4-260 To Arthur Krock, February 17, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: February 17, 1944

Subject: World War II

To Arthur Krock

February 17, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]

Dear Krock,

The other day you commented on the fact that your people returning from the Mediterranean were all of the opinion that the American soldier could not be brought to hate the German. I referred to a dissertation on this subject written by a Private in our Army which we had published in a pamphlet. I am inclosing the pamphlet and suggest that you read the marked portion commencing on page 15.1

Incidentally the material for this pamphlet I found in the 34th Division in Tunisia shortly after the surrender, when I made a sudden trip to Algiers with Mr. Churchill. I brought back the paper and had it published in this pamphlet for general distribution to noncommissioned officers in the Army as well as officers. The first portion is technical but well written. The latter portion, devoted to the psychological reactions, I think is very interesting.2

Faithfully yours,

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed letter.

1. Marshall had met with Krock, a Washington correspondent with the New York Times, on February 10. (See Marshall Memorandum for General Surles, February 10, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-242 [4: 289-90].) The twenty-page pamphlet written by Private Frank B. Sargent, entitled The Most Common Short-Comings in the Training of Battalion and Regimental S-2 Personnel, and Some Suggestions to Overcome These, had been published by the War Department in June 1943. (See Marshall Memorandum for General McNair, June 8, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-002 [4: 5].) The last six pages deal with suggested psychological training for intelligence personnel. Sargent wrote that the training of American soldiers had overlooked “psychological preparation for combat.” Newly arrived American soldiers did not “realize the nature of war; neither did they have a conception of the psychology of the enemy” because they had not seen enemy actions like the British and the French had. The American soldiers learned to hate after they had been at the front for a while. Sargent advised that newly arrived intelligence personnel visit hospitals and talk with experienced personnel. “They should be given the shock of their lives, now, in the rear areas, in order that they be prepared psychologically to such a pitch that they want nothing else but to get in and retaliate. After that, they should be taught how.” (Quotes on pp. 15-16, 20.)

2. “You are a good editor as well as a great soldier,” Krock responded. “You were exercising high editorial talent when you discovered the value of the material you had published, and which you kindly sent to me. I think it hits on the exact truth.” (Krock to Marshall, February 18, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 308.

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