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Harbord, James Guthrie

(391 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Harbord, James Guthrie (1866, Bloomington – August 20, 1947, Rye NY), United States general. Before the war, Harbord had served in the same regiment as General Pershing. This was the truly deciding factor in his appointment to chief of staff of the American Expeditionary Forces on May 15, 1917. Pershing needed a man whom he could trust, and loyalty was Harbord’s outstanding character trait. Thus, he functioned more as an echo of Pershing’s ideas regarding mobile warfare, than their analyst. At the …

Pershing, John J.

(406 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Pershing, John J. (September 13, 1860, Laclede [Linn County MO] – July 15, 1948, Washington DC), United States general. As commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), Pershing’s popularity in the United States was surpassed only by President Woodrow Wilson. Pershing graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Thereupon he served in an army whose role was essentially limited to police actions. Still, Pershing’s operation to quell the Moro Rebellion in the Phili…

Bliss, Tasker H.

(336 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Bliss, Tasker H. (December 31, 1853, Lewisburg PA – November 9, 1930, Washington DC), American General Bliss was neither a fighting soldier, nor a theoretician. He owed his appointment to acting chief of staff of the United States Army in May 1917 to a successful career as a military civil servant. This conformed to the American model, which stressed the ground-laying and forward planning of military forces over their employment. Confirmed as chief of staff on September 22, 1917, Bliss proved his great understanding for the needs of a national mass army. Unexpecte…

Daniels, Josephus

(342 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Daniels, Josephus (May 18, 1862, Washington NC – January 15, 1948, Raleigh NC), American Secretary of the Navy during World War I, his appointment to the post in 1913 seemed straight from the plot of HMS Pinafore. A journalist from North Carolina, Daniels had no background or interest in naval affairs. His primary qualification was his contribution to Woodrow Wilson’s election. Daniels disliked naval officers as a class. He was indifferent to naval traditions. His banning of alcohol from shipboard messes did nothing to improve his…

Armed Forces (United States)

(3,756 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
Armed Forces (United States) During the First World War the armed forces of the United States were crafted by national politics. The Russian Provisional Government of 1917 had promised resolutely to continue the war in the East. On the Western Front, the Germans were unequivocally on the defensive. In no way was America itself directly threatened. Nevertheless, the pattern developed in the World War would guide the United States in 20th century warfare. Politics would determine the strategy, the org…

House, Edward Mandell (“Colonel”)

(386 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
House, Edward Mandell (“Colonel”) (July 26, 1858, Houston – March 28, 1938, New York), American diplomat. This Texan businessman become politician played a major role in Woodrow Wilson’s first presidential campaign in 1911, mobilizing support for Wilson in the Democratic Party. Impressed by House’s human understanding and organizational ability, the President brought him increasingly into his confidence. During the First World War, House initially advocated American neutrality, while at the same dem…

March, Peyton Conway

(449 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E.
March, Peyton Conway (December 27, 1864, Easton PA – April 13, 1955, Washington DC), United States Army chief of staff. March was a talented and ambitious artillery specialist. Owing to his many and varied battlefield and staff postings, he was preceded by an outstanding reputation. The commander in chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), General Pershing, accordingly chose him in 1917 to command first a brigade of artillery, and then all the AEF’s artillery. March was seen as overbearing …

An American Dilemma: Vietnam, 1964-1973

(152 words)

Author(s): Showalter, Dennis E | John G. Albert
Bibliographic entry in Chapter 17: The U…