Editor's Shelf 


From Parameters, Summer1998, pp. 127-28.


The US Army's Center of Military History has released From the Fulda Gap to Kuwait: U.S. Army, Europe and the Gulf War, by Stephen P. Gehring, an account of the role of US Army, Europe (USAREUR) in the armed response to the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. Gehring analyzes the state of affairs in USAREUR when the invasion occurred (in transition from Cold War size and activities), issues related to planning and deploying forces to the Middle East, sustainment of the deployed force, and redeployment. In what might strike non-military readers as an anomaly, the section "Home Front," deals with those left behind in Europe, not activities in the United States proper. The text does not discuss military operations in the Middle East; for information on the activities of USAREUR units in the 1990-91 Gulf War, see Certain Victory: The US Army in the Gulf War, the Army's official history of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Also from the Center of Military History, The War in the Mediterranean and The War Against Japan are reprints of books that originally appeared in 1951 as part of its series of World War II pictorial histories. Each section of the books opens with a few pages of text; each photograph is accompanied by descriptions of places, events, and materiel. But pictures on pages 5 and 425 of The War Against Japan demonstrate far more effectively than words ever could the differences between the Army of 1941 and that of 1945. The former shows a unit undergoing a "full field" inspection in Hawaii: tents pitched and aligned, gear displayed according to the inevitable diagram, puttees laced, shoes polished, campaign hats at the prescribed angle. By 1945, the gun and mortar crews on page 425 had adapted to place and mission. Much more than appearances had changed in the intervening four years. These editions are from Brassey's, which can be contacted via the Internet at http://www.brasseys.com.

The Army Staff has issued the second edition of two collections of quotations intended to supplement the professional education of noncommissioned officers. The Noncommissioned Officer Corps on Leadership, the Army, and America and The Noncommissioned Officer Corps on Training, Cohesion, and Combat are comparable in content and purpose to books by Peter Tsouras and Robert Heinl. The text includes maxims, words of faith and wisdom, and practical advice from US and other sources on the duties, privileges, and responsibilities of the noncommissioned officer. The quotations both reflect and encourage the development of those men and women who make things happen in all the US armed services. These texts and two related volumes can be accessed at http://call.army.mil; click on CALL Products, then on Special Products.

Two recent books from Air University Press provide insights into the development of service culture from different historical perspectives. The first is Airpower and Ground Armies: Essays on the Evolution of Anglo-American Air Doctrine, 1940-1943, edited by Daniel R. Mortensen. Its four essays trace that relationship chronologically and through the emergence of key individuals within the Army Air Corps. The last of the four, and shortest by far, examines what the author calls "the most spectacular Allied air-ground team of the Second World War." Few will be surprised that the words describe Patton's Third Army and XIX Tactical Air Command, commanded by then-Brigadier General Otto P. Weyland.

The second book, Rise of the Fighter Generals: The Problem of Air Force Leadership, 1945-1982, by Colonel Mike Worden, also examines the effects of personalities on Air Force doctrine. Worden states: "Persons who sit on top of the world's most powerful air force are almost exclusively fighter pilots; yet their institution and its doctrine were created before World War II by bomber pilots." He opines "this cultural issue still concerns many within the [US Air Force]." In what must have been an oversight, however, the word doctrine is absent from the index of both texts. Nevertheless, these books provide thoughtful appraisals of the origin, evolution, and durability of the values and assumptions that have for many years determined the policies and objectives of the US Air Force.

The Lancaster Index to Defence & International Security Literature is a CD ROM-based product described as an indexed and cross-referenced bibliographic database of journal articles and monographs on military and security affairs. It has two components: bibliographic data and the database management system itself. Subscribers receive periodic updates that can be merged into the database; existing indexes can be revised automatically during updates.

The product is distributed in three versions: for research, library work, and development. Users of the library version cannot edit the content of the database. System requirements include a minimum of 70MB of free hard disk space, a CPU operating at 120Hz or faster, and at least 16 MB of RAM. Once the program has been installed from the CD ROM disk, it operates from the hard drive. Software requirements are Windows 3.1 or higher; Windows for Workgroups 3.1 or higher, or Windows 95. For additional information on database design and compilation via e-mail, contact s.king@lancaster.ac.uk; for editorial or subscription matters, contact 101646.2160@compuserve.com. The journal neither endorses nor recommends the purchase of any product reviewed in these pages. -- JJM


Reviewed 26 May 1998. Please send comments or corrections to usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.parameters@mail.mil