AMERICAN MILITARY HISTORY. VOLUME 1. THE UNITED STATES ARMY by Army Center of Military History, Richard W. Stewart

By Army Center of Military History, Richard W. Stewart

American army background offers the us Army—in specific, its younger officials, NCOs, and cadets—with a finished yet short account of its earlier. the heart of army historical past first released this paintings in 1956 as a textbook for senior ROTC classes. considering the fact that then it has undergone a couple of updates and revisions, however the basic motive has remained an identical. aid for army background schooling has constantly been a vital undertaking of the heart, and this new version of a useful heritage furthers that goal. The background of an lively association has a tendency to extend speedily because the association grows higher and extra complicated. The interval because the Vietnam conflict, at which aspect the newest variation ended, has been an important one for the military, a hectic interval of increasing roles and missions and of basic organizational adjustments. specifically, the explosion of missions and deployments because eleven September 2001 has necessitated the production of extra, open-ended chapters within the tale of the U.S. military in motion. this primary quantity covers the Army’s background from its beginning in 1775 to the eve of global struggle I. via 1917, the USA used to be already a global strength. the military had despatched huge expeditionary forces past the yankee hemisphere, and firstly of the recent century Secretary of struggle Elihu Root had proposed adjustments and reforms that inside of a new release could form the military of the longer term. yet international war—global war—was nonetheless to return. the second one quantity of this re-creation will absorb that tale and expand it into the twenty-first century and the early years of the conflict on terrorism and comprises an research of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as much as January 2009.

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Sample text

Nor did they like to fight in winter. Expeditions into the Indian country used as a favorite technique an attack on an Indian village at dawn and in the winter. This attack almost invariably came as a surprise; and the colonists, imitating the perceived savagery of their opponent, burned the Indian’s villages and sometimes slaughtered all the inhabitants indiscriminately. Destruction of Indian villages and stocks of food proved to be the most effective colonial strategy, if also the most brutal.

When the ball hit within its effective range, 150 to 200 yards, its impact was terrific, tearing ghastly holes in flesh and shattering bone; but the inherent inaccuracy of the weapon practically precluded its use, even for volley fire, at ranges greater than 100 yards. The ineffectiveness of the smoothbore musket as a firearm made its attached bayonet almost as important as its firepower, and infantry relied on the bayonet for shock action against an enemy softened by musketry fire, as well as in its continuing role as a final defense against cavalry attack.

The Indian tribes with whom the colonists first came in contact had no organized system of war; warriors generally formed voluntary bands un- THE BEGINNINGS der war chiefs and took off on the warpath. In battle each Indian fought a separate opponent without regard for his fellows. Indians avoided pitched battle whenever possible, instead seeking victory by surprise and careful use of cover and concealment. Only when they had the advantage did they close in for hand-to-hand combat. In such combat the Indian brave lacked neither skill nor courage.

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