IT’S ONLY A PRE-WAR PERIOD IN HINDSIGHT

The Army prides itself on being able to learn, but it also has shown throughout history it also forgets pretty quick too. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Brian Linn and Conrad Crane to discuss the inter-war periods throughout U.S. history and what they’ve meant to the further development of the U.S. Army. WAR ROOM Senior Editor […]

A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO WAR? ANTOINE-HENRI JOMINI (GREAT STRATEGISTS)

I see [Jomini] as one of the final products of the Enlightenment — the idea of this ability to find scientific principles … that anyone can use, [such as] in this case, war In this episode in our Great Strategists series, U.S. Army War College historians Bill Johnsen and Con Crane present one of the […]

DOCUMENTS CAN LIE, TOO: THE “LESSONS” OF HISTORY (PART 3)

You cannot help but approach your sources from your own experiences and backgrounds Our three-part roundtable on the “Lessons” of History concludes as Con Crane, Jacqueline E. Whitt, and Andrew A. Hill discuss the importance of critical thinking for developing historical mindedness. From the subjectivity of first-person accounts to the modern phenomenon of so-called “fake […]

JUDGES, NOT LAWYERS: THE “LESSONS” OF HISTORY (PART 2)

You cannot help but approach your sources from your own experiences and backgrounds Our three-part roundtable on the “Lessons” of History continues as Con Crane, Jacqueline E. Whitt, and Andrew A. Hill discuss the roles of military historians in professional military education and the practical uses of military history in general. If history doesn’t teach […]

“HISTORY TEACHES US” NOTHING: THE “LESSONS” OF HISTORY (PART 1)

HISTORY IS NOT A BOX OF FACTS, IT IS A STATE OF MIND History teaches us ____________.” Many listeners have probably heard that opening a few times, usually followed by a claim that is apparently profound and timely, but also probably poorly supported and problematic. Why does this construction persist, then? Is it because of […]

RECEIPT: BOMB, ATOMIC, 1 EACH (DUSTY SHELVES)

This is a hand receipt unlike any other. … Imagine instead of signing for an office key or a computer, … you’ve just taken responsibility for the first atomic weapon. Military historian Con Crane tells the story behind an unusual hand receipt, showing the transfer of responsibility of the components of the ‘Little Boy’ atomic […]

RIDGWAY’S MEMO: “WHY WE ARE HERE” (DUSTY SHELVES)

Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgway assumed command of Eighth U.S. Army after it had been driven south in the early phases of the Korean War. Faced with a broken and dispirited force, Ridgway had to turn the situation around quickly. His memorandum of January 1951, “Why We Are Here,” was a message to the troops about what was at stake, and embodied his belief in the cause and faith in the fighting spirit of the force. In six months, a rejuvenated Eighth U.S. Army had driven the Chinese north of the 38th parallel. It is one of the great stories of U.S. military history.

This inaugural episode of the Dusty Shelves series, Army historian Con Crane and War Room podcast editor Jacqueline E. Whitt present the memorandum and the story of Lieutenant General Ridgway. The memorandum, displayed and transcribed below, comes from the collection of Ridgway’s papers available at the Army Heritage and Education Center.