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The AEF Way of War
The American Army and Combat in World War I


  • Date Published: November 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521169097

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About the Authors
  • This 2007 book provides the most comprehensive examination of American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) combat doctrine and methods ever published. It shows how AEF combat units actually fought on the Western Front in World War I. It describes how four AEF divisions (the 1st, 2nd, 26th, and 77th) planned and conducted their battles and how they adapted their doctrine, tactics, and other operational methods during the war. General John Pershing and other AEF leaders promulgated an inadequate prewar doctrine, with only minor modification, as the official doctrine of the AEF. Many early American attacks suffered from these unrealistic ideas that retained too much faith in the infantry rifleman on the modern battlefield. However, many AEF divisions adjusted their doctrine and operational methods as they fought, preparing more comprehensive attack plans, employing flexible infantry formations, and maximizing firepower to seize limited objectives.

    • Explains why some units succeeded and others failed
    • Demonstrates the importance of unit command and leadership to combat success
    • Shows the impact of World War I on US Army combat doctrine after the war
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521169097
    • length: 398 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Doctrine, dogma, and development in the AEF
    2. The 1st division: training for and waging trench warfare
    3. The 1st division: the search for a 'sufficiently powerful fire'
    4. The 26th 'Yankee' division: doctrine, discipline, and discrimination
    5. The 26th 'Yankee' division: doctrine, demoralization, and disintegration
    6. The 2nd division: bloody lessons in 'open warfare'
    7. The 2nd division: the rise of set-piece battle
    8. The 77th 'Liberty' division: training for the trenches and fighting on the Vesle
    9. The 77th 'Liberty' division: dogma, delegation, and discretion
    10. Conclusions

  • Author

    Mark Ethan Grotelueschen, United States Air Force
    Mark E. Grotelueschen is a Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF. He holds degrees from the USAF Academy, the University of Calgary and Texas A&M University. He is the author of Doctrine under Trial: American Artillery Employment in World War I (2001). He has twice served as a Professor of History at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, holding the positions of Deputy for Military History, Deputy for American History, and Chair of the Africa Area Studies Group. He is currently serving on the staff of the United States Air Forces Africa Command at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

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