General of the Army: George C. Marshall, Soldier and Statesman

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Marshall directed the war operations from to He would have dearly liked to be in command of the operations in Europe, but he accepted with his customary coolness, detachment, and patriotism the nomination of Dwight Eisenhower to that important post.

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Marshall had, however, a highly positive influence on the general strategy of the war. His belief that the primary task was the defeat of Germany's Adolf Hitler brought him into conflict with Gen. Douglas MacArthur and with powerful elements in the Navy, but his view prevailed. Marshall not only organized the immense armed forces of the United States but served as an adviser to President Roosevelt at the wartime conferences at Casablanca, Teheran, and Yalta. On the President's death in , he retained his post and enjoyed the entire confidence of the new president, Harry Truman.

Marshall was present at Potsdam in July and shared in the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. Resigning in November , Marshall undertook, with reluctance but in obedience to his strong sense of duty, a mission to China. His purpose was to bring about an understanding between the Nationalist government of Gen.

Chiang Kai-shek and the growing Communist forces under Mao Tse-tung.

George C. Marshall

He failed in this effort because of the intransigence of both sides. On Jan. He had a principal part in negotiations with the Soviet Union. More important, at Harvard on June 5, , he propounded the plan for the rehabilitation of Europe the Marshall Plan.

The credit for this plan must go in no small part to the men Marshall had placed around him, notably William Clayton, Dean Acheson, and George Kennan, but Marshall lent it the immense prestige of his name. In he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on this plan.

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Marshall resigned in January but was called back by President Truman to serve as secretary of defense in the period of the Korean War. His voice was important during the crisis created by Gen.

‘George Marshall’ Review: Ever the Man With the Plan

Douglas MacArthur's defiance of the civil authority, when MacArthur took the war across the 38th parallel into North Korea. Marshall favored removal of the general. There has rarely been a more disinterested public servant than Marshall. Unlike the first two authors, he has the advantage of writing after the publication of Forrest C.

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  7. Unlike the third author, he has taken the time nine years to immerse himself in this and other relevant material, and to verify his conclusions with scholars. His numerous sources include unpublished as well as published documents, key secondary works, journalistic accounts of the time, oral history transcripts, and his own oral history interviews.

    General of the Army George C Marshall Soldier and Statesman

    The result is an accurate and judicious, as well as a highly readable portrait of a true American giant. Although he held two Cabinet positions afterwards and is most famous today for the Marshall Plan, the focal point of his career remains his extraordinary tenure from as Army chief of staff.

    Cray properly devotes two of his four sections and more than half of his narrative, as well as his introductory chapter and title, to this six-year period. Those years were marked by recognition of his exceptional abilities, but lack of appropriate promotion because of the small size of the Army and the fact that his genius at staff work prevented him from obtaining troop command.

    Not until would he see his first star.

    George C. Marshall - HISTORY

    Of at least equal importance in explaining his success during these years, however, was his capacity to grow intellectually throughout the war, despite his age, and consistently to assume more and more responsibilities. The most important of these were political in nature, for war is an instrument of policy and inseparable from political realities. Consequently Marshall found himself constantly dealing with congressmen, presidents, naval and allied counterparts, and leaders of other countries on a host of politico-military issues.

    This has been attributed to Marshall, and he might have used the phrase, but earlier uses exist: There is an imperialism that deserves all honor and respect — an imperialism of service in the discharge of great duties. But with too many it is the sense of domination and aggrandisement, the glorification of power. The price of peace is eternal vigilance.


    Leonard H. Gooch Courtney's statement however is probably derived from an earlier statement with several variants: The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.