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Editorial Note on 1940 Spring Army Maneuvers
Marshall considered the spring 1940 maneuvers of paramount importance to the modernization of the army, and he devoted a large portion of his time to the defense of appropriations for these exercises. “With a view to providing for the training of large units we have concentrated in southern camps and on the Pacific coast five Infantry divisions, corps troops, two Cavalry divisions, and the Mechanized Cavalry Brigade. Before the end of this fiscal year divisional training will be completed and the divisions will be assembled with corps units into two corps, for what we believe will be the most instructive and the most productive maneuvers in our history.” The army scheduled the joint army-navy Pacific coast operations for January 15 through 20; the Caribbean joint exercise for mid-January through February, the Panama Canal Zone mobile forces exercises for the week of March 10, the Fourth Corps maneuvers at Fort Benning between April 15 and 27, and the massive Third Army maneuvers along the Sabine River in Texas and Louisiana for May 9 through 25. (Marshall testimony of February 23, 1940, House Appropriations Committee, Military Establishment Appropriation Bill for 1941, Hearings [Washington: GPO, 1940], p. 13.)
In the three months preceding the April 9 invasion of Denmark and Norway, Marshall testified at five crucial congressional hearings. On January 16, he appeared before the House Military Affairs Committee to outline defense needs and the president’s emergency supplemental appropriation bill. On February 23 and 26, the chief of staff submitted a lengthy statement and answered questions regarding budget appropriations for fiscal year 1941. He returned for the House Military Affairs Committee’s hearings on arms sales to the Allied nations on March 27, and appeared before the Senate Military Affairs Committee the following day. The age-in-grade promotions legislation brought Marshall back to the Senate committee on April 8, and to the House committee on the next day.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), p. 133.