The Road to Rainbow: Army Planning for Global War, 1934-1940

by Henry G. Gole

Book cover for The Road to Rainbow: Army Planning for Global War, 1934-1940

Until now historians have generally accepted the interpretation that actual military planning for war with Germany and Japan came only after the events of 1939 when the security of the United States had been threatened. But Henry Gole counters this accepted historical wisdom with a forceful body of evidence indicating that the U.S. Army planned for coalition warfare as early as 1934, and specifically for a simultaneous two-ocean war with a Nazi Confederation and Japan in 1935, 1936, and 1937. Using primary sources from the Army War College, the Naval War College, and the National Archives, including materials discovered years after the publication of the official histories of World War II known as the Green Books, Gole shows that the United States was prepared intellectually from the mid-1930s to mobilize people and things for another world war.

Filled with facts from his extensive research and convincingly argued, Gole's book-co-published with the Association of the U.S. Army-is the first to fully disclose the extent of the Army's strategic planning done at the Army War College in coordination with the Army's General Staff, proving that these plans were created in response to global conflict years before the outbreak of World War II. The plans evolved into the joint and combined military options known as the Rainbow Plans. Gole's conclusions will cause readers to reconsider long-accepted "truths" about the realism of military planning before World War II and to reevaluate some of the now fifty-year old findings of the Green Books.

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