Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

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Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 Apr 2013 22:38

Roosevelt reached a bit deep into the pool of US Army Generals to pick Marshall for CoS. Anyone able to recommend books or magazine articles on this choice, and the alternatives with the other qualified officers?

A thumbnail sketch of this selection would welcome too.

Thanks

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Takao » 06 Apr 2013 15:08

For quite some time, the US Army had gone with a proviso that the Army Chief of Staff must be able to serve four years in the position before reaching mandatory retirement age. Given that many of the "Senior" generals would not be able to meet such requirement - most were 60 or older at the time - this narrowed the field down to about four or five.

Major General Hugh A. Drum, Lieutenant General John L. Dewitt, Major General Frank W. Rowell, and Walter Krueger were the other generals who were senior to Marshall and able to serve out a four year term before reaching retirement age. Of these Generals, only Drum was a "real" contender, he had been on the list for the CoS position since 1930, having been passed over in favor of MacArthur and later passed over in 1935 for General Malin Craig.

A good book on Marshall is "General of the Army: George C. Marshall, Soldier and Statesman" by Ed Cray
Google Preview: http://books.google.com/books?id=bGgcYt ... &q&f=false

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by RJ55 » 06 Apr 2013 18:33

Also, the US army went through some pretty lean years between the wars and many very competant officers were serving in officer grades much lower than their training, experience and talent would suggest. I suppose this is true of the armies of most nations between the wars, especially during the great depression. But given the population and relative wealth of the US, its army was tiny.

Ed Gray argues that MacArthur was no friend of Marshall due to an imagined slight in WW1 and had developed some distaste for the "Chaumont Crowd" under Gen Pershing. Apparently Marshall organised the logistics quite well, but MacArthur imagined that Marshall and others were trying to stop him from his great destiny. MacArthur was somewhat of a Primma Donna even then, so I think Ed cray got it spot on.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 06 Apr 2013 23:10

Thanks for the Gray recommendation.

Rowell is one that has flown well below the radar. I'll have to search out his biography. Lears name was not in Takaos post. He was one of the army commanders and mobilization barons of 1940-41 so his reputation must have been very high in 1939.

Krueger is the one I've become the most curious about. Hollzimmer biography was a much needed item, but there is little of use in it on the subject of CoS selection & how competitive Kreuger was for the post.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by steverodgers801 » 07 Apr 2013 17:00

Mac had already served as COS and Im not sure was still eligible. He had also retired in 1937 to go to the Philippines Drum was the other main candidate, but he lobbied too hard for the job. A general Rowell was a marine general so would not have been eligible for army COS. I see no one on google by the name of MAJ GEN Frank Rowell

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 07 Apr 2013 18:14

Only clear entry I've so far found for a Maj Gen Frank Rowell is commander of the 2d Division circa 1937. At the time the 2d Div was a command post for the highly favored, due to its experimental nature.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... ed_States)

Maybe I can turn up something with more digging outside google.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Steen Ammentorp » 08 Apr 2013 21:03

Hi Carl,

Just in order to show the "candidate" list I have listed the officers senior to Marshall on 1 January 1939. I have listed their date of birth and date of seniority. As seen all with exception of Drum, DeWitt, Rowell, Lear, Beck & Krueger was older than 60 and of course Lear and Beck would also have turned 60 by September 1939 followed closely by Drum.

Major Generals
Malin Craig (5 Aug 1875) (21 Mar 1926) (CoS 2 Oct 1935)
Albert J. Bowley (24 Nov 1875) (20 Feb 1931)
Hugh A. Drum (19 Sep 1879) (1 Dec. 1931)
Lucius R. Holbrook (30 Apr 1875) (28 Dec 1933)
Stanley H. Ford (30 Jan 1877) (1 Mar 1936)
Stanley D. Embick (22 Jan 1877) (1 May 1936)
Herbert J. Brees (12 Jun 1877) (2 May 1936)
James K. Parsons (11 Feb 1877) (1 Jun 1936)
John H. Hughes (4 Feb 1876) (1 Oct 1936)
David L. Stone (15 Aug 1876) (1 Oct 1936)
John L. DeWitt (9 Jan 1880) (1 Dec 1936)
Charles D. Herron (13 Mar 1877) (14 Mar 1937)
Percy P. Bishop (27 May 1877) (1 Jan 1938)
James A. Woodruff (19 Jun 1877) (1 Mar 1938)
Frank W. Rowell (29 Feb 1880) (1 Apr 1938)
Walter C. Sweeney (16 Nov 1876) (1 Jun 1938)
Daniel Van Voorhis (24 Oct 1878) (1 Jul 1938)
Walter S. Grant (24 Jan 1878) (1 Oct 1938)
Ben Lear (12 May 1879) (1 Oct 1938)
William H. Wilson (26 Dec 1877) (1 Oct 1938)
Robert McC. Beck, Jr. (9 May 1879) (1 Nov 1938)

Brigadier Generals
Thomas E. Merrill (15 Oct 1876) (1 Dec 1934)
Robert O. Van Horn (15 Aug 1876) (1 Dec 1933)
Guy V. Henry (28 Jan 1875) (26 Mar 1934)
Charles M. Bundel (2 Jun 1875) (1 Sep 1934)
Dana T. Merrill (15 Oct 1876) (1 Dec 1934)
Evan H. Humphrey (5 Mar 1875) (7 Feb 1935)
Robert C. Foy (20 Aug 1876) (1 Mar 1935)
Charles F. Humphrey (11 Aug 1876) (9 Aug 1935)
Clement A. Trott (14 Dec 1877) (1 Sep 1935)
Duncan K. Major, Jr. (2 Apr 1876) (1 Nov 1935)
Lorenzo D. Gasser (3 May 1876) (17 Jun 1936)
George P. Tyner (26 Apr 1876) (1 Oct 1936)
Walter Krueger (26 Jan 1881) (1 Oct 1936)
Asa L. Singleton (31 Aug 1876) (1 Oct 1936)
George C. Marshall (31 Dec 1880) (1 Oct 1936)

Rowell is interesting. Here is a short bio.

Rowell, Frank W. (29 Feb 1880 – 22 Jan 1947):
9 Sep 1898 2nd Lieutenant
12 Jan 1900 1st Lieutenant
3 Mar 1906 Captain
1 Jul 1920 Lieutenant Colonel
29 Apr 1921 Colonel
1 Sep 1935 Brigadier General
1 Apr 1938 Major General
8 Jan 1928 – 20 Oct 1930 Officer Commanding 7th Infantry Regiment
1933 Chief of Staff, 1st Corps Area
1935 Professor of Military Science & Tactics, University of Vermont
12 May 1935 – 6 Mar 1936 Commanding General 18th Infantry Brigade
20 Mar 1936 – 12 Apr 1938 Commanding General Atlantic Sector, Panama Canal Department
10 Feb 1937 – 12 Apr 1937 Commanding General Panama Canal Department
2 May 1938 – 23 Mar 1939 Commanding General 2nd Infantry Division
1 Apr 1939 – 6 Jul 1940 Commanding General New York Port of Embarkation
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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Apr 2013 00:48

Steen
thanks, that is a large step. I dont have time tonight to purse the bios of each, tho only seven or eight are of any familarity. Aside from the four Palladins: Drum, Lear, Dewitt, Krueger; Embick and Brees are the only others whos names I recognize.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Steen Ammentorp » 09 Apr 2013 07:38

Just for comparison this show the standing of Marshall's predecessors in the Army Register on the 1 January the year they assumed office. It of course includes the current CoS.

John L. Hines #5
Charles P. Summerall #1
Douglas MacArthur #7
Malin Craig #6

So a considerably step down when Marshall was chosen. Interesting though that Summerall was senior to Hines in 1924.
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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by steverodgers801 » 09 Apr 2013 10:09

Interesting that only Krueger served in a combat command in the war. Marshall was quite ruthless in not allowing 50 plus year old generals besides Krueger and Patton to serve in combat commands.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Steen Ammentorp » 09 Apr 2013 10:36

Hi,

I don't think that we can say that Marshall had a ruthless rule for not allowing 50+ generals to serve in combat commands. There were many besides Krueger and Patton, here is just a few:

Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen (1888)
Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. (1886)
Lieutenant General Charles Harrison Corlett (1889)
Lieutenant General Willis Dale Crittenberger (1890)
Major-General Ernst Joseph Dawley (1886)
General Robert Lawrence Eichelberger (1886)
Lieutenant-General Lloyd Ralston Fredendall (1883)
Lieutenant-General Oscar Woolverton Griswold (1886)
General Wade Hampton Haislip (1889)
General Courtney Hicks Hodges (1887)

All at least 50 by 1941 and not getting younger.
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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Apr 2013 11:01

steverodgers801 wrote:Interesting that only Krueger served in a combat command in the war. Marshall was quite ruthless in not allowing 50 plus year old generals besides Krueger and Patton to serve in combat commands.
Drum had the opportunity to be the US rep, in China, the position Stilwell filled for three years. The story is he he turned it down, insisting he 'deserved' Europe. The usual story for Krueger is MacArthur had his name on a short list of those he would prefer for eventual command of the US 6th Army. (Precisely why Patch or Echilberger were not his top choice is not clear.) The other story which I heard verbally from WWII veterans is Krueger was feared by or able to intimidate MacArthur. The back story being that if necessary Krueger had the ability to remove him if he thought it necessary. I dont quite see that supported in the books but it turned up from two separate individuals. Whatever the truth is about that it does reflect on Kruegers personality & reputation for ruthlessness towards officers. A couple other points about Krueger: He appears to have been the foremost Army expert on amphibious warfare theory. He has both attended and taught at the Naval War College, and had spent multiple tours in the dept. responsible for writing joint Army/Navy doctrine. That may have influenced MacArthurs thinking in choosing Krueger. Related to this was Kruegers reputation as a writer/intellectect, which is striking as I failed to find any indication of formal education beyond high school. Field commissions from the NCO ranks were not uncommon in the US Army, and graduation from West Point was not essential for advancement to Generals rank, but in the 20th Century Army a General officer without any university education was a very rare bird. More so since Krueger held a series of positions at the cutting edge of Army development through 1941.

A final point is Krueger did not publish a self serving biography post war. Had he supported Eichelbergers claims MacArthurs reputation may have been completely destroyed. Instead he avoided public discussion of such matters & his contribution to WWII history raised little excitement.

Of the four 'barons' of the 1940-41 mobilization Drum seems to have blown his chance through arrogance. DeWitt & Lear appear to have been losing energy or their health by 1942. Of the other older crowd: Wainwright & the others lost in the PI never had a chance to prove much. A couple others were to valuable in non combat tasks & spent the war organizing/leading the support services.

Although Marshals 'purge' of the Generals ranks was on the surface based on perfomance the ability of the generals, including the National Guard, to stay in top positions had as much to do with their health as anything else. Men over age fifty lose their health at a accelerating rate, over sixty more so. The ability to stay on your feet for sixteen hour days and still retain clear thinking & judgement is something I've seen twentyfour year old Lts fail at. The ability to still lead with energy at age 55 is not common and rare at age sixty.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 09 Apr 2013 22:44

>>Interesting that only Krueger served in a combat command in the war

Kruegar was given a battlefield promotion in the Philippines by one General Arthur MacArthur and was specifically requested by Gen Douglas MacArthur by name.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Apr 2013 01:31

Did Big Mac initiate or recommend the commission, or was his signature the commanders endorsement?

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 10 Apr 2013 04:37

Carl,

I only know what Google tells me regards Krueger. This is what a quick Google Search provided.

1) Krueger's obit is here and mentions his commission under Arthur MacArthur--

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 06,2911637

2) This link mentions that Douglas MacArthur wanted Krueger _AND_ all of 3rd Army. He just got Krueger --

http://www.historyandtheheadlines.abc-c ... roductid=3
In January 1943, however, General Douglas MacArthur personally requested Krueger and Third Army for deployment to the southwest Pacific. Instead, the War Department transferred Krueger and some of his staff to Australia to activate Sixth Army.
3) This link is to a genealogy web site --

http://www.geni.com/people/General-Walt ... 5414129094

That has his pre-WW2 career as follows:
"Early military service

On 17 June 1898, Krueger, along with many of his fellow high-school students, enlisted for service in the Spanish-American War with the 2nd Volunteer Infantry. He reached Santiago de Cuba a few weeks after the Battle of San Juan Hill. Mustered out of the volunteers in February 1899, he returned home to Ohio planning to be a civil engineer.

However, many of his comrades were re-enlisting for service in the Philippine-American War and in June 1899 Krueger re-enlisted as a private in M Company of the 12th Infantry. Soon he was on his way to fight Emilio Aguinaldo's Insurrectos as part of Major General Arthur MacArthur, Jr.'s 2nd Infantry Division. He took part in the advance from Angeles City to Tarlac City, Aguinaldo's capital. But Aguinaldo had fled, and the 12th Infantry pursued him vainly all the way through Luzon's central plain to Dagupan City.

While serving in an infantry unit in the Philippines, he was promoted to sergeant. On July 1, 1901, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and posted to the 30th Infantry on Marinduque.

Krueger returned to the United States with the 30th Infantry in December 1903. In September 1904, he married Grace Aileen Norvell, whom he had met in the Philippines. They had three children: James Norvell (July 29, 1905-December, 1964), Walter Jr (April 25, 1910-February 15, 1997) and Dorothy Jane, born on January 24, 1913. Both James and Walter Jr attended the United States Military Academy, James graduating with the class of 1926 and Walter Jr. with the class of 1931. Dorothy married an Army officer, Aubrey D. Smith.

In 1904, Krueger attended and graduated from the Infantry-Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, followed by the General Staff College in 1907. After a second tour in the Philippines, he was assigned to Department of Languages at Fort Leavenworth as an instructor in Spanish and German, which he could speak fluently, along with French and English. Not only was Krueger an expert on discipline and training, he was also a noted military historian and scholar of military affairs. He published translations of several German military texts, most notably William Balck's Tactics.

Great War

With the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Krueger was offered a post as an observer with the German Army but was forced to turn it down due to familial commitments. Instead, he was posted to the 10th Infantry Regiment of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. The regiment was mobilized on 23 June 1916 and served along the Mexican border for five months as part of the Mexican Punitive Expedition under General John J. Pershing, although no Guard units fought Mexican troops. The unit was mustered out in October 1916.

After the United States commenced hostilities in World War I, Krueger became Assistant Chief of Staff G-3 (Operations) of the U.S. 84th Infantry Division at Camp Zachary Taylor. He became its chief of staff, with the rank of Major as of 5 August 1917. In February 1918, he was sent to Langres to attend the American Expeditionary Force General Staff School. In May 1918, all officers whose division was not under orders for France were ordered to return home but Krueger stayed on as G-3 of the 26th Infantry Division. Apparently the French Army requested that Krueger be sent home due to his German origin and Krueger was re-posted to the 84th Division, but he soon returned, as it embarked for France in August 1918. In October 1918, he became Chief of Staff of the Tank Corps. Following the end of the war, Krueger was assistant chief of staff of VI and IV Corps on occupation duty, advancing to the rank of temporary colonel. For his service in France, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1919.

Interwar years

With the end of the war, Krueger reverted to his permanent rank of captain on 30 June 1920 but was promoted to the permanent rank of major the next day. After periods at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, and in command of the 55th Infantry Regiment at Camp Funston, Kansas, Krueger attended the Army War College, graduating in 1921, and remaining for a year as an instructor. From 1922 to 1925, he served in the War Plans Division of the U.S. Army General Staff. In 1927 he tried to transfer to the United States Army Air Corps but his flight instructor, Lieutenant Claire Lee Chennault flunked him. Krueger graduated from the Naval War College in 1926, and from 1928 to 1932 he was an instructor there.

Krueger commanded the 6th Infantry at Jefferson Barracks from 1932 to 1934, then returned to the War Plans Division, becoming chief of the division in May 1936. He was promoted to temporary Brigadier General in October 1936. In June 1938, Krueger went to Fort George G. Meade as commander of the 16th Infantry Brigade. He was promoted to temporary Major General in February 1939, commanded the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Sam Houston rising in October 1939 to the command of VIII Corps."

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