Accession Number:

ADA611562

Title:

Instilling Combat Effectiveness during the Italian Campaign (1943-1945): The Allied Experience with Folgore and Friuli Combat Groups

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-06-13

Pagination or Media Count:

177.0

Abstract:

Beginning in July 1944, the Allies provided military assistance to the Royal Italian Army in an attempt to raise five combat groups small division-level units to expedite the Allied war effort in Italy. The British assumed most of the assistance effort, and implemented an ambitious training program, which aimed to commit effective combat groups to battle in early 1945. The task proved a thorny one. In fact, with the exception of Folgore Combat Group, the Italian combat groups struggled to overcome the legacy of being part of an army that had entered the war unprepared. British trainers failed to understand how the combat groups different backgrounds in terms of combat experience, training, and organizational culture deeply influenced the achievement of combat effectiveness. This thesis argues that cultural rather than material factors accounted for the relative success or failure of individual combat groups. Furthermore, it concludes that instituting cultural change is an altogether more difficult problem than improving the material conditions of a unit, and that time is a key enabler of success when cultural change proves a necessity. Finally, the thesis analyzes current United States doctrine regarding Security Force Assistance, and points to how understanding the British experience with the Italian combat groups may prove beneficial for Security Force Assistance operations today.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE