- Jan 2018
Wow, great post. Any biographies you would recommend?On the Allied side, no one approached George C. Marshal in importance to the entire war effort around the globe. General Marshal had close ties with his friend and mentor, General Pershing and was his aide-de-camp during the Great War. Marshal, a product of VMI, was a keen observer who kept neat notes on everyone in the Army when paths crossed. Between the wars he became Chief of Staff, and it was he who ordered MacArthur to clear the Bonus Marchers from their make-do squats. He arranged MacArthur to comand the military forces of the Philippines. He was impressed with Eisenhower's quiet and effective leadership during the Louisiana Exercises. He put Patton together to work out the Army's armored doctrines.
As war approached preparations were made, and often it was Marshal's approach that was chosen. Both FDR and Churchill depended on Marshal's ability to understand and value strategic planning. Marshal, for all his honors had never served as a combat commander ... it was his primary goal in life, but he had to sit out directly commanding the Allied Invasion of Europe, a Plan similiar to those he was originating in 1942. Eisenhower got that distinction.
Out in the Pacific, carriers had revolutionized war at sea. It was the Navy's Theater, while the Army's Theater was Europe. The Naval Chief of Staff reported to ... Marshal, who decided what materials should flow to the island hopping campaign that returned MacArthur to the headlines.
Stalin had endless demands on his allies, but General Marshal held the spigot.
When FDR died, it was General Marshal who brought Truman up to speed on the Manhattan Project, the inner most military secrets regarding US operations around the world, and it was Marshal who guided Truman in those tumultuous early days.
Early days for the Cold War, but the final days of the Axis. It was the early days of reconstruction, and the numbers of undocumented persons in Europe was staggering. There were hardened ordinary criminals, and the world's Intelligence Services entered "middle school" mixed into the rootless crowds. Hunger was still a direct result of War, and Communists were quick to take advantage of the situation. Marshal was retiring from the Army, but Truman valued him so much that Marshal became Secretary of State. Marshal was a star at State; he knew all the actors everywhere, he had un-equaled experience in managing the vast resources of a modern State.
To pass over one the great men of the world during the most formative and important conflict in the history of our species merely because "he never commanded a unit in combat" would be ironic.
Nearly forgot, it was General Marshal who recommended President Truman fire General MacArthur.
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