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Paul McDonald Robinett
Robinett 1942a.jpg
BRIG. GEN. PAUL M. ROBINETT, Commander of Combat Command B, 1st Armored Division, on reconnaissance, Maknassy valley
Nickname
  • Little Napoleon
  • Little Caesar
  • Robbie
Born (1893-12-19)December 19, 1893
Died February 5, 1975(1975-02-05) (aged 81)
Place of birth Mountain Grove, Missouri
Buried at
Hillcrest Cemetery

Mountain Grove Wright County Missouri, USA Plot: SE 1st 43-6

Service/branch Cavalry of the United States of America
Years of service 1917–1946
Rank US-O7 insignia Brigadier General
Commands held
Battles/wars
Awards
Relations Frank Robinett, brother
Other work

Brigadier General Paul McDonald Robinett (1893-1975) was a cavalry and armor officer of the U.S. Army. He spent much of his career as a staff officer, and commanded an armored regiment and combined arms combat command in combat during the Tunisian campaign of World War II.

BiographyEdit

Robinett hailed from Missouri's Ozark foothills, scion of Ozark pioneers. After high school, he worked a summer in the Kansas harvest fields before enrolling in the University of Missouri, where he completed his B.S. (1917) in Agriculture. Since the U.S. had entered World War I, he tried to enlist but was rejected as underweight. After beginning a graduate fellowship at Iowa State, he again tried to enlist, unsuccessfully.

But he was accepted for officer training, subsequently commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the 1st Cavalry. During World War I, First Cavalry served along the border with Mexico; during this time, he was promoted to 1st lieutenant. He was graduated from the Cavalry School Troop Commander's course at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1922, and taught Machine Gunnery and animal transportation there 1922;–1923. He was a special student at the University of Paris in 1925, attended the French cavalry school at Saumur, and observed French maneuvers near Strasbourg. He was General Malin Craig's aide-de-camp 1927–1932, serving in Panama Canal Zone and San Francisco. Captain Paul McD. Robinett, Cavalry, completed the Command and General Staff School's two year course and graduated June 15, 1934.[1] He attended the U.S. Army War College. He served in the War Department's General Staff 1937–1941.[2][3][4] He was Assistant Chief of Staff for intelligence under both Lesley J. McNair (from June 26, 1941) and George C. Marshall.[3][4][5] President F. D. Roosevelt nominated him for promotion to Colonel on November 20, 1942.[6]

His personal credo was: "Always do whatever you can to keep your superior from making a mistake." He was a crack shot with a pistol and expert rider. Only one soldier of the 3rd Infantry ever collected on his offer of a dollar to any soldier who could out shoot him. He was an accomplished horseman, a member of the U.S. Army equestrian team, and competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris.[3][4]

During the Tunisian Campaign of World War II he commanded the 13th Armored Regiment, “Task Force Green,”[7][8] and 1st Armored Division's Combat Command B. After the American defeat at the battle of Kasserine Pass, his CCB and 1st Infantry Division repulsed a German advance west on Highway 13 toward Tebessa.[9]

General Robinett and CCB were to lead 1st Armored Division's assault from Mateur toward Bizerte at first light on Thursday morning, May 6, 1943. The day before, as Robinett was returning to CCB, the confidence of the new division commander General Harmon in Robinett diminished so much he determined to relieve him. Harmon raced after Robinett to relieve him. He caught up just after a German artillery shell had shredded Robinett's left leg. General Robinett's war was over; he had already ceded command to Colonel Clarence C. Benson.[10][11]

He commanded the Armored School at Fort Knox, Kentucky until he retired at the end of the war.[3][4][5]

The 1940 census listed him as a resident of the Kennedy-Warren Apartment Building in Washington, D.C..[12][12] In 1941, then Lt Col Robinett was an honorary pallbearer at the funeral of General Craig's wife.[13]

Brigadier General Robinett was a Missouri delegate at the 1948 Republican National Convention, and served on the resolution committee's foreign affairs subcommittee.[14]

After the Korean War, BGen Robinett complained that American military succumbed to a "natural tendency" to develop quickly capabilities to counter an enemy, rather than those to defeat and destroy him. U.S. defense developed equipment and tactics weighted too much on defensive implements. In particular, the tanks were to be used chiefly to support infantry and an insufficient number of armored divisions - more mobile and more offensive. He recalled the blitzkrieg of World War II and the North Korea's tank invasion of the South.[15][16][17]

PublicationsEdit

  • Robinett, Paul M.. "Paul M. Robinett papers, 1915-1972 (bulk 1943-1957)". LCCN mm75038018.  3,000 items. -- 10 containers. -- 4 linear
  • Robinett, Paul M. (n.d.). "The Axis Offensive in Central Tunisia, Feb. 1943". Library of Congress. 
  • Robinett, Paul M. (n.d.). "Among the First". Lexington, Virginia: George C. Marshall Foundation. 
  • Robinett, Paul M. (1950). Preparation for leadership in America; extracted from the writings of Cicero, Chesterfield, Franklin, Washington, Emerson, Lincoln, Schofield, and the Honor code of the United States Military Academy. Washington. LCCN 50035715. 
  • "Library of Congress intermission broadcasts [sound recording]". 1950-04-21. LCCN 2003642814.  1 sound disc : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 16 in. (preservation master)
  • Robinett, Brigadier General Paul M. (March–April 1953). "Ground Force Mobility". pp. 6–11. http://www.benning.army.mil/armor/eARMOR/content/Historical/pdf/Robinett.pdf. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  • Robinett, Paul M. (1954). The exploitation of history by the United States Army. Washington?: United States Department of the Army. Office of Military History. LCCN 55061243. 
  • Robinett, Paul McD., chief, Special Studies Division. The study and writing of American military history, a guide. United States Department of the Army. Office of Military History. LCCN 54060137. OCLC 7879449. 
  • Robinett, Paul M. (1958). Armor command; the personal story of a commander of the 13th Armored Regiment, of the CCB, 1st Armored Division, and of the Armored School during World War II.. Washington. LCCN 59031974. 
  • Robinett, Paul M., ed (1956). American Military History from 1607 to 1953. Office of the Chief of Military History, U.S. Army. [18]
  • Robinett, Paul M.. "Paul M. Robinett papers, 1915-1972 (bulk 1943-1957)". LCCN mm75038018.  3,000 items. -- 10 containers. -- 4 linear feet.
  • Robinett, Paul M. (1965). Education in Mountain Grove, Missouri, 1835-1913. LCCN 75327255. 

ReferencesEdit

  1. Heintzelman, Major General Stuart (November 9, 1934). "Annual Report for The Command and General Staff School year 1933-1934". Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: The Command and General Staff School. pp. 4–5. http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/download/reports/rep1934.pdf. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named LOC_find
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Atkinson_222
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named GCM_lib
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Robinett, Paul McDonald (1893-1975), Scrapbooks, 1897-1974". State Historical Society of Missouri. http://shs.umsystem.edu/manuscripts/invent/3620.pdf. Retrieved 2014-06-14. "Correspondence, clippings, writings, speeches and notes pertaining to Brigadier General Robinett of Mountain Grove, Missouri, who, with his brother Frank, compiled material on his army career." 
  6. "Halsey Named Full Admiral By Roosevelt". Washington, D.C. November 21, 1942. p. 2. ProQuest document ID 15150125. http://search.proquest.com/docview/151501251?accountid=34227. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  7. Howe, George F. (1950). "Chapter XI The First Day's Operations Against Oran". In Kent Roberts Greenfield, General Editor. Mediterranean Theater of Operations - Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West. U.S. Army in World War II. Washington, D. C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-MTO-NWA/USA-MTO-NWA-11.html. Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  8. Howe, George F. (1950). "XII The Seizure of Oran". In Kent Roberts Greenfield, General Editor. Mediterranean Theater of Operations - Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West. U.S. Army in World War II. Washington, D. C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army. pp. 215 et seq.. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-MTO-NWA/USA-MTO-NWA-12.html. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  9. Atkinson, Rick. An Army at Dawn. pp. 358, 379–382. 
  10. Atkinson, Rick. An Army at Dawn. pp. 483, 511–513. 
  11. "13th Armor". The Campaign for the National Museum of the United States Army. https://armyhistory.org/09/13th-armor/. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Paul McDonald Robinett in the 1940 Census". http://www.ancestry.com/1940-census/usa/District-of-Columbia/Paul-McDonald-Robinett_ln4m. Retrieved 2014-06-26. 
  13. "Gen. Craig's Wife Dies Here at 61". Washington, D.C. May 28, 1941. p. 27. http://search.proquest.com/docview/151425361/abstract/98BCDEF4E7F74CF2PQ/10?accountid=34227. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named WHL_1948
  15. Baldwin, Hanson W.. "What Kind of Defense in the Atomic Age?: The difficult search goes on for a magic key to the riddle of security in this era of technological change and world uncertainty. Defense in the Atomic Age". p. SM7. ISSN 0362-4331. ProQuest document ID 112825666. http://search.proquest.com/docview/112825666?accountid=34227. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  16. Norris, John G. (April 20, 1953). "Tank Officers Launch Attack On Army 'Infantry Thinking'". Washington, D.C. p. 1. ProQuest document ID 152568319. http://search.proquest.com/docview/152568319?accountid=34227. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  17. Baldwin, Hanson W. (April 17, 1953). "Dispute Over Armor -- II: Specialists in All Countries Believe Tank Must Meet Challenge of New Weapons". New York, N.Y. p. 2. ProQuest document ID 112823345. http://search.proquest.com/docview/112823345?accountid=34227. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  18. "Reserves Hailed By Gen. Robinett". February 1, 1957. p. C9. ProQuest document ID 148957329. http://search.proquest.com/docview/148957329/98BCDEF4E7F74CF2PQ/1?accountid=34227. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

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