Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-8459-5 • Hardback • September 2012 • $107.00 • (£82.00)
978-1-4422-4918-9 • Paperback • March 2015 • $50.00 • (£38.00)
978-0-8108-8460-1 • eBook • September 2012 • $44.50 • (£34.00)
For forty years, James L. Gilbert served as the military historian responsible for documenting the role played by intelligence in peacetime and war. He is credited with directing the publication of a series of official histories that would, for the first time, trace the development of military intelligence and highlight its operational achievements.
Chapter 1. Steps to War
The Signal Corps
The War in Europe
Small Steps by the Signal Corps
The First Shots in the Intelligence War
An Early Test South of the Border
Chapter 2. America Enters the War
Military Intelligence Section
The Bigger Picture
A Counterintelligence Problem
District of Columbia
Corps of Intelligence Police
The Civilian Sector
The Advent of Yardley
Reports and More Reports
An Interim Judgment
Chapter 3. Intelligence and the AEF
The Information Division
A Downed Airship
Secret Service Division
New Year’s Eve
Chapter 4. Securing the Home Front
Counterintelligence in Action
Finishing the Course
The Final Report
Chapter 5. Tested Under Fire
Intelligence in the Field
Intelligence within Division
GHQ: Filling the Void
Stars and Stripes
Securing the Force
Making the Airwaves Secure
Course of the War
Chapter 6. Coming to a Close
Arrival of Van Deman
The Use of Intelligence
Chapter 7. The Aftermath
A Glimpse into the Future
Appendix A: MI Divisions in the War Department
Appendix B: Radio Tractor Units
Appendix C: G2 Organization at GHQ
Appendix D: First Army Observation/Photo Air Service
Appendix E: First Army Signals Intelligence Stations
Appendix F: First Army Security Service Monitoring Stations
About the Author
Outside of the combat arms--the infantry, artillery, and armor elements--the US public has little idea of the complexity of the US Army. One of the least-known but most significant branches is military intelligence. Gilbert, a former staff historian with the Army Security Agency, examines the evolution of the intelligence branch in this new study. Up to the 20th century, the Army's intelligence operations centered on the cavalry and Indian Scouts who conducted reconnaissance, even as late as 1916 in Mexico. By then, however, the US Army realized something had to be done to modernize their capability to collect information and refine data for US field commanders. Gilbert's groundbreaking analysis offers readers a rare glimpse into the growth of military intelligence, including counterintelligence, propaganda, communication security, and code breaking. On a tactical level, the army gathered information concerning the German order of battle along the Western Front. From that humble start, modern military intelligence has advanced technologically to become one of the critical components of the modern US Army. Gilbert's study is indispensible for anyone interested in the early history of US military intelligence. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries.
— Choice Reviews
This book is highly recommended for historians, libraries with military history collections, and others interested in this aspect of U.S. military history.
— American Reference Books Annual
As World War I broke out, the U.S. Army was but a constabulary army lacking the staff officers required to organize and support a European style army. One glaring deficiency was its inability to gather and evaluate military intelligence, both at the strategic and tactical levels, and undertake the protection of its own operational plans. Thanks to President Woodrow Wilson’s mandate that the War Department would be neutral in both thought and actions concerning the war in Europe, the Army found itself at the beginning of 1917 without adequate intelligence staff resources to meet the needs of modern warfare. The author of this book tells a riveting story of how the Army overcame this intelligence gathering and evaluating deficiency and created, between April 1917 and November 1918, a competent internal Military Intelligence Division. . . . It is a book well worth reading and pondering.
— The Journal of America's Military Past
As an organizational history, Gilbert's book is superb. He follows both Nolan and Deman throughout their careers in intelligence—Deman as the head of MIS, Nolan as the American Expeditionary Force's G2, or head of Intelligence. ... Where the book really shines is in the discussion of counterespionage within the United States, which Gilbert says was "without a doubt, MID's greatest contribution." He lays out a number of sabotage plots that MID agents, many of them ex-policemen, defeated or even prevented. This particular aspect of World War I is far less known than the more traditional histories of combat overseas. ... [I]t is an excellent resource for more seasoned historians or for graduate students who already have a strong grasp of World War I and the basics of intelligence gathering and dissemination.
— H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
James Gilbert’s new book is a welcome addition to the material that has been published in recent years on the evolution of US intelligence processes and organizations during the 20th century.
— Intelligence in Public Literature
Gilbert's World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence . . . is a valuable contribution.
— Journal Of Intelligence History
Gilbert deserves credit for tracking down sometimes obscure and hard-to-obtain material. World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence will undoubtedly be a useful introduction for the military historian unfamiliar with intelligence history, or the cryptologist unfamiliar with the broader subject of military intelligence in World War I.
James Gilbert provides a fine accounting of the frustrating beginnings of Army Military Intelligence. His descriptions provide the reader a good look at the successes and failures of an organization just beginning to come into its own.
— The Strategy Bridge
• Winner, CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles 2013