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Edward M. Almond and the US Army: From the 92nd Infantry Division to the X Corps

by Michael E. Lynch

Availablecloth$60.00s 978-0-8131-7798-4
AUSA Books - American Warriors Series
440 pages  Pubdate: 10/15/2019  6 x 9  25 b&w photos, 25 maps, 4 figures, 14 tables

This study presents a comprehensive look at a complex man who exhibited an unfaltering commitment to the military and to his soldiers but whose career was marked by controversy. As a senior Army officer in World Wars I and II, Lt. Gen. Edward M. Almond lived by the adage that “units don’t fail, leaders do.” He was chosen to command the 92nd Infantry Division—one of only two African American divisions to see combat during WWII—but when the infantry performed poorly in Italy in 1944–1945, he asserted that it was due to their inferiority as a race and not their maltreatment by a separate but unequal society. He would later command the X Corps during the Inchon invasion that changed the course of the Korean War, but his accomplishments would be overshadowed by his abrasive personality and tactical mistakes.

This book addresses how Almond’s early education at the Virginia Military Institute, with its strong Confederate and military influences, shaped his military prowess. Presented is a thorough assessment of Almond’s military record; how he garnered respect for his aggressiveness, courage in combat, strong dedication, and leadership; and how he was affected by the loss of his son and son-in-law in combat during WWII. Following the war, Almond would return to the US to assume command of the US Army War College, but would find himself unprepared for a changing world. This volume asserts that since his death, his bigoted views have come to dominate his place in history and undermine his military achievements.

Michael E. Lynch is assistant professor at the US Army War College and research historian for the US Army Heritage and Education Center. He is a contributing author to Drawdown: The American Way of War and Black History of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, 1860-1936.

An astute, nuanced examination of one of the US Army's most confounding combat leaders. In teasing out the contradictions in Edward M. Almond's unabashed life, with scrupulous scholarship and an unsparing eye, Michael E. Lynch also gives an insightful portrait of our 20th century Army. -- Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history

Lynch has written an impressively researched and balanced biography of one of the Army’s most controversial officers. Like or hate Ned Almond, this book belongs in the collections of all those interested in the US Army’s experience in the Korean War and in its officer corps. -- Brian McAllister Linn, author of Elvis’s Army: Cold War GI’s and the Atomic Battlefield