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General's Guide to War - American Generals guide to War Leadership
General’s Guide to War
Sharpening the Combat Edge
© 2009
402 pages; 12 chapters and 1 appendix
General Julian Ewell was an honest man, as well as an excellent war
leader. He led a paratroop battalion into Normandy in World War II, and
reported a fact that got him into a lot of trouble. He said (paraphrased),
“the US Army, fighting in World War II, didn’t know enough about tactics
to fill a space the size of a postage stamp.” American generals, since
World War II, have not done very well. During the Vietnam War, there
were a few American generals who exemplified what a general should
be. One of the best American generals of the Vietnam War was
General Julian Ewell, who commanded the 9th Infantry Division in the
Delta in 1968-69.  His record, as a war leader at the divisional level,
almost stands alone. What he had to teach about generalship has
been forgotten.
Review Table of Contents
“From the beginning, General Ewell led his staff in what he called a "double-barreled" effort. "...One effort was directed
towards providing the maximum number of fit, motivated, well-equipped and properly supported infantry soldiers to the
field on a daily basis, night and day..." General Ewell sought to maximize his working assets for offensive combat and he
was the only "straight leg" Vietnam era infantry division commander to pursue that goal.
The other effort of Ewell's "double barrel" was directed towards bringing his infantry units to the maximum efficiency
possible. That effort was marked by a clear perception of what was important to divisional warfighting. According to
General Ewell: "The rough rule we used was to concentrate on matters that improved operations, tactics, and intelligence
and to let other matters go at their own speed. This concentration was pursued with considerable intensity. We insisted
on rapid results. If an area needed improvement we would quick fix it on the basis of available information and as our data
and understanding increased kept recycling the operation and analysis until we were satisfied...It depends on focus and
speed--which in our case meant emphasis on operations and tactics pursuing them with intensity and in a timely
manner..." “
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Excerpt from General’s Guide to War
VNM
LED
Now, General Ewell’s excellent guidelines concerning how to be a modern general fighting in an Asiatic environment,
which is also appropriate to Afghanistan and Iraq, are available to Quikmaneuvers’ readers. General Ewell’s lessons
from the Vietnam War are appropriate today. Breaker McCoy edited this book and highlighted the most important
combat lessons for a war leader from a man should be remembered, in a country that’s had very few excellent combat
generals since World War II.
General's Guide to War