Patrick Rose, ‘Allies at War: British and US Army Command Culture in the Italian Campaign, 1943–1944′
This article compares the philosophy and practice of command in the British and US Armies during the Italian Campaign of 1943–44. It assesses pre-war influences on the command approach adopted by each army, and shows how refinements derived from wartime experience enabled British and American commanders to successfully utilise mission command principles to outfight the German Army in the latter years of World War II. This examination directly challenges the historical consensus that Allied commanders were disadvantaged by an inability to exploit the advantages of mission command, and that the German Army retained superior command practices, despite its other failings, throughout the fighting between 1939 and 1945. These conclusions hold additional relevance to modern military organisations which have emphasised mission command as the optimal solution to effective command in battle since the 1980s, but from an inaccurate understanding of German, British and American command traditions and experience that persists to this day.