Page 3 - NOV RAPNEWS 2016
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By Dr. Patsy Barber

Our colleague Ricky Robertson, with Fred Worthington and me,           the people living throughout the area and the impact it made in
shares his extensive information on the maneuvers for he is the        preparing our military for the war on the horizon.

most knowledgeable on the subject.

On September 28, 1941, at 15:30 hours, the guns of the Red 2nd         Gen. George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, began getting more men
and the Blue 3rd Armies fell silent throughout the Sabine maneuver     and equipment after the fledgling 1940 maneuvers brought out the
area in two short phases that totaled 10 days. The United States
                                                                       issue of lack of manpower, equipment, vehicles, aircraft and
had completed the largest peacetime maneuver ever held. These          armored vehicles. With the inception of the draft and the
10 days in September would provide the Army with much needed           federalization of national guard units, overnight there were nearly a
training but actually prepare the United States, somewhat, for
                                                                       million men in uniform. Gen. Marshall knew that the only way
World War II.                                                          these troops would get actual field training was through large scale
                                                                       military maneuvers. He was able to obtain the whole army

In 10 days tactics, newer equipment, officers and enlisted men had maneuver budget for 1941 to form the Louisiana Maneuvers.
been tested, supply technicians, and aircraft had been tested and Once he had the funding where was he to find the area large
general headquarters in Washington, D. C., could now address enough to train units of every type and description in the art of
any shortage of equipment, leadership in personnel and they could war?

now begin building the mighty Army that would win WWII.                The Army had been looking for an area to conduct maneuvers and

It is hard to believe it has been 75 years since the biggest military  the “Sabine area” fit all the requirements. In Louisiana that

offensive in the history of the United States Army took place in       comprised 31 parishes of the state and several counties in East
Louisiana and East Texas in September, 1941, with over 470,000         Texas along the Sabine River. This area had a wide variety of
men swarming throughout the maneuver area and 34,000 of these          terrains and troops would encounter rivers, bogs, fields, sand, clay

troops being mounted cavalry. The honor of these troops was            and Louisiana “gumbo mud’. Gen. Marshall exclaimed that the
                                                                       maneuvers area lying between the Red and Sabine Rivers was
about to be tested in these mock battles.                              “the finest he had ever seen” for this type of training.

Time has not stood still, but this great event is remembered by

many who lived through these maneuvers so many years ago. So
many still remember it because of the impact it made in the lives of Continued on page 9

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