Break In

Military Learning during Wartime

By The Cove May 15, 2019


This article titled ‘Military Learning’ by Eric Higenbotham via Questia explores how different militaries have responded to learning during wartime, and what may be gained or lost depending on the approach they adopt. The article states that during World War II, U.S. and British armored units fought alongside each other against the same enemy, in the same area, using the same equipment. However, U.S. effectiveness improved dramatically in three years of active operations and British effectiveness seemed to improve at a much slower rate during their five years of activity.  

The author suggests that the differences in British and U.S. rates of wartime learning “relate to organizational infrastructure and the systems by which information was absorbed and codified. British army learning was hampered by the lack of army-wide doctrine and common tactical procedures, and a decentralized command practice that delegated authority for much of the army's training, doctrine and organization to theater and unit commanders. In contrast, a dense network of channels allowed effective communication among officers within the entire U.S. force, and common doctrine and training standards supplied the Army with the baseline or common language necessary to absorb new ideas and develop, test and implement new tactical protocols.”  

Read the article and reflect on how you think Australia would compare in this regard. Do we have the right systems in place to learn and implement changes from war?    



The Cove

The home of the Australian Profession of Arms.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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