General George C. Marshall: Strategic Leadership and the Challenges of Reconstituting the Army, 1939-41
COL John T Nelson II
Book by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute
"In this connection, the study of General George C. Marshall, covering his pre-World War II service as Army Chief of Staff, 1939-41, is as inspirational as it is illustrative. Marshall began his tour of duty at a time when the Army was isolated politically and institutionally, when it was profoundly undermanned and poorly equipped, and when the prospects for improving this dismal situation were far from encouraging. In the ensuing 2 1/2 years, the Army's posture changed dramatically for the better, largely through Marshall's Herculean efforts to prepare for the kind of war he saw threatening on the horizon. In effect, he "reconstituted" the Army. It is no exaggeration to say that Marshall enabled America to enter the war with a distinct "running start" in terms of military preparedness-- something this country had never before succeeded in doing."