Interwar Period Leavenworth Student Papers: Perceptions of Airpower and Implications Regarding Effectiveness of the Leavenworth Schools
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This thesis evaluates interwar period U.S. Army officer perceptions of aviation as expressed in student papers written as part of the Command and General Staff School during the 1930s. The evaluation compares student perceptions to period airpower theory and doctrine and applies that study to weigh-in on the broader debate over the effectiveness of Fort Leavenworth during the interwar period. Americas School for War and Command Culture by Dr. Peter Schifferle and Dr. Jorg Muth, respectively, highlight the competing sides of that debate. Schifferle argues Leavenworth was a key component to the U.S. victory in World War II while Muth argues the U.S. victory occurred in spite of Leavenworth teaching faulty doctrine and stifling critical thinking. This study concludes that the students generally agreed with period doctrine while also rejecting many of the ideas of airpower theorists. However, application of the study to the question of Leavenworth effectiveness yields mixed results. The papers indicate the doctrine, which formed the basis of Leavenworth instruction, was appropriate for the time. Nonetheless, they also suggest Leavenworths willingness to part with critical thinking development in the form of writing in favor of more classroom instruction - instruction of debatable effectiveness.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics