French thought and the American military mind: A history of French influence on the American way of warfare from 1814 through 1941
by Bonura, Michael Andrew, Ph.D., THE FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY , 2008, 205 pages; 3348477
- The French Revolution had a tremendous impact on the social, political, and cultural development of the western world. Similarly, it had a revolutionary impact on warfare in both Europe and the United States. Although the U.S. had a distinctly British military tradition through the War of 1812, in the span of a single year, the U.S. Army adopted the French system of warfare or French Combat Method as the intellectual framework for the American way of warfare. This French Combat Method informed and guided the way in which American officers conceptualized the battlefield, how they organized their formations and their regulations, how they equipped them, and how they learned lessons from their experiences on the battlefield. This French influence dominated the American way of warfare from 1814 through the Civil War and World War I, and into the 1930's. It was not until the catastrophic fall of France in 1940 that caused the U.S. Army to fundamentally change their intellectual framework.
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