Born Lucky: The Institutional Sources behind the Third United States Army Headquarters' Procedures in Northwest Europe, 1944-45
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Historical narratives often feature Patton-centric explanations for Third United States Armys TUSA World War II conduct in Northwest Europe. Although certainly a central figure in TUSAs story, General George S. Patton, Jr. may not represent the only factor that influenced this headquarters development and procedures. Instead of a discrete event, one best views Pattons command of TUSA as the continuation of a process of development at the army level initiated in World War Is aftermath. Between 1919 and 1942, the U.S. Army devoted significant thought and energy to improving the army echelons relevance and performance through doctrinal dialogue, professional military education PME, and field exercises in response to deficiencies it identified during the Punitive Expedition and World War I. This institutional process affected the officer corps at large, including Patton and his future staff officers coming from two sources Pattons early World War II commands, and the stateside TUSA. Pattons reassignment as TUSA CG in early 1944 required him to fuse these traditions, which he accomplished through a unifying philosophy of warfare coupled with explicit expectations about how his staff must perform in combat. This allowed the TUSA headquarters to operationalize Pattons philosophy through its procedures -- which encapsulated the institutional process, modified to suit his personal command style. This monograph is of interest to military historians and practitioners alike. Derived from primary and secondary source-based historical research, it offers an alternate explanation for why TUSA fought as it did in Northwest Europe between 1944 and 1945. Historically, this monograph is significant for four reasons. First, it reevaluates the role doctrine played in shaping a major headquarters procedures during World War II. Second, it explores an alternative view than that found in Patton-centric narratives for TUSA performance by contextualizing Pattons leadership.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics