Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Carl Schwamberger.
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Richard Anderson wrote: ↑
01 Apr 2021 22:14
daveshoup2MD wrote: ↑
01 Apr 2021 19:43
One could suggest the experience of the AEF in 1917-19 would have been useful. If the invasion of NW Europe had been mounted in 1943, the urgency of the sustain the expeditionary forces would have, presumably, effected the necessary changes; absent the 1943 invasion, multiple sideshows were pursued, to the ultimate detriment of the field armies and supporting air forces that were deployed to defeat Germany in the West in reality, as opposed to theoretical strategies.
They did use the AEF experience.
It was the basis for the casualty estimation factors used by the War Department in World War II. The error made was not in estimation of casualties, but distribution of casualties by branch. They expected much higher casualties to the new arms, Armored and AAA, and thus initially over-emphasized the needed size of those arms and its replacement requirements.
The AEF experience was also applied to the mobilization planning prewar, but the problem was the planning predicated by the PMP was never fully followed, as circumstances forced expediencies. It simply wasn't a very flexible plan and it was never tested. Is it any wonder it wasn't perfect.
Having said that, the reality is that even with the manpower crisis, those same forces made it from the Channel to VE Day in roughly 11 months, which is a spectacular success and makes it clear how outstanding in global terms the US Army of 1940-45, built by GCM and his staff with the approval and support of FDR and his, truly was... the same, by extension, for the USN and its associated services.
Agree 100 percent. The manpower issues, while possibly unnecessary if planning and experience were better, were not crippling to the war effort or the capabilities of the U.S. Army. It wasn't perfect, but it was certainly good enough.
The perfect is, after all, the enemy of the good. Given the results, the US military force built in 1940-45, atop the foundations that stretched back to the Eighteenth Century, was certainly closer to perfect than any of its competitors.