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Rediscovering Interwar American Theorists

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Technical Report,05 Jun 2016,25 May 2017

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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US Army officers in in the interwar period prepared themselves for victory, at least in part, by broadly studying European and American military theory and applying it as a lens to history. Despite this, there seems to be a common perception that Americans contributed little to military theory between world wars. This monograph argues that there was substantial development in American military theory during the interwar period, it covered strategic and operational theory, and it was influential in doctrine and practice. The small amount of literature on American military theory prior to 1945 is scattered, comprised of parts and pieces, and not taken very seriously. This paper addresses this gap by analyzing the theories of Brigadier General William K. Naylor and Colonel Oliver P. Robinson, examining their influences, and assessing their influence on doctrine and leaders of the Second World War. Additionally, this paper contains recommendations to improve the integration of military theory into officer education.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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