Tuesday, April 09, 2024

We've Been Crazy Before

 Then in August 1939, on the eve of war in Europe, the Army held major war games at Plattsburgh, New York, to find out what it could do. Fifty thousand men were put on the field - but more than two-thirds were part-time National Guardsmen. They quickly lost their direction as units haplessly bumped into one another. Without radios to issue orders, soldiers began wandering in search of officers to give them. Some stumbled on lines of Good Humor trucks parked in a field: The Army had been forced to hire them to serve as decoy tanks because there weren't enough real tanks or armored cars to go around. "The U.S. Army," Time magazine said, summing up, "looked like a few nice boys with BB guns."

- From Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II by Arthur Herman

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