Journal of Military History
Vol. 75, No. 3
July 2011


The 2011 George C. Marshall Lecture in Military History

Gerhard L. Weinberg, “Some Myths of World War II,” The Journal of Military History 75 #3 (July 2011): 701-718.
The talk engages some myths of the war that have been widely shared. The examination includes myths pertaining to the war as a whole as well as about individual leaders and groups of individuals. Included among the latter are Adolf Hitler and his generals, Winston Churchill, Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt, and Yamamoto Isoroku. The text also touches on such issues as the Yalta Conference, the Morgenthau Plan for Germany, and the disappearance of the horses from people's image of the war.
Gavin Robinson, “Equine Battering Rams? A Reassessment of Cavalry Charges in the English Civil War,” The Journal of Military History 75 #3 (July 2011): 719-731.
According to traditional narratives the tactic of shock charges imported from Sweden replaced the caracole, a maneuver which involved successive ranks of cavalry advancing, firing their pistols, and retreating to reload, during the English Civil War. A successful cavalry charge was supposed to depend on close order and momentum to maximize the shock of impact. But this theory of shock is anachronistic. Physical shock is largely absent from early seventeenth century English drill books and eyewitness accounts of Civil War battles. The laws of physics and evidence from racing accidents show that if close-order shock charges could be achieved they could not give any tactical advantage. There is similarly little evidence for the continued use of the caracole into this period.
Ian Germani, “Terror in the Army: Representatives on Mission and Military Discipline
in the Armies of the French Revolution,” The Journal of Military History 75 #3 (July 2011): 733-768.
This article explores the role of the French National Convention’s representatives on mission in relation to the functioning of military courts in the armies of the French Revolution. It argues that the intervention of representatives on mission, while at times dramatic, was not necessarily the only, or even dominant, factor in determining the exercise of military justice. Although both representatives on mission and court officers insisted that harsh exemplary punishment was the key in military discipline and expressed an ideological antipathy toward the officer caste, the pattern of sentencing gives evidence of both moderation and pragmatism.
Tim Benbow, “Menace” to “Ironclad”: The British Operations against Dakar (1940) and Madagascar (1942),” The Journal of Military History 75 #3 (July 2011): 769-809.
Two relatively unknown British operations during the Second World War—Operation “Menace” against Dakar (1940) and Operation “Ironclad” against Madagascar (1942)—offer a fascinating contrast, the former being a humiliating failure and the latter a striking success. This article seeks to explain the dramatic difference in their outcomes. Both were directed against Vichy France, with which Britain was not at war, and were undertaken at a time of particularly scarce resources and competing priorities, resulting in great challenges for political leaders and military planners. Unlike “Menace,” “Ironclad” achieved the desired objective at minimum cost to either side, largely by securing and exploiting surprise.
James Lacey, “World War II’s Real Victory Program,” The Journal of Military History 75 #3 (July 2011): 811-834.
Historians have long believed that the Victory Program that formed the basis of U.S. military and production strategy during World War II was mostly the work of a sole genius—Major Albert C. Wedemeyer. This article makes the case that Wedemeyer’s paper—“Ultimate Requirements Study: Estimate of Army Ground Forces”—had very little impact during the war. Its postwar prominence as an all-seeing document of remarkable foresight is a myth perpetuated for over fifty years by Wedemeyer himself. The true Victory Program combined a military strategy worked out by Admiral Harold Stark, and a production program worked out by three almost forgotten economists, Robert Nathan, Simon Kuznets, and Stacy May.
Kenton Clymer, “U.S. Homeland Defense in the 1950s: The Origins of the Ground Observer Corps,” The Journal of Military History 75 #3 (July 2011): 835-859.
A quasi-auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force from 1950 to 1959, the Ground Observer Corps (GOC) is among the least studied components of the American air defense system during the early Cold War. This essay concludes that although the GOC never met its founders’ hopes, air defense elements considered it useful in building support for Cold War policies, especially air defense programs. The essay also argues tentatively that the GOC’s failure to achieve its goals provides some support for those who have questioned how responsive the general public was to the anticommunist crusade and alarmist assertions of Soviet intentions to attack the United States with atomic weapons.
Hal Brands, “Why Did Saddam Invade Iran? New Evidence on Motives, Complexity, and the Israel Factor,” The Journal of Military History 75 #3 (July 2011): 861-885.
Using newly available Iraqi records, this article revisits Saddam Hussein’s decision to attack Iran in 1980. His decision defies easy categorization as offensive or defensive, strategic or ideological. The invasion’s rationale reflected a diverse array of factors rather than any single overriding determinant. Simultaneously a defensive response to Iranian provocations and an attempt to exploit post-revolutionary Iranian weakness, the invasion was also thoroughly wound up in Saddam’s ideological proclivities and exalted self-conception. Additionally, Saddam viewed attacking Iran as a step toward assuming his destiny as a great Arab leader and—more intriguingly—as a potential springboard to an eventual war against Israel. Strategy, ideology, and personality flowed together, creating a potent mix.
Review Essay:
John M. Carland, “Scorecard on CIA COIN in Vietnam,” The Journal of Military History 75 #3 (July 2011): 887-891.

Barbarous Philosophers: Reflections on the Nature of War from Heraclitus to Heisenberg, by Christopher Coker, reviewed by Ralph Hitchens, 893-894

Bloodied Banners: Martial Display on the Medieval Battlefield, by Robert W. Jones, reviewed by Karl Randall, 894-896

Portuguese Sea Battles, Volume I: The First World Sea Power, 1139-1521, by Armando da Silva Saturnino Monteiro, reviewed by John F. Guilmartin, Jr., 896-897

The Crusades and the Near East: Cultural Histories, edited by Conor Kostick, reviewed by Christopher Tyerman, 897-898

Wallenstein: The Enigma of the Thirty Years War, by Geoff Mortimer, reviewed by Christoph Kampman, 899-900

La Paix de Karlowitz, 26 janvier 1699: les relations entre l’Europe central et l’Empire Ottoman, edited by Jean Bérenger, reviewed by Ciro Paoletti, 900-901

A Military History of South Africa:From the Dutch-Khoi Wars to the End of Apartheid, by Timothy J. Stapleton, reviewed by Jan-Bart Gewald, 901-903

The Capture of Louisbourg, 1758, by Hugh Boscawen, reviewed by James Pritchard, 903-905

The American Revolution: A Grand Mistake, by Leland G. Stauber, reviewed by Mark Edward Lender, 905-907

The American Revolution: A Concise History, by Robert J. Allison, reviewed by James M. Johnson, 907-908

Recollections of Life on the Prison Ship Jersey, by Thomas Dring, edited by David Swain, reviewed by Paul J. Springer, 909-910

Captured at King’s Mountain: The Journal of Uzal Johnson, a Loyalist Surgeon, edited by Wade S. Kolb III and Robert M. Weir, reviewed by Carole Watterson Troxler, 910-911

Strategy in the American War for Independence: A Global Approach, edited by Donald Stoker, Kenneth J. Hagan, and Michael T. McMaster, reviewed by Gene Allen Smith, 911-912

The American Revolution in Monmouth County: The Theatre of Spoil and Destruction, by Michael S. Adelberg, reviewed by William Pencak, 912-914

Wellington’s Two-Front War: The Peninsular Campaigns at Home and Abroad, 1808-1814, by Joshua Moon, reviewed by William Anthony Hay, 914-915

Perilous Fight: America’s Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815, by Stephen Budiansky, reviewed by Michael J. Crawford, 915-917

The Second Creek War: Interethnic Conflict and Collusion on a Collapsing Frontier, by John T. Ellisor, reviewed by Matthew Jennings, 917-918

War with Mexico! America’s Reporters Cover the Battlefront, by Tom Reilly, edited by Manley Witten, reviewed by Irving Levinson, 918-919

An Ever Present Danger: A Concise History of British Military Operations on the North-West Frontier, 1849-1947, by Matt M. Matthews, reviewed by Christian Tripodi, 919-921

Soldiers and Settlers in Africa, 1850-1918, edited by Stephen M. Miller, reviewed by Charles Thomas, 921-922

The Mormon Rebellion: America’s First Civil War, 1857-1858, by David L. Bigler and Will Bagley, reviewed by Robert Wooster, 922-923

The Civil War: A Concise History, by Louis P. Masur, reviewed by Debra Sheffer, 924

God’s Almost Chosen People: A Religious History of the American Civil War, by George C. Rable, reviewed by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, 925-926

Civil War Citizens: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in America’s Bloodiest Conflict, edited by Susannah J. Ural, reviewed by Paul A. Cimbala, 926-927

The Civil War Naval Encyclopedia, edited by Spencer C. Tucker, reviewed by Kevin J. Weddle, 928-929

America’s Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan, edited by James H. Willbanks, reviewed by Fred L. Borch, 929-931

Homer Lea: American Soldier of Fortune, by Lawrence M. Kaplan, reviewed by Katherine K. Reist, 931-932

Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908-1918, by Michael A. Reynolds, reviewed by Gary P. Cox, 932-934

Hero of the Air: Glenn Curtiss and the Birth of Naval Aviation, by William F. Trimble, reviewed by Stephen K. Stein, 934-935

Vittorio Orlando-Italy, by Spencer M. Di Scala, reviewed by John Gooch, 935-936

Sovereignty at Sea: U.S. Merchant Ships and American Entry into World War I, by Rodney Carlisle, reviewed by Eric W. Osborne, 936-937

Narrow Gauge to No Man’s Land: U.S. Army 60 cm Gauge Railways of the First World War in France, by Richard Dunn, reviewed by Murdock Moore, 938

Stalking the U-Boat: U. S. Naval Aviation in Europe during World War I, by Geoffrey L. Rossano, reviewed by J. I. Holwitt, 939-940

Desert Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia, by Charles Townshend, reviewed by Matthew Hughes, 940-942

Douglas Haig and the First World War, by J. P. Harris, reviewed by Mitchell Yockelson, 942-943

Tidewater Warrior: General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., USMC, Twentieth Commandant -- The World War I Years, by Tom FitzPatrick, reviewed by Robert H. Ferrell, 944-945

Revered Commander, Maligned General: The Life of Clarence Ransom Edwards, 1859-1931, by Michael E. Shay, reviewed by Edward M. Coffman, 945-946

Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era, by Chad L. Williams, reviewed by Jennifer D. Keene, 946-947

Finding Common Ground: New Directions in First World War Studies, edited by Jennifer D. Keene and Michael S. Neiberg, reviewed by Len Shurtleff, 947-949

Trotsky: A Biography, by Robert Service, reviewed by Evan Mawdsley, 949-951

Carrying the War to the Enemy: American Operational Art to 1945, by Michael R. Matheny, reviewed by Gordon W. Rudd, 951-953

The World in World Wars: Experiences, Perceptions and Perspectives from Africa and Asia, edited by Heike Liebau, Katrin Bromber, Katharina Lange, Dyala Hamzah and Ravi Ahuja, reviewed by Nikolas Gardner, 953-954

Architect of Soviet Victory in World War II: The Life and Theories of G. S. Isserson, by Richard W. Harrison, reviewed by Alexander Hill, 955-956

The Soviet Union at War, 1941-1945, edited by David R. Stone, reviewed by Jonathan M. House, 956-957

Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Letters from the Eastern Front, edited by Konrad H. Jarausch, reviewed by Stephen G. Fritz, 957-959

Dealing with the Devil: Anglo-Soviet Intelligence Cooperation in the Second World War, by Donal O’Sullivan, reviewed by Wesley Wark, 959-960

The Hump: America’s Strategy for Keeping China in World War II, by John D. Plating, reviewed by Guangqiu Xu, 960-961

Shepherds of the Sea: Destroyer Escorts in World War II, by Robert F. Cross, reviewed by Richard J. Cappellino, 961-962

The Battle for Western Europe, Fall 1944: An Operational Assessment, by John A. Adams, reviewed by David W. Hogan, Jr., 963-964

Victory at Peleliu: The 81st Infantry Division’s Pacific Campaign, by Bobby C. Blair and John Peter DeCioccio, reviewed by Harold J. Goldberg, 964-966

The Final Betrayal: Mountbatten, MacArthur and the Tragedy of Japanese POWs, by Mark Felton, reviewed by Stanley L. Falk, 966-967

The United States and the End of British Colonial Rule in Africa, 1941-1968, by James P. Hubbard, reviewed by Anthony Adamthwaite, 967-968

Over There: Living with the U.S. Military Empire from World War II to the Present, edited by Maria Höhn and Seungsook Moon, reviewed by John Willoughby, 968-970

The Contours of America's Cold War, by Matthew Farish, reviewed by Andrej Gaspari, 970-971

Continental Defense in the Eisenhower Era: Nuclear Antiaircraft Arms and the Cold War, by Christopher J. Bright, reviewed by Michael J. Neufeld, 971-972

Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War, by Carole McGranahan, reviewed by Allen Carlson, 972-974

Worse Than a Monolith: Alliance Politics and Problems in Coercive Diplomacy in Asia, by Thomas J. Christensen, reviewed by June Teufel Dreyer, 974-975

Transforming Command: The Pursuit of Mission Command in the U.S., British, and Israeli Armies, by Eitan Shamir, reviewed by Ingo Trauschweizer, 975-976

Fallout: The True Story of the CIA’s Secret War on Nuclear Trafficking, by Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz, reviewed by Frank Settle, 977-978

Power in Uncertain Times: Strategy in the Fog of Peace, by Emily O. Goldman, reviewed by William R. Hawkins, 978-979

Global Air Power, edited by John Andreas Olsen, reviewed by Robert S. Ehlers, Jr., 979-981

On Flexibility: Recovery from Technological and Doctrinal Surprise on the Battlefield, by Meir Finkel, reviewed by Frank Hoffman, 981-983

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