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The Interwar Military


... Mahan warned that its opening would immediately place the West Coast in jeopardy and that it should ... Bighorn in 1876 Commodore Dewey destroyed the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Interwar Military

The Interwar Military
  • Lesson 15

  • Reconstruction
  • The West and the Indian Wars
  • National Guard and Other Reforms
  • The Spanish American War
  • Imperialism
  • The Mexican Revolution
  • Technology
  • National Defense Act of 1916

  • After the Civil War, the large volunteer Army
    quickly demobilized and the US Army once again
    became a small regular organization
  • In March 1865 Congress established the Bureau of
    Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (better
    known as the Freedmens Bureau) as an agency
    within the Department of War to facilitate the
    transition of the South from a slave to a free
  • The administrators and field agents were
    commissioned officers from the Army

  • The primary purpose of the Freedmens Bureau was
    to protect and help former slaves
  • At first President Johnson pursued a relatively
    mild policy toward the former Confederate states
    but Congress ultimately exerted its will and
    placed the South under military control

Civil War corps commander Major General Oliver
Howard was the first head of the Freedmens
Bureau. He later helped found Howard University.
  • The South was divided into military districts
    each commanded by a major general who wielded
    considerable power
  • The Third Reconstruction Act of July 1867
    declared, No district commander shall be bound
    in his action by any opinion of any civil officer
    of the United States
  • District commanders dealt with horse stealing,
    moonshining, rioting, civil court proceedings,
    regulating commercial law, public education,
    fraud, removing public officials, registering
    voters, holding elections, and the approving of
    new state constitutions by registered voters

  • Occupation duty absorbed somewhat more than
    one-third of the Armys strength in 1867
  • An important army function was to support Federal
    marshals in an effort to suppress the Ku Klux
  • As the Southern states were restored to the Union
    under the reconstruction governments, military
    rule came to an end and civil authorities assumed
    full control of state offices
  • This process was largely completed in 1870 and
    formally ended in 1877

The West and the Indian Wars
  • After the Civil War, William Sherman assumed
    command of the Missouri district, which stretched
    from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi
  • He declared all Indians not on reservations are
    hostile and will remain so until killed off
  • Sherman would continue his Civil War strategy of
    total war and targeting the civilian population
    and infrastructure in his Indian campaigns

The West and the Indian Wars
  • The Army in the West was scattered throughout
    hundreds of small forts, posts, outposts, and
    stations, often with little more than a company
    of cavalry or infantry in each post
  • Isolation, shared hardship, and danger bred a
    strong sense of camaraderie and the frontier Army
    developed its own customs, rituals, and sense of
    honor separate from the civilian world or even
    from the very different military society back
  • Life was monotonous, living conditions were
    austere, promotion was slow, and the enemy was
    elusive and dangerous

(No Transcript)
The West and the Indian Wars
  • Were I or the department commanders to send
    guards to every point where they are clamored
    for, we would need alone on the plains a hundred
    thousand men, mostly of cavalry. Each spot of
    every road, and each little settlement along five
    thousand miles of frontier, wants its regiment of
    cavalry or infantry to protect it against the
    combined power of all the Indians, because of the
    bare possibility of their being attacked by the
    combined force of all the Indians.
  • William Sherman

The Transcontinental Railroad, completed in 1869,
created additional confrontations between Indians
and a westward expanding America
The West and the Indian Wars
  • After Phil Sheridan became commander of the
    Department of the Missouri, he developed a plan
    to hit the Indians in their permanent winter
  • The plan would be logistically difficult for the
    Army but offered opportunities for decisive
  • If the Indians shelter, food, and livestock
    could be destroyed or captured, not only the
    warriors but their women and children would be at
    the mercy of the Army and the elements, and there
    was little left but surrender
  • These tactics were aimed at the total destruction
    of the Indian culture

The West and the Indian Wars
  • Like Sherman, Sheridan had practiced total war in
    the Civil War (in Sheridans case, in the
    Shenandoah Valley)
  • Sherman concurred with Sheridans strategy
    commenting, it would be wise to invite all the
    sportsmen of England and America... for a Grand
    Buffalo Hunt, and make one grand sweep of them

Sheridan is associated with the expression, The
only good Indian is a dead Indian."
The West and the Indian Wars
  • After the Civil War, Congress authorized the
    formation of two regiments of black cavalry (the
    9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry) and four regiments of
    black infantry (the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st
    Infantry Regiments)
  • These black soldiers were commanded by white
    officers and served throughout the West
  • The Indians called them Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry crossing
the Gila River, Arizona Territory, ca. 1878
The West and the Indian Wars
  • Sherman and Sheridans strategies for defeating
    the Indians by destroying their infrastructure
    was cruel but effective
  • The last significant battle took place at Wounded
    Knee, South Dakota in 1890

George Custers command was annihilated at the
Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876
National Guard
  • In the second half of the 19th Century the
    organized militia under state control was
    frequently called out to suppress strikes
  • In response, Congress introduced legislation to
    improve and to provide better arms for the
    organized militia
  • In 1879, in support of this effort, the National
    Guard Association came into being in St. Louis
  • Between 1881 and 1892 every state revised its
    military code to provide for an organized militia
  • Most states, following the lead of New York,
    called their militia the National Guard.
  • John A. Logans Volunteer Soldier of America,
    published posthumously in 1887, provided the
    intellectual support for advocacy for the militia

National Guard
  • By 1898 the National Guard had become the
    principal reserve standing behind the Regular
    Army but remaining a state military force.
  • In response to the militias poor showing in the
    Spanish-American War, the Dick Act of 1903 led to
    the creation of the National Guard Bureau as the
    federal instrument responsible for the
    administration of the National Guard
  • Established standards for organization, training,
    pay, and Federal funding

Emory Upton
  • While Logan and others were advocating for a
    strong militia, Emory Upton was arguing for a
    strong professional army
  • Upton was a West Point graduate and Civil War
  • He went on a mission to study the armies of Asia
    and Europe, which left him especially impressed
    by the German military system
  • Wrote The Armies of Asia and Europe (1878) and
    The Military Policy of the United States (1904)

Emory Upton
  • Upton presented a case for a strong regular
    military force and subsequently provided the
    Regular Army with intellectual ammunition for
    shooting down the arguments of militia advocates
  • Borrowing John C. Calhouns idea of an
    expansible army, Upton felt a wartime army
    should consist entirely of regular formations,
    which meant that all volunteers should serve
    under regular officers.
  • Upton ignored the strong role of the militia in
    American military tradition and wanted the United
    States to abandon its traditional dual military
    system and replace it with a thoroughly
    professional army on the German model

Spanish-American War (1898-1899)
  • The US had large business interests in Puerto
    Rico and Cuba, the last remnants of Spains
    American empire
  • In 1898 the US battleship Maine exploded and sank
    in Havana harbor
  • US leaders suspected sabotage and declared war on

Spanish-American War
  • The US easily defeated Spain and took possession
    of Puerto Rico and Cuba
  • In the Pacific, the US took possession of the
    Philippines and Guam
  • After the Spanish-American War the US emerged as
    a major imperial and colonial power

Commodore Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in a
single day at the Battle of Manila.
Elihu Root
  • Elihu Root served as Secretary of War under
    President William McKinley (1899 to 1904) and
    succeeded in increasing the size of the army and
    in partially reorganizing and reforming the War
    Department general staff
  • Root was a former corporation lawyer, and he
    tended to see the Armys problems as similar to
    those faced by business executives.
  • The men who have combined various corporations
    in what we call trusts have reduced the cost of
    production and have increased their efficiency by
    doing the very same thing we propose you shall do
    now, and it does seem a pity that the Government
    of the United States should be the only great
    industrial establishment that cannot profit by
    the lessons which the world of industry and of
    commerce has learned to such good effect.

Elihu Root
  • Root recognized the inefficient division of
    authority between the Commanding General and the
    Secretary of War
  • The Commanding General exercised discipline and
    control of the troops in the field while the
    Secretary of War, through the military bureau
    chiefs, had responsibility for administration and
    fiscal matters
  • Root recommended replacing the Commanding General
    with a Chief of Staff who would be the
    responsible adviser and executive agent of the
    President through the Secretary of War
  • Reinforced civilian control of the military
  • Reduced the independence of the bureau chiefs

Elihu Root
  • To correct the long range war planning deficiency
    made obvious by the Spanish-American War, Root
    proposed creating a new General Staff
  • Now there would be a group of selected officers
    who devoted their full energies to preparing war
    plans rather than the previous practice of
    relying on ad hoc groups thrown together for a
  • Roots proposals were adopted by Congress in 1903

Educational Reforms
  • As commanding general William Sherman established
    the School of Application for Infantry and
    Cavalry at Fort Leavenworth, KS in 1881
  • Predecessor for the Command and General Staff
  • The Naval War College was established in 1884 and
    the Army War College in 1901
  • The service school system was expanded
  • Signal School 1905
  • Field Artillery School 1911
  • School of Musketry 1911

Albert Thayer Mahan
  • US naval officer who lived from 1840 to 1914
  • Wrote The Influence of Sea Power Upon History,
    1660-1783 (1890) and The Influence of Sea Power
    upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793-1812
  • Considered sea power to include the overlapping
    concepts of command of the sea through naval
    superiority and that combination of maritime
    commerce, overseas possessions, and privileged
    access to foreign markets that produces national
    wealth and greatness

Albert Thayer Mahan
  • Advocated
  • that overbearing power on the sea which drives
    the enemys flag from it, or allows it to appear
    only as a fugitive
  • (1) Production (2) Shipping (3) Colonies and
    Markets in a word, sea power
  • Thought the Navy should be used offensively and
    that its principle object should be destruction
    of the enemys fleet
  • Destroying the enemys battle fleet would in turn
    cause his merchant fleet to find the sea
  • To be effective, the fleet should not be divided
    and should be autonomous

Albert Thayer Mahan
  • Saw the Navys economic strangulation of France
    by blockade as the key to Britains defeat of
  • It was not by attempting great military
    operations on land, but by controlling the sea,
    and through the sea the world outside Europe,
    that the British ensured the triumph of their
  • Critics argue that Mahan confused a necessary or
    important cause with the sufficient cause
  • The British Navy was important, but the Army and
    diplomacy also played key roles

Albert Thayer Mahan
  • Considered the navy to be a better instrument of
    national policy than the army
  • This was especially true for the United States
    which had neither the tradition nor the design
    to act aggressively beyond the seas, but at the
    same time had very important transmarine
    interests which need protection
  • Increasingly became an imperialist in order to
    gain control of the resources the US needed to
    best use its naval power

Mahan and Imperialism
  • As far as my own views went, I might say I was
    up to 1885 traditionally an anti-imperialist but
    by 1890 the study of the influence of sea power
    and its kindred expansive activities upon the
    destiny of nations had converted me. (Mahan,
  • Mahan saw the construction of the Panama Canal as
    both a tremendous opportunity for the US to
    expand its interests but also that those expanded
    interests would collide with the interests of
    other nations
  • The US must therefore build a Navy and acquire
    the necessary supporting bases to safeguard its

Panama Canal
  • President Theodore Roosevelt saw an opportunity
    to exploit the separatist tendencies of Panama
    and supported its rebellion against Colombia in
  • Between 1904 and 1914, the US built the Panama
    Canal which links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
    without having to transit Cape Horn

Gatun locks under construction in 1910
  • Even when the Canal was just in the planning
    stages, Mahan warned that its opening would
    immediately place the West Coast in jeopardy and
    that it should be an inviolable resolution of
    our national policy, that no foreign state should
    henceforth acquire a cooling position within
    three thousand miles of San Francisco, --- a
    distance which includes the Hawaiian and
    Galapogos islands and the coast of Central
  • In 1893 a group of businessmen and planters
    overthrew Queen Liliuokalani and invited the US
    to annex Hawaii
  • Hawaii became a US possession in 1898

Queen Liliuokalani
Latin America
  • In 1823 President James Monroe issued the Monroe
    Doctrine that warned European states against
    imperialist designs in the western hemisphere
  • Any European attempt to reassert control over
    former colonies or to establish new ones would be
    considered as a threat against the US and an act
    of provocation
  • The Monroe Doctrine served as a justification for
    US intervention in hemispheric affairs

Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine
  • In 1904 the government of the Dominican Republic
    went bankrupt
  • President Roosevelt feared that Germany and other
    nations might intervene forcibly to collect their
  • Roosevelt asserted that in the Western
    Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to
    the Monroe Doctrine may force the United States,
    however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such
    wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an
    international police power....

Cartoon portraying Roosevelt as an international
policeman wielding his big stick
Early 20th Century US Interventions in Latin
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Nicaragua
  • Honduras
  • Haiti

Mexican Revolution (1911-1920)
  • After defeat in the Mexican War, a liberal reform
    movement tried to reshape Mexico
  • President Benito Juarez began to limit the power
    of the military and the Roman Catholic Church in
    Mexico and sought to endow Mexicans with the
    means of making a living and enable them to
    participate in political affairs

Benito Juarez, leader of La Reforma
Mexican Revolution (1911-1920)
  • La Reforma challenged the fundamentalism of
    Mexican elites and a civil war broke out in 1911
  • Peasants, workers, and middle class Mexicans
    fought to overthrow the dictator Porfirio Diaz
  • The revolt became increasingly radical and
    devolved into guerrilla war

Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915)
Mexican Revolution (1911-1920)
  • Charismatic rebels such as Emiliano Zapata and
    Pancho Villa organized massive armies to fight
    against the government
  • Villa attacked and killed US citizens as a result
    of Americas support for the Mexican government

General John Pershing led an unsuccessful
American expedition to capture Villa. Pershing
telegraphed Washington, Villa is everywhere, but
Villa is nowhere.
Mexican Revolution (1911-1920)
  • President Woodrow Wilson called up 75,000
    National Guardsmen to help police the border
  • Although Villa was not captured, serious border
    incidents were stopped
  • Perhaps more importantly, the Army learned
    valuable lessons about mobilization, training,
    and field operations that would help it prepare
    for World War I

  • Technological advances served to make warfare
    more lethal
  • Smokeless powder improved range and penetrating
  • TNT increased the bursting power of artillery
  • Improved steels resulted in lighter and more
    efficient weapons
  • Recoilless technology allowed repeated firings
    without having to relay the artillery piece
  • The Maxim machine gun was the first self-powered
    and truly automatic model
  • Clip-loading magazines greatly increased rates of
    rifle fire

National Defense Act of 1916
  • The deployment of the National Guard during the
    Mexico Revolt forced Congress to reach a decision
    on the divisive issue of how to organize the
    military for war
  • The legislation reflected the growing sentiment
    of foregoing the Uptonian idea of an expansible
    Regular Army in favor of the more traditional
    American concept of a citizen army as the
    keystone of an adequate defense force
  • Represented the most comprehensive military
    legislation yet enacted by the Congress

National Defense Act of 1916
  • Authorized an increase in the peacetime strength
    of the Regular Army over a period of five years
    to 175,000 men and a wartime strength of close to
  • Bolstered by federal funds and federal-stipulated
    organization and standards of training, the
    National Guard was to be increased more than
    fourfold to a strength of over 400,000 and
    obligated to respond to the call of the President

National Defense Act of 1916
  • Established both an Officers and an Enlisted
    Reserve Corps and a Volunteer Army to be raised
    only in time of war
  • Created a new Reserve Officer Training Corps
    (ROTC) program to establish training centers for
    officers at colleges and universities.
  • Going beyond the heretofore-recognized province
    of military legislation, the Act granted power to
    the President to place orders for defense
    materials and to force industry to comply.
  • Directed the Secretary of War to conduct a survey
    of all arms and munitions industries.

  • World War I