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Pattern for Victory: Forging and Leading Air Power at War
Monograph, July 2011 May 2012
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
General Laurence S. Kuter served as both an operational planner and commander during the Second World War. As a planner, he co-authored Air War Plans Division Plan 1 AWPD-1 the basic strategy upon which the United States Army Air Forces waged the war. Beyond designing the plan, Kuter helped to execute it as a commander in both the European and Mediterranean Theaters of Operation before returning to the Pentagon as a strategic planner. His service is unique in that he successfully transitioned between planning and commanding. To date, no one has studied Kuters career in depth or his ability to fulfill both roles effectively. There are only two published accounts of wartime service and both of these are very narrow in scope. Fortunately, Kuter donated his extensive personal archive to the Gimbel Aeronautical History Collection at the United States Air Force Academy. This manuscript collection contains thousands of documents, publications, and photos spanning his entire life. Additionally, the Air Force Historical Research Agency maintains a copy of Kuters oral history recorded in 1974. These primary sources serve as the basis for this study. This monographs overarching research question is to what extent does the historical example of Kuters experience as an operational planner combine with his service as a commander to provide insight into the origins of USAF operational art Three specific questions guide this investigation. First, were there items for which the AWPD-1 planners failed to account Second, how did the commanders executing the plan provide feedback to their planners Third, did the plan allow for the incorporation of feedback from the field The narrative examines Kuters career from his graduation from West Point through the end of the Second World War. Early discussion focuses on his role formulating United States Army Air Corps bombardment theory and writing AWPD-1.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE