Reducing Duplication and Overlap: The Process of Military Unification in the Second World War and After
By late 1943, military and political strategists had already begun looking forward to the postwar period. Key military leaders including George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower, recognizing problems in interservice communications and the duplication resulting from this -- highlighted in the catastrophe at Pearl Harbor and the division of the Pacific theater between the Army and Navy -- decided to move toward a unified military leadership. Not all the services or their leaders agreed with this proposition, leading to years, and decades, of political squabbling. In the final year of the war, these issues caused increased divisions on the battlefronts of the Pacific theater. In the War’s aftermath, the squabbling became more politicized, leading to such protests as the Revolt of the Admirals. This paper will investigate political aspects of the first decade of military unification, arguing that the military services used Congress as the battleground for a publicly heated struggle for power.
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