The origins of modern US-UK-led coalition warfare trace back to the Mediterranean theater of World War II. It was there on the treacherous battlefields of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy where Anglo-American forces learned to harmonize their fighting efforts under a modular and largely experimental integrated headquarters for the first time. Overcoming significant battlefield setbacks between 1942 and 1943, the Allies slowly forged a model for waging effective multinational coalition warfare, one centered on the principles of unity of command, combined operations, partner integration, expeditionary capacity, and robust liaison and logistics support. These pioneering efforts constituted nothing less than an embryonic Allied victory template, one they would export wholesale to great effect in Northwestern Europe and whose legacy lives on to this day.
Carson Teuscher is a Ph.D. Candidate in Military History at Ohio State University. His research focuses on the history of coalition warfare, alliance building, and multinational military operations during World War II. He was previously a non-resident Hans J. Morgenthau fellow in Grand Strategy at the University of Notre Dame and currently holds a World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship from the Smith Richardson Foundation.