Regressing forward: army adaptability and animal power during World War II

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dc.contributor.author Martin, Jason C.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-26T14:30:44Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-26T14:30:44Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-26
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/14984
dc.description.abstract America forged a successful way of war that relied on adaptation, and this trait was not simply an adjunct to industrial might as a reason why the Allies won World War II. An American penchant for organization and corporate management allowed for mass production of war material, which clearly contributed to Axis defeat. However, to claim that the Axis Powers were merely overwhelmed by an avalanche of weapons and supply is reductionist. This dissertation contends that adaptability was as much an American way of war as mass production and overwhelming firepower. The particular nature of American adaptability and its contribution to Allied victory are exhibited in the Army’s use of animal power during a conflict synonymous with mechanized warfare and advanced technology. The application of pre-modern technology in a modern, machine-driven war was not archaic. On the contrary, the nature of American adaptability allowed the Army to move forward by retreating down a culturally constructed hierarchy of modernity and employing the traditional mode of animal transportation. The Army’s technological regression from motors to mules in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and China-Burma-India during World War II is the focus of this work. Americans possessed material abundance in campaigns across Western Europe and the Central Pacific in 1944 and 1945, as German and Japanese prisoners attested. Mountains of artillery shells, fuel, and food, however, did not exist in the backwater “sideshows.” American military success on the periphery was not due to material abundance, nor to a greater sense of determination. America won the backwater campaigns because the nature of American adaptability was cultivated over the centuries and converted from a way of life to an American way of war. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Adaptability en_US
dc.subject World War II en_US
dc.subject Mules en_US
dc.subject Army en_US
dc.subject Animal power en_US
dc.subject American way of war en_US
dc.title Regressing forward: army adaptability and animal power during World War II en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Department of History en_US
dc.description.advisor Mark Parillo en_US
dc.subject.umi History (0578) en_US
dc.date.published 2012 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth December en_US


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