• "Sic 'Em, Ned": Edward M. Almond and His Army, 1916-1953

      Urwin, Gregory J. W., 1955-; Kusmer, Kenneth L., 1945-; Lockenour, Jay, 1966-; Showalter, Dennis E. (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Edward Mallory "Ned" Almond belonged to the generation of US Army officers who came of age during World War I and went on to hold important command positions in World War II and the Korean War. His contemporaries included some of America's greatest captains such as Omar N. Bradley. While Almond is no longer a household name, he played a key role in Army history. Almond was ambitious and gave his all to everything he did. He was a careful student of his profession, a successful commander at battalion and corps level, a dedicated staff officer, something of a scholar, a paternalistic commander turned vehement racist, and a right-wing zealot. He earned his greatest accolades commanding the American troops who landed at Inchon, South Korea, on September 15, 1950, an amphibious flanking movement that temporarily transformed the nature of the Korean War. A soldier of such accomplishments and contradictions has gone too long without a scholarly biography; this dissertation will fill that void. This biography of Lt. Gen. Edward M. Almond makes a significant and original contribution to the existing historiography by examining his life in the context of the times in which he served. Almond earned tremendous respect throughout his career for his work as a commander and military administrator from his superiors, including Gen. George C. Marshall and Gen. Douglas MacArthur, but his current reputation as the US Army's most virulent racist overshadows all of these accomplishments. Almond's attitude was not unique; racism pervaded both the Army and the United States of his day. His views reflected the dominant view of the rural white South where he grew up, and did not differ much from those of his more famous peers. Almond, however, would never accept the changes his contemporaries and the Army eventually acknowledged. Almond's reactionary posture stands in sharp contrast to the rest of his career, in which he distinguished himself as an innovator open to new ideas. This dissertation will attempt to reconcile that other Almond and show that there was more to him than his bigoted command policies. Almond's career paralleled these developments in American society and changes in the US Army. His highly professional attitude yet stubborn resistance to social change typified the senior military leadership of the era. When those racial attitudes began to change, Almond represented an increasingly outdated ideology that held black men were innately incapable of becoming good soldiers. At the end of a long life and successful career, Almond was better known for his repugnant racial attitudes than for his genuine successes. First, Almond performed better as the commander of the 92nd Division than is commonly reported, despite that unit's significant difficulties in combat. This dissertation will also explore how his experiences with the 92nd Division, and the Army's later desegregation decisions, embittered him toward black soldiers. Second, both success and failure marked his command of X Corps in Korea, and his personal relationships with other officers obscured some of his accomplishments. Third, while serving as commandant of the US Army War College, Almond would tap his rich store of military experience to push the Army toward a greater commitment to joint operations.