Fall 2018 Edition
The Fall 2018 issue of Army History offers two excellent articles, a look at an important artifact, a glimpse of a new Center of Military History (CMH) publication, a robust crop of book reviews, and notes from both the Center’s director and chief historian.
The first article, by Dr. John “Jay” Boyd, examines an element of the U.S. participation in the First World War that has, unbelievably, been almost completely ignored—the U.S. National Army. This draftee force made up the bulk of U.S. troops in France, yet no major contemporary works on the National Army’s creation, training, and time in combat exist. Boyd is striving to correct this omission in the historical record, with this article serving as the first thrust while he completes a book-length study.
The second article, by Douglas E. Nash Sr., who has previously been published in Army History (most recently in the Fall 2017 issue), presents an interesting look at a smaller and relatively unknown part of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Nash argues that the fighting around the German town of Kesternich in mid-December 1944 was the linchpin to the success or failure of the Nazi’s counteroffensive. If the Americans were to capture and hold Kesternich, the right flank of the German’s wheeling attack would have been exposed. He makes a strong argument that the conflict for Kesternich really was the battle that saved the Bulge.
The National Museum of the United States Army feature examines an important part of Revolutionary War material culture. This issue also offers a look at a new CMH book that highlights the Army’s collection of World War I artwork. In addition, as usual, we present eight book reviews that will no doubt be of great interest to our readership.
The director of CMH discusses the importance of history and historians to the Army’s institutional memory and readiness for future conflicts. He also describes the Center’s efforts in France in support of the World War I Centennial commemorations.
Finally, the chief historian provides updates on a number of important personnel changes at CMH, from a new Career Program 61 director to the arrival of a new batch of graduate research assistants.
Bryan J. Hockensmith