Harry Sarles | Army University Public Affairs

Dr. Geoff Babb, of the Command and General Staff College’s Department of Military History, presented a talk on Brig. Gen. Frank “Pinkie” Dorn Dec. 5 at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.

Babb’s talk was the 12th and final installment on this year’s “Great Commanders You’ve Never Heard Of” series. Dorn, a Chinese linguist and country expert, served in the China-Burma-India Theater from 1942 to 1945. He deployed to the theater to serve on the staff of Lt. Gen. Joseph S. Stilwell Jr. and accompanied him on the “humiliating” retreat to India.

Two years later, Dorn served under Lt. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer as the commander of China Training and Combat Command. In that role, Dorn headed a team that trained, advised and equipped the 39 U.S.-resourced Chinese divisions that went on the offensive against Japan in China and Burma.

Babb, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, was educated as a China foreign area officer in Hong Kong and Beijing. He began his study of China in 1979 as a military intelligence officer assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He later earned a doctorate in history from KU with a concentration in China and Asia.

CGSC’s Department of Military History will continue its work with the Dole Center with a new lecture series, “Turning Points,” beginning in January. The first three events on the calendar are Dr. Jonathan Abel presenting “The War of the Fifth Coalition, 1809: Napoleon’s Turning Point” Jan. 9; Dr. Gates Brown presenting “The Tet Offensive, 1968: The Turning Point of the Vietnam War” Feb. 5; and Dr. Shawn Faulkner presenting “The Aisne-Marne Counteroffensive, 1918: The Turning Point of World War 1” March 5.

All lectures begin at 3 p.m. and are available live and recorded on the Dole Institute’s page on YouTube.

The department also works with the Fort Leavenworth Historical Society and the Leavenworth Public Library to present lectures at the library that present history compared to how history is depicted in movies. Upcoming events for that series include Dr. Mark Hull discussing “The Blue Max” Jan. 16; Abel discussing “Man in the Iron Mask” Feb. 13; and Chris Johnson and Gary Linhart discussing “Kelly’s Heroes” March 12. All lectures are at 7 p.m. at the library.


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