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Henry G. Gole

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Colonel Henry G. Gole, USA (ret.) Ph.D., “fought in Korea as an enlisted rifleman and served two tours in Vietnam as a Special Forces officer. He has taught at West Point, the U.S. Army War College, the University of Maryland, and Dickinson College.”  Colonel Henry G. Gole is the author of General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War; The Road to Rainbow: Army Planning for Global War, 1934-1940; and, Soldiering: Observations from Korea, Vietnam, and Safe Places.


According to the book description of General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War, “From the late 1960s to the late 1970s, the United States Army was a demoralized institution in a country in the midst of a social revolution. The war in Vietnam had gone badly and public attitudes about it shifted from indifference, to acceptance, to protest. Army Chief of Staff General Creighton Abrams directed a major reorganization of the Army and appointed William E. DePuy (1919–1992) commander of the newly established Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), in 1973.


DePuy already had a distinguished record in positions of trust and high responsibility: successful infantry battalion command and division G-3 in World War II by the age of twenty-five; Assistant Military Attaché in Hungary; detail to CIA in the Korean War; alternating tours on the Army Staff and in command of troops. As a general officer he was General Westmoreland’s operations officer in Saigon; commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam; Special Assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Army. But it was as TRADOC Commander that DePuy made his major contribution in integrating training, doctrine, combat developments, and management in the U.S. Army. He regenerated a deflated post-Vietnam Army, effectively cultivating a military force prepared to fight and win in modern war.


General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War is the first full-length biography of this key figure in the history of the U.S. Army in the twentieth century. Author Henry G. Gole mined secondary and primary sources, including DePuy’s personal papers and extensive archival material, and he interviewed peers, subordinates, family members, and close observers to describe and analyze DePuy’s unique contributions to the Army and nation.

Gole guides the reader from DePuy’s boyhood and college days in South Dakota through the major events and achievements of his life. DePuy was commissioned from the ROTC six months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, witnessed poor training and leadership in a mobilizing Army, and served in the 357th Infantry Regiment in Europe—from the bloody fighting in Normandy until victory in May 1945, when DePuy was stationed in Czechoslovakia. Gole covers both major events and interesting asides: DePuy was asked by George Patton to serve as his aide; he supervised clandestine operations in China; he served in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff during the debate over "massive retaliation" vs. "flexible response"; he was instrumental in establishing Special Forces in Vietnam; he briefed President Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House.


DePuy fixed a broken Army. In the process his intensity and forcefulness made him a contentious figure, admired by some and feared by others. He lived long enough to see his efforts produce American victory in the Gulf War of 1991. In General William E. DePuy, Gole presents the accomplishments of this important military figure and explores how he helped shape the most potent military force in the history of the world.”

General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War (American Warriors)
Henry G. Gole  More Info

The Road to Rainbow: Army Planning for Global War, 1934-1940 (Ausa Institute of Land Warfare Book.)
Henry G. Gole  More Info

Soldiering: Observations from Korea, Vietnam, and Safe Places
Henry G. Gole  More Info

According to the book description of Soldiering: Observations from Korea, Vietnam, and Safe Places, “A career in the U. S. Army in the second half of the twentieth century was a passageway to every conceivable locale, hospitable and decidedly otherwise. Henry Gole’s experiences lead the reader through the geography of one such career. The recollections of a professional soldier, Henry Gole’s account is a humorous and interesting tale of a man who loved soldiering but not necessarily the organization in which he soldiered. He feels the gratification of having served in the U. S. Army during an era when, personal doubts and political controversy notwithstanding, the world depended on America and its armed forces to preserve freedom. He offers the unique perspective of a member of the “silent generation,” those who immediately followed the World War II generation but find themselves often overlooked by historians and the media. From 1952 through 1988, covering the ordinary rifleman’s view in Korea to the Green Beret’s war in Vietnam, Gole also provides fascinating insight into the professional military at war and how these professionals relate to each other, both under great stress and during periods of decompression. Containing a wealth of leadership lessons that will serve as an invaluable guide for junior NCOs and officers alike, this thoughtful and introspective warrior has also written a moving tribute to the brave soldiers with whom he served.


According to the book description of The Road to Rainbow: Army Planning for Global War, 1934-1940, “Until now historians have generally accepted the interpretation that actual military planning for war with Germany and Japan came only after the events of 1939 when the security of the United States had been threatened. But Henry Gole counters this accepted historical wisdom with a forceful body of evidence indicating that the U.S. Army planned for coalition warfare as early as 1934, and specifically for a simultaneous two-ocean war with a Nazi Confederation and Japan in 1935, 1936, and 1937. Using primary sources from the Army War College, the Naval War College, and the National Archives, including materials discovered years after the publication of the official histories of World War II known as the Green Books, Gole shows that the United States was prepared intellectually from the mid-1930s to mobilize people and things for another world war.


Filled with facts from his extensive research and convincingly argued, Gole's book-co-published with the Association of the U.S. Army-is the first to fully disclose the extent of the Army's strategic planning done at the Army War College in coordination with the Army's General Staff, proving that these plans were created in response to global conflict years before the outbreak of World War II. The plans evolved into the joint and combined military options known as the Rainbow Plans. Gole's conclusions will cause readers to reconsider long-accepted "truths" about the realism of military planning before World War II and to reevaluate some of the now fifty-year old findings of the Green Books.

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