The mock battles known as the Louisiana Maneuvers had one purpose and that was to prepare America’s troops for the war that had already begun in Europe and which was threatening to spread around the entire globe. The Louisiana Maneuvers were the final and largest “war games” before the US entered into World War II.
The United States Army had nearly double in size from 620,000 troops in December of 1940 to 1,460,998 troops by mid-1941. The main purposes of these maneuvers were to make the mistakes here at home, and learn from them, rather than make these mistakes in Europe and the Pacific. Nearly half a million men participated in these maneuvers; they marched, crossed rivers, rode horses or drove vehicles, and they parachuted from planes over thousands of miles making this, the Louisiana Maneuvers, the largest military exercise of its kind in the United States Army. My father recently retired after a cumulative 36 years of service in the US Marine Corps and Navy. He and my Mother travel to Alexandria, LA to celebrate the occasion with several of his friends from other services. They stayed at the Hotel Bentley which experienced visits during the …show more content…
There were to be two events in the spring and autumn of 1940 and two more the following year, with the largest, most complex and most important to be held in September 1941. The 1940 maneuvers began in May with 70,000 soldiers, who trained and “fought” in four separate exercises of three days each, beginning on May 9.
After the May war games, several senior tank experts, including Colonel George S. Patton Jr., recommended the Army create separate armored divisions that could operate unencumbered by infantry or horse cavalry units. The recommendation was forwarded to Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, who quickly established a special armored training school at Fort Knox,