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To Roger L. Scaife
March 16, 1936 [Chicago, Illinois]
Thank you for your detailed letter of March 11th regarding INFANTRY IN BATTLE and BATTLE LEADERSHIP. As you say, these books are not a high standard publication; however, our problem has been to get them out as cheaply as possible in order to keep the price down. Both books were printed at Benning, though INFANTRY IN BATTLE was published through the financing of the Infantry Association in Washington.
I realized when I sent them to you that neither was suitable for general sale. What I wanted was for you to glance at some of the chapters of INFANTRY IN BATTLE that you might get some idea of how I eventually managed to get into print the meat of the monographs, of which I spoke to you so long ago. BATTLE LEADERSHIP I had printed, though my name is not mentioned, because the contents represented a very clever presentation of some of the imponderables that play such an important part in battle.1 Von Schell, the author, was a student officer at Benning, though a veteran of 265 battles in the German Army. Through him I came to know von Blomberg, the present minister of war for Germany.
INFANTRY IN BATTLE has gotten remarkable reviews from the most prominent German military critics and, as I told you, they translated it into German, in Tauchnitz form2—a compliment they have paid practically no other army that we know of—so evidently there was some merit to the manner presenting the matter.
I hope your business is booming this winter and that Mrs. Scaife and you are in the best of health. Two years ago we were all at Thomasville [Georgia], and I wish we were there now.
With warmest regards to you both.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Illinois National Guard, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Adolf von Schell, Battle Leadership: Some Personal Experiences of a Junior Officer of the German Army with Observations on Battle Tactics and the Psychological Reactions of Troops in Campaign (Fort Benning: Benning Herald, ).
2. The Tauchnitz family of printers in Leipzig, Germany, had published numerous highly respected, inexpensive, paperback books of literature since the mid-nineteenth century.
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 489-490.