Echo Of Battle

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The Echo of Battle is a must read for all professional Army officers to better contemplate the overarching doctrinal development of the United States Army. The book is in itself a history of the Army, the development of the Army’s tactical doctrine and how the doctrine of the Army has changed over time. The main argument of the book is that the central concepts of the Army were not formed in war but in the long periods of peace in between actual combat. Brian Linn, the author, further argues that the military intellectual elite have over the years created the ‘American Way of War’ instead of the great leaders of the military such as Patton or Eisenhower.
To speak of an ‘American Way of War’ means that America actually has a defined understanding
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Linn puts forward the argument that for the majority of the US Army’s history the American national strategic strategy has been shaped by three intellectual theories of war. While these three schools of thought have evolved over time, the basic concepts and assumptions have remained unchanged over time. As he states these three schools of thought are “Like a braid, each strand will, for a time, be visible on the surface and at other times will disappear, only to emerge farther down on the braid. At times the strand are so closely knit as to be indistinguishable; at other times they practically pull apart” ( Linn,…show more content…
This statement epitomizes the second martial theory; the Heroes. The Heroes view war in the simplest of terms as armed conflict with the objective to conquering the enemy in which the human elements, military genius, courage, military experience, morale and discipline is paramount. From a Heroes perspective war is an armed conflict towards the achievement of a goal. The heroic sub-culture is best known for be able to adapt to separate the key information from the mundane, to be flexible and adaptable to the changing nature of warfare. Brian Linn gives the example of a hero as General George S. Patton who went from being a supporter of mechanized warfare, a cavalryman, and then finally becoming one of the greatest practitioners of maneuver warfare. Unlike the Guardians war is not defined by rules or formulas, but by experience and an almost guttural response to combat. Heroes criticize those “who seek to impose predictability and order on a phenomenon they view as chaotic, violent, and emotional” (Linn, 6). At its finest, the Heroic sub-culture provides both an “intellectual and practical framework” (Linn 6-7) that leads to victory on the battlefield. It also can lead to posturing and elitism especially among leadership, and can lead to an “anti-intellectual” (Linn, 7) environment that sees war as an end rather than the means to achieve a political goal. While Heroes believe that victory is achieved
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