Calling the Combined Chiefs of Staff the glue that held the British-American alliance together in World War II, David Rigby describes the vital contributions to Allied victory made by the organization, which drew its members from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the British Chiefs of Staff Committee, and the British Joint Staff Mission. Readers get a good understanding of the personalities involved and insights into the relationships between the Chiefs and Allied theater commanders. The role of the Combined Chiefs in economic mobilization and the bitter inter-Allied strategic debates are fully examined. Detailed information is also given about the Casablanca Conference and the Chiefs’ often highly contentious meetings in Washington. The book gives the Combined Chiefs what they have long deserveda book not weighted towards the Americans or the British and not strictly naval, army, or air oriented, but combined in an international as well as an inter-service manner.
|Publisher:||Naval Institute Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
David Rigby holds a PhD in comparative history from Brandeis University. He has worked as a K-12 textbook editor. He teaches history as an adjunct instructor at Boston-area colleges and universities and lives in Belmont, MA.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
List of Abbreviations xv
1 The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Principals 9
2 Organization, Anatomy of a Summit Conference, and Home Base 47
3 The Combined Chiefs of Staff and the War in the Pacific 68
4 Related Advantages: Working with Allies and Mobilizing Fully 92
5 The Combined Chiefs of Staff and Overlord 116
6 Keeping the Armchair Strategists at Bay 143
7 Delegation versus Control from the Center 166
8 Production and Diplomatic Tasks for the Combined Chiefs 186
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of WWII is a very good read. The chapters dealing with Overlord and the biographical sketches of the members of the CCS make the book worth the read. I think the book gets into uncertain territory when it makes comparisons with the Axis. He forgives the USSR for not coordinating their operations with the British and Americans due to the front being far distant and takes Japan to task for not coordinating their operations with Germany and Italy. Japan seemed to be in the same situation as the USSR. He also criticizes Japan for not attacking the USSR so as to help the Germans. The Japanese at the time were deeply involved in the bottomless pit of China and fighting the U.S., Britain and the Commonwealth. In a couple of border skirmishes with the USSR the Japanese suffered severe defeats. A better criticism is why didn’t the USSR attack Japan sooner? It is almost certain that it was better for the Japanese today that that did not happen. I am not quite sure why the author went off topic in discussing the three volume work of Lee’s Lieutenants. I realize that Marshall and King read the volumes but it seemed out of place to discuss the work in detail. In his criticism of Vice Admiral Ghormley he notes that hewas operating his HQ afloat. The author makes it appear that it was Ghormley’s choice alone. I find that hard to believe. From what I have read the French were extremely difficult to work with and very prickly about their sovereignty. I am guessing there was diplomacy above Ghormley’s level involved. Also there was the age old tradition of admirals commanding from ships that would have made him think that being on a ship even if at anchor or pierside was where he belonged. It takes courage and thinking outside the box to break old traditions. I would love for someone to research why and how the command was eventually moved from ship to shore. I am sure it is far more complex than how it has been portrayed by authors. In regards to the buildup of improperly loaded ships at Noumea, the author suggests that Ghormley should have sent the ships to Guadalcanal to be unloaded. The author seems to forget that the ships unloading at Guadalcanal were under attack and extra time unloading put them at greater risk. Later on he describes the proper solution taken by Halsey of unloading them at Noumea and then reloading them in a manner called a combat load. A combat load is loaded in manner where the offloading is sped up and the sequence is most logical for troops in combat. I am willing to bet the problems in shifting HQ ashore were also involved in authority to unload the ships at Noumea. A great person to have offered insight would have been Ghormley but to my knowledge he never wrote his account of Guadalcanal. My guess he understood that the winners write the history so that if he wrote an account that ended up challenging the account of Halsey it would have been discounted. It is a loss to history. Ghormley is also criticized for not visiting Guadalcanal. I also think the importance of visiting the front is overrated. What information could he have gained form going to the front that he not get by message? How much time would it take to go the front and for what period would he difficult to reach for command decisions? Isoroku Yamamoto was killed trying to show his face to his troops. Was Douglas MacArthur less effective for hunkering down on Corregidor? Was his effectiveness diminished by bugging out on his troops in the Philippines? Overall very good book.
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