General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War.

Author:O'Sullivan, Curtis H.
Position:Book review
 
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General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War. By Henry G. Gole. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2008. Maps. Photographs. Note. Bibliography. Index. Pp.xviii, 364. $40.00 ISBN: 978-0-8131-2500-8

This is the biography of an important soldier who is little known to the general public, but who made a big impression on his peers during a critical time in the Army's history. He was at the center of major change and was responsible for much of it. He was a man of unusual intelligence, lucid expression, and intense focus. He happened to be in the middle of the Revolution in Military Affairs. DePuy was also that rare combination of being both a doer and a thinker, able to deal with complex concepts and lead superbly in action. He was not without detractors as being ruthless in relieving those he considered incompetent. While he inspired admiration from most, there were those who resented, and even feared, him for his intensity. There are those who include him with Marshall and McNair as one of the three great trainers of the U.S. Army in the twentieth century.

The "Old Army" is the one just before: the one we look back at with nostalgia; the one in which our fathers soldiered. DePuy started in the tail-end of one such. He enlisted in the National Guard in 1937, and was in the ROTC from 1937 to 1941. The Old Army of World War I was already changing. The infantry squad was now twelve men rather than eight. The M-1 Garand was replacing the 1903 Springfield rifle. Wrap-around puttees gave way to leggings. Other developments, such as the triangular division, were not as apparent to the men in the ranks. It was a new Army in which DePuy served in World...

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