The depth and significance of the relationship between George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower has eluded historians for years. In Partners in Command, acclaimed historian and journalist Mark Perry gets to the heart of arguably the most fateful partnership in American military history, a union of two very different men bound by an epic common purpose. He follows Marshall and Eisenhower's collaboration from the major battles in North Africa and Italy to the planning and execution of the D-Day invasion, the crisis of the Battle of the Bulge, and the postwar implementation of the Marshall Plan, and the establishment of Eisenhower's leadership of NATO. erry shows that Marshall and Eisenhower were remarkably close colleagues who brilliantly combined strengths and offset each other's weaknesses in their strategic planning, on the battlefields, and in their mutual struggle to overcome the bungling, political sniping, and careerism of both British and American commanders that infected nearly every battle and campaign. Finally, Marshall and Eisenhower collaborated in crafting the foreign policy and military infrastructure that became the foundation for winning the Cold War.
From their first meeting after Pearl Harbor in 1941, Marshall and Eisenhower recognized in each other an invaluable military partner-by February 1942, Marshall, who was Army chief of staff, had promoted Eisenhower to head the War Plans Division, where his first job was to write the initial plan to win the war against Japan. Within a few months, Marshall selected Eisenhower as commander of all U.S. forces in the European theater. By early 1944, however, a subtle but major shift had occurred: Marshall the teacher had become Eisenhower's student, Eisenhower having developed the superior grasp of command challenges.
Partners in Command is an extraordinary portrait of an often ignored alliance between two iconic military figures and the ways in which their unusual collaboration would ultimately shape fifty years of successful American foreign policy.
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May 09, 2007
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