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Amphibious Landing Operations in World War II: Personal Experience in Applying and Developing Doctrine

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2014,21 May 2015

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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The United States Army and Navy conducted amphibious landing operations in multiple wars throughout their histories with varying levels of success. Early amphibious landing doctrine was a joint-effort between the services, but a divergence in purpose drove them apart prior to World War II. Soon after the United States entered the War, the Army and Navy would work together again, but the division in amphibious landing experience and doctrine was enough to cause concern among leaders. The Army had to meet the challenge of overcoming rapid expansion and a lack of institutional or personal experience in conducting large-scale amphibious operations. At the forefront of the Armys effort to gain experience planning and conducting amphibious landings was Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., a Cavalry officer by training. Following his assignment to the Combined Operations Headquarters, Truscott planned and led units in nearly every large-scale landing in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations from the brigade to corps level. Following World War II, he continued to influence amphibious landing doctrine. This monograph compares Truscotts personal experiences and the doctrine used by the Army to determine points of friction and explores the current lack of amphibious landing doctrine given the Armys history, potential threats, and future concepts.

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