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The Combined Chiefs of Staff in World War II
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781612510811
  • Binding: Hardcover & eBook
  • Era: 20th Century
  • Number of Pages: 288
  • Subject: History
  • Date Available: November 2012
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Full Description:

Awarded NASOH’s 2012 “John Lyman Book Award for Best U.S. Naval History”

Calling the Combined Chiefs of Staff the glue that held the British-American alliance together in World War II, David Rigby describes the vital contributions to Allied victory made by the organization, which drew its members from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the British Chiefs of Staff Committee, and the British Joint Staff Mission. Readers get a good understanding of the personalities involved and insights into the relationships between the Chiefs and Allied theater commanders. The role of the Combined Chiefs in economic mobilization and the bitter inter-Allied strategic debates are fully examined. Detailed information is also given about the Casablanca Conference and the Chiefs’ often highly contentious meetings in Washington. The book gives the Combined Chiefs what they have long deserved—a book not weighted towards the Americans or the British and not strictly naval, army, or air oriented, but combined in an international as well as an inter-service manner.

David Rigby holds a PhD in comparative history and works as an adjunct instructor at Boston-area colleges and universities.

~ Praise for Allied Master Strategists~

“Because multinational partnerships will mark future operations more and more, the observations and insights provided by Rigby can only gain in significance. Accessible, well researched, and including extensive notes and a detailed bibliography, the book is highly recommended to students of World War II, coalition warfare, strategy and policymaking, and civil-military relations.”

H-War, H-Net Reviews

"Anyone interested in how the war was won, coalition warfare, or grand strategy will find Allied Master Strategists important reading."

— The NYMAS Review

"Well-written book….This book is well organized in a manner that allows Rigby to lead readers through the important aspects of the subject in a series of useful discussions…Rigby’s effort provides an accessible, well-researched work that fills an important gap in the historical record of World War II, and points the way forward for additional research on the role of CCOS in creating and implementing a successful global strategy that led to ultimate victory."

— On Point

"[Rigby's] well-researched, well-documented, and well-indexed study certainly breathes life into an institution that scholars of World War II mostly take for granted...A contribution to the field of World War II history, well worth researchers' attention."


“Interesting book…”

Joint Force Quarterly

“…offer[s] the generalist reader a sound treatment of the conclusions reached by the biographers of the major personages covered and shows some of the strengths and limitations each brought to the committee. Thus, this work will be of more value to the casual reader of history, than to those more fully attuned to the subject, but all will appreciate afterwards that the war at the top made the war at the front more effective still.” 

Naval Historical Foundation

“This is an excellent book and highly recommended for those interested in World War II, combined planning, the logistics and economics of large scale warfare, and inter-allied operations.”

"This is an important study that provides insights into leadership, logistics, and administration of war at the highest level."

Warships International Fleet Review, January 2013

Allied Master Strategists is the first authoritative account of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington, the key agency of U.S.-British military collaboration in World War II. Especially noteworthy are the personalities of the admirals and generals--reserved or flamboyant, cooperative or obstinate--who wrangled to shape the Allied path to victory.”

Edward S. Miller, author War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897–1945

“Anyone wishing to know how and why the British and American allies cooperated so much more effectively during the Second World War than their Axis enemies, and how in spite of profound differences of personality and principle they forged such a complex yet purposeful coalition, should turn to this deeply researched and sorely needed work of historical scholarship. It is a fascinating read.”

—Paul Jankowski, Ray Ginger Professor of History at Brandeis University

“David Rigby has written a path-breaking book that helps us understand how World War II was won. He sheds new light on the reasons for success of the Anglo-American alliance. Rigby shows how, in an unprecedented pooling of resources and strategic policy making, the Combined Chiefs of Staff managed to resolve disputes and to frame a cohesive and effective war-making machine. Rigby’s meticulous research, shrewd judgment, and literary skill shine forth on every page. This book is not only a major contribution to scholarship on World War II, but also a pleasure to read.”

Bernard Wasserstein, Ulrich and Harriet Meyer Professor of History, University of Chicago

Allied Master Strategists is an important new study of the central organization of the Western Allied effort in the Second World War. Not only is this very well researched and clearly written book an excellent and lucid starting point for serious newcomers approaching the history of the war, its new material and interesting and original perspectives, even if one may not agree with all of them, will stimulate even the best informed.”

Dr. Eric Grove, professor of naval history, University of Salford


David Rigby holds a PhD in comparative history and works as an adjunct instructor at Boston-area colleges and universities.

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