U.S. War Plans: 1938-1945
Holzimmer, Kevin C., Air & Space Power Journal
U.S. War Plans: 1938-1945 edited by Steven T. Ross. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. (http://www.rienner.com), 1800 30th Street, Suite 314, Boulder, Colorado 80301, 2002, 400 pages, $89.95 (hardcover).
U.S. War Plans: 1938-1945, edited by Steven T. Ross, a Naval War College professor, is part of a larger body of work. He previously published a six-volume study, American War Plans, 1919-1950, the first five volumes of which are actually a compilation of photocopies of US war planning from 1919 to 1941 (the sixth volume is Ross's own history of post-World War II planning to 1950 rather than photocopies of war plans). Whereas the first five volumes shed light on US war planning from 1919 to 1941 at the strategic level, this most recent addition-which is also a "documentary sourcebook" (p. 371)-primarily focuses on the wartime plans to accomplish national objectives through "theater army group and army level operations" (p. 3). Unlike the earlier books, however, the plans reproduced here are not photocopies but transcriptions-and therefore are much easier to read.
Part 1-essentially a foundation for parts 2 and 3, both of which form the heart of the book-is a review of key prewar plans and documents at the strategic level. It contains 1938's "Study of Joint Action in the Event of Violation of Monroe Doctrine by Fascist Powers"; Rainbow no. 1 (14 October 1939); Rainbow no. 4 (14 August 1940); and Rainbow no. 5 (revised 19 November 1941), the war plan that served as a basis for American action during the war. Part 1 also includes the results of discussions and planning sessions between the United States and Great Britain-the United States-British Staff Conversation Report, ABC-1 (27 March 1941)-as well as the document that set equipment and mobilization requirements for the American war effort: the Victory Program of 11 September 1941. Following part 1's emphasis on strategic planning, the remaining two parts deal with the actual theater-level war plans to carry out national objectives. Part 2 covers the war in North Africa and Europe, and part 3 deals with the war against Japan. These plans include such documents as Operation Neptune (20 May 1944) for the assault against German-held Europe and Operation Musketeer II (28 September 1944) for the invasion of Luzon. …