Mil Mission

Military Mission/Temporary Plans Division

Reference Code: IE-MA-MM-
Dates: 1924-1928
Level of Description: Fonds
Extent and Medium: Currently 11 boxes of reports, memoranda, correspondence, bound volumes and copy maps.
Access: Open to the public
Language: English
Note: Finding Aid: Currently paper, available in the reading room.

Following the Army "Mutiny" (1924), the Army Organisation Board was set up by Lieutenant General Peadar McMahon in May 1925 to “examine into, and report on, the necessary modifications in the Organisation of the Defence Forces to enable them to fulfil the functions of a modern Army in relation to National Defence.”

One of the most important aspects of the work in this regard was the Military Mission to the United States of America from 31 July 1926 to 2 October 1927. The six principal members of the Mission were Major General Hugh MacNeill, Colonel Michael Costello, Major Joseph Dunne, Captain Patrick Berry, Lieutenant Seán Collins-Powell and 2nd Lieutenant Charles Trodden.

The two main objectives of the Mission were to make a general study of the United States National Defence Act in operation and of the United States military system, while particularly focusing on their military education. This included tours of observation and inspection and knowledge development opportunities for the Officers in three of the principal American Army Schools: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (General Services School), Fort Benning, Georgia (Infantry School), and Fort Sill, Oklahoma (Field Artillery School).

The Temporary Plans Division was established following the return of the US Mission. Its purpose was to formulate strategic and tactical doctrine, which was an important requirement in the absence of a Military College. The evolution of the Defence Forces in the late 1920s owes much to this particular Division.

Scope and Content:

The collection covers a small amount of material regarding the proposed organisation and establishment of General Headquarters and the National Army from 1924 onwards. The balance of the material covers the Military Mission itself and the later establishment of the Temporary Plans Division.

The collection is split into two parts:

  1. The administrative files and various reports from the Organisation Board and the Temporary Plans Division, numerous progress reports and the final report on the Military Mission, including lecture notes, policy documents and memoranda.

  2. Series of bound volumes containing notes, example strategic documents and maps from the various US Military Schools attended by the Military Mission Officers.