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 Department: Department of History
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
American Blitzkrieg: Courtney Hodges and the Advance Toward Aachen (August 1 - September 12, 1944)

American Blitzkrieg: Courtney Hodges and the Advance Toward Aachen (August 1 - September 12, 1944)

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Date: December 2012
Creator: Rinkleff, Adam J.
Description: This is an analysis of combat operations of US First Army under the command of Courtney Hodges, between August 1 and September 12, 1944, with an emphasis upon 1st, 4th, 9th, and 30th Divisions. However, other formations are necessarily discussed in order to maintain context. Indeed, many historians have failed to emphasize the complex interdependent nature of these efforts, and the traditional narrative has been distorted by inadequate situational awareness. This study argues that the army's operations were exceedingly difficult, resulting in approximately 40,000 casualties over a six week period. Although historians claim that the Germans were essentially defeated by the end of July, and that the Allied advance was subsequently halted by logistical difficulties, the official combat records clarify that logistical shortages were a tertiary factor, as the enemy remained capable of strong resistance. Consequently, defensive efforts were the primary factor hindering the advance, in conjunction with deteriorating weather conditions, rugged terrain, and surprisingly severe traffic congestion. Although this was mobile warfare, military theorists have overestimated the effectiveness of mechanization and underestimated the potential for antitank defenses. Ultimately, this study asserts that First Army was the primary American combat formation, and historians have exaggerated the importance of George Patton's ...
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The American doctrine for the use of naval gunfire in support of amphibious landings: Myth vs. reality in the Central Pacific of World War II.

The American doctrine for the use of naval gunfire in support of amphibious landings: Myth vs. reality in the Central Pacific of World War II.

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Date: December 2006
Creator: Mitchener, Donald Keith
Description: The United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy developed during the interwar period a doctrine that addressed the problems inherent in the substitution of naval gunfire for artillery support in an amphibious assault. The invasion of Betio Islet, Tarawa Atoll, in November of 1943 was the first test of this doctrine. It has been said many times since the war that the doctrine basically passed this test and that lessons learned at Tarawa increased the efficiency with which the Marine Corps and Navy applied the prewar doctrine during the rest of the war. An analysis of the planning and execution of naval bombardments in the Central Pacific Campaign, after the invasion of the Gilberts, does not support this claim. This analysis leads the researcher to three conclusions. First, the Japanese developed defenses against many of the effects of the gunfire support doctrine that blunted much of the force of American firepower. American planners were slow to recognize the implications of these changes and, consequently, were slow to react to them. Second, many naval commanders responsible for providing naval gunfire support for Central Pacific operations still equated tonnage of ordnance to effectiveness of bombardment, regardless of their frequent references ...
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Americans Who Would Not Wait:  The American Legion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1915-1917

Americans Who Would Not Wait: The American Legion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1915-1917

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Smylie, Eric Paul
Description: This dissertation examines the five battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force designated as the American Legion. Authorized in Canada between 1915 and 1917, these units were formed to recruit volunteers from the United States to serve in the Canadian Overseas Contingent during the First World War. This work reviews the organization of Canada’s militia and the history of Anglo-American relations before examining the Canadian war effort, the formation of the American Legion, the background of its men, and the diplomatic, political, and constitutional questions that it raised. Much of the research focuses on the internal documents of its individual battalions (the 97th, 211th, 212th, 213th and 237th) and the papers of Reverend Charles Bullock now housed at the Public Archives of Canada. Documentation for the diplomatic furor the American Legion caused comes largely through the published diplomatic documents, British Foreign Office records held at the Public Record Office at Kew, and United States Department of State files at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. The most useful sources for American Legion correspondence are the Beaverbrook papers held at the House of Lords Record Office, the papers of Canadian Prime Minister Sir Robert Laird Borden, and those of the Governor-General, ...
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The Apologist Tradition: A Transitional Period in Southern Proslavery Thought, 1831-1845

The Apologist Tradition: A Transitional Period in Southern Proslavery Thought, 1831-1845

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Date: December 2000
Creator: Austin, Clara
Description: Early antebellum defenders of slavery acknowledged that slavery created problems for southern society. They contended, however, that slave society was better and more natural than other forms of social organization. Thomas R. Dew, William Harper, and James Henry Hammond each expressed a social philosophy in which slavery had a crucial role in preserving social order. They argued from the basis of social organicism, the idea that society should have an elite that controlled the masses. For all three men, slavery represented a system of order that helped balance the dangers of democracy. Significantly, however, all three men recognized that the slave system was not perfect, and despite their defense of slavery, argued that it was a human institution and therefore corruptible.
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Between Comancheros and Comanchería: a History of Fort Bascom, New Mexico

Between Comancheros and Comanchería: a History of Fort Bascom, New Mexico

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Blackshear, James Bailey
Description: In 1863, Fort Bascom was built along the Canadian River in the Eroded Plains of Territorial New Mexico. Its unique location placed it between the Comanches of Texas and the Comancheros of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This post was situated within Comanchería during the height of the United States Army's war against the Southern Plains Indians, yet it has garnered little attention. This study broadens the scholarly understanding of how the United States Army gained control of the Southwest by examining the role Fort Bascom played in this mission. This includes an exploration of the Canadian River Valley environment, an examination of the economic relationship that existed between the Southern Plains Indians and the mountain people of New Mexico, and an account of the daily life of soldiers posted to Fort Bascom. This dissertation thus provides an environmental and cultural history of the Canadian River Valley in New Mexico, a social history of the men stationed at Fort Bascom, and proof that the post played a key role in the Army's efforts to gain control of the Southern Plains Indians. This study argues that Fort Bascom should be recognized as Texas' northern-most frontier fort. Its men were closer to ...
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The Break-up of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Army, 1865

The Break-up of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Army, 1865

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Date: May 2001
Creator: Clampitt, Brad R.
Description: Unlike other Confederate armies at the conclusion of the Civil War, General Edmund Kirby Smith's Trans-Mississippi Army disbanded, often without orders, rather than surrender formally. Despite entreaties from military and civilian leaders to fight on, for Confederate soldiers west of the Mississippi River, the surrender of armies led by Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston ended the war. After a significant decline in morale and discipline throughout the spring of 1865, soldiers of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department chose to break-up and return home. As compensation for months of unpaid service, soldiers seized both public and private property. Civilians joined the soldiers to create disorder that swept many Texas communities until the arrival of Federal troops in late June.
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Burying the War Hatchet: Spanish-Comanche Relations in Colonial Texas, 1743-1821

Burying the War Hatchet: Spanish-Comanche Relations in Colonial Texas, 1743-1821

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Date: May 2002
Creator: Lipscomb, Carol A.
Description: This dissertation provides a history of Spanish-Comanche relations during the era of Spanish Texas. The study is based on research in archival documents, some newly discovered. Chapter 1 presents an overview of events that brought both people to the land that Spaniards named Texas. The remaining chapters provide a detailed account of Spanish-Comanche interaction from first contact until the end of Spanish rule in 1821. Although it is generally written that Spaniards first met Comanches at San Antonio de Béxar in 1743, a careful examination of Spanish documents indicates that Spaniards heard rumors of Comanches in Texas in the 1740s, but their first meeting did not occur until the early 1750s. From that first encounter until the close of the Spanish era, Spanish authorities instituted a number of different policies in their efforts to coexist peacefully with the Comanche nation. The author explores each of those policies, how the Comanches reacted to those policies, and the impact of that diplomacy on both cultures. Spaniards and Comanches negotiated a peace treaty in 1785, and that treaty remained in effect, with varying degrees of success, for the duration of Spanish rule. Leaders on both sides were committed to maintaining that peace, although ...
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Child Rescue As Survival Resistance: Hidden Children in Nazi-occupied  Western Europe

Child Rescue As Survival Resistance: Hidden Children in Nazi-occupied Western Europe

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Decoster, Charlotte Marie-Cecile Marguerite
Description: The phenomenon of rescue organizations that devoted themselves specifically to hiding and saving Jewish children appeared throughout Nazi-occupied Western Europe (France, Belgium, and the Netherlands). Jewish and non-Jewish rescuers risked their lives to save thousands of children from extermination. This dissertation adds to the historiographical understanding of Holocaust resistance by analyzing the efforts of these child rescue organizations as a form of “survival resistance.” Researching the key aspects of traditional resistance (conscious intent, extensive organization, and effective turn-out) demonstrates that, while child rescue did not present armed resistance, it still was a form of active resistance against the Nazi Final Solution. By looking at rescuers’ testimonies and archival sources (from Yad Vashem, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, and Kazerne Dossin), this dissertation first outlines the extensive organization and intent of Jewish rescue groups, such as the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) and Comité de défense des Juifs (CDJ), in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The second part looks at rescue organization and intent by Catholic, Protestant, and humanitarian groups. The dissertation concludes by discussing the effectiveness of organized child rescue. In the end, the rescue groups saved thousands of children and proofs that Child ...
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The Confederate Pension Systems in Texas, Georgia, and Virginia: The Programs and the People

The Confederate Pension Systems in Texas, Georgia, and Virginia: The Programs and the People

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Date: December 2004
Creator: Wilson, Mary L.
Description: The United States government began paying pensions to disabled Union veterans before the Civil War ended in April 1865. By 1890 its pension programs included any Union veteran who had fought in the Civil War, regardless of his financial means, as well as surviving family members, including mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. Union veterans did not hesitate to "wave the bloody shirt" in their attempts to liberalize pension laws. Pension programs for Confederate veterans were much slower to develop. Lacking any higher organization, each southern state assumed the responsibility of caring for disabled and/or indigent Confederate veterans and widows. Texas began paying Confederate pensions in 1899, Georgia in 1888 and Virginia in 1889. Unlike Texas, Georgia and Virginia provided artificial limbs for their veterans long before they started paying pensions. At the time of his enlistment in the 1860s, the typical future pensioner was twenty-five years of age, and fewer than half were married heads of households. Very few could be considered wealthy and most were employed in agriculture. The pensioners of Georgia, Texas, and Virginia were remarkably similar, although there were some differences in nativity and marital status. They were all elderly and needy by the time they asked ...
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Cosmology, Extraterrestrial Life, and the Development and Character of Western European Thought in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Cosmology, Extraterrestrial Life, and the Development and Character of Western European Thought in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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Date: August 2011
Creator: Simpson, Emily
Description: Cosmology, as an all-encompassing theoretical construction of universal reality, serves as one of the best indicators for a variety of philosophical, scientific, and cultural values. Within any cosmological system, the question of extraterrestrial life is an important element. Mere existence or nonexistence, however, only exposes a small portion of the ideological significance behind the contemplation of life outside of earth. The manners by which both believers and disbelievers justify their opinions and the ways they characterize other worlds and their inhabitants show much more about the particular ideas behind such decisions and the general climate of thought surrounding those who consider the topic. By exploring both physical and abstract structures of the universe, and specifically concepts on the plurality of worlds and extraterrestrial life, Western European thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries reveals not an era of pure advancement and modernization, but as a time of both tradition and change.
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