories of Napoleon’s armies in northern Italy during the 1796–97 and 1800 campaigns. While those campaigns certainly propelled Napoleon to prominence, the wars in Italy did not end there. Conflict continued in this vital region throughout Napoleon’s rule. Napoleon’s absence from Italy after 1800, due to more significant activities in other regions, may in part explain the shortage of scholarly research on these later battles, but it does not excuse this omission. Frederick Schneid aims to right this oversight in his book Napoleon’s Italian Campaigns: 1805– 1815. Schneid’s well-received earlier book, Soldiers of Napoleon’s Kingdom of Italy: Army, State, and Society, 1800– 1815 (Boulder, 1995), covered roughly the same period, but, as its title implies, that book focused on the soldiers from Italy more than the campaigns fought there. The need still existed for a comprehensive account of the Italian campaigns between 1805 and 1815. Each of the three parts of Schneid’s more recent book focuses on a specific portion of this ten-year period: the conquest (1805–06), defense (1809), and fall (1813–15) of the French satellite regimes in Italy. Perhaps most helpful to the reader are the detailed appendixes listing the orders of battle for the various campaigns and engagements covered in the book. The comprehensive bibliography displays Schneid’s breadth of primary source research in French, Italian, and Austrian archives. The list of secondary sources, conveniently arranged by topic, provides another useful resource for the reader. Schneid opens by setting the stage in Italy with descriptions of the main armies of France and Austria and their leaders. He accomplishes this in brief
enough fashion not to overwhelm the reader, yet fully enough to remove the need to interject these details later in the text. One theme he highlights in this portion is the disagreement between then–Holy Roman Emperor Francis and his brother, the Austrian Archduke Charles. As Schneid explains, Charles maintained that “a war at this time . . . would certainly result in disaster. Disregarding Charles, Francis was swayed to enter into a secret alliance with Russia in November 1804.” (p. 15) This decision led to the first of several Austrian and Russian defeats. Throughout the text, Schneid keeps the reader abreast of the greater context surrounding the Italian campaigns. Thus he links his discussion of the Battle of Caldiero to the events at Ulm in October 1805. He draws a similar connection between the Battle of Austerlitz and the operations in Italy following Caldiero. In this manner, Schneid shows the consequences of the larger and better-known battles on the lesser-known engagements. For instance, the capture of 25,000 Austrians at Ulm forced Archduke Charles to withdraw from Italy because he realized that his force there was “perhaps the last army of the Austrian monarchy.” (p. 29) These types of parallels provide critical insight for understanding the strategic vision of the combatants. The second part of the book focuses on France’s defense of Italy in 1809. Schneid rates the quality of the French Armée d’Italie as “solid” and states that it found itself “perhaps in a better strategic position than that of 1805.” (p. 63) Archduke Charles had tried to reform and reorganize the Austrian Army after the disastrous 1805 campaign, even modeling many of his efforts after those made by Napoleon, thus setting the stage for their 1809 encounter. Unfortunately the first engagement between Napoleon and Charles in 1809 falls outside the scope of this book since it took place in Germany. Instead the reader gets a wonderful account of the fighting in Italy between the Austrians under
Charles’s brother John and the French under Napoleon’s stepson Eugène. The Austrians initially prevailed in Italy at Sacile in late April only to have their efforts overshadowed by Napoleon’s seizure of Vienna in May. In June 1809, Eugène attacked John’s Austrian forces near the town of Raab (now Györ) in Hungary. In this battle the French infantry attacks “failed miserably,” (p. 91) but Marquis Emmanuel de Grouchy’s cavalry enjoyed much greater success. Although ordered merely to create a diversion to keep their Austrian counterparts occupied, Grouchy’s dragoons not only forced the Austrian cavalry on the right flank to retreat but persisted in relentlessly pursuing the defeated Habsburg horsemen. Spurred by this success, the French seized the initiative as Eugène rallied his infantry and pushed the Austrians back through the town of Szabad-Hgey. The Austrians managed to finish their retreat, and John got away with at least some of his army intact. Schneid cites the Battle of Raab as Eugène’s “major battle and second victory.” (p. 91) While not a decisive victory, it did restore Napoleon’s confidence in Eugène. Following his victory at Raab, Eugène received word from Napoleon that the Armée d’Italie would fall under the Grande Armée for the immediate future. While Eugène kept autonomous control of most of the Armée d’Italie, several divisions were parceled out to other corps for the duration of the 1809 campaign. Schneid finishes the second portion of the book by describing Napoleon’s hard-fought victory at Wagram, outside Vienna, in early July, where Eugène’s unit played a role but not a decisive one. The Armée d’Italie performed well, capping a long but costly campaign for them; Eugène had again proved himself to Napoleon. The final part of the book centers on the decline and fall of Napoleon’s empire between 1813 and 1815. By 1811 almost one-third of the 100,000man Armée d’Italie was serving in Spain, and in 1812 about half of the French and Italian regiments of that 45
army marched into Russia under Eugène’s command. Schneid describes the battle outside Moscow in late October 1812 as “the bloodiest and most costly in the history of the Armée d’Italie.” (p. 104) After returning to Italy in 1813 with fewer than 3,000 troops, Eugène faced the daunting task of rebuilding his army; amazingly by July of that year his army numbered approximately 70,000 men, including 40,000 native Italians. Schneid points out that the large number of Italians in the Armée d’Italie had positive and negative consequences for both the army and Italy as a whole. The author recognizes that Italy was a secondary theater of operations throughout the period from 1805 to 1815. Napoleon, however, used Italy and the troops stationed there to discourage the Austrians from entering or reentering the ongoing conflict and made them pay at least some attention to their southwestern border. Eugène reentered the fight against the Austrians in August 1813 with two corps that numbered about 47,000 men, substantially fewer than the estimated 70,000 Austrians who opposed him. As a result, Schneid explains, Eugène chose “to sacrifice land in order to maintain the integrity of his army and the security of Italy.” (p. 119) By October Eugène found himself conducting a withdrawal. Napoleon’s defeats in France and Belgium in 1814 and 1815 resulted in the fall of the Italian satellites as well. In the case of the Kingdom of Naples, led by Joachim Murat, a brother-inlaw of Napoleon, the story is slightly more interesting. Murat disavowed Napoleon prior to his exile to Elba in 1814, allowing the king of Naples to retain his position. Once Napoleon returned to France in March 1815, however, Murat pledged allegiance to his emperor again and even promised that he would “raise Italy in revolt.” (p. 146) By the end of that month Murat’s Neapolitan Army had scored an initial victory against the Austrian forces in Italy, but the Austrians turned the tables at the Battle of Tolentino in 46 Army History Winter 2006
early May, dealing a crippling blow to Murat’s army. Murat and his family left Naples by ship on 20 May, several weeks before Napoleon met his final defeat at Waterloo. As Napoleon’s personal commands in Italy fall outside the scope of this book, Schneid’s latest work will certainly hold little appeal for the reader in search of a general assessment of Napoleon in Italy. This study assumes that the reader already has a relatively comprehensive understanding of the Napoleonic era. Schneid does not stray from his intended topic to explain unrelated events on the larger stage, but for most specialized readers, this should not present many problems. As a detailed study of a specific theater in Napoleon’s dominance of Western Europe, Schneid’s book is both excellent and long overdue. Capt. Frederick H. Black Jr., an Army artillery officer, is an assistant professor of history at the United States Military Academy. He received a doctorate in history from Florida State University in 2005, writing a dissertation on British diplomacy in Spain and Portugal during the years 1800 to 1810.
The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Black Cavalry in the West By William H. Leckie, with Shirley A. Leckie Revised Edition, University of Oklahoma Press, 2003, 319 pp., $29.95 Review by James N. Leiker Since his World War II service when he led African American airmen in the Pacific theater, Bill Leckie has been researching and telling the history of the black military for so long that he essentially has become part of the story. His book The Buffalo Soldiers, first released in 1967, documented the role of all-black cavalry regiments in the western Indian Wars and delivered a timely corrective to decades of scholarship that had ignored the presence of people of color in western conquest. In this 2003 revised edition,
Bill—in collaboration with his wife, Shirley, a historian in her own right— attempts to update the original version by incorporating new research. Those who question the appropriateness of revising old classics have little to fear from this revised edition. In fact, the Leckies’ latest efforts constitute less a major reworking than a modest retouching of a wellknown text. There is nothing inherently wrong with such an undertaking; even classic paintings need retouching from time to time. As explained in its preface, the revised edition provides an opportunity to revisit some of the criticisms commonly leveled against the original: namely, a lack of attention to black soldiers’ social and family relations; an exclusive focus on the cavalry at the expense of black infantry; meager treatment of African American Medal of Honor winners; and a dearth of photographs of the buffalo soldiers themselves. Addressing these limitations is the self-professed goal against which the Leckies’ latest effort should be evaluated. The new version manages to correct most of these earlier problems by drawing heavily on post-1967 scholarship, and it revises older interpretations and even assertions of facts no longer considered valid in the face of new research. In some ways, a comparison of the original and revised editions reveals how much the historical profession has evolved with the times. Reflecting modern sensitivities, the subtitle replaces “Negro Cavalry” with “Black Cavalry,” while the text itself sometimes uses the term “African American.” The Ninth and Tenth Cavalry companies remain the key actors because the black infantry has been well covered elsewhere. The Leckies make an honest effort to personalize the buffalo soldiers, with some discussion of individual black soldiers and their families, and provide a more generous collection of photographs, focusing on black enlisted men rather than the images of forts and white officers that dominated the original. Even the perspectives of Indians, the black troops’ military adversaries, are now included. Despite these attempts to imbue the latest edition with more complexity,
the work remains at heart a campaign narrative, an action-centered account of the battles and maneuvers by which the regiments engaged Native Americans in combat. Readers who enjoyed the flow and structure of the original will find the new quite familiar; most of the text, including the chapter headings, is identical. Updated footnotes show references to contemporary secondary works, but the writing itself lacks serious discussion of the larger contexts, such as Reconstruction or western race relations, in which the black regiments operated. African American historians will be disappointed by the absence of an authentic “black voice” because the new version still makes little or no use of black newspapers, journals, or soldier memoirs and instead bases its narrative on regimental reports, post returns, and other military sources that portray only part of a large and complicated picture. In the Leckies’ defense, they admit no intention of producing a comprehensive history of the late nineteenth-century black military experience but merely want to retell the original story with fresh insights. What clearly distinguishes the revised edition from the first are the last two chapters, starting with “The Final Years,” in which the Leckies describe the family life, education, and other aspects of the lives of selected black privates and noncommissioned officers. Though incorporating this material throughout the other chapters might have been better, its inclusion here remains a welcome addition. An all-new twenty-page epilogue delivers a synopsis of black military history after the Indian Wars that extends from the Jim Crow era to Truman’s integration of the armed forces in 1948. The Leckies also provide a summation of buffalo soldiers’ depictions in films, memorials, and novels, not all of which they applaud. Underscoring the epilogue’s importance is the Leckies’ acknowledgment of how historiographical trends on the buffalo soldiers have diverged from the original approach used in the 1960s. The two survey the major books in the field as of spring 2002,
but their overview is far from complete. A number of valuable articles, theses, and dissertations have been omitted from discussion and even citation. Nor does the epilogue directly engage some of the revisionist challenges issued by newer works. For example, the Leckies concede the point made by William Dobak and Thomas Phillips that black regiments never experienced the kind of systematic discrimination by the U.S. Army described in the original version of The Buffalo Soldiers, yet they offer no encouragement that this revelation should force reconsideration of the “oppressed heroes” approach that characterizes the topic. In all, this revised edition comprises a retelling—not a reconceptualization— of the black cavalry’s story within the still popular but increasingly obsolete “saddles and boots” genre, with smatterings of social history injected for modern relevance. Those who are familiar with black military history will find little that is new, theoretically or factually. Those who are not will find it above all an entertaining read and, hopefully, a useful starting point into additional research. University of New Mexico historian Durwood Ball writes in his endorsement, “Other scholars have written histories of the black troops, but none has really enlarged or departed from Leckie’s original framework and history.” In fact, the opposite is true; scholars over the past generation have been far from stagnant on the subject of the buffalo soldiers. Dobak and Phillips’s The Black Regulars (Norman, Okla., 2001) offers a social history model that goes beyond the minutiae of battles and troop movements; Frank Schubert and Garna Christian, among others, have situated the topic within the dynamics of western race relations; this reviewer’s own Racial Borders (College Station, Tex., 2002) suggests a framework that studies buffalo soldiers through the experiences of other people of color whom they were employed to fight. A historical topic reaches maturity when no one book, author, or theoretical approach can treat it comprehensively or definitively. Whatever the new version’s shortcomings, the most positive features of the revised edition of The Buffalo Soldiers lie in what that edition
shares with the original: inspiring new scholarship, reflecting on recent advances and reminding historians that the topic is far from exhausted. Dr. James N. Leiker is an assistant professor of history at Johnson County Community College in Kansas. He is the author of Racial Borders: Black Soldiers along the Rio Grande (College Station, Tex., 2002).
The Cleveland Grays: An Urban Militia Company, 1837–1919 By George N. Vourlojianis Kent State University Press, 2001, 150 pp., paper $12 Review by G. Alan Knight Cleveland, Ohio, grew rapidly in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Its burgeoning growth and rapidly expanding commerce brought the city not only economic success but also crime and aberrant behavior. As the preservation of property and public order demanded attention, city authorities responded by creating the Cleveland City Watch, a constabulary force. The 1830s witnessed the rise of a new military phenomenon in Cleveland, the privately raised and independently funded voluntary militia unit manned by members of the business and political elite. John Carroll University Professor George N. Vourlojianis begins his combined popular history and community study in 1837, when influential Clevelanders voiced concern that the city might become embroiled in the turmoil developing in nearby Upper and Lower Canada. Deeming existing constabulary capabilities to be inadequate, given the small size of the standing army and the lack of a robust Ohio militia, an elite group of Clevelanders organized a militia company that was first called the City Guard but was almost immediately renamed the Cleveland Grays. Over the 82-year period covered by Vourlojianis, the often magnificently uniformed Grays would aid in the preservation of law and order in periods of labor disturbances, escort distinguished 47
Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library
Copyright-Protected image removed for online version.
Uniform of the Cleveland Grays as illustrated in the U.S. Military Magazine, October 1839
visitors to a thriving city, volunteer for active military service during wartime, represent their city and state at national events such as drill competitions and inaugurals, and contribute significantly to the social life of Cleveland. While the lineage of the Grays is preserved today by the 112th Engineer Battalion, Ohio Army National Guard, the traditions of this originally independent voluntary militia company are actively maintained by the prestigious Cleveland Grays civic organization. The civic organization, which Vourlojianis once headed, has no military affiliation but provides a uniformed complement that preserves and exhibits the superb ceremonial capabilities that the Grays have displayed for over 150 years. With an organizational history often notable for a disinclination to accept formal military ties to the State of Ohio, the Grays nevertheless offered themselves as Civil War volunteers, albeit for limited periods marked by loyal but undistinguished service. This 48 Army History Winter 2006
volunteer tradition resurfaced in the Spanish-American War, during which the Grays were first organized in the Ohio National Guard as the First Battalion of Engineers, with three lettered companies, and then mustered into federal service in July 1898 as the 3d Battalion, 10th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Upon the battalion’s release from federal service on 23 March 1899 an organizational rupture occurred, as one group of veterans reconstituted the Cleveland Grays as a social and military unit while the other group reorganized as the First Battalion of Engineers, Ohio National Guard. The latter organization remained for years the nation’s only National Guard engineer unit. The volunteer tradition resurfaced in the protection of the Mexican border in 1916 and during World War I, in which many former Grays served heroically. Among them was 2d Lt. Albert Baesel, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallantry on the second
day of the Meuse-Argonne offensive in September 1918. Vourlojianis narrates the persistent efforts of the Cleveland Grays to preserve their organizational autonomy and maintain a privileged status. The passage of the Militia Act of 1903, sponsored by Ohio congressman and National Guard leader Charles Dick, had significant consequences for the Grays, as would Ohio’s enactment of House Bill 398 in 1904. The state legislation decreed that all members of Ohio’s militia would be members of the National Guard and removed provisions permitting the existence of independent military companies. No longer a state militia unit like the First Battalion of Engineers, the well-funded Grays soldiered on unaffiliated. War in Europe spawned the Plattsburg Movement, and the Grays organized their own “Businessmen’s Camp” based on Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood’s citizen military training camp concept. Connections in high places even enabled the Grays, although a private organization, to obtain the detail of a Regular Army officer as instructor. A list of camp participants and visitors includes distinguished local, state, and national figures. The threat to the U.S.-Mexican border posed by Mexican revolutionaries provided the Grays outside the Ohio National Guard with their first opportunity to volunteer for active service since the Spanish-American War. When Ohio’s First Battalion of Engineers was ordered to the Mexican border in 1916, the unaffiliated Grays also sought federal service. They filled the ranks of Company F, 3d Infantry Regiment, Ohio National Guard, in June 1916. Five months after returning from border service in March 1917, the 3d Ohio was ordered to Camp Sheridan, Alabama, and in September 1917 it was redesignated as the 148th Infantry Regiment, 37th Division. The Camp Sheridan period was both the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, as many original members of Company F were transferred to other units or officer training schools. Nevertheless, many of the original Grays
volunteers served with the 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry, which distinguished itself in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. The demobilization of the 148th Infantry in April 1919 ended the last period of active military service by the civic-organization Grays. The returning Grays opted for membership either in federally recognized units of the Ohio National Guard or in what was again a private military company. While Professor Vourlojianis regrettably addresses the Cleveland Grays’ wartime service in a somewhat limited fashion, his account is much more complete in dealing with the Grays’ performance of constabulary service and the ceremonial aspects of their military life, as well as how these helped create the image of Cleveland in the years prior to World War I. The Grays were adroit at garnering favorable press attention and public recognition from their virtually ceaseless round of parades, drill competitions, military balls, and other uniformed “photo opportunities.” They provided an escort for President Abraham Lincoln’s casket at a public viewing in Cleveland, escorted President James Garfield at both his inaugural parade
and funeral procession, and contributed escorts to Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. A major raison d’être for the Grays was performing constabulary service in Cleveland and elsewhere in Ohio, in the process protecting lives and property, especially when both were menaced by labor disturbances. Vourlojianis shows clearly that an appreciative business community provided significant financial support to the militia organization’s treasury and guaranteed job return rights for Grays called to the colors. The author also comments briefly on the growing ethnicity of Cleveland in the nineteenth century and how this impacted membership in the Grays. The Civil War manpower needs required “opening the gates,” and, despite postwar efforts to again restrict membership to the business elite and upper middle class, the unit slowly became more representative of the population. Much more a social history and community study than a small unit history, Vourlojianis’s account would have profited from more extensive use of primary sources and more historical analysis. The author addresses labor
disturbances, the local political culture, urbanization, and the attitude of the active military establishment toward the militia tangentially at best. Sample unit rosters detailing the occupations of the individual members at key periods in Grays history would have added to the picture of this unit and might have validated the author’s thesis that Grays members represented a social and economic elite. Vourlojianis does, however, succeed in immortalizing the ceremonial and social accomplishments of the Grays. This slim but reasonably priced volume is best suited for the general reader or those with some interest in the city’s military traditions. Retired Lt. Col. G. Alan Knight served as an Army Medical Service Corps officer. After his retirement from the Army in 1993, he taught history at the University of Texas at San Antonio and San Antonio College; was a curator and director at Army museums in Texas; served as a historian with the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia; and since October 2005 has been a museum specialist with the Center’s Collections Branch.
In Memoriam John G. Westover (1917–2005)
Former Army National Guard Maj. John Glendower Westover, who served during the Korean War as a historical officer at the Office of the Chief of Military History, died on 25 June 2005. He was 87. A reserve officer pursuing a graduate degree in history, Westover was called into active federal service in September 1941 and served as an artillerist with the 34th Infantry Division in North Africa and Italy. Assigned to the historical staff of the European Theater in 1944, he accompanied Lt. Col. S. L. A. Marshall to Paris on the day of its liberation and joined him in conducting combat interviews, some of which were published in Marshall’s book Bastogne: The Story of the First Eight Days (Washington, 1946). The Center of Military History reprinted this book in 1988. Westover earned
a Silver Star and Bronze Star Medal during World War II. After the war Westover completed his doctorate in history at the University of Missouri, writing a dissertation on the evolution of the Missouri militia from 1804 to 1919. He then joined the faculty of Arizona State College at Flagstaff and in 1949 became an Arizona National Guard officer. He was activated as a captain in 1951 and served two years at the Office of the Chief of Military History, interviewing soldiers returning from Korea. He compiled a collection of some of those interviews and others conducted by historical officers in Korea in the book Combat Support in Korea (Washington, 1955), which the Center later reprinted. Westover joined the history faculty at Western Illinois University in 1957 and became dean of its Division of International Services in
1968. He also served in the Missouri National Guard until 1968. He retired from the university in 1978.
Edward J. Murphy
Maj. Edward J. Murphy, identified by the Army for his special skill as a historian, died on 6 April 2005 in the crash of a Chinook helicopter in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, during a dust storm. The accident killed all eighteen people aboard the craft. Murphy was 36. Murphy received a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 1991. He earned the degree of master of military art and science in 2003 from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. His master’s thesis addressed Napoleon’s unsuccessful winter campaign of 1806–07 in Poland. Murphy had served in the Army in Korea, Bosnia, Germany, and Italy. 49
Day of Lightning, Years of Scorn: Walter C. Short and the Attack on Pearl Harbor By Charles R. Anderson Naval Institute Press, 2005, 206 pp., $34.95 Review by James C. McNaughton Although written before 11 September 2001, this first biography of Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short reads very differently after America’s latest “date that will live in infamy.” Before the terrorist attacks, Day of Lightning, Years of Scorn might have been a minor contribution to the still-burgeoning literature on Pearl Harbor. Now we may feel more empathy for those commanders who suffered humiliating defeat caused by faulty intelligence and low readiness. Today the commanding generals of U.S. Army, Pacific, still face many of the same challenges of high command and still live in the same gracious quarters on Fort Shafter that Short occupied on 7 December 1941. Charles R. Anderson has written a long-overdue biography of Short, who at the pinnacle of his career shared blame for the greatest military defeat in American history with Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Historian Gordon W. Prange once called Short “one of the most elusive of the major characters in the Pearl Harbor story.”1 Thanks to Anderson’s diligent research in previously neglected materials, Short is no longer elusive and has been restored to his rightful place in the Army’s history. The author commanded a Marine infantry platoon in Vietnam. He went on to earn a master’s degree in history and publish two well-received books about the Vietnam experience, The Grunts (Presidio Press, 1976) and Vietnam: The Other War (Presidio Press, 1982), before joining the Center of Military History in 1987. Unfortunately he died in August 2003, before this biography could appear. Anderson describes Short’s road to Pearl Harbor through thirty-nine 50 Army History Winter 2006
years of distinguished service. Like the author, he was born and raised in Illinois. He was commissioned in 1902, just as President Theodore Roosevelt declared an end to major combat operations against insurgents in the Philippines. This placed him squarely in the generation of Walter Krueger, Douglas MacArthur, Lesley J. McNair, George C. Marshall, and Joseph W. Stilwell, each of whom assumed a senior Army command or staff position in World War II. All had served as junior officers in the Philippines before World War I. In this period the U.S. Army struggled with guerrilla forces there in what we would today label “stability and support operations.” Short excelled at every stage of his career and became instrumental in the transformation undertaken by the Army to incorporate the unprecedented firepower of the machine gun. After the First World War he progressed ahead of his peers, taking command of the 6th Infantry in 1933. After that, he rocketed to the top, first as assistant commandant of the Infantry School, then as brigade and division commander in the 1st Infantry Division. After Short commanded a corps during the 1940 Third Army maneuvers, Army Chief of Staff Marshall, who had known Short since 1906 and had served with him in France, selected him to command the Hawaiian Department, the Army’s largest overseas command. The heart of Anderson’s book covers Short’s actions as commander of that department between February and December 1941, as he built up the Hawaiian Air Force, trained his forces to defeat amphibious landings, and badgered Washington for more personnel, equipment, and funds. Like any commander in a lethal and highly ambiguous environment, he was plagued with difficult questions: What exactly was his mission: training, ground defense, or supporting other theaters? What was the Army’s role in the joint arena, especially in reconnaissance? How could he make use of experimental technology, such as radar, which was not expected to reach
initial operational capability until 1942? What were appropriate force protection measures for the most likely threat? How should he respond to vague but ominous warnings from Washington? More specifically, how could he “undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary,” as the War Department directed on 27 November 1941, but not “alarm [the] civil population or disclose intent,” as this so-called “do-don’t” message also instructed? Given the lack of adequate reconnaissance assets to detect a naval raid, the one measure he might have taken to protect his command and reputation would have been to place his air defenses—the most extensive in the Army—at the highest state of readiness. But Short trusted the War Department to alert him if they felt such a posture was necessary, and he feared that sustaining such a high state of readiness would impact training and alarm the civil population. Placing his air defenses on alert would, however, likely have reduced the attack’s toll and exacted a higher price from the attackers. Anderson points out that MacArthur suffered a similarly crushing defeat in the Philippines on 8 December 1941, but its impact on his career was very different. MacArthur redeemed himself on Bataan and in the Southwest Pacific. Had the Japanese invaded Hawaii, Short might similarly have become a national hero. Instead, he was relieved of command and forced to retire in disgrace at his permanent grade of major general, marked forever as being at least partially responsible for the disaster. Anderson examines Short’s cooperation with a series of investigations over the next five years, culminating in joint congressional hearings in 1945– 46. Short was repeatedly called upon to justify his every action as commander, especially in the final days leading up to 7 December. Anderson tells the story afresh from Short’s perspective, describing both the pride and pain of a career officer who did his best, but
whose command nevertheless suffered tragic defeat. The author provides valuable new context on the partisan atmosphere of these investigations, without descending into conspiracy theories or scoring points against previous authors. Short testified with dignity, professionalism, and moral courage but consistently rejected any implication that he had been derelict in the performance of his duty. After the war Short maintained a dignified silence until his death in 1949 at age 69. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Decades later in 1995 a Department of Defense panel recommended that the secretary of defense take no further action to clear the records of Kimmel and Short or to restore their previous ranks, as requested by their families and supporters. The Naval Institute Press has recently published this panel’s report, along with useful commentaries by Col. Frederic L. Borch, a recently retired Army lawyer, and Daniel Martinez, National Park Service historian at the USS Arizona Memorial, under the title Kimmel, Short, and Pearl Harbor: The Final Report Revealed (Naval Institute Press, 2005). Although the publisher calls this the “final” report, the Pearl Harbor controversy will doubtless go on for as long as people debate the responsibilities of high command. Hearings and review boards failed to give Short the vindication he sought during his lifetime. The sobering truth is that sometimes a commander does everything right, but the enemy still strikes a deadly blow. High command brings with it the risk of failure and recrimination. This fine book gives Short a measure of vindication in the court of history. History cannot exonerate, but it can illuminate and lead to deeper understanding. Dr. James C. McNaughton is the command historian of the U.S. European Command. He was the command historian of U.S. Army, Pacific, from 2001 to March 2005. He is a retired Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and holds a Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University. His article
“Japanese Americans and the U.S. Army: A Historical Reconsideration” appeared in the Summer–Fall 2003 issue of Army History (No. 59). The Center of Military History expects to publish his manuscript “Nisei Linguists: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service in World War II” in 2006. Note
1. Gordon W. Prange, At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor (New York, 1981), p. 54.
XVIII Airborne Corps in Desert Storm: From Planning to Victory By Charles Lane Toomey Hellgate Press, 2004, 626 pp., $34.95 Review by Stephen Bourque In August 1990, Lt. Gen. Gary Luck’s XVIII Airborne Corps arrived in eastern Saudi Arabia anticipating a desperate fight. Along Kuwait’s southern border, Iraqi troops were in position to continue their offensive south. Hardened in Iraq’s desperate war with Iran and equipped with an impressive array of military hardware, the Iraqi Army appeared to be an impressive foe, more than capable of brushing aside the weak Saudi Arabian Army. Standing between the Iraqis and the Arabian oilfields were the few battalions of airborne infantry that Luck had been able to assemble in the first few weeks of August. Fortunately, Saddam Hussein did not order the Iraqi Army to invade and Operation Desert Shield can be counted as an American success. However, that bloodless saga has been obscured by the equally successful and more dramatic “One Hundred Hour War” that showcased the VII Corps in its battle with the Iraqi Republican Guard. Charles Lane Toomey has ensured that the details and many of the anecdotes of this dramatic story are not lost in the growing saga of America’s campaigns against Iraqi opponents. In his expansive chronicle of the XVIII Corps’s experience, the author walks the reader from Exercise Internal Look in July 1990, through the corps’s deployment, its conduct
during Operation Desert Shield, the execution of its portion of Operation Desert Storm, and its redeployment to the United States. Toomey argues that what the soldiers of the airborne corps accomplished in establishing the “line in the sand” that August deserves as much attention as the coalition’s attack the following January and February. This does not imply that Toomey shortchanges the role of the XVIII Corps during the advance to the Euphrates River. Seven of his twenty-one chapters describe the maneuver of the command’s five divisions and supporting units. While its opposition was light, compared to the combat experience of the VII Corps to its right, its attack was essential to protect the coalition’s left flank. Toomey adequately describes the corps’s assault and most of its important engagements. Of special note is his coverage of the French 6ème Division Légère Blindée (6th Light Armored Division) in its attack from the border to As Salman, the hub of the desert transportation net in the corps area. His description of the charge of the 4ème Régiment de Dragons (4th Dragoon Regiment) against 100 Iraqi armored vehicles on Objective Rochambeau (half way to As Salman) is simply stirring. He goes into extensive detail to describe both the challenges and success of the largest helicopter-borne assault in American history, the 101st Airborne Division’s seizure of Forward Operating Base Cobra and its actions in Area of Operations Eagle along the Euphrates River on the second day of the war. His descriptions of other corps actions, such as the seizure of Tallil and Jalibah Air Bases, are solid and informative. The author concludes his account of active combat by indicating that Luck’s command was in position to continue to envelop and isolate the Iraqi forces in the Kuwaiti Theater, when General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. put into effect the cease-fire ordered by President George H. W. Bush. Most senior XVIII Corps officers believed that the cease-fire decision was ill-timed and that the Army should have continued one more day to isolate the Iraqi formations and force a genuine surrender. 51
him unique access to participants and an understanding of corps activities. This is a well-researched manuscript. In addition to using the extensive library of oral history interviews maintained by the Army Center of Military History, Toomey personally discussed the corps’s activities with hundreds of participants. He seems to have mined all of the available secondary sources and a wide range of government documents. His impressive bibliography omits, however, the XVIII Corps’s daily situation reports and daily staff journals that were declassified in the late 1990s by the Gulf War Declassification Project. Nevertheless, his bibliography will form the baseline for any further scholarship on the XVIII Corps’s conduct of this campaign. Organized into twenty-two chapters and seven appendixes, Toomey’s book provides a detailed story of the corps’s activities. The author is generally blunt with his descriptions of events and does not hesitate to point out where matters did not progress as planned, such as with the use of long-range surveillance units to reconnoiter before the attack or the development of friction between rear staff officers and frontline soldiers. He is at his best in describing details, such as the mechanics of deployment and the process of establishing the initial defense.
My major complaint is that Toomey generally confines his discussion to activities below corps level and fails to examine fully the decision-making process at corps headquarters. I had hoped to learn more about General Luck’s interaction with his peers, such as Lt. Gen. Frederick Franks of VII Corps and the senior officers with Third Army and Central Command. While much of this material is covered in other sources, viewing it from the XVIII Corps’s perspective would have been instructive. That said, this is nevertheless a solid manuscript that is an essential addition to the library of any soldier or scholar interested in combat operations at the end of the twentieth century.
Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda By Sean Naylor Berkley Books, 2005, 425 pp., $25.95 Review by Richard W. Stewart
Retired Army Maj. Stephen A. Bourque is an associate professor of history at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He served in the 1st Infantry Division in the Persian Gulf War and in 1992 commanded the Army’s only Regular Army military history detachment. He wrote the chapter on Operation Desert Storm in George Hofmann and Donn Starry, eds., Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces (Lexington, Ky., 1999). He is the author of Jayhawk! The VII Corps in the Persian Gulf War, published by the Center of Military History in 2002.
Department of Defense
Toomey also presents the best account to date of the corps’s most controversial combat action that took place after the cease-fire. On 1 March, Maj. Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey’s 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) pounced on a brigade from the Hammurabi Division trying to escape through its sector. By the end of the day the Victory Division had destroyed over forty tanks, fifty-six Russian-designed BRDM infantry fighting vehicles, and several hundred supporting weapons and vehicles. This incident, which the author agrees was justified, resulted in a major Army inspector general investigation and a scathing critique by journalist Seymour Hersh, writing in the New Yorker magazine in May 2000. The author brings to this work the informed perspective of a graduate of Fort Leavenworth’s School of Advanced Military Studies who was a major serving with the XVIII Corps’s G–3 planning cell during the war. Arriving in Saudi Arabia on the first C–141 airlift with the corps’s Assault Command Post, Toomey actively participated in most aspects of planning and operations. After the war, while still on active duty, he began collecting reports, interviews, and commentary on the XVIII Corps’s experience. His inside-the-TOC (tactical operations center) status gave
An Iraqi T–72 tank destroyed in Operation Desert Storm
52 Army History Winter 2006
Sean Naylor has written a very good and quite exciting book about events in Afghanistan over three years ago, now rapidly receding in our memory as the combat operations and continuing struggle in Iraq dominate our thoughts. Yet for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, Operation Anaconda, which was fought in an obscure valley and the surrounding mountaintops in Paktia Province from 2 to 19 March 2002, remains the single largest conventional combat action to date. It was only the second time since Operation Enduring Freedom began in October 2001 that enemy forces—some Taliban, Al Qaeda, and even Uzbek and Chechen terrorists—stood and fought against the overwhelming ground and air power of the United States and its Afghan allies. (The other instance, the ten-day fight in the Tora Bora Mountains in December 2001 between special operations units and their Afghan allies on the one hand and die-hard Al Qaeda elements on the other directly influenced planning for Anaconda by certifying the need for trusted conventional forces in blocking positions to inhibit an enemy’s escape.) Anomaly or not, it was certainly an intriguing battle that Sean Naylor, an embedded journalist during the operation, has gone into commendable detail in explaining. This is not a book without flaws, but it is the most thorough account of combat in Afghanistan that has yet been published and deserves a wide readership, albeit with a few warnings. Not a Good Day to Die (prompting the immediate rejoinder of “and what is a good day to die?”) tells the story of the planning for Operation Anaconda, the special reconnaissance of a few units that served such an important role in that operation, and the first three days of combat (2–4 March 2002). It recounts in dramatic detail the conceptions and misconceptions of the handful of U.S.
planners and units in Afghanistan shortly after the liberation of that country from Taliban rule, while there were still pockets of hard-core resistance in such areas as the rough terrain on the AfghanPakistani border. The author spends nearly half the book setting the stage by describing the special operations units (three U.S. joint or combined special operations task forces and one Australian Special Air Service unit), several ad hoc headquarters or task forces (including the often overlooked Task Force Bowie— an experimental joint interagency task force with an intelligence fusion mission), conventional forces of the 10th Mountain Division and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and various “other governmental agency” intelligence agents and analysts that planned and carried out Operation Anaconda. Naylor’s grasp of the facts and personalities is sure, on the whole, and he omits no major players. He has generally done his homework, and the result is evident. He has written a very clear narrative, overlooking few aspects of the planning, units involved, or combat actions of the early days of the battle. As a result of his in-depth research, Naylor can indeed make good on his promise to tell much of the “untold story” of Operation Anaconda. He has assiduously sought out sources and specifics on the battle from a wide variety of angles. When his sources are less than complete—the special operations sections rely heavily upon the somewhat selfserving testimony of those few operators who would or could talk freely—one can still say that he has tried very hard to talk to all the principal players. In the case of special operations, of course, he cannot compel the release of classified records or force reluctant special operations personnel to talk to him. His accounts of the various U.S. special reconnaissance teams that he calls “Advance Force Operations” are expertly analyzed. If the resulting picture is a bit one-sided, following his sources, it is as complete as it will be for some years to come, and he seems to have gotten most of the story right, or at least as right as probably is possible under the circumstances. Not being an official historian is, in this instance, an advantage
for Naylor because he can report widely on otherwise classified matters in a way that those of us who work for the Army, and especially those of us who worked for special operations with Task Force Dagger before and after Anaconda, cannot. Official special operations historians gather more material and are able to construct a more balanced historical report as a result, but because of its classification their report cannot be released except within the community itself. There it serves a valuable purpose for doctrinal development, analysis of lessons learned, and enhancement of tactics, techniques, and procedures, but it cannot have the wide audience of a book such as this. My four main objections to the book detract, in my opinion, only somewhat from its value, but they are important objections nonetheless. My first problem is more one of style than of substance. The author has unwisely, in my opinion, adopted the breathless, overly dramatic, you-can-hear-their-thoughts, narrative style that so marred that other story of modern combat, Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War (New York, 1999). Naylor’s style almost descends at times to “It was a dark and stormy night” of Bulwer-Lytton fame. In one instance, he does indeed start a paragraph with “It was a cold, crisp night in Kandahar” and goes on to relate in this style that “The tall, solidly built infantry colonel replaced the receiver and glanced vacantly around the sparsely decorated room. . . . An upcoming operation? he thought. Now, this is interesting.” (p. 49) Did the colonel actually look around vacantly? Did he really think just that? Could the author not have quoted from an interview and told the audience these facts without resorting to this degree of creative license? Even as a historian, I can understand the desire of Naylor’s publishers to have a thrilling account, but I continue to believe that a clear and driving combat narrative can be achieved without overdoing the suspense, which only makes the book seem contrived at times. And certainly this is possible without trying to make the reader believe that we can read participants’ thoughts 53
at the time. Such an approach tends to detract from the detective work that the author has done. In those sections of the book that eschew false drama, Naylor has written a truly exhilarating story that needs no false tricks to “punch it up.” My second objection, related to the first, is that at times the author seems determined to find far too much conflict, dissension, and intensity among elements of the various special operations task forces, the intelligence community, and the conventional forces in Anaconda. In fact, after a few hundred pages of such prima donna behavior and posturing by all concerned, one wonders how U.S. forces were able to concentrate combat power on the enemy at all! The reader can be forgiven for suspecting that some (but certainly not all!) of the interpersonal conflict was exaggerated by the author or by his sources. Don’t get me wrong, however. In the planning and conduct of military operations, and especially within the special operations world, there is constant striving to get one’s ideas to the fore, and ego does play a role. But from my observations of the special operations community over the past fifteen years, that is often a creative tension among professionals. Sometimes professionals are right and sometimes wrong, but all of the participants in Anaconda that I observed—special operations troops, intelligence personnel, conventional soldiers and planners, and air support personnel—were trying hard to throw together a hasty attack against an enemy that was not expected to stand and fight. It was an operation based on as much intelligence as could be gathered and was prosecuted using the forces available in the theater at the time—very much an operation “with the Army you have, not the Army you might want.” In the inevitable aftermath of the difficult first few days of the operation, there has been a certain measure of second-guessing and might-have-beens. There was certainly some dissension and tension. Some of the actors were right and others wrong, and each tried to convince the other of his position. The men fought and some died unnecessarily. Combat is messy and “friction” exists. No plan 54 Army History Winter 2006
survives first contact with a resourceful and brave foe. Yet U.S. forces bounced back, reorganized, pummeled the enemy, and drove him from the caves in which he was sheltering within two weeks. Operation Anaconda can thus be seen as messy, certainly, but also as a tribute to U.S. planning flexibility and to the courage of the troops and their leaders who could make lemonade out of the lemons they were handed. Naylor recounts much of this intensity in great detail but fails to see the essential flexibility that brought victory, admittedly at a price, but victory nonetheless. I suggest that the conflicts among the planners and operators were more the result of professional soldiers and operators grappling with real problems and less the ego-driven posturing that Naylor seems so taken with. Personalities are important in war, and in the special operations community they are often critical. But one can overdo the “clash of prima donnas” scenario that dominates some pages of this book to the detriment of the rest of the story. My third main problem is that the author indulges in so much detail on the nuances of the special operations world and its personalities that he gives very short shrift to much of the operation. He spends the first 368 pages tracing the development of the plan, the actions on Day 1, and the fight on Takur Ghar on the following two days. In the process he elaborates on the actions of special operations reconnaissance teams, providing some of the best and most up-to-date accounts I have seen. He then wraps up the next two weeks of the operation in a mere ten pages. Granted, the first three days of Anaconda saw most of the ground combat, but the following two weeks also had some action, and they deserve a somewhat expanded treatment. Task Force (TF) Rakassans moved down the mountain ridges from Battle Position (BP) Amy to BP Ginger. TF Summit and TF Commando cleared out enemy sites. Another unit from the 10th Mountain Division—the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry—moved onto the battlefield and expanded operations in the “groin” area. A battalion from the Canadian Princess Patricia’s Light
Infantry was inserted. Other troops assaulted the “whale,” as the Americans called the ridge to the west of Takur Ghar, in Operation Harpoon. General Gul Haidar and his armored battalion moved into the valley. Task Force 64 (the Australians) and TF K-Bar (a combined and joint special operations task force) went into the mountains for days. Several of these units and events are mentioned, but only in passing and with nowhere near the detail of the actions and units of the first three days. The author seems to have spent so much time and effort tracking down the elusive special operators who would talk (no small feat, however) that he had to finish the book in a hurry. Nor is there any real conclusion or analysis at the end, although the various themes and issues that the author wished to hammer home show up throughout the text. My fourth and final major problem is Naylor’s near-total disregard for the logistics struggle. As he postulates that more forces should have been sent into Afghanistan to deal with the remnants of Al Qaeda, he forgets that every soldier, piece of equipment, or unit sent into the extremely austere theater would have to be supported. While in hindsight the decision not to take artillery to Afghanistan can be seen as a mistake, the other side of the coin is that additional firepower would have required even more airlift. And bringing in enough artillery shells, more helicopters to move them, and more fuel for the helicopters would have been nearly impossible. The Air Force, landing at Bagram (and probably Kandahar, although I do not know this) only at night for fear of having its planes shot down, could barely supply the forces that were in the theater. Adding to those forces would have taken a massive surge of support operations. As matters stood, three days before Anaconda, the helicopters still required over 50,000 more gallons of aviation fuel before beginning the operation, and only Herculean efforts by the Coalition Joint Task Force (CJTF) Mountain and Central Command staffs managed to get the Air Force to land in the daytime and build up those fuel reserves. Naylor spends a lot of time writing about tactics and what should
have happened, but he almost completely ignores the critical aspect of logistics. In a later discussion, in fact, the author posits that the Army should have moved the entire 101st Airborne Division to Afghanistan with all of its helicopters, brigades, and assets. This, however, would have been a truly massive logistical undertaking regardless of the politics involved. Naylor does, however, address the critical issue of Air Force close air support in Operation Anaconda, and, given the recent attention that has focused on that issue, discussing it in this venue is appropriate. Few aspects of Operation Anaconda have proved to be as controversial as the Army’s perceived lack of timely close air support and the Air Force’s countercharge that it was all the Army’s fault for not providing enough notice of the requirement and not sufficiently understanding air power. Numerous accusations, rebuttals, countercharges, and innuendos have been hurled back and forth between the two services on this one issue. The controversy shows no sign of going away, as demonstrated by a recently released Air Force study of the operation and an article synopsizing the report that are sharply critical of the Army and Maj. Gen. Franklin L. Hagenbeck, the CJTF Mountain commander.1 Addressing this issue, Naylor attempts to summarize the reasons behind the poor planning for the use of air support and succeeds, on the whole, in presenting a balanced and thoughtful discussion of the various miscommunications between the Army and the Air Force. There is little question that the Army did not know exactly what it wanted the Air Force to do, in part because the plan was constantly in flux. But the Air Force officers assigned to the CJTF Mountain staff do not seem to have helped clarify the issues as they worked with the Army on the various aspects of the hurriedly assembled plan. Admittedly, both Army and Air Force elements within the ad hoc headquarters of CJTF Mountain seemed convinced that the enemy would not put up much of a fight anyway. This led to some complacency. Perhaps as a result, both
the Army and the Air Force staffs did not seem to recognize the need to plan more carefully to overcome the confusion inherent in trying to use a hurriedly generated, complex, air-mission-request system to provide precise air support in such a crowded battlespace. As an interested observer of this operation, I would have to conclude that there was a fair amount of confusion on both sides of the issue of poor air support. The Army appears not to have communicated what it needed clearly enough and did not really understand how complex the new requesting channels were going to be. The air-ground coordination up to that point had been superb, although most of the fight thus far had not had to deal with multiple maneuver units in a small battlespace. The Air Force, on the other hand, despite its defenders’ later claims, had several planners involved with the operation at least a full week before the planned D-day, and they were present at all the nightly video-teleconference sessions during which the operation was discussed, albeit in general terms. But even these officers did not communicate the evolving plan back through their own channels with sufficient clarity to “wake up” the Combined Forces Air Component Command in Saudi Arabia. This, added to the complicated approval chain of requests for air support, the Air Force’s policy of not allowing pilots to fly lower than 18,000 feet, and the constant fear of hitting friendly troops on the ground that caused bomber after bomber to abort its mission without dropping bombs, only made matters worse. Each side seemed to believe that the other had thought through all the issues relating to air support, and the shock of that not being the case was profound. When the battle started on 2 March and the enemy put up an unexpectedly tough fight, the Army had neither artillery (another story!) nor effective air power at its disposal. If the essence of customer support is a satisfied customer, one can say that the Army (the customer in this case) was not at all satisfied. Subsequent Air Force studies and articles proving that lots of bombs were dropped and many sorties were flown are of little value,
since numbers are not all that important. The essence of close air support is that bombs are dropped where they are needed and when they are needed. Anything else is merely a feeble excuse. Close air support got better during the course of the operation, but in the beginning it was terrible. The two services should try to work together to improve the situation, and each should avoid the unnecessary (and untruthful) attempt to ascribe the blame entirely to the other. The bottom line on Operation Anaconda, as the author clearly points out, is that this was a hastily planned operation that sought to use limited U.S. assets to catch an elusive enemy in a trap before he had a chance to run and hide somewhere else. The United States had limited ground forces in the theater, was short of helicopters, had no artillery, and had to develop a plan using a headquarters thrown together at the last moment with the emphasis on at least trying to allow Afghan soldiers to do the majority of fighting. In the absence of ground lines of communication the logistics picture was complicated and uncertain. Tactically, the operation followed a complex plan with many moving parts that focused several thousand friendly troops and a multitude of special operations units from several countries with different mission parameters against a skilled enemy in a small area of less than 100 square kilometers. Add in inadequate intelligence on the enemy’s size and intentions and a reluctant and confused Air Force, and you have a recipe for confusion. However, that should not blind the reader to the fact that, although messy, Anaconda was ultimately a successful operation. This is the picture that Naylor paints, although he seems more critical in hindsight than perhaps the situation truly warranted. Despite the aforementioned concerns and shortcomings, Not a Good Day to Die is a book that is exciting to read, presenting lots of detail about portions of the first few days of the battle that have not been fully covered before and a good discussion of each of the issues that will remain controversial for years to come. It addresses, in a generally objective way, all of the major “points of 55
is a book that covers a lot of interesting ground and can serve as the starting point for numerous professional discussions. I recommend it highly despite its flaws, but the reader needs to be aware of these limitations as we await the more complete and balanced interpretations to come.
in Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Freedom, October 2001–March 2002 (CMH, 2004), after serving with the U.S. Special Operations Command as a joint combat historian in each campaign.
Dr. Richard W. Stewart was chief historian of the Army Special Operations Command in 1990–98 and has been chief of the Histories Division at the Center of Military History since 1998. A retired Army Reserve colonel, he wrote pamphlets on The United States Army in Somalia, 1992–1994 (CMH, 2002), and The United States Army
1. Rpt, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, “Operation Anaconda: An Air Power Perspective,” 7 Feb 2005, posted at http://www.af.mil/library/posture/ Anaconda_Unclassified.pdf; Rebecca Grant, “The Echoes of Anaconda,” Air Force Magazine 88 (April 2005): 46-52, posted at http://www.afa.org/ magazine/April2005/0405 Anaconda.pdf.
In Memoriam, Charles V. P. von Luttichau (1917–2005)
friction” during Anaconda: the lack of effective air support in the first fortyeight hours, the weather delays, the intelligence challenges (and failures), the shortage of human intelligence and the overreliance on technical reconnaissance, the woeful lack of artillery, the problems of ad hoc headquarters, the divided chain of command on the battlefield, the confusion with the Air Force, the tensions (creative and professional at most times but occasionally divisive and ego-driven) within the special operations world, and the force cap issue, which despite highlevel denials, was a very real planning consideration at all echelons. In short, this
In Memoriam, Martin Blumenson (1918–2005)
Martin Blumenson in 1967
56 Army History Winter 2006
Martin Blumenson, a prolific historian of World War II who worked at the Office of the Chief of Military History both as an Army officer and a civilian, died on 15 April 2005 at the age of 86. A native of New York City, Blumenson received a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and master’s degrees in history from Bucknell and Harvard. Commissioned in the Army during World War II, he served in Europe as a historical officer with Third and Seventh Armies. Recalled to active duty in 1950, he commanded a historical detachment in Korea and in 1952 was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Military History. He later served for a year as historian of a joint task force conducting atomic weapons tests in the Pacific. Blumenson returned to OCMH as a civilian in 1957 and worked there until 1967. He authored two volumes in the official history of the U.S. Army in World War II, Breakout and Pursuit (OCMH, 1961), describing the fighting that liberated Paris and much of northern France, and Salerno to Cassino (OCMH, 1969), covering the first eight months of the Army’s combat on the Italian mainland. He assisted in the writing of a third volume in that series, Sicily and the Surrender of Italy (OCMH, 1965), by Albert Garland and Howard M. Smyth, condensing and revising the authors’ manuscript. After leaving OCMH, Blumenson taught at several colleges. He held the Ernest J. King chair of maritime history at the U.S. Naval War College and the Harold Keith Johnson chair of military history at the U.S. Army War College. He also taught and served as a graduate adviser at George Washington University. He was a member of the Department of the Army’s Historical Advisory Committee from 1989 to 1993. The books Blumenson authored include Anzio: The Gamble That Failed (Phildaelphia, 1963); Rommel’s Last Victory: The Battle of Kasserine Pass (London, 1967); Bloody River: The Real Tragedy of the Rapido (Boston 1970); Eisenhower (New York, 1972); The Vildé Affair: Beginnings of the French Resistance (Boston, 1977); Mark Clark (New York, 1984); The Battle of the Generals: The Untold Story of the Falaise Pocket, the Campaign That Should Have Won World War II (New York, 1993); and Heroes Never Die: Warriors and Warfare in World II (New York, 2001). He also compiled and edited The Patton Papers (2 vols., Boston, 1972–74); authored Patton, the Man behind the Legend, 1885–1945 (New York, 1985); and delivered a Harmon memorial lecture on Patton at the U.S. Air Force Academy. In 1995 Blumenson received the Society for Military History’s Samuel Eliot Morison Prize for his lifetime contributions to the field of military history.
Charles von Luttichau in 1960
Charles Victor Pennington von Luttichau, a historian who worked at the Center of Military History for 35 years, died on 27 May 2005. He was 87. Von Luttichau was born in Bern, Switzerland, in November 1917. He was educated in Austria and Germany, studying economics, history, and international relations at the Universities of Berlin and Munich. In 1939 his mother, an American citizen and descendant of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, returned to the United States, but her son was not able to accompany her. During World War II von Luttichau served as an antiaircraft officer in the German Air Force in Germany, France, and Russia and taught tactics and military history at the German Air Force Academy in Berlin. He came to the United States in 1949 and received a master’s degree from American University. He joined the Office of the Chief of Military History in 1951, where he initially produced reports on World War II, including studies of German weaponry and combat in Russia. One of his more substantial papers dealt with anti-German guerrilla warfare in Russia. He wrote the chapter on the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes in Kent Roberts Greenfield, ed., Command Decisions (New York, 1959; OCMH, 1960). He also undertook cartographic assignments, producing maps for a number of the office’s books. In 1963 the Office of the Chief of Military History, in response to a request from Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell L. Gilpatric, assigned von Luttichau to produce a report on the role of the U.S. Army in the conflict in Vietnam from 1946 to 1963. Von Luttichau completed a top-secret 580-page report the following year; the study is still classified. Von Luttichau remained for some years the military history office’s principal specialist on the U.S. Army’s involvement in Vietnam, and he traveled there to interview soldiers engaged in the war. On one occasion enemy rifle fire knocked out the single engine of the plane in which he was traveling, setting the craft afire and forcing it to make an emergency landing. He and Charles MacDonald coauthored the chapter on “The U.S. Army in Vietnam,” covering events to the end of 1967, in the 1969 edition of the Army textbook American Military History. The two later produced an expanded chapter addressing events in Vietnam through mid-1971, which the office issued as a separate publication in 1972 and inserted into a partially revised edition of American Military History in 1973. Von Luttichau was one of the founders of the U.S. Commission on Military History, and he remained active in the organization for decades. He served as a consultant to Time-Life Books on the production of The Soviet Juggernaut by Earl F. Ziemke, which appeared in 1982. He also wrote for the Center a detailed, manuscript account of the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union, which the Center has been revising with an eye to its publication.
Iraq’s Kurds after that war, and the role of Army lawyers in military operations from the 1960s to the 1990s. The list also includes collections of essays on American defense acquisition since World War II and the evolution of thought over the last two centuries on what we now call operational art. The new publication from the Center that will likely reach the largest audience is the thoroughly revised and expanded two-volume survey American Military History, which provides readers with a thoughtful and comprehensive introduction to the topic. We expect it will be used at many American colleges. Beyond these books, the Center has issued a stream of briefer “cargo pocket” histories, some offering accounts of the Army’s recent campaigns. These have been particularly well received by our soldiers. The Center has broadened its publication efforts into other media as well. The Center of Military History website has expanded, incorporating an ever-larger sampling of our manuscripts and holdings, and it now attracts roughly seven million “hits” a month. The website has won a number of academic awards, each of which in turn has further increased its use. We have been putting our publications and collections onto compact disks as well, and each CD we have published thus far has elicited rave reviews. Army History, this very magazine that you are reading, has matured into a first-class periodical—without advertisements! These innovations have been reflected in the field. Several major command history offices have established websites and issued CDs. The Training and Doctrine Command’s Combat Studies Institute, having been totally reorganized and expanded, has once again initiated an aggressive publication program. I am proud of the manner in which we Army historians have sustained our long-established standards for major publications, while reaching out to our public with diverse products to fill particular needs. We have been working more closely in recent years with our international colleagues. We have sustained our long and healthy relationship with the International Commission of Military History and our robust bilateral ties to a number of international military history offices. Over the last six years the Partnership for Peace Military History Working Group, encompassing the military history organizations of the United States, Canada, and a wide array of Western and Eastern European nations, has developed a vibrant forum 58 Army History Winter 2006
Dr. John S. Brown retired from his position as chief of military history in October 2005.
In Memoriam, Hugh M. Cole (1910–2005) Catherine Joan Macmaster Cole
The Chief ’s Corner continued from page 3
for intellectual exchange, particularly with respect to the Cold War. I hope this will serve as a model for multinational military history gatherings in other regions of the world. These international contacts, which the internet has made ever more convenient, have helped all involved with access to archives and the pursuit of historical research. When I first arrived at the Center of Military History, the National Museum of the United States Army was nothing more than an idea. Now the National Museum Division of the Center has its own headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; an ever-growing staff under capable leadership; and the support of the Army’s leaders for the expenditure of over $100 million in appropriated funds. It has established vibrant outreach programs that have demonstrated its capacity to reach the American public while building goodwill around the world. The Army Historical Foundation, a private organization raising funds for the museum, has grown in size and capacity as well. We may all look forward to a wonderful opening event in June 2011. We also can take great pride in the successful, wellorganized, and well-led affiliates of the museum, the Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and the Center of Military History’s Clearinghouse at Anniston, Alabama. The growing synergy among these three fine institutions—one primarily a museum, one primarily an archive, and one primarily a depot—cannot help but lift the Army Historical Program to an entirely new level. While the Army museum system as a whole will benefit greatly from the emerging National Museum of the United States Army, it has also independently made great strides in centralizing inventory control and enhancing the quality of its many constituent museums. The museum system’s collegial certification teams and command supply discipline teams have exemplified the ideal of curators helping one another to achieve the highest possible standards. Over the past seven years we have integrated all of the U.S. Army’s museum artifacts into a single property book—the largest in the Department of Defense—and we are currently entering them all into a single data base. This has enormously improved accountability, protecting these valuable items from the vagaries of local moves or reorganizations. We have begun to centralize the oversight of museum funding as well, seeking to ensure that each museum gets the best possible support while enjoying economies of scale and full asset visibility. I could not be more pleased with or proud of the time that I have had the honor to serve as the chief of military history. I am indebted to each of you for all of your hard work and for the dedication you have displayed in preserving and promulgating the history and heritage of our soldiers. Seven years have gone by incredibly quickly. I leave with the fondest of memories.
Lt. Col. Hugh Cole in the historical office of the European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, in Paris, mid-1945
Retired Army Reserve Col. Hugh M. Cole, who headed the European Theater Section of the Office of the Chief of Military History and wrote two official campaign histories on World War II, died on 5 June 2005 at the age of 94. Born in rural Pittsford, Michigan, Cole earned a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in Illinois and master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Minnesota. His dissertation examined the organization of the Prussian Army during the reign of King Frederick William I (1713–40). Before the United States entered World War II Cole taught history at Macalester College and the University of Chicago. He also served as director of research at the Institute of Military Studies at the latter school and wrote on military affairs for the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Times. Cole became an officer in the U.S. Army in 1942 and attended the Army’s Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He served as chief of foreign area and language studies for the Army Specialized Training Program, a college-study program for selected enlisted men, and then as the historical officer on the staff of Lt. Gen. George Patton’s Third Army, with which he participated in four campaigns in Northern Europe. At the end of the war, Cole became the U.S. Army’s deputy historian for the European Theater at the rank of lieutenant colonel, serving under Col. S. L. A. Marshall, and he assumed the post of theater historian upon Colonel Marshall’s return to the United States in December 1945. Cole joined the Office of the Chief of Military History in Washington, D.C., as a civilian in 1946 and, as a section chief, supervised the writing of the official history
of the Army’s actions in the fighting from Normandy to the Elbe. He wrote two volumes of that history, The Lorraine Campaign (OCMH, 1950), covering the painstaking advance of the Third Army from the Meuse to the Sarre River in northeastern France from September to mid-December 1944, and The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge (OCMH, 1965), treating the German counteroffensive launched toward Antwerp, Belgium, on 16 December 1944 and the thwarting of that attack. Well before finishing his second book, Cole in 1952 became director of the branch in Heidelberg, Germany, of Johns Hopkins University’s Operations Research Office, which worked exclusively on Army contracts. He directed research for strategic studies on a wide range of issues, including deployment plans, measures of combat effectiveness, logistical problems, the development of war-gaming techniques, and doctrine for the placement of atomic demolition munitions. Cole continued his leadership role in Army strategic analysis by serving from 1961 to 1972 first as a division chief and then as a vice president of the Research Analysis Corporation, a firm headquartered in McLean, Virginia, that took up the work and much of the staff of the university office upon its dissolution. He was also an Army Reserve officer from 1946 to 1964. In 1973 Secretary of the Army Howard H. Callaway conferred upon Cole the Army’s Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service for his research on challenges facing the Army. Cole returned to the classroom in the academic year 1976–77, when he held the Harold K. Johnson chair of Military History at the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. 59
Just Published . . . see page 39
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