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The School of Hard Knocks: Combat Leadership in the American Expeditionary Forces

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  8 ratings  ·  2 reviews
This important new history of the development of a leadership corps of officers during World War I opens with a gripping narrative of the battlefield heroism of Cpl. Alvin York, juxtaposed with the death of Pvt. Charles Clement less than two kilometers away.

Clement had been a captain and an example of what a good officer should be in the years just before the beginning of
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Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Texas A University Press
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Jonathan
America's greatest challenge when it entered the First World War was creating a mass army of millions of soldiers that could carry out the government's military, strategic and diplomatic goals, based on a professional military force that was less than 150,000 men in 1917. A rifleman could be trained in a couple of months, but a competent officer to function as a platoon leader is a whole other proposition. It must be said that the US Army failed in this mission. The reasons were many, not the ...more
Bob H
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As someone experienced in Army training practices, and in military history, I commend this work as a groundbreaking look, and a good object lesson. The 1917 Army had to expand from a small, unsophisticated and hidebound force into a conscript army of millions, able to fight on a modern battlefield against an experienced foe. The author has done admirable and diligent research and come up with a clearly-written account of what became of this, much of it chaotic and often bloody: apparently US ...more
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