The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

Successful Occupation Operations

In a class on the occupation of German cities by American forces during and after WWII the central question of the class was why was the occupation of the Germany (and Japan by extension) so successful, and current post-conflict operations in OIF and OEF so difficult?

Several alternatives were discussed:

  1. The U.S. army was very prepared for occupation in WWII –executing robust planning and resourcing of the mission.
  2. The culture of the WWII leadership were more aware of the necessity of occupation operations.
  3. The occupied populations were more politically sophisticated and thus more easily coached toward democracy.
  4. There was a greater cultural affinity with the German people than with developing world populations that are the subject of contemporary operations.
  5. More time was available to prepare for occupation operations.
  6. A common threat, the Soviet Union, united the occupied population with the occupying army.

All of the above probably had some impact on the successful occupation.  However, it would be my thesis that military experiences of the senior army leadership –extending in the case of Gen. Marshall all the way back to the Philippine Insurrection, made them very aware of the strategic necessity of robust post-conflict operations.

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October 2, 2008 - Posted by | Urban Warfare | , , , , , , , , , ,

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