Command Decisions

by Kent Roberts Greenfield

Book cover for Command Decisions

Decision has always exerted a powerful attraction for the student of military affairs. In the study of decisions in war, whether on the field of battle or in the councils of state, lie the great lessons of the conflicts that have shaped the course of history. These lessons the professional soldier seeks in order to fit himself for the ultimate responsibilities of command; the student of human affairs seeks them to explain past events. The historians writing the history of the United States Army in World War II have had a unique opportunity to study the decisions of that conflict. The response of the Army's schools and colleges, as well as the public, to this aspect of their work emphasized for them the interest of soldier and scholar alike in decision-making in war at various levels of government and command. As research progressed and material with which to illustrate this theme accumulated, it appeared that a book on the subject based on the work already accomplished would be of interest to a variety of readers: This volume is an outgrowth of that idea. It is an analysis of 23 decisions reached by chiefs of state and their military subordinates during World War II. Concerned with important political, strategic, tactical, and logistical questions, they include the invasions of North Africa and Normandy, the use of the atomic bomb, the capture of Rome, the campaigns in the western Pacific, and the internment of Japanese-Americans.

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