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Forging the Anvil: Combat Units in the US, British, and German Infantries of World War II

G. Stephen Lauer
Forging the Anvil: Combat Units in the US, British, and German Infantries of World War II
ISBN: 978-1-62637-958-9
$85.00 $45.00
Forthcoming March 2022/463 pages/LC: 2021025743
Special price for a limited time only!
"Lauer's mastery of his subject is unrivaled. His book should be required reading for anyone with an interest in the training and development of infantry soldiers." —David J. Furness,  US Marine Corps Lieutenant General

"A landmark study.... Drawing on newly available sources, Stephen Lauer unpacks the factors that influenced the creation of World War II infantries and sustained them in the crucible of close combat."—Chris Marsh, Joint Special Operations University

DESCRIPTION

It has long been accepted wisdom that Germany's infantrymen possessed superior tactical ability relative to their Anglo-American adversaries in World War II. Now, drawing on newly available information, Stephen Lauer unpacks that assumption, exploring the conscription, classification, and training methods of the US, British, and German infantries from 1919 through 1945.

How did conscripted citizens become foot soldiers willing to fight, and even die, for each other in the face of brutal physical and mental demands? How was it decided which men to assign to combat units? How did each nation engender the social bonds that were essential if soldiers were to succeed—and survive—in their small unit milieus? Addressing these questions of manpower quality, Forging the Anvil is a landmark study of the key factors that influenced the creation of World War II infantries and sustained them in the crucible of close combat.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The late G. Stephen Lauer was associate professor of history and theory in the School of Advanced Military Studies, US Army Command and General Staff College, at Fort Leavenworth and a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Marine Corps.

CONTENTS

  • Foreword—Major General David Furness (USMC).
  • Preface—Christopher Marsh.
  • Forging the Anvil.
  • FINDING VOLUNTEERS: THE MAKING OF THE INTERWAR INFANTRY.
  • The United Kingdom: Lowering Selection Standards.
  • The United States: Raising Selection Standards.
  • Germany: Learning from World War I.
  • BUILDING COMBAT DIVISIONS: FROM CONSCRIPTION TO WAR.
  • The United Kingdom: Fighting a Defensive War.
  • The United States: Mobilizing for War.
  • Germany: Fighting an Offensive War.
  • FACING INFANTRY CRISES: TO FINAL VICTORY AND DEFEAT.
  • The United Kingdom: Consolidating Recruitment and Induction.
  • The United States: Improving Infantry Quality.
  • Germany: Fighting the Anvil.
  • CONCLUSION.
  • The Anvil Forged.