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Other titles in the Modern War Studies series:

Battalion Commanders at War: U.S. Army Tactical Leadership in the Mediterranean Theater, 1942-1943 (Modern War Studies)

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Battalion Commanders at War: U.S. Army Tactical Leadership in the Mediterranean Theater, 1942-1943 (Modern War Studies) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Most histories of the U.S. Army in World War II view the Mediterranean Theater of Operations primarily as a deadly training ground for very green forces, where lessons learned on the beaches of Oran, in the hills of the Kasserine Pass area, and at the collapse of the Tunis bridgehead all contributed to later success in Western Europe. Steven Barry, however, contends that victory in the MTO would not have materialized without the leadership of battalion-level commanders. They operated at a high level, despite the lack of combat experience for themselves and their troops, ineffective leadership at higher levels, and deficiencies in equipment, organization, and mobilization.

Barry portrays these officers as highly trained, adaptable, and courageous in their first combat experiences in North Africa and Sicily. Their leadership, he argues, brought discipline, maturity, experience, and the ability to translate common operational guidance into tactical reality, and thus contributed significantly to battlefield success in North Africa and Sicily in 1942-1943. To explain how this happened, he examines their prewar experiences, including professional military education and unit training exercises; personal factors such as calmness and physical resilience under fire; and the ability to draw upon doctrine, creatively apply the resources at their disposal, and clearly define and communicate mission goals and means. He also reveals how battalion leaders incorporated technological innovations into combined arms maneuvers by employing tank capabilities and close air support doctrine.

As Barry's assessment shows, these battalion commanders were not the sole reason for the Allied triumph in North Africa and Sicily, but victory would not have been possible without the special brand of military leadership they exhibited throughout those campaigns. Under their leadership, even inexperienced units were able to deliver credible combat performance, and without the regular army battalion leaders, U.S. units could not have functioned tactically early in the war.

One of the few studies to focus on tactical adaptation at the battalion level in conventional warfare, Barry's book attests to the pivotal value of professional military education-and makes an important contribution to today's "organizational learning" debate-while providing an in-depth view of adaptation of U.S. infantry and armored forces in 1942-1943.

Synopsis:

Examines the largely unsung leadership of U.S. Army battalion commanders in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations of World War II and concludes that they were hugely instrumental in overcoming their German Adversaries to emerge victorious, first in North Africa (Operation TORCH) and then in Sicily (Operation HUSKY).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. West Point Evolution

A New Approach in the Classroom

Forging Cadets into Soldiers: Tactical

Training

Into the Gym and onto the Fields

Role Models

2. Forging Leaders beyond the Hudson

Regular Army Training

The Civilian Conservation Corps and New Deal Impacts

The Thomason Act Diversifies

The Next Step: Army Service Schools

The Army General Headquarters Maneuvers

3. Wading in with TORCH

The Western Task Force Arrives in Morocco

Mixed Results: Elite Units at Oran

Waters at the TORCH Landings

The Big Red One at Oran

The Training of One Division: 1st Armored Division

The Eastern Assault Force at Algiers

4. The Race for Tunisia

Battalion Leadership in the Fight for Chouigui Pass

Medjez El Bab: Indicators of Weak Leadership

The Struggle to Coordinate at Longstop Hill

Evaluating Armored Warfare Data

5. A Long February in the Tunisian Passes

Marooned Infantrymen: The 168th Committed by the II Corps

Hightower, Leadership Traits, and Defeat at Faid Pass

Alger, Overwhelming Numbers, and the Defeat at Sidi Bou Zid

Stopping the Bleeding at Kasserine

6. A Greenless Spring to End Tunisia

Operational Leadership Challenges

From El Guettar to Matuer: The Infantry Divisions Put It All Together

Howze, Battle Plays, and the Breakthrough at Mateur

Cole and the Issue of Greenness

7. The Last First Battle, Sicily

Thunderbirds Rising: Building Learning Organizations Prior to Combat

Rock of the Marne Overcoming Friction at Licata

The Fighting First at Gela

Paratroopers in Action against Armor

Conclusion

Historiography Essay

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780700618996
Subtitle:
U.S. Army Tactical Leadership in the Mediterranean Theater, 1942-1943
Author:
Barry, Steven Thomas
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Subject:
Military-World War II General
Subject:
Military - World War II
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130523
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English

Related Subjects

Biography » Military
History and Social Science » Military » Strategy Tactics and Deception
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Battalion Commanders at War: U.S. Army Tactical Leadership in the Mediterranean Theater, 1942-1943 (Modern War Studies) New Hardcover
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Product details pages University Press of Kansas - English 9780700618996 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Examines the largely unsung leadership of U.S. Army battalion commanders in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations of World War II and concludes that they were hugely instrumental in overcoming their German Adversaries to emerge victorious, first in North Africa (Operation TORCH) and then in Sicily (Operation HUSKY).
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