The Rise of the G.I. Army, 1940–1941
“A must-read book that explores a vital pre-war effort [with] deep research and gripping writing.” —Washington TimesIn The rise of the G.I. Army, 1940–1941, Paul Dickson tells the dramatic story of how the American Army was mobilized from scattered outposts two years before Pearl Harbor into the disciplined and mobile fighting force that helped win World War II.In September 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland and initiated World War II, America had strong isolationist leanings. The US Army stood at fewer than 200,000 men—unprepared to defend the country, much less carry the fight to Europe and the Far East. And yet, less than a year after Pearl Harbor, the American army led the Allied invasion of North Africa, beginning the campaign that would defeat Germany, and the Navy and Marines were fully engaged with Japan in the Pacific.Dickson chronicles this transformation from Franklin Roosevelt’s selection of George C. Marshall to be Army Chief of Staff to the remarkable peace-time draft of 1940 and the massive and unprecedented mock battles in Tennessee, Louisiana, and the Carolinas by which the skill and spirit of the Army were forged and out of which iconic leaders like Eisenhower, Bradley, and Clark emerged. The narrative unfolds against a backdrop of political and cultural isolationist resistance and racial tension at home, and the increasingly perceived threat of attack from both Germany and Japan.
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- 2020 Paul Dickson
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