In this Issue:
Death from Within
The Destruction of the Far East Air Force: Strategy vs Feasibility
By Samuel Limneos.
The Trains Stop at Tampa
Port Mobilization During the Spanish-American War and the Evolution of Army Deployment Operations
By Stephen T. Messenger
Summer 2017 Edition
CMH, June 2017
The Summer 2017 issue of Army History offers two engaging articles that, in their own ways, highlight the importance of what has been called the “Sinews of War,” or military logistics. The reliability of supply, materiel support, and organization prior to and during wartime is crucial to the success of the mission and is the lifeblood of any operation.
In the first article, Samuel Limneos, an archives technician at the National Archives and Records Administration in Philadelphia, argues that the U.S. Army’s Far East Air Force in the Philippines was doomed long before its destruction at the hands of the Japanese on 8 December 1941. Rather than local tactical errors leading to the defeat, Limneos posits that a lack of materiel hamstrung the force, and that in the preceding years, the U.S. strategy in the Pacific had overreached and exceeded what was feasible based on the level of the logistical support provided.
The second article, by Lt. Col. Stephen Messenger, examines the mobilization of troops and equipment in Tampa, Florida, in preparation for the invasion of Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The operation soon devolved into near-chaos. The arrival by train, unloading, and staging of troops and materiel was an unorganized mess. The lack of centralized command hampered movement, and the embarkation process crumbled into a virtual free-forall. The lessons learned from this deployment’s many failures laid the groundwork for successful operations during World War I and even influenced the Army’s current mobilization doctrine.
This issue’s Artifact Spotlight highlights the Army’s effort to design a functional, yet uniquely American, helmet during World War I. Our Art in the Field Feature follows our Army artist, Sfc. Juan Muñoz, on a deployment with the 126th Military History Detachment and a piece of art he has produced based on that trip.
In his Chief ’s Corner, Mr. Charles Bowery discusses the status of the Center of Military History (CMH) as the Army faces an uncertain financial future. Mr. Jon Hoffman, in his Chief Historian’s Footnote, talks about a new graduate research assistant program being instituted at the Center.
As always, I invite readers to submit articles on the history of the Army and encourage constructive comments about this publication. Bryan J. Hockensmith Managing Editor
Bryan J. Hockensmith