Understanding change: an intellectual and practical study of military innovation U.S. army antiaircraft artillery and the battle for legitimacy, 1917-1945
Military organizations are normally quite resistant to change the way they operate. For a number of complex reasons militaries have failed on occasion to anticipate, learn, and adapt to changes in the conduct of warfare. This work examines the anatomy of change and argues that achieving successful organizational change in the military results from garnering external support and winning internal consensus. It counters recent scholarship that maintains the Interwar Army was a hidebound organization, unable to overcome internal power struggles and achieve necessary reforms. It begins with an intellectual analysis of how and why organizational change occurs, examines the nature of revolutionary and evolutionary change, and offers one approach toward achieving lasting, meaningful modernization and innovation in the military. This work then examines the development of American antiaircraft artillery as a case study to illuminate the earlier discussion of theory as it relates to organizational and institutional change. Beginning in World War I and tracing the evolution of antiaircraft artillery through the Interwar Period and World War II, this study highlights the non-linear nature of change and the influence of technology, strategy, resources, and organizational politics on efforts to improve the American Army’s ability to defend against air attack. It also provides valuable insight into the ability of the Army to learn from its mistakes and adapt to changing combat situations. From the Interwar development of doctrine to the prewar production of new weapons, the antiaircraft artillery establishment accepted limited, incremental success and did not sacrifice its overall development on the altar of sweeping reform. National military policy, strategy, operations, and tactics are analyzed as the expanding antiaircraft establishment defended the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor, and the Philippines from Japanese attack, and fought through stubborn German resistance at Kasserine Pass, on Normandy, and at the Remagen Bridge. Battles against the V-1 cruise missile, the V-2 ballistic missile, and Japanese kamikaze pilots tested antiaircraft units’ training and adaptability, while fire support missions to assist infantry and armor units brought the antiaircraft artillery independence from the Coast Artillery Corps and acceptance as a member of the family of arms.
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:world war ii i interwar period u s army antiaircraft artillery aaa v 1 2 kamikaze change military innovation reform air defense kasserine pass pearl harbor battle of the bulge normandy operat
Date of Publication:01/01/2003