Glad that folk found a thumbnail sketch of George C. Marshall of interest. I don't believe history necessarily repeats itself, but do believe humans have a profound capacity for making the same mistakes over and over again -- which is why we need to study the past seriously.
Let me first answer a couple of questions -- I certainly agree with Kaliediscope that in the wake of World War One there was no agreement among the victors as to the shape of the peace. One recent book -- Margaret MacMillian's "Paris 1919" does a brilliant job detailing this and I fully recommend. MacMillian is the great grand daughter of Dsvid Lloyd George, and a Canadian Historian. One needs a fairly detailed understanding of how Wilson got the US into WWI, his shift from seeming Liberal to Authoritarian style once this occurred, and how Wilson grafted his earlier idealism on to Authoritarianism to capture the full sense of "Our Man at Versailles" and how he interfaced with his French and British counterparts. Needless to say he was given a super hero welcome when he arrived in France for the conference, and at the end virtually no one saw him off when he departed.
Marshall had virtually nothing to do with the Post World War One architecture -- he was a very junior peon on General Pershing's staff -- but he displayed his competence throughout the US engagement, and as a result, Pershing was Marshall's career mentor within the US Army. In World War One -- Marshall had been sent over to France early in 1917 to organize the logistics for the arrival of the US Army -- and he fought the good fight for an American sector of the front, rather than as the British and French preferred, to throw American troops into their lines as ready canon fodder as they arrived fresh from stateside training. Marshall got the sector on the French-German border just south of Luxumbourg, and then negotiated the use of French ports, french rail system, location of HQ, training and assembly grounds and all in preperation for the arrival of the US Army. He was in combat as a Major for about four months, and then Pershing pulled him out of the lines for his staff. Among other things, he spoke French, had decent relations with counterparts in the French Military, was respected, and was a genius at logistics.
Any agreements on the "shape of the peace" post WWI didn't involve the US. We all know that the French and British had them -- Sykes-Picot, for instance dates from 1915 and splits much of the former Ottoman Empire between French and British interests -- but since it was a Secret Agreement, Wilson felt no cause to recognize it. No one who was in on the initial years of the war expected revolution in Russia and a Bolshevic take-over -- and Russia's dropping out of the alliance, and thus absence from the peace conference with demands for a sphere of influence. So indeed, there was no overall plan to which all agreed. And as we know, Wilson lost the Republicans during the Versailles negotiations, and ended up with a huge domestic political loss. What's important for understanding Marshall's evolution of a doctrine is to understand he was on the margins of the Military and Political process during those years -- young, bright, able, and placed to observe the inner workings -- but not any sort of significant factor.
In fact, Marshall and FDR first met up with each other in Paris -- not at any sort of conference table, but as delightful guests at the dinner-dance parties offered up by all the circles playing at Versailles. FDR was a junior member of Wilson's team -- as assistant Secretary of the Navy his job was to sell excess US ships to countries that needed them, and drum up business for the new shipyards he'd built for the US Navy. And yes -- the Roosevelt Name was of some interest. They were not friends -- but they met and supped, and danced with some of the same ladies.
I doubt if it makes much difference which faction a "Freikorps" militia serves -- what is important about them is how they represent the breakdown in governance. Most of them were on the right -- but different factions of the right -- but the Socialists and the Communists in Germany also had their Korps, and instead of fighting the right, in many instances they fought each other. What is critical to understand is how the rise of local political militias represents breakdown of governance. That's the idea that can assist us (perhaps) in understanding contemporary Iraq.
My point in drawing attention to Marshall is that what happened in Germany in 1945 really represents his evolved analysis of what he witnessed in the wake of WWI -- and it wasn't that he was struck by lightening on the road to Damascus. After WWI he had a small command in China, then another on the West Coast, then in Georgia, and in between he did stints at the Command School at Levenworth and taught in the Army War College. For Marshall the question of how to end combat and restore some form of normal civil politics was essentially a theoretical matter -- and with a decent history of the US Army's then 150 year experience with the issue (The Hunt Report) under his arm, he used his opportunities to engage other officers in the issues. By 1934 his career was moving up, and he was able to get the drafting commission established for attempting a doctrine and then the field manual.
A bit of a description about how this works in the military. A commission is appointed -- they write a draft -- the draft goes to the Army War College for review and criticism. Then that, plus the draft goes on to Levenworth and the Command School (where they train the promotable younger officers who would have to execute if necessary) and it gets chewed over there, then both go to the top level commanders, they review the reviews, and then, if necessary, recommission the drafting commission. Between 1934 and 1940 this went through five cycles -- five editions of the Manual, meaning a whole lot of major issues were debated intensively.
I believe the most important thing to come out of this -- as occupation doctrine -- was that you do not use blooded combat troops in an occupation. The skill sets you want for combat are totally other than what you need for a successful military government. -- from this principle derives a totally different way to train, to organize and of course to furnish. If you compare this with Rummy's ideas, just remember that he moved Clinton's Peacekeeping command out of the Pentagon, when he arrived in 2001, and sent them up to the Carlisle Barracks in PA. He didn't want the institutional memory of any of this anywhere near his circles. (He also took away most of their money.)
Marshall did a great deal more in the 30's other than conduct seminars and cause drafting commissions to be appointed -- and I'll name off a few of the critical matters. In 1938 when he was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army -- on his way to the Chief's job -- the British approached him indicating they were setting up a staff course at Cambridge University over a six month's term to study the history of Military Occupation from the beginning of recorded history to the present time. Would Marshall like to send a delegation to participate in the course? Indeed he would, and he picked from the drafting commissions and his earlier seminars, and eight US officers went off to Cambridge for six months. Governments may not be able to formally have "cousultations" -- but you can discuss a great deal during six months at Cambridge you know. (They would have been studying during the Munich crisis.) When the US delegation returned, Marshall reviewed the work -- and immediately went to the U of Virginia and got the Chancellor to set up a similar course beginning in 1939 for 50 students, and Marshall more or less picked the officer students. He also approached Cordell Hull and asked if he might like to have some bright but junior foreign service officers join the course, and indeed Hull thought that a good idea. Result -- in December 1941 Marshall had at least 200 officers well grounded in doctrine, the manual, his thinking, military-political culture and much else -- and he could expand the program. Within a week or so after Germany declared war on the US, Marshall had plans for much larger courses at Rudgers, U of PA, and eventually Michigan and Wisconsin. He needed 6000 officers for the occupation, and he was fully prepared to train them. For the most part, the officer corps that did German Occupation were run through OTS (Officers Training School) becoming "90 day wonders" as they called them in WWII, then they went to college for 3-6 months -- those without German went to Language School. and most were in England by the time of Normandy, because Marshall considered it a contingency that the Nazi Government could fall -- and he wanted to have his occupation government ready to move in when needed. But he kept all of them out of combat commands. They did logistics or paperwork, or whatever. No shooting, no front line stuff.
Within a week of Pearl Harbor and the German declaration, Marshall had orders out to the basic training commands with lists of the qualities he was looking for in the occupation commands. He got some material that way. He also got Roosevelt to ask congress for over 1600 special commissions. Marshall and FDR personally did some of the recruitment for this -- they were looking for successful professionals over the draft age (36) working as judges, lawyers, public health professionals, civil engineers, public administrators, and as FDR put it in one note -- the kind of guys who supervised building the Grand Coulee Dam. This led the Republicans to charge FDR with turning Germany into a big New Deal WPA project -- and it went back and forth -- but he was looking for people who could do big complex things. And yes -- lots of the officers who were recruited were people off Roosevelt's vast New Deal lists. Anyhow, FDR personally wrote to the ones he identified, and invited them to apply to be a special commissioned officer, and if they said yes then the Army did the rest. He also wrote to former New Deal administrators to ask for recommendations. (Comparison -- Do you think GWB spent any time writing personal notes to recruits to be occupation officers in say public health or civil engineering in Iraq?) For an even better comparison one needs to read through FDR's correspondance on how to occupy Italy. He was determined not do do it in collaboration with the Catholic Church, and not through people linked with the Mafia -- and he knew J. Edgar Hoover did not know or care about the Mafia -- so he decided the best way to do the job was by re-educating the Italian Red Cross away from its facist ways and making it a partnership with the American Red Cross. To do this, he worked with LaGuardia to identify Italian Americans associated with the Red Cross -- and not overly influenced by the Church -- to do the job. The correspondance is all at Hyde Park, and it is fun to read. The Italian Occupation was not at all like the German -- but it is worth consideration. What I think is important is that FDR was deeply involved with selection and working essentially in support of Marshall's architecture.
As I said in my initial post the chain of command for occupation was totally independent of the combat chain. The initial pattern was for each neighborhood in a city, and each village to have a military command consisting of three officers -- usually one a lawyer or jurist, one an engineer, and a third, a public administrator. Each had a couple of NCO's, and a company (about 120) troops who were trained or re-trained as a constabulary force. They arrived when the combat troops were finished clearing the area. They set up an HQ. They identified space for troops and administrative space. A seperate command brought in a kitchen and all. Then the first thing they did was to find large walls and post the Occupation Law, which was printed in German on rolls of wallpaper. (Kits had brushes and paste). Then they identified non-Nazi persons who had been in pre-33 official positions and appointed them as liason. Next step was disarmament. They set up a local armory and required people to check their private guns -- hunting rifles, great great grandpa's duling pistols and the like. All house owners and land owners had to search their land for any weapons or munitions, and report them. after 48 hours it became a crime to have them on your property. One could not travel without a pass from the commandant -- gas was not available, and most cars were gone. Public transport generally required a pass -- and there was a dusk to dawn curfew. But the local commanders had the right after several weeks to modify hours and some of the rules -- and as things settled down, they did. The point was establishing control.
Political reconstruction began in July 1945 when Eisenhower allowed the reorganization of political parties other than the Nazi party. He also announced local elections with the date to be established by local commandants for the fall of 45. In July and August large conferences of Political Party members occurred -- I've followed the Social Democrats in some detail -- they met in Hanover in late July, 1945. They were not really permitted to make decisions -- but they could prepare advisory resolutions. Both the British and Americans determined there would be a 5% requirement for an electorial mandate, which forced smaller parties to merge. The Christian Democrats and Christian Social Union took over the place of the Center Party -- and merged with other Center-right parties, and the old Liberal Party eventually emerged as the Free Democrats. These coalitions then made party lists at the local level for the local elections, with the requirement that all on these lists had to be pre-cleared as non-Nazi. Of course once elected they had very limited powers.
After the beginning of 1946 the process or re-constituting the Lander began. In a number of cases lines were re-drawn with smaller lander merged into larger units. These then went through a proposed constitution writing phase -- then a preliminary assembly process, and finally a Lander Election in late 46 and early 47. In many cases persons who had emerged as local elected leaders also led the reconstitution of the Lander. Traditionally in Germany Landers do education, health and welfare, local transport, and some police work -- and by late 1947 the Occupation Government was ready to turn those functions over to the German Lander Governments. And once the landers were operational, then the process of writing what then became the West German Basic Law could begin seriously. For West Germany the Occupation Government's decision to found the Bundesbank in spring 1948 was critical as it provided a trusted currency and ended much of the black market. But it also formalized the division of E & W Germany. But the founding of the Bundesbank was really one of the last "big decisions" the occupation government made, and between 45 and 48 the shape of the occupation underwent major changes -- local Commands were merged, and many more special teams (health, major engineering matters, transport) were put in place to deal with larger issues. It was an extremely flexible military governmental system, designed to be replaced as soon as German institutions could replace it. It's equally important to realize that after the first weeks, most of the elements of it were fashioned around traditional German governing institutions -- (That's one reason Marshall sent all those officers to college for 3-4 months.) Moreover the estimate is that at least half of the officers in the Military Government could converse in German. For official stuff they used translators -- but informally they could speak and understand German.
Obviously this is a thumbnail sketch of aspects of the Occupation according to George Marshall's doctrine -- and clearly not everything that happened was part of his doctrine -- and he did not anticipate the Cold War as it developed. Critically, Marshall retired immediately after Japan surrendered -- and he anticipated a quite retirement -- but Truman called him back to go to China and see what could be done about the civil war in late 1945 -- and then he became Sec of State when Byrnes resigned and only turned his attention back to Europe in 1947 when he toured, and then proposed the Marshall Plan in 1947, and got it adopted by congress in early 1948. (Remember, Truman had a ("no good") Republican Congress.) Marshall did interface with the Brits, French and Soviets at the Ministerial level -- but not as a Military General after August 1945.
One of the reasons I raise the biography of Marshall in this context is because if you study the story it -- comparison -- shows what pip-squeeks some of our current military and military political personalities are. We need a taste for real competence and you only get that by doing some contrast. Can anyone imagine George C. Marshall standing at a podium and bucking up the failed decisions of his Secretary of War? Perhaps one recorded comment -- a few days after the Normandy landings, Marshall went to a Washington Senators Baseball game, and someone asked him if he had been up all night supervising the invasion. He said of course not, he was home asleep -- he had long since finished with the planning and it was out of his hands. I can't imagine any of the current crew with that kind of competence.