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U.S. Army Center of Military History
Winter 2014 Issue of Army History Magazine

In this Issue:

A French-Inspired Way of War
French Influence on the U.S. Army from 1812 to the Mexican War
By Michael A. Bonura

MacArthur's Small Ships
Improvising Water Transport in theSouthwest Pacific Area
By Kenneth J. Babcock

U.S. Army Artifact Spotlight:
The U.S. Army model 1913 Cavalry "Patton" Saber

Army History Magazine
Winter 2014 Issue

CMH: December 30, 2013

The Winter 2014 issue of Army History presents an article by Michael A. Bonura, a major in the Army currently serving as a nuclear and counterproliferation officer. This piece examines the influence of French military theory and doctrine on the U.S. Army in the years during and after the War of 1812. The American view of an army had always been traditionally tied to the colonial military experience and its dependence on local militias. The numerous and significant American defeats during the War of 1812, especially in the early years, highlighted the need for a larger and more professional standing army. The Army had no native guidebook for overcoming the obstacles and inherent challenges of building, training, administering, and fielding this new force. Bonura argues that senior Army leaders, like Winfield Scott, pushed for the American military establishment to adopt a French-inspired paradigm of war or "way of warfare."

The second article examines a lesser-known element of the fighting in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) during World War II. Author Kenneth J. Babcock, a retired Army logistics officer, highlights the exploits and contributions of the U.S. Army Small Ships Section. The SWPA presented some of the most daunting logistical and sustainment challenges of the war. Military shipping in this theater was wholly inadequate in the early years of the war and only by innovation and improvisation were Allied forces able to maintain an adequate defense while slowly preparing to take the offensive. The Small Ships Section leased, purchased, commandeered, or built hundreds of small vessels of all types, including tugboats, fishing trawlers, ketches, and barges. Without these versatile craft and their brave crews, the Japanese advance might have indeed reached the shores of Australia.

This issue's Army Artifact Spotlight features an iconic bladed weapon, the Model 1913 Cavalry "Patton" Saber, bearing Springfield Armory Serial Number 1.

In the Chief's Corner, the chief of military history updates the community on the status of the Army Historical Program as it relate to the ongoing Army Headquarters Transformation process. The chief historian, in his Footnote, discusses the usefulness of military history, arguing that it is the most valuable subject that any enlisted soldier, officer, leader, or planner can study.

- Managing Editor