Brooke or Mashall as supreme commanders instead of Eisenhower

If Bradley was incompetent at Army Group level, would he have been good at Corps or Army command?
He was solid at Corps level, but the competition up to Q3 1943 was Fredenhall, Patton, Dawley, Lucas. It's easy to see why Bradley got picked for Normandy.

And why was he given his 5th star, made Army Chief of Staff as well as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs?
Because he "won the war in Europe".
 
Gannt: Again a good set of comments.

However, it seems we are fighting a losing battle here. To other posters: Just because you 'think' so, does not make it into gospel. Sorry - listen to Gannt's comments and take note and start again.

To claim (rather out of the blue) that the entire US forces were so professional (with no actual combat experience!) that they could outshine all and sundry is at best .... <something else>

Where would the US generals have learned? evening classes maybe?

It is fine to act as a 'troll' - at least it has entertainment value - but it does not add value to these discussions among more knowledgeable and well-balanced posters.

The better one is of course 'USMC going tank hunting' - with light infantry weapons in the face of ... - very amusing, but probably a bit removed from the actual situation.

Therefore: Put emotions aside and let us go back to the serious discussions this site was (is?) famous for.
 
Eichelburger?
I can show you an example of who not to promote to a combat command...Lt. Gen. John C. H. Lee (USMA 1909),

The man was a dumpster diver and a dumpster fire with the people management skills of a Human Resources Person who worked for Bell Telephone of the era.

Lee's best-known excess came in September, at the height of the supply crisis. Eisenhower had frequently expressed his view that no major headquarters should be located in or near the temptations of a large city, and had specifically reserved the hotels in Paris for the use of combat troops on leave. Lee nevertheless, and without Eisenhower's knowledge, moved his headquarters to Paris. His people requisitioned all the hotels previously occupied by the Germans, and took over schools and other large buildings. More than 8,000 officers and 21,000 men in SOS descended on the city in less than a week, with tens of thousands more to follow. Parisians began to mutter that the U.S. Army demands were in excess of those made by the Germans.

Sometimes, when I read this stuff, I can metaphorically tear my hair out. WHAT THE HELL? Bradley at the top, useless, and apple polishing for the press till his stars screamed out in pain and then we have jerks, like this CLOWN, holding up needed gasoline and ammunition and destroying troops morale as the combat soldiers are trying to ford rivers under fire in HOLLAND with British canvas boats when American Dukws are misused at the rear in Normandy delivering beer and silk stockings over the beach straight to Paris to the les "Grande Hotels" for fat bellied supply guys of Services of Supply (8,000 of the rotten bastards) to swill as they whoop it up with their female companions late of the German used goods variety.
 
To claim (rather out of the blue) that the entire US forces were so professional (with no actual combat experience!) that they could outshine all and sundry is at best .... <something else>

Where would the US generals have learned? evening classes maybe?
Louisiana, Maryland, Kansas, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Caribbean and Hawaiian waters, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, CHINA, Philippine Islands, Mexico, Columbia etc.

Ever hear of the Louisiana or Carolina Maneuvers, West Point, Carlisle, the Banana Wars, the Naval War College, the Army War College, the Army Industrial College, the Philippine Islands Defense Problem, or the Annual Fleet Problems (Army Navy War games)? Or the China Crises?
 
using profanity does not make an argument for a cause any better.

I for one shall not be engaging with McPherson - it seems counter-productive. Ignoring the outburst might be a better way forward.
 
using profanity does not make an argument for a cause any better.

I for one shall not be engaging with McPherson - it seems counter-productive. Ignoring the outburst might be a better way forward.
(8,000 of the rotten bastards)
That is a description of the American army supply personnel engaged in black market activities in Paris while Market Garden was in full progress in the middle of the supply crises. If that seems excessive, in description, then I apologize for it, but it was the way the combat soldiers felt about the rear echelon "person" at the time. Look that four letter acronym term up. It is a Vietnam era term that was and is appropriate for such a situation and such people.
 
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WHAT THE HELL? Bradley at the top, useless, and apple polishing for the press till his stars screamed out in pain and then we have jerks, like this CLOWN, holding up needed gasoline and ammunition and destroying troops morale as the combat soldiers are trying to ford rivers under fire in HOLLAND with British canvas boats when American Dukws are misused at the rear in Normandy delivering beer and silk stockings over the beach straight to Paris to the les "Grande Hotels" for fat bellied supply guys of Services of Supply (8,000 of the rotten bastards) to swill as they whoop it up with their female companions late of the German used goods variety.
Remember
They knew logistics far better than their allies
:)
 
I do, but the point is that the British and Russians and the Germans had the same black market problems. And we do know...

43ee48fd7b0ceb6fc6059a69d35ffd12.jpg
British Sherman tanks of 30 Corps cross the Waalbrug at ...

Detroit Arsenal to Nijmegen... (^^^).
 

DougM

Donor
Here are my thoughts…
Bradley would have been better in Ike’s position then he was in his own. Or Bradley would have been better as a #2 to someone like Patton or Monty. He was good at carrying out orders and he was good at diplomacy and such. He was not particularly good at for lack of a better term… ”strategic” decisions. Thus his issues with the Bulge. He is a cold example of promoted to his level of incompetence.
Patton was good at the strategic stuff but was obviously not a “people “ person.
Ike was a diplomat more then a general. And arguably this was needed in his job. Problem was he was not really providing an overall command as much as he was riding herd on his generals. As pointed out elsewhere the concept of coordination of attacks was not exactly big under Ike. So it would have been useful to coordinate thrusts a bit better.
As for Market Garden…. Sorry the idea was insane, That it came as close to success as it did is a minor miracle. But just because you try something that has a high chance of killing yourself but only break your back and both legs does not mean it was either a good idea or that it could have worked. Market Garden had all but no room for maneuver or failing. It had no way to make up for something not going right. It either worked or it didn’t (to grossly over simplify) It was like one of those stories you read where the overwhelmed hero’s try one last ditch all or nothing gambits because they have nothing to lose as they are dead if it doesn’t work. But obviously the wallies didn’t truly need it.
But I think Ike felt the pinch as the advance was slowing and he was i susp beginning to feel the heat as the Russians were slowly grinding up territory in the east. And of course that made FDR and Churchill unhappy as they wanted to keep the USSR as Far East as they could.
So Ike decided to take the gamble Monty offered him. And from Ike’s point of view it was a great gamble as Heads he wins, if it works, he gets credit (shared with Monty) for ending the war sooner. Tails Monty loses, as if it fails Ike tosses Monty under the bus as it was his idea.
The fact that Ike was Monties boss and thus should have could have told him no or helped fix any issues with the plan is somehow always overlooked.
But let’s face it Ike had two major screw ups in relatively short order. Market Garden and the BotB, And he tossed his subordinates under the bus for both. Add in his extremely poor coord of the different assaults and frankly Ike should have been caned if anyone was going to be.
I think the truth is that the Walies were poorly lead after D-Day on an overall level. They didn’t do well with coordination they didn’t do very well with supplies and had very little grand strategy being more of an opritunistic in the way they did things. It was simply that they were good enough in command with Monty and Patton and Co. and they had rediculus levels of equipment supplies and troops that was effectively overwhelming.

And one last point. The ideas and comments that one side that started the war soon had more experienced officers is frankly dumb. No kidding they guys that were in the war two years longer had more experience? I would never have guessed that. But what do you want the US to do? It did get into the war into basicly 42. It cant just attack Canada or Mexico in 39 to give its officers experience…. And experience does not automatically mean good. And in the case of the USSR they have to go a LONG way to make up for the purges and the issues with working for Stalin and his system. That being said. The Darth Vader school of Management dies ultimately work. If you kill off you officers until you get one that does the job you will ultimately find competent officers.
 
Here are my thoughts…
Bradley would have been better in Ike’s position then he was in his own. Or Bradley would have been better as a #2 to someone like Patton or Monty. He was good at carrying out orders and he was good at diplomacy and such. He was not particularly good at for lack of a better term… ”strategic” decisions. Thus his issues with the Bulge. He is a cold example of promoted to his level of incompetence.
Patton was good at the strategic stuff but was obviously not a “people “ person.
Ike was a diplomat more then a general. And arguably this was needed in his job. Problem was he was not really providing an overall command as much as he was riding herd on his generals. As pointed out elsewhere the concept of coordination of attacks was not exactly big under Ike. So it would have been useful to coordinate thrusts a bit better.
As for Market Garden…. Sorry the idea was insane, That it came as close to success as it did is a minor miracle. But just because you try something that has a high chance of killing yourself but only break your back and both legs does not mean it was either a good idea or that it could have worked. Market Garden had all but no room for maneuver or failing. It had no way to make up for something not going right. It either worked or it didn’t (to grossly over simplify) It was like one of those stories you read where the overwhelmed hero’s try one last ditch all or nothing gambits because they have nothing to lose as they are dead if it doesn’t work. But obviously the wallies didn’t truly need it.
But I think Ike felt the pinch as the advance was slowing and he was i susp beginning to feel the heat as the Russians were slowly grinding up territory in the east. And of course that made FDR and Churchill unhappy as they wanted to keep the USSR as Far East as they could.
So Ike decided to take the gamble Monty offered him. And from Ike’s point of view it was a great gamble as Heads he wins, if it works, he gets credit (shared with Monty) for ending the war sooner. Tails Monty loses, as if it fails Ike tosses Monty under the bus as it was his idea.
The fact that Ike was Monties boss and thus should have could have told him no or helped fix any issues with the plan is somehow always overlooked.
But let’s face it Ike had two major screw ups in relatively short order. Market Garden and the BotB, And he tossed his subordinates under the bus for both. Add in his extremely poor coord of the different assaults and frankly Ike should have been caned if anyone was going to be.
I think the truth is that the Walies were poorly lead after D-Day on an overall level. They didn’t do well with coordination they didn’t do very well with supplies and had very little grand strategy being more of an opritunistic in the way they did things. It was simply that they were good enough in command with Monty and Patton and Co. and they had rediculus levels of equipment supplies and troops that was effectively overwhelming.

And one last point. The ideas and comments that one side that started the war soon had more experienced officers is frankly dumb. No kidding they guys that were in the war two years longer had more experience? I would never have guessed that. But what do you want the US to do? It did get into the war into basicly 42. It cant just attack Canada or Mexico in 39 to give its officers experience…. And experience does not automatically mean good. And in the case of the USSR they have to go a LONG way to make up for the purges and the issues with working for Stalin and his system. That being said. The Darth Vader school of Management dies ultimately work. If you kill off you officers until you get one that does the job you will ultimately find competent officers.
While I do differ with some of the opinions expressed (Eisenhower for example as an op-artist, and Montgomery's intent for MG. I think Eisenhower knew exactly what he needed to do and did it, given the tools and generals he had, and Montgomery, faced with his infantry shortage and the terrain, supply and weather problems he faced, came up with the only viable Allied plan in September that had any chance of immediate success.), the opinions are well reasoned and in most cases arguable with the evidence we have.
 

DougM

Donor
Not saying that at any give point that obviously better options existed, If Ike had a better option to end the war early other the MG availble to him I am sure he would have taken it, But he didn’t and he had his backside covered if MG failed so he gave Monty the rope to hang himself with. But he WAS Monies boss and he should have shared the blame but he never does. Thus my point. Not saying Ike should have been sacked (but he could have been after those two big mistakes) but he has an amazing ability to take the dread it for winning the war but avoiding any of the blame for the stupid stuff. Thus he is unfairly remembered.
And yes Bradley had his moments. Not saying he didn’.t. But other Generals had been sacked for lesser issues. And frankly Bradley did not do a good job in France, at best he was OK. If we could have mixed Bradley and Patton then we would have been better off but…
 
1. Devers and Eisenhower had staff experience from WWI as did MARSHALL.
2. Fox Conner.
3. Ridgeway (example)

4. Clark

Therefore I do not agree with any of the above description offered of the American officers as offered, that they were less than I described.

2. Same again. If by Philippine Islands service one means the American officers did not go overseas?

3. Same again. The proof is the doing. The Americans carried out a better mobilization in WWII based on their WWI experience. I so stated this was the case.

4. And still fouls up during Kharkov, and is the exception, not the rule in an army generally full of Kuliks in 1941.

British EASTERN COMMAND survived ABDA and continued its incompetencies even when it gained a good general in William Slim. Mountbatten (Dieppe Raid) was in place in August 1943. Prior to that fiasco of service, he failed to perform acceptably as a destroyer commander off the Dutch coast and got his ship torpedoed out from under him. He did another bolo off Lizard Point, Cornwall, with another fish in the belly because he was a lousy naval tactician, as well as a rotten staff officer (The previously mentioned Dieppe will be proof of his staff-work.). His St. Nazaire Plan was a disaster that managed to work out in spite of the Keystone Kops elements. Did I mention how he fouled up off Crete? So they had to get him out of the Royal Navy, they did; and the Army wanted him nowhere important in Europe, either. Pack him off to America where he infuriated the USN with his political ineptitude and technical incompetence while he allegedly commanded the under repair HMS Illustrious. It was the Gatehouse treatment for that man. The Americans said NO THANK YOU after he made himself unpopular at Pearl Harbor with pronouncements that had nothing new or unknown to PACFLT or which was "helpful". So... off to INDIA where he bollixed Burma up. If not for Slim and a chap (Mountbatten's chief of staff who was supposed to keep him out of trouble, sicced on him by Churchill or was it Brooke?) by the name of Allason, the Japanese would have reached as far as Rawalpindi. That man was a a disgrace.

Wavell? The less said about HIM after 1942, the BETTER.

I suggest you read here. You do not really understand the Plan Dog Memo or Harold Stark. Or how Rainbow Five was Option C and was Marshall.

Well.

Except these are also AARs and first sourced and therefore not filtered second or third hand. Also these are LESSONS LEARNED as in the Lorraine Campaign and the Roer Dams accounts plainly show.

True, and about the only common point of agreement so far.

Because the metaphor was ill chosen and it was a German scout element in a meeting engagement that devolved into a typical infantry / combined arms brawl? Pardon the writer for waxing literary instead of giving the clear Dutch-dry Martin van Creveld description of the action.

Or in the United States. National Archives have duplicates of German national archives of the Hitlerite regime as well as SHAEF records.

True, but there are the archives.

True.

They cussed him out. Especially Collins. Hence...

I do not agree with any of this characterization that I have described the Americans inaccurately or sourced the accounts incompletely. The battle narratives clearly show post-hoc where the Americans thought their own leadership failed. You wrote it yourself.



If you read that, then what is the problem with the source material?
Eisenhower has no 'Staff experience' which would normally be defined as on the Staff rather than line of units in combat. In WW1 he is in 65th engineers then commanding a unit training tank crews, ordered to France the war ends, this is not staff experience. Its Valuable because he learns whats needed to mobilise an arm for war.

Devers has no Staff Experience, he is an instructor at the school of fire then XO and Commander of Artillery units never deployed.

Marshall Does, he is assistant CoS to first division. Does very well and comes to Pershing's attention because he informs him of the logs and admin deficiencies facing 1st Div then the AEF where the Meuse Argonne attack is largely unsuccessful until 4 October, which is the date the Germans ask for an armistice and a week after the BEF have breached the Hindenburg position making continued defence on that line pointless for an extended period.

Clark has very brief time commanding a unit and is then wounded.

Your assertion was that
The Americans who did command in WW2 were Fox Conner men. They were far better prepared as staff and command in their careers than your average Russian or British field grade of the same era. Most of them had WW1 experience at field grade and knew the shambles of the AEF . They knew how to plan from nothing. They knew logistics far better than their allies and they came up with the WALLY plan that won the war in the west. That was Europe. See 3.

They did not have anything like the WW1 experience of any other army, and were far better prepared that the average Russian or British Field Grade officer of the same Era. This is patently absurd. They were not. They were much better prepared for WW2 than their WW1 counterparts although to be fair all around in WW1 the army has maybe 1917, in WW2 the US Army has 1940,41,42 and for most of them 43, and part of 44 to prepare. Which is indeed one of the lessons of WW1 The Navy and Air Corps are ofc engaged more heavily from 42 on

Fox Connor seems able given the omnishambles of the AEF he inherited but hardly unusual or spectacular amongst the Entente senior commanders at the time. What he is is a major influence on Eisenhower. This is good. He is a smart capable guy who spends three years tutoring Eisenhower and may well be the most capable soldier Eisenhower ever met, but he never commanded a formation in battle.

Ridgeway Okaay, the source implies Ridgeway was chosen for his ability to run sports programmes not because he was one of the finest division commanders in the US army in WW2 and a successful Corps commander, former Military Representative on the UN chiefs of Staff Committee and at the time of appointment a direct report to the Army Chief of Staff.

The Specific comment on Overseas relates to service in France during WW2 amongst the Normandy Division commanders. In Fact two do serve outside the US, on the Pancho Villa Expedition. But the PI is not at war after 1902, hot to be sure and murder on the Polo Ponies but its not chasing guerillas around the Boonies.

So Malinovsky was involved in a defeat at 2nd Kharkov. Big deal. He is a Soviet General Officer involved in Barbarossa and Blue. They all were. But in terms of command experience prior to the war far greater than any US General and he then goes on to Swing army groups around like a good un, and manages the logistics of the Transbaikal Front.

And ABDA dissolved 22 Feb, Slim takes up command of BurCorps 19 March, So the Eastern army by your assertion is a compete mess for less than a month. Yea so what.

Also your obviously ill informed loathing of Mountbatten has nothing to do with the point at issue. Any more would me Criticising Stark, King, Halsey, every commanding officer of USN forces involved in the Guadalcanal battles, Stillwell, Fredendal, Clark, Truscott, Halder, Model or the Grand ole Duke of York.

So we are not mention Wavells monumental efforts at food relief during the Bengal Famine or his efforts at the Simla conference.

The Plan Dog memo November 1940 has three recommendations

'Until such time as the United States should decide to engage its full forces in war, I recommend that we pursue a course that will most rapidly increase the military strength of both the Army and the Navy, that is to say, adopt Alternative (A) without hostilities.

Under any decision that the President may tentatively make, we should at once prepare a complete Joint Plan for guiding Army and Navy activities. We should also prepare at least the skeletons of alternative plans to fit possible alternative situation which may eventuate. I make the specific recommendation that, should we be forced into a war with Japan, we should, because of the prospect of war in the Atlantic also, definitely plan to avoid operations in the Far East or the Mid-Pacific that will prevent the Navy from promptly moving to the Atlantic forces fully adequate to safeguard our interests and policies in the event of a British collapse. We ought not now willingly engage in any war against Japan unless we are certain of aid from Great Britain and the Netherlands East Indies.

No important allied military decision should be reached without clear undertanding between the nations involved as to the strength and extent of the participation which may be expected in any particular theater, and as to a proposed skeleton plan of operations.

Accordingly, I make the recommendation that, as a preliminary to possible entry of the United States into the conflict, the United States Army and Navy at once undertake secret staff talks on technical matters with the British military and naval authorities in London, with Canadian military authorities in Washington, and with British and Dutch authorities in Singapore and Batavia. The purpose would be to reach agreements and lay down plans for promoting unity of allied effort should the United States find it necessary to enter the war under any of the alternative eventualities considered in this memorandum.'

Prior to that he is outlining a series of scenarios for wars, recapitulating on the Existing Plan Orange and the issues with it and and asking 'Shall we' with the clear emphasis being that Britain will need assistance in the. Atlantic. The RAINBOW plans are not 'Marshalls' they are from the Joint Board which is 'joint' comprising all the war planning elements of the US military and are then Superceded by the ABC-1 discussions ar early 1941. The US position prior to this is described here.

https://history.army.mil/books/wwii/csppp/ch12.htm

So what you have is November Presidential Election. Stark send Navy planning memo up. ( and possibly so does the Army but its not leaked later) then in December prep for the meeting with the British, then the meeting and ABC-1 which is the strategic controlling document for the war going forward. This is a normal planning process with the service chiefs conscious that there is no mandate to FDR to go to war.

Yes there are AARs, very extensive ones. But the histories particularly the early ones -1946 - to 70s at the earliest filter those to make a readable history and in doing so make statements that may or may not be accurate. What they certainly do not do is incorporate the German or Air force perspective of the same operation. Elements of the US official histories go into a lot of detail on some aspects, unfortunately thats not on the operational or tactical level of warfare. so the Best Lessons learned on Lorraine I have found is this.

which is noted as 'This overview serves as a point of departure for more in-depth studies, sets the stage for the analysis of unit operations from platoon to corps, and furnishes a useful reference for studying branch operations in battle' It is also VERY critical of the US handling of formations.

And references back to the same 1950s histories with the same issues, and thats fine its an introduction. its not a 269 page book on how the canadian army reinforcement and replacement system worked. nor an analysis of German tank recovery in Normandy. There will be papers, particularly doctoral and masters thesis but you have t dig, so dig.

What you are assuming in trusting these histories is that the original editorial process was complete and accurate and the only correct interpretation of the facts as known. Well it is not. There will always be multiple interpretations possible but asserting that an author writing in the 1950s when , for example ULTRA was secret is the final word is STUPID. Any history relying on the Halder Edit of German Military History is wrong because we now know he was lying through his teeth.

Thats the problem with the sources.

If they are waxing lyrical you might not want to quote them at me as a source. And Van Creveldt is Israeli

The US does not have the 'records of the 'Hitlerite Regime' most of the fun ones were either bombed by the RAF or stored in East Germany now in the Bundesarchiv. Or in the USSR.
 
Not saying that at any give point that obviously better options existed, If Ike had a better option to end the war early other the MG availble to him I am sure he would have taken it, But he didn’t and he had his backside covered if MG failed so he gave Monty the rope to hang himself with. But he WAS Monies boss and he should have shared the blame but he never does. Thus my point. Not saying Ike should have been sacked (but he could have been after those two big mistakes) but he has an amazing ability to take the dread it for winning the war but avoiding any of the blame for the stupid stuff. Thus he is unfairly remembered.
And yes Bradley had his moments. Not saying he didn’.t. But other Generals had been sacked for lesser issues. And frankly Bradley did not do a good job in France, at best he was OK. If we could have mixed Bradley and Patton then we would have been better off but…

The American "A team" has always been its navy. It is not unusual to see "duds" in the American army and rather easily criticize the leadership and methods that the American army employed. I do it a lot. That is what 20/20 gives all of us. The general line of criticism is from the British point of view, that the British army had "better officers, better staff and better generalship". The Russian line is similar, and the German p.o.v. is similar.

Yet... None of these p.o.v.'s can explain why they could not develop industrial policy, a logistics system or a warplan that could lead them to victory. They did not have strategic planning worthy of consideration the way an American staff officer or a French staff officer understands such things. The first question one asks always is... "How do you win?"

Allies...

March on Berlin? How? With what? When? Where? The Americans, specifically their general staff, came up with the answers. Then they went and did it. Now Montgomery was a better tactical general than most of the American OICs, but he was fighting to an American war-plan and his part of it was well defined in 1944 as in solving the supply crisis brought about by a truck shortage and lengthening LLOCs to which HE contributed with a couple of errors of his own. He personally chose some of the trucks that failed and his army group failed to clear the channel ports as he advanced from Normandy to the Belgian frontier. The Americans had made a point of trying to clear the French Atlantic ports they needed for their own forces. (Called Port Tonnage Capacity and they still had to over-the-beach a la Pacific War lessons learned.) There are several arguments to be made for the way Monty did things, "Using British equipment for British methods" being the logistics one and keep up the speed of advance to keep the Germans off balance being the tactical one, but at the operational art level, just like that imbecile, John Lee, partying away with American gas and trucks in Paris, there are serious consequences in not paying attention to logistics. American generals pirated supplies off of each other, organized a Red Ball express and rebuilt the French RR system behind them as they advanced to "stretch the gas and bullets" as far as they could go. Professionals who are well trained in the op-art tend to do that thing, because professionals study logistics. Amateurs concentrate on tactics.

That was Eisenhower who had "no staff experience" who paid attention to the logistics. And to Montgomery's credit, Market Garden showed he was aware of that problem as well. See bold for Eisenhower, "the general who had no staff experience".

Eisenhower Military Chronology



1911

Eisenhower leaves his hometown, Abilene, Kansas to enter the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.


1914

World War I erupts in Europe.


1915

Eisenhower graduates from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, 61st in a class of 164. In mid-September he reports to the 19th Infantry Regiment at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.


1917

On April 6, the United States declares war on Germany. Eisenhower is promoted to captain and in September he is sent to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia to train officer candidates. In December he is sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to serve as an instructor.


1918

Eisenhower is appointed to his first independent command at Camp Colt, an Army Tank Corps training center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He receives a temporary promotion to major, and then to lt. colonel on Oct. 14. World War I ends November 11.


1919

Eisenhower is assigned to Camp Meade, Maryland. He volunteers for an Army convoy that spends the summer traveling across the U.S. along the Lincoln Highway (U.S. Highway 30) to study the time it takes to move military equipment from coast to coast.


1920


Eisenhower is returned to the permanent rank of captain in a post-war reduction in rank. In August he is promoted to the rank of major.


1921

Eisenhower graduates from Infantry Tank School and is assigned command of the 301st Tank Battalion.


1922

Eisenhower joins the 20th Infantry Brigade at Camp Gaillard, Panama under General Fox Connor. He receives the Distinguished Service Medal for his work in World War I.


1924


Eisenhower returns to Camp Meade, Maryland to coach football. He is temporarily assigned to Ft. Logan, Colorado as a recruiter.


1925

Eisenhower attends Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, graduating first in a class of 275.


1926

Eisenhower serves as executive officer, 24th Infantry, Fort Benning, Georgia and coaches football. In December he reports to Washington, D.C. to work for the Battle Monuments Commission under General Pershing.


1927

Eisenhower writes a battlefield guide to American involvement in World War I. In September Eisenhower enters the Army War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.


1928

Eisenhower graduates from the War College in June. In August he travels to Paris, France, as a member of the Battle Monuments Commission to revise the battlefield guidebook and gain first-hand familiarity with the battlefields of World War I.


1929

In November Eisenhower is assigned to the Office of Assistant Secretary of War to prepare plans for the mobilization of American industry and manpower in case of future war.


1933

Eisenhower becomes General MacArthur's personal assistant in February.


1935

Eisenhower is sent to the Philippines with MacArthur to prepare the Filipino Army for independence.


1936


Eisenhower is promoted to lieutenant colonel with the rest of his West Point class.


1939

Germany invades Poland on September 1 beginning World War II. Eisenhower leaves the Philippines for San Francisco in December.


1940

Eisenhower becomes Chief of Staff of the Third Division at Fort Lewis, Washington and conducts field maneuvers.


1941

Eisenhower is transferred to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as Chief of Staff, Third Army. He participates in the Louisiana Maneuvers in August and receives a temporary promotion to brigadier general. The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor on December 7 and the United States enters World War II. General Marshall calls Eisenhower to Washington, D.C. to review the Philippines situation and work in the War Department.


1942

Eisenhower is named Assistant Chief of Staff in charge of War Plans
. He receives a temporary promotion to major general in March and is named Assistant Chief of Staff of the New Operations Division. Eisenhower arrives in London in May to study joint defense and is appointed Commander of the European Theatre of Operations on June 15. He receives a temporary promotion to lieutenant general in July. On November 8 Eisenhower commands the Allied invasion of North Africa.


1943

Eisenhower is promoted to temporary rank of full general in February. He completes the invasion of North Africa in May and directs the invasion of Sicily in July and August. Eisenhower receives permanent promotion to brigadier general and major general on August 30. Eisenhower commands the invasion of Italy in September and attends the Cairo Conference in November. In December Eisenhower is appointed Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces to command Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe.


1944

Eisenhower arrives in London in January to set up Supreme Headquarters. He directs the invasion of Normandy on June 6, D-day. On December 20 Eisenhower is promoted to General of the Army and receives his fifth star.


1945


Eisenhower accepts Germany's unconditional surrender on May 7 and is appointed commander of the United States occupation zone in Germany. In November Eisenhower returns to the United States to become Chief of Staff, United States Army.


1948

Eisenhower retires from active service in February and writes Crusade in Europe. While serving as President of Columbia University, in December, Eisenhower begins three months service as a military consultant to the first Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal.


1949


In an informal capacity, Eisenhower serves as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the newly created defense department.


1950


The Korean War begins on June 25. On December 18, at the request of President Truman and the 12 NATO nations, Eisenhower accepts the position of Supreme Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


1951


In January Eisenhower leaves for NATO headquarters in Paris.


1952

Eisenhower resigns as Supreme Commander in June to return to the United States to campaign for the presidency. After the election, Eisenhower visits Korea. He resigns his commission as General of the Army to assume the presidency.


1961

On completion of his second term, Congress re-instates his five-star rank.


1969

Eisenhower dies March 28 and is buried with full military honors in Abilene, Kansas.

You know, for "a guy with no staff experience", that is 14 years of INTENSIVE staff and command training and experience? Ike specialized in war-plans a lot.
 
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Ike is a difficult case to judge.

He was probably the best as the 'chairman of the board' but surely not as the CEO. Brooke was not impressed with Ike's appreciation and did believe that the idea of closing up to the Rhine in its entire length was a bad idea.

Brooke did favour a rapier thrust into the heart of Germany to end the war in 1944. Whether it would have been is a different story, but Ike's perception of strategy surely did not favour anything like a bold thrust.

Ike's ability to act as the chairman was probably the saving grace and one does wonder if Brooke would have had the same ability to unite. Marshall probably.

But here is the crux: the chairman was needed (Ike) and the CEO (Brooke/Marshall) was needed as well.

Combining it all into one person might have been difficult.

So we end up with the choice: Unity (Ike) or military acumen (Brooke/Marshall).

Is this a fair question?
 

Ramontxo

Donor
It is my humble opinion that all of them did quite a good job kicking Nazi asses. I also would like to point that the Wallys put a far far better show driving a coalition between allies than, for example, the Germans and the Italians ever did.
 
While I do differ with some of the opinions expressed (Eisenhower for example as an op-artist, and Montgomery's intent for MG. I think Eisenhower knew exactly what he needed to do and did it, given the tools and generals he had, and Montgomery, faced with his infantry shortage and the terrain, supply and weather problems he faced, came up with the only viable Allied plan in September that had any chance of immediate success.), the opinions are well reasoned and in most cases arguable with the evidence we have.
This right here.

It's the same in business and so many other applications as it is in war.

When you're in a leadership position, it is your job to pick the best option(s) available to you. Sometimes, none of the options are great. Sometimes, none of them are even good. However, it's still on you to pick the best option, even if it's the best of a series of bad options. Grinding away at Metz wouldn't have been the better option.

A leader also recognizes that being a leader and being a lone wolf are mutually exclusive. If you can do it all yourself, you don't need to lead. If you lead, you can't try to do it all yourself and control every facet. At some point, you have to rely on subordinates, and manage how they work with each other.

Ike pulled it off. Even if he wasn't the perfect guy for the job, he was damn good at it, and IMO, I think the Allies knowing what they knew then, would have been hard pressed to find a better guy for the job.

To answer the OP's question, sorta?

Alanbrooke? He could have done a great job, but he was better off where he was, handling Winston like no others could.

Mac? Hell no. His ego would be a huge problem, he'd totally alienate De Gaulle. He'd take credit for everyone's successes and blame them for his failures. His appalling attitudes towards intelligence would likely have stretched the war out.

Bradley? He could handle the personalities of his subordinates, but I fear he'd be almost too cautious and hesitant, and too reluctant to change plans if they weren't working.

Patton? A damn fine corps commander, but that's his highest level of competence.
 
If Bradley was incompetent at Army Group level, would he have been good at Corps or Army command? And why was he given his 5th star, made Army Chief of Staff as well as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs?
He was a passable corps and army commander, promoted to lead 12th Army Group by force of circumstance-the only other possible candidate (Patton) being considered unsuitable, and, although rather mediocre at his job, became Eisenhower's inevitable replacement as Chief of Staff of the US Army. His selection as Chairman of the JCS came at a time when there were no other obvious rivals (Navy leadership on outs with President Truman, Air Force generals all junior to Bradley) for the post. The fifth star was mostly politics, partly a need to have the Chairman to hold the same grade as his most senior subordinate (MacArthur), and a bit of cronyism on the part of President Truman, a man prone to handing out jobs, rewards, promotions and special favours to people who happened to hail from his home state of Missouri. And it helped that Bradley was a very loyal supporter of the Truman administration, especially when it came to squelching the so-called Revolt of the Admirals in 1949. His promotion was undeserved in my opinion, but you know, politics.
 
vOne of the big problems for the US/UK generals was that they never commanded big armies (neither in the past or in WWII).

USSR and Germany had plenty of experience in doing very big armies. Brooke only had command of II Corps in 1940. Eisenhower - nothing. Marshall Brigades and then admin.

Brooke was in awe of MacArthur, but what that really says about his judgment is another thing.

It also highlights one thing: what was required of the supreme commander? command experiences or admin expertise?
I have to say I found the viewpoint of these comments interesting. Because WWII was over 20 years after 1918 one would expect the senior generals of WWII would've been low, to mid grade officers in 1918. Most German generals in 1939 had also been around the same ranks in 1918 as the Anglo/Americans. The Soviets had more exceptions, with many commanders having reached higher ranks in the Russian Civil War.

War is a young mans game, the physical, and mental stress on men in at all levels of command can break some of the strongest. Consider the number of officers, up to Corps level that had to be relieved in the field. Most senior generals of WWI were too old for the demands of combat in the high tempo of WWII combat. MacArthur, and Marshal were exceptions, pushing it into their 60's. It's popular on the board to degrade MacArthur because of his poor record in the first year of the war, but his command presence overwhelmed almost everyone he meet, during his long career, so why would Brooke be any different?

Marshal was the indispensable man in the American war effort. His organizational skills, and strength of character made him the architect of victory. He was a forward thinking general, open to new doctrine, and a major advocate for air power. I know more about Marshal then Brooke, but it seems both were very tough men, who kept a steady hand on the tiller. At the top level the job is about advising the heads of State on grand strategy, and handling the administrative, and logistic needs of the army. The German generals may have been more tactically brilliant, but their logistical planning sucked.

The Germans didn't have a Marshal, King, Arnold, or Brooke, They only had Hitler, Goering, and their flunkies. As for the Soviets by a brutal process of elimination you got a highly competent top command, of survivors. We'll never know what Tukhachevsky, and his "Mechinists might've done, if Stalin hadn't murdered them. If you look at him he was a Marshall of the Soviet Union in his early 40's.
 
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