Hall Center For The Humanities

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Hall Center Lecture Series

Ted Wilson, The GI Generation: Sending American Soldiers into Battle in WWII
New Generation Society of Lawrence (NGSL members only)

Thu., Apr. 7, 2005, 7:30pm
Location: Ballroom, Kansas Union
The final lecture in this year?s Humanities Lecture Series will be presented by Ted Wilson, University of Kansas professor of history and a former director of the Hall Center. Wilson?s lecture will deconstruct the popular image of U.S. Armed Forces after Pearl Harbor. Movies and T.V. have taught us that America was an unstoppable force in WWII, a highly trained, highly skilled fighting machine destined to win against any enemy. But history paints a different picture. The roughly 3 million Army troops sent to the battlefield were mostly young, often inadequately trained draftees. Faulty assumptions about military expansion, high-tech conflict and efficient allocation of manpower combined to put many unprepared and untested troops in over their heads. What makes these soldiers impressive is not that they were unstoppable, but that, despite the odds stacked against them, they managed to win. Wilson joined the KU faculty in 1965, shortly before earning his Ph.D. from Indiana in 1966. Since then, he has proven to be one of the University?s more active professors: he has held numerous administrative posts, directed approximately 40 M.A. theses and 30 Ph.D. dissertations and arguably holds the University record for the number of academic committees served on.
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