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Under the Shadow of NapoleonFrench Influence on the American Way of Warfare from Independence to the Eve of World War II$
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Michael Bonura

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814709429

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814709429.001.0001

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American Adaptation of French Warfare, 1848–1865

American Adaptation of French Warfare, 1848–1865

(p.93) 3 American Adaptation of French Warfare, 1848–1865
Under the Shadow of Napoleon

Michael A. Bonura

NYU Press

This chapter illustrates how the U.S. military adapted the French combat method into the army's intellectual framework, as the changes in technology had led to a reevaluation of the American system of tactics and general regulations in the 1850s. The War Department updated its tactical regulations to include the rifled musket and also authorized new general regulations that reintroduced sections concerning combat and battle. At West Point, Dennis Hart Mahan produced the first truly American work on the military art through the publication of his classic, Out-Post, which marked the beginning of a tradition of American military thought. The stage seemed set for another intellectual revolution, with its corresponding new paradigm of war. Yet the American officer corps remained committed to the French combat method and used it to integrate the new technology and military thought into the army's intellectual framework of the battlefield.

Keywords:   intellectual framework, U.S. military, military technology, War Department, military art, intellectual revolution

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