Academic journal article Military Review

AN UNCERTAIN TRUMPET: The Evolution of U.S. Army Infantry Doctrine, 1919-1941

Academic journal article Military Review

AN UNCERTAIN TRUMPET: The Evolution of U.S. Army Infantry Doctrine, 1919-1941

Article excerpt

AN UNCERTAIN TRUMPET: The Evolution of U.S. Army Infantry Doctrine, 1919-1941, Kenneth Finlayson, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 2001, 178 pages, $62.50.

Everyone concerned with the direction of current Army Transformation should read Kenneth Finlayson's small book An Uncertain Trumpet: The Evolution of U.S. Army Infantry Doctrine, 1919-1941. Finlayson, a historian with the Army's John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, masterfully assesses the evolution of small unit infantry doctrine from World War I through the United States' initial entry into World War II. His discussion of the varying influences of senior officers, who frequently pushed agendas harmful to the fighting effectiveness of the infantry army, and his analysis of the glacial pace of weapons acceptance should serve as cautionary notes for current Transformation efforts. Finlayson's comprehensive grasp of source documents, his understanding of the doctrine-development process, and his clear and engaging writing style make his study of doctrinal change a compelling, fascinating book.

A small disappointment with the book is that its analysis ends with the U. …

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