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A War that Was Not Left to the Generals

Author: Elliot A Cohen; NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR COUNTERPROLIFERATION RESEARCH.
Publisher: Ft. Belvoir Defense Technical Information Center JAN 1995.
Edition/Format:   eBook : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
During World War II Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill really ran the war and not the generals. According to Admiral Leahy, the credit for war leadership goes to Franklin D, Roosevelt and to an even greater extent to his great colleague, Winston Churchill. Churchill exercised a directive, forceful control of a kind that most members of the defense establishment today would find unusual or perhaps improper.  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Elliot A Cohen; NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR COUNTERPROLIFERATION RESEARCH.
OCLC Number: 74267371
Notes: The original document contains color images. Pub. in Joint Force Quarterly, p46-49, Summer 1995.
Description: 5 pages

Abstract:

During World War II Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill really ran the war and not the generals. According to Admiral Leahy, the credit for war leadership goes to Franklin D, Roosevelt and to an even greater extent to his great colleague, Winston Churchill. Churchill exercised a directive, forceful control of a kind that most members of the defense establishment today would find unusual or perhaps improper. They prodded subordinates, questioned their orders, and on occasion drove them into paroxysms of either anger or despair. Yet the end result was better strategy, not merely better democracy. The current models of civi1-military relations are very different. We think of either civilian micro-management, a la Vietnam, or a supposedly hands-off and out-of-the-way handing over of strategic responsibilities to the military in the Persian Gulf. Both views are historically inaccurate, but what counts here is the legend more than the reality A Roosevelt or Churchill would not have given a Westmoreland a free hand to pursue a wasteful, destructive, and politically unsustainable strategy of search and destroy, nor would he have allowed a Schwarzkopf to negotiate an armistice without guidance on the peace terms to be exacted at the end. In part, the situation of World War II leaders was simply very different: the margin between success and failure was much narrower. American strategists of that war, unlike those of late, had to allocate military resources that were scarce and difficult to replace.

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