Engaged in Debate: Major Albert C. Wedemeyer and the 1941 Victory Plan in Historical Memory
Technical Report,05 Jul 2016,25 May 2017
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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In the final months leading up to World War II, Americas strategic leaders recognized a troubling gap between the nations industrial capacity and the projected requirements of a full-scale mobilization. Their recognition created momentum for a strategic estimate encompassing not only theaters and military operations, but manpower and industrial production as well. The result was the Victory Program, which officially began in the summer of 1941 with a joint Army and Navy response to President Roosevelts request for industrial production requirements necessary to defeat Americas potential enemies known as the Victory Plan. According to the official history, the strategic genius behind the Victory Plan was not a senior Army officer, but the uniquely qualified Major Albert Wedemeyer. For more than six decades, accounts ranging from Wedemeyers autobiography, Army official history, and various secondary sources maintained a consensus regarding Wedemeyers unique and invaluable contribution to American war planning. In recent years, however, intensifying interest in the Victory Program, including the role played by economists, spawned an opposing narrative that diminishes Wedemeyers role in the creation of the Victory Plan, as well as the enduring Victory Program and Anglo-American grand strategy. The two schools of thought offer little middle ground they portray Wedemeyer as either a gifted strategic genius or an inconsequential staff officer. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, with Wedemeyer serving in a key position at a critical point in the nations history, but not quite the savior some have made him out to be.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
- Economics and Cost Analysis