COMMAND CULTURE: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901- 1940, and the Consequences for World War II

By Stephenson, Scott | Military Review, July/August 2012 | Go to article overview

COMMAND CULTURE: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901- 1940, and the Consequences for World War II


Stephenson, Scott, Military Review


COMMAND CULTURE: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901- 1940, and the Consequences for World War II, Jörg Muth, University of North Texas Press, Denton, 2011, 366 pages, $29.95.

At a recent scholarly conference, a number of prominent military historians confessed to being "recovering Wehrmacht-oholics." That is, they were working to get over an unhealthy fascination with the armed forces of the Third Reich. In his new book Command Culture, Jörg Muth argues that, starting in the 19th century, the U.S. Army has been obsessed with the German military. However, while recognizing that professional military education was a key element of German battlefield performance, the U.S. Army could never replicate the best German practices in its own institutions. This, Muth believes, was especially true in the years prior to World War II. The dysfunction began at West Point, with its backward curriculum and sadistic plebe system yielding rigid conformists unable to think creatively on the battlefield. Worse, the interwar Command and General StaffCollege at Fort Leavenworth possessed a mediocre faculty that stressed the "school solution" over independent and creative thought.

The only exception to this dismal picture was George C. Marshall's Infantry School (where the curriculum was shaped by a German liaison officer). In Muth's view, the result of the U.S. Army's dreadful education system was a timid and lackluster performance by U.S. Army commanders in World War II.

Muth makes important points, but his argument has the effect of a sawed-offshotgun fired at close range: it achieves considerable target effect but it also inflicts significant collateral damage. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

COMMAND CULTURE: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901- 1940, and the Consequences for World War II
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.