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Borrowed Soldiers: Americans Under British…

Borrowed Soldiers: Americans Under British Command, 1918 (Campaigns and…

by Mitchell A. Yockelson

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If one has read about the American involvement in World War I to even a superficial extent, one is aware of the long-running argument the United States had with its allies over the wisdom of creating an American field army from scratch; as opposed to filling out already existing British & French units with American replacements due to the press of time. In this book Mitch (for the record he is a colleague of mine) examines the experimental control if you will, as he provides a narrative of the U.S. II Corps and its constituent divisions under the control of the British; a group of men whose combat service was overshadowed by the events of the Meuse-Argonne campaign. The implications are that, if handled correctly, more American troops under the operational control of the Entente might not have been a bad idea. The unanswerable questions being whether the failure to establish an American field army would have blunted Washington's influence on the making of the peace and what this would have meant for the long-term development of the American armed forces. Considering how much Wilson threw away to get the League of Nations perhaps the lack of an independent American field command would not have been that important matter. However, it's also hard to escape the suspicion that the most relevant long-term result of the A.E.F. was to provide a cadre of staff officers who had a real understanding of operational warfare. The relevance of this, of course, is how inevitable you believe World War II to be. ( )
  Shrike58 | Feb 27, 2015 |
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