Simpson, Moore, and the Ninth US Army
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Sales Date: 10/03/2023
When one thinks of influential World War II military figures, five-star generals such as Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley instantly come to mind. As important as these central figures were to the Second World War, the conflict produced equally effective lower-profile leaders whose influence had an undeniable impact.
Among these leaders are William Simpson, commander of the US Ninth Army, and James Moore, his chief of staff. Working in tandem, the pair helmed a unit that gained recognition as "uncommonly normal," an affectionate designation driven by their steadfast professionalism in all endeavors. It was their unobtrusive leadership style that relegated these career military men to the footnotes of military history.
Commanding Professionalism: Simpson, Moore, and the Ninth US Army corrects this historical oversight by examining the achievements of these overlooked heroes. Focusing on Simpson and Moore's careers from 1940 through the end of World War II, author William Stuart Nance recounts the pair's working relationship. Together, they successfully maneuvered through the squabbling of the American and British forces and developed an army admired for its consistency of conduct and military prowess, capable of resisting the complex external and political machinations of the time.
Simpson and Moore's unflinching devotion to the greater good and their steady handle on the dynamics of command/staff relationships proved essential to the war effort and its ultimate success. Their example, Nance argues, remains aspirational and worthy of emulation in the military command structure of today.
Foreword, by Robert M. Citino
1. A Tale of Two Careers
2. Preparing for War
3. Into France
4. The Bloody Winter
5. Triumphant Spring
Flamboyant commanders have distorted popular perceptions of military history, where success often depends more upon solid leaders who have developed their abilities to orchestrate the complexities of war. Commanding Professionalism has given us a superb study of the commander and chief of staff of the U.S, Ninth Army during World War II—William Simpson and James Moore. Author William Nance traces how these underrated men capitalized on their previous experiences and education to make them supremely effective without the personality friction of more famous generals. This is a fascinating example of the reality of American military success.~Dr. Jonathan M. House, Professor of History Emeritus at Command and General Staff College, author of Towards Combined Arms Battle, and coauthor When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler
Generals William Simpson and James Moore led the Ninth US Army in the Allied campaigns to defeat Nazi Germany. These remarkable leaders were the "command Team" that ensured that the Ninth Army functioned smoothly, and without the prima donna antics evident in other Allied formations. They set a different tone for their organization that enabled the units assigned to function smoothly without the drama created by men such as Patton, Kean, and Hodges.~James Scott Wheeler, Col. (ret) US Army, author of Jacob L. Devers: A General's Life
A superb study of how two exceptional leaders cooperated to amplify combat effectiveness in a series of important assignments. Most notably, Nance explains the extraordinary way in which Simpson's and Moore's partnership imparted operational excellence to the Ninth US Army while also giving it a literally singular ability to work smoothly with other more fractious US and British commands.~Don Holder, LTG, USA (retired)
A wonderful exploration of the command atmosphere in the American Ninth Army commanded by William Hood Simpson. Compared to the hard-charging Patton and his Praetorian senior staff officers, Simpson and his chief of staff, James Moore, exuded the quiet professionalism that permitted them to function effectively not only under Bradley's command in Twelfth Army Group, but also under Montgomery's careful eye in 21 Army Group. Nance clearly demonstrates that Simpson and Moore were team players, but were assertive enough to protect Ninth Army's freedom of maneuver despite being the junior army in Eisenhower's order of battle. That Simpson could practice a relatively hands off command technique was a testament to the quality of his initial direction and guidance and to his trust in Moore. Indeed, Nance's effective presentation of Moore's education, background, training and temperament gives weight to the idea that the function of command should always be considered in terms of 'command team', the army commander and his right hand man – the chief of staff.~Major John Nelson Rickard, author of Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge
Lt. Gen. William Simpson...is hardly known today. So it is good to see the veteran armor officer William Stuart Nance's Commanding Professionalism cast an appreciative light on his style of leadership, which was best displayed during the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-45.~New York Times