THE RISE AND DECLINE OF MOBILITY DOCTRINE IN THE US ARMY, 1922-1940: Unleashing the Mechanized Warfare Thunderbolt

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This study examines the development of mobility doctrine in the United States compared with other European nations, particularly the purveyor of the blitzkrieg phenomenon, Germany. This work assesses how the two worldviews of mobility and position impacted doctrine, tank development, and leadership.


“Russ Rodgers provides a critical examination of the development of these two worldviews in the U.S. Army during the period of 1920 to the waning days of World War II, where he laments the ultimate triumph of the ‘Prophets of Position’ over the thinking of such bold ‘Apostles’ as Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. He also highlights how this same conflict occurred in the German army, and it was only the surprising breakthrough of Guderian’s armoured corps at Sedan in 1940 that allowed the ideas of the ‘Apostles of Mobility’ to shine forth. This fascinating book is one of the most interesting to come out in recent years in military historiography.” – Dr. K.H. Frieser

“[This work] presents a refreshing look at how an army develops doctrine, procures weapons systems, and selects its leaders. As the United States Army seeks to transform itself for the 21st Century, this monograph offers enlightening evaluation of how a previous Army transformed from one world war to another. Rodgers offers a convincing case that mobility is the key to battlefield success. [This book] is a genuine contribution to the scholarship in the field.” – Dr. Charles E. White, U.S. Army Forces Command

“Rodgers's solid and comprehensive research makes a convincing case that the US Army of World War II synergized mobility and power, as opposed to Russell Weigley's postulate,familiar from EISENHOWER'S LIEUTENANTS, of an institutionalized dichotomy between the two.” – Prof. Dennis Showalter, Colorado College

“At a significant time in our history, the author reminds us of the importance of insisting that our future military leaders think hard about the waging of war; he also reminds us of the difficulty of reshaping forces in combat for unanticipated demands.” – Robert A. Doughty Brigadier General (USA, Ret, U.S. Military Academy

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