Accession Number:



Shift to Generalization Within U.S. Infantry Divisions: World War II Historical Analysis of a Common Problem

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army School for Advanced Military Studies

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Planners and leaders, throughout time, face a common problem. How best to organize a force for the next war In a modern context, the challenge includes integrating capabilities at echelon, managing risk on the battlefield, and employing formations within shipping, manpower, and budgetary constraints. Planners in the twentieth century devolved into two theories, generalized formations, containing all capabilities at lower echelons, and specialized formations tailored to individual missions or operations. Cementing tactical biases, World War II was the conflict in which the US transitioned to generalization. In doing so, the US Army continues to struggle with integrating capabilities into its force structure. This study examines the implementation of emerging technologies within US infantry divisions, discusses the shift to generalization, and examines the causes. The thesis concludes that in generalizing the formation, planners never really solved the problems that specialization sought to address, invoking a recurring problem in the Army for years to come.


Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]