THE PROCUREMENT AND TRAINING OF GROUND COMBAT TROOPS. By Robert R. Palmer, Bell I. Wiley, and William R. Keast. (1948, 1975, 1991; 696 pages, 36 tables, 4 charts, bibliographical note, glossaries, index, CMH Pub 2-2.)

The ten studies in this volume (in further references below arbitrarily assigned numerical designations 1 to 10) continue the series published in The Organization of Ground Combat Troops. Except for Studies 4 and 5, which deal with individual training in the service schools of the ground forces, they focus, like those in the previous volume, on major problems of the Army Ground Forces, the solutions applied to them by that command, and the success or failure of those solutions, considered in the context of events and policies of the time.

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Studies 4 and 5 describe the wartime methods and operations of the military school system. One of the most persistent problems, one that affected all the others, was that of procuring quality personnel that could be transformed into combat troops capable of meeting effectively the complex requirements of World War II. As measured by the Army's general classification tests, the men allocated to the Army Ground Forces were inferior intellectually and physically to those allocated to the Army Air and Service Forces, as well as to those recruited by the Marine Corps and the Navy. Efforts to solve this problem, never fully successful, involved specialized training programs and constitute a subject of continuing concern.

Warned by the experience of World War I, the War Department adopted in 1940 the policy of fully preparing its combat organizations for battle before shipping them overseas. General McNair, both as chief of staff of GHQ from 1940 to 1942 and as Commanding General of the Army Ground Forces, made the training of large forces the principal goal of his efforts. The program of training he devised to this end, from small-unit training to the maneuvers of corps and armies, and the difficulties and disappointments he encountered in applying the program, receive close attention. The adverse effect of his policy on the training of the smaller nondivisional units of the ground forces is described in Study 8. General McNair also inherited, with the authority of the chiefs of arms vested in him in March 1942, responsibility for the procurement and training of replacements and the conduct of the individual training of officers and men in the service schools and officer candidate schools of the ground combat arms.

The replacement system broke down as it had in World War I. The consequent crises in the procurement and training of replacements are described in Studies 3 and 6. The changes that the Army Ground Forces, acting through its Replacement and School Command, introduced into the service schools in the interest of economy or efficiency are included in the description of those schools in Study 4. Study 10, on redeployment training, describes changes proposed in the light of 1942-45 experience as well as those required by immediate problems.

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