Matt Potter 12:47 p.m., Dec. 10
NB: I am posting this because there seems to be an overly-romanticized local view that Nazi influence in Germany was a desirable thing, that full employment for any purpose is always justified when part of that purpose is stifling dissent.
The King of Prussia took the news of the defeats at Jena and Auerstadt particularly hard. The destruction of the Prusian Army, the King's Prussian Army by Napoleon Bonaparte's French Army was a personal thing to the King, as the generals and senior officers were all related to him as Prussian nobility, sworn to obey the King of Prussia.
After the humiliation of losing and having terms imposed on Prussia by France, the King began to study ways to prevent future losses by establishing a military reform commission in 1807. The final roster of members of the commission included the historical Reformers of the Army of Fredrick the Great: Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Grolman, Boyen, and Clausewitz who went on to write most of the military strategic classic Vom Krieg (On War) during his lifetime.
The commission made a number of recommendations to the King, and many were adopted in secret as French spies might report news of this reform work to Napoleon. The King was searching for ways to institutionalize military excellence through constant self-evaluation and self-improvement as the one sure way to insure the safety of Prussia and later Germany after the stunning victories in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. In many ways, these were the things that the Reformers of the military commission gave to the King. After 1870, every major power in the world had its own military general staff system with the revised military school curriculum to go with them, including the United States of America. Strategic decisions of military and naval necessity were made, and one result was the birth of naval aviation in San Diego as a tool in current and future American strategic force projection.
There was one particular reform that the King was not ready to do. The European Crowns were disturbed at the popular anarchy that moved the French people to depose their King and replace him with the commoner Napoleon as Emperor of France. All of this was happening in the early years of the United States under our second set of organizing documents, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the early enactments of Congress, including treaties and agreements that dated beck to before the battle of Yorktown, and no money-making colonial power on the European continent wanted their own colonial American rebellion. There was no way that the King of Prussia would give up the officers' oaths of allegiance to himself in favor of the same oath to the people of Prussia in a constitutional monarchy; there were other ways to stave off the rise of popular anarchism, but surrendering the King's Army to the people was not one of them.
Many decades later, Adolph Hitler exploited this weakness in the relationship between the Fürher's formal authority to command the German Army and the election of a Chancellor by the German people to grind the German Army down on the Russian steppes before Berlin was turned into a Russian-made wildfire zone and the Cold War began.
In the above, the reference to San Diego and its place in aviation history is not part of Col. Dupuy's work, but merely an example of the results of strategic planning done by American general and naval staff officers under American constitutional civilian leadership. The example is included to demonstrate the influence of long-run Prussian successes in creating a military general staff system capable of turning out trained officers and generals who accomplished both assigned and assumed objectives in a superior fashion on a fairly regular basis. One modern American imitation of that system is the National Incident Management System/Incident Command System (NIMS/ICS) that is required to be used in any San Diego emergency response, on pain of losing federal disaster reimbursement for local emergency response and recovery costs by not following NIMS/ICS communication, command and control standards in emergency responses.
Go to http://training.fema.gov/IS/ for more information on FEMA Professional Development Series certification for emergency managers, volunteers and volunteer coordinators. FEMA Emergency Management Institute instruction and certification is free to US citizens and supports NIMS/ICS integration of local, state and federal resources responding to catastrophic disasters. Proper prior training and exercise practice happens BEFORE the disaster, not DURING... In many historical cases, civilian lack of preparation and practice before a disaster is often our own fault.
Be a real hero in your own community. Your neighbors may be very appreciative of you some time very soon.
From FEMA EMI: "The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the general public. All are offered free-of-charge to those who qualify for enrollment" (emphasis added).