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Generals of the Army

Generals of the Army: Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Arnold, Bradley

Edited by James H. Willbanks
Foreword by Gordon R. Sullivan
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 264
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2jcf6z
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  • Book Info
    Generals of the Army
    Book Description:

    Formally titled "General of the Army," the five-star general is the highest possible rank awarded in the U.S. Army in modern times and has been awarded to only five men in the nation's history: George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry H. Arnold, and Omar N. Bradley. In addition to their rank, these distinguished soldiers all shared the experience of serving or studying at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where they gained the knowledge that would prepare them for command during World War II and the Korean War.

    InGenerals of the Army, James H. Willbanks assembles top military historians to examine the connection between the institution and the success of these exceptional men. Historically known as the "intellectual center of the Army," Fort Leavenworth is the oldest active Army post west of Washington, D.C., and one of the most important military installations in the United States. Though there are many biographies of the five-star generals, this innovative study offers a fresh perspective by illuminating the ways in which these legendary figures influenced and were influenced by Leavenworth. Coinciding with the U.S. Mint's release of a series of special commemorative coins honoring these soldiers and the fort where they were based, this concise volume offers an intriguing look at the lives of these remarkable men and the contributions they made to the defense of the nation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4212-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Maps and Illustrations
    (pp. viii-x)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Gordon R. Sullivan

    The eminent British historian John Keegan once referred to Fort Leavenworth as one of the United States Army’s “most sacred places.”* Fort Leavenworth was established in 1827 to support the opening of the West. In 1881 it became the Army’s schoolhouse to capitalize on the lessons learned from the American Civil War. Today the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College is the Army’s leader-development center, standing on the frontier of knowledge and learning in the military arts. Officers educated at Leavenworth have served the nation with distinction in every conflict since the Indian Wars. In particular, Leavenworth left an...

  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)
    James H. Willbanks

    Five-star flag rank is the highest rank awarded within the U.S. military establishment in modern times. There were four five-star fleet admirals and five five-star Generals of the Army named during World War II and the years immediately after. To put those promotions in the proper context, it is appropriate to review the evolution of the highest ranks in the U.S. military establishment.

    The highest rank ever conferred in the U.S. military is General of the Armies of the United States. Only two officers in our history have been awarded that rank, George Washington and John J. Pershing, although only...

  6. 1 Officer Education and the Fort Leavenworth Schools, 1881–1940
    (pp. 5-18)
    Jonathan M. House

    For many people, the termArmy educationrefers to the various institutions by which men and women first enter the Army—the military academy at West Point, the Reserve Officers Training Corps, or perhaps basic combat training. In fact, however, these schools are only the first steps in military education. Like any other profession, being a soldier and especially an officer requires lifelong study as well as the study of complex concepts and procedures. Advances in rank bring new responsibilities and constant increases in the intricacies of military operations. If anything, the armed services invest more time and resources in...

  7. 2 George Catlett Marshall
    (pp. 19-62)
    Christopher R. Gabel

    Among those individuals who have risen to the top of the military profession, George C. Marshall stands out as one of the most remarkable. As the leader of the U.S. Army and Army Air Forces in World War II, a senior military adviser to the president, and the chief American representative in the Allied coalition, he was perhaps the most powerful and influential soldier in American history. After the war Marshall stepped directly from military service into the highest echelons of government, serving as both secretary of State and secretary of Defense. The European Recovery Program that bore his name...

  8. 3 Douglas MacArthur
    (pp. 63-112)
    Tony R. Mullis

    Douglas MacArthur was undoubtedly the most polarizing of America’s five-star generals. General George C. Kenney, MacArthur’s World War II air commander, remarked: “Very few people really know Douglas MacArthur. Those who do, or think they do, either admire him or dislike him. They are never neutral on the subject.” General George E. Stratemeyer was an admirer. He described MacArthur as “the greatest leader, the greatest commander, the greatest hero in American history.” General Robert L. Eichelberger, MacArthur’s Eighth Army commander, was less flattering. “We have difficulty in following the satellites of MacArthur,” Eichelberger concluded, “for like those of Jupiter, we...

  9. 4 Dwight D. Eisenhower
    (pp. 113-146)
    Sean N. Kalic

    General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower has come to represent many things to many different people of several generations. For the veterans of World War II, he was the commanding general who planned and oversaw the initial landings in North Africa and Italy. Next, as supreme Allied commander of Europe, he planned, oversaw the preparation of, and made the decision to launch Operation Overlord on the beaches of Normandy. While achieving the Allied victory in Europe, Eisenhower rose to the rank of five-star general. He briefly took a civilian position as president of Columbia University before Harry S. Truman asked...

  10. 5 Henry H. “Hap” Arnold
    (pp. 147-182)
    John M. Curatola

    Henry “Hap” Arnold holds a unique place in the pantheon of five-star generals. Not only does Arnold have the distinction of being named the only General of the Air Force, a title bestowed on him after the U.S. Air Force became its own separate service in 1947, but he also held the title General of the Army when he was appointed his fifth star on December 21, 1944, while the Army Air Forces were still part of the U.S. Army. Though he hardly ever wore the blue Air Force uniform, he is largely considered the father of the U.S. Air...

  11. 6 Omar Nelson Bradley
    (pp. 183-232)
    Joseph R. Fischer

    Omar Nelson Bradley became the last general to reach five-star rank, doing so well after the completion of World War II and a year after the creation of the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In many ways he was also the most unusual of those to attain this exalted rank. There was nothing of the showmanship that MacArthur brought to the rank. Nor was there the charm that Dwight D. Eisenhower used to weave and hold together a coalition of wartime partners. The war correspondent Ernie Pyle described Bradley to the American public as looking like...

  12. Afterword
    (pp. 233-236)
    Ethan S. Rafuse

    In the seventy years since World War II, Fort Leavenworth has remained the crossroads for the officer corps of the United States Army, the place where field-grade officers receive an educational experience designed to prepare them for the rest of their careers. The challenges that the United States has faced during that period have been formidable. Though no officer has been appointed to five-star rank since Omar Bradley’s promotion in 1950, the list of accomplished officers who have passed through the course at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) and the contributions of graduates of that institution...

  13. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 237-238)
  14. List of Contributors
    (pp. 239-242)
  15. Index
    (pp. 243-268)