World War I


Supporting The Doughboys

Supporting The Doughboys

US Army Logistics and Personnel During World War I

By Leo P. Hirrel

172 Pages

Published: 2017

One hundred years ago, the US Army suddenly found itself at the center of one of the greatest human conflicts until that time. World War I came at a time when the Army lost the institutional knowledge of how to raise and employ large armies in the decades after the Civil War. Our Army needed to transform itself in short order into a world-class fighting organization, capable of engaging one of the world’s best armies. At the same time, it needed to adapt to modern weapons and technologies. Dr. Leo Hirrel has prepared a comprehensive study of the emergence of Army sustainment as a key part of transforming itself into a modern fighting force. It is a story of how the Army began with only the vaguest notions of how to support a multi-million Soldier Army, and with even less concept of how to operate overseas. Yet by the end of the war, the Army developed sustainment solutions that would last through the next war and beyond. Of course there were numerous mistakes and miscalculations, but the achievements were truly remarkable. This is a story for all students of military history. Understanding the role and development of sustainment functions in the American Expeditionary Forces is critical to appreciating the Army in World War I. This book provides a breadth of education for military leaders regardless of their branch.

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Over There with the AEF

Over There with the AEF

The World War I Memoirs of Captain Henry C. Evans, 1st Division, American Expeditionary Forces

By Combat Studies Institute Press

166 Pages

Published: 2015

When “Grandma Evans” died in 1991, John and Rosalyn Evans fell heir to John’s father’s old Army footlocker, which contained a trea¬sure trove of World War I memorabilia. “We hadn’t realized it before his death, but Pa kept a diary of his war years and had even typed a ninety four-page journal using the notes which he made while ‘over there’ from 1917 to 1919. In addition, Frank and Ella Evans, Pa’s father and stepmother, carefully saved each of the fifty-four letters which their dough-boy son sent to them. They returned the letters to him on his return.” Twenty letters which relate directly to the diary are included for reference.

To read this combined collection is to relive with Henry C. Evans, or just “Pa,” an important era in his life. Each page reflects his integrity, intelligence, courage and delightful sense of humor. We know Pa would want you to read and enjoy his writing. For those who knew and loved Pa, this project should rekindle fond memories. For his progeny who were not so fortunate to know him, including fifty-five and counting great-grandchildren, we hope that this project might acquaint them with this wonderful and heroic man. On 17 September 1995, one hundred years after Henry’s birth, John and Roslyn compiled Pa’s diary and pertinent letters as a gift to their family.

In 2003 the diary was shared with the Reserve Officers Training Corps at The Johns Hopkins University. The diary was such a hit with the cadets and cadre that the single copy became worn and severely dog-eared. In 2004 the Professor of Military Science, Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. Roller, Field Artillery, received permission from the family to retype the diary and add footnotes to give the diary historical context. In addition, more photos were added and the original letters were typed to make them easier to read. The goal of this new project was to significantly increase the audience for this wonderful diary and to use the diary to teach ROTC cadets the values of the US Army, which are so evident in this diary. Those values are: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

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The Evolution of a Revolt

The Evolution of a Revolt

By T. E. Lawrence (Late Lieut.-Colonel General Staff, E.E.F.)

428 Pages

Published: 1939

The Arab Revolt began in June, 1916, with an Arab offensive, a surprise attack by the half-armed and inexperienced tribesmen upon the Turkish garrisons in Medina and about Mecca. They had no success, and after a few days' effort they withdrew out of range of the fort artillery, and began a blockade. This method forced the early surrender of Mecca, whose road communications were too long and rough to be held by the Turks. Medina, however, was linked by railway to the Turkish main Army in Syria, and, thanks to their superior numbers and equipment, the Turks were able in a week's fighting to restore the line and reinforce the temporarily-besieged garrison there. The Arab forces which had attacked it fell back gradually as the Turks became more offensive, and at last moved fifty miles south-west into the hills, and there took up a position across the main road to Mecca.

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Infantry in Battle

Infantry in Battle

By The Infantry Journal

428 Pages

Published: 1939

This book treats of the tactics of small units as illustrated by examples drawn from the World War. It checks the ideas acquired from peacetime instruction against the experience of battle.

There is much evidence to show that officers who have received the best peacetime training available find themselves surprised and confused by the difference between conditions as pictured in map problems and those they encounter in campaign. This is largely because our peacetime training in tactics tends to become increasingly theoretical. In our schools we generally assume that organizations are well-trained and at full strength, that subordinates are competent, that supply arrangements function, that communications work, that orders are carried out. In war many or all of these conditions may be absent. The veteran knows that this is normal and his mental processes are not paralyzed by it. He knows that he must carry on in spite of seemingly insurmountable difficulties and regardless of the fact that the tools with which he has to work may be imperfect and worn. Moreover, he knows how to go about it. This volume is designed to give the peace-trained officer something of the viewpoint of the veteran.

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The Dynamics of Doctrine

The Dynamics of Doctrine

The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine During The First World War

By Timothy T. Lupfer

76 Pages

Published: 1981

This latest Leavenworth Paper is a case study in the wartime evolution of tactical doctrine. Previous publications of the Combat Studies Institute have examined the peacetime development of doctrine and have increased our knowledge of how doctrine has been applied. With the publication of Captain Lupfer's study. "The Dynamics of Doctrine," the Combat Studies Institute adds another dimension to the history of the processes of doctrinal change.

Besides providing a summary of German Infantry tactics of the First World War, this study offers insights into the crucial role of leadership in facilitating doctrinal change during battle. It once again reminds us that success in war demands extensive and vigorous training calculated to insure that field commanders understand and apply sound tactical principles as guidelines for action and not as a substitute for good judgment. It points out the need for a timely effort in collecting and evaluating doctrinal lessons from battlefield experience.

Finally, this study reminds us of yet another fundamental lesson from the past-that tendencies toward accepting the battlefield as a routine can be a deadly error. Altering previously accepted tactics in the middle of a struggle, as the author points out, is a very urgent and serious matter. As members of the Profession of Arms, we must be sensitive to the demands of change, visionary in our examination of their implications, and creative in our adaptation of combat organizations, tactics, and techniques.

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Chemical Warfare in World War I

Chemical Warfare in World War I

The American Experience, 1917–1918

By MAJ(P) Charles E. Heller, USAR

120 Pages

Published: 1984

This Leavenworth Paper chronicles the introduction of chemical agents in World War I, the U.S. Army's tentative preparations for gas warfare prior to and after American entry into the war, and the AEF experience with gas on the Western Front.

Chemical warfare affected tactics and almost changed the outcome of World War I. The overwhelming success of the first use of gas caught both sides by surprise. Fortunately, the pace of hostilities permitted the Allies to develop a suitable defense to German gas attacks and eventually to field a considerable offensive chemical capability. Nonetheless, from the introduction of chemical warfare in early 1915 until Armistice Day in November, 1918, the Allies were usually one step behind their German counterparts in the development of gas doctrine and the employment of gas tactics and procedures.

In his final report to Congress on World War I, General John J. Pershing expressed the sentiment of contemporary senior officers when he said, "Whether or not gas will be employed in future wars is a matter of conjecture, but the effect is so deadly to the unprepared that we can never afford to neglect the question." General Pershing was the last American field commander actually to confront chemical agents on the battlefield. Today, in light of a significant Soviet chemical threat and solid evidence of chemical warfare in Southeast and Southwest Asia, it is by no means certain he will retain that distinction.

Over 50 percent of the Total Army's Chemical Corps assets are located within the United States Army Reserve. This Leavenworth Paper was prepared by the USAA Staff Officer serving with the Combat Studies Institute, USACGSC, after a number of requests from USAA Chemical Corps officers for a historical study on the nature of chemical warfare in World War I. In fulfilling the needs of the USAR, this Leavenworth Paper also meets the needs of the Total Army in its preparations to fight, if necessary, on a battlefield where chemical agents might be employed.

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