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tv   George Marshall Dwight Eisenhower  CSPAN  May 18, 2019 4:49pm-6:01pm EDT

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-- increasingly plagued much of the war-torn slave states. policies and occupation that leverage and targeted civilians by slavery politics and leslie a most ironically, one that saw the earliest and fullest incorporation of wartime emancipation of slaves into its scope. in reality the springfield meeting has so consciously avoided. these commanders including those in the room that night had transferred their western kind of war eastward. >> learn more about western theater tactics. explore our nation's past here on american history tv. >> next, historian david mills on the world war ii partnership between the u.s. army's chief of staff george marshall and general dwight d eisenhower.
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he examines their tactical decisions to win the war. mr. mills is a military history professor with the u.s. army .ommand the kansas city public library hosted this event. it's just over an hour. >> good evening. the public affairs staff here at the kansas city public library and thank you all for being here tonight. it's great to have you. ourt to have david mills, speaker. tonight's program has been a long time in coming. david was originally scheduled to be here in february but was weather, bybad winter weather, and we are so happy that he hung with us and so happy to have him here now. this happens to be kind of a city confluence of kansas public library programming. it's the latest in our series with the u.s. army command and general staff college in fort on marking 75 years
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since world war ii, but it also comes in the middle of the library's partnership, and it's withjanuary through may the eisenhower presidential library and foundation in abilene, and it's on the dwight exhibit.r we have a series of programs running on dwight eisenhower in may. the next one of those is in fact the next wednesday. tonight, we focus on eisenhower and george marshall. the chief -- the army chief of staff who targeted ike for advancement as a military officer, keen eye for talent. spied omarpatton, bradley, and he became one of chief mentors from 1939 to
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1945. marshall, of course, went on to become secretary of state and win a nobel peace prize. mills is an assistant professor of military history at the command and general staff college. he has a phd in history from north dakota state university and the distinction of being the first person to earn a doctorate in history from the school in 2009. he spoke at the library two years ago on operation snowbound about the mammoth federal response to the blizzard of 1949 which stretched from kansas up into the canadian border. we are so welcome to have david back tonight. please welcome david mills. [applause] dr. mills: well, thanks, everybody, for coming out tonight. as steve mentioned, i was supposed to be here a few weeks
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ago, but we got snowed out. looks like we might have some and commit weather tonight. pattern took like a you, but believe me, it's just a coincidence. thanks for coming out, and i'm going to go ahead and incorporate some of the information i was going to talk about a little earlier because it looks like at some point i kind of wonder off on tangents talking about marshall a little bit, and that's probably why. this is the story of two great men, both revered as well as famous in their time. since world war ii, however, it could be argued that general dwight eisenhower has probably eclipsed general marshall in same, at least when it comes to what each of them did during world war ii. most people know that general eisenhower was the commander of the invasion of france during world war ii, but they would
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probably be hard-pressed to tell you exactly what general marshall did. marshall built the army that eisenhower used to defeat the germans. both men were from humble backgrounds, but both were extremely patriotic, driven by a desire to end the war quickly rather than seeking glory for themselves. this is their story. bornal george marshall was to simmer 31st 1880 in uniontown, pennsylvania. 1880 inber 30 1, uniontown, pennsylvania. he served as the chief of staff in the army during world war ii, and then as the secretary of state and secretary of defense. after the war was over. advocated the marshall plan, for which he won the nobel peace prize, helping europe to recover economically from the war. one fact you may not know about
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general marshall is that he loved to ride horses. this is how he relaxed and he called it great exercise, although i would think it would be better exercise for the horse, but what do i know? his first of life was difficult. he graduated college in 1901. in 1902, he married lily carter le who had a heart defect and he had to be very careful with her. he was a doting husband, making sure she was careful and had everything she needed. she died in 1927. they never had any children. catherine in 1930. she was a widow with three children of her own, and marshall became very close to the children. boys were army officers during world war ii and the youngest was actually killed by a sniper in italy during the
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war. his stepdaughter was also .arried to an army officer marshall never used his position to influence their careers. he was above all a very honorable man and would never do anything that he thought would .arnish that marshall served in a variety of positions throughout the world upon graduation. before world war i, promotions were pretty slow in coming, but .arshall did pretty well when world war i broke out, he went to france and october in the summer of 1917. he was a member of the division staff for the first infantry division. his job was planning and training the draftees and national guardsmen that are out the first infantry division -- that rounded out the first
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infantry division. there were two decisions that were risky career-wise but really made a difference for marshall. in the first of those episodes -- and the first of those episodes began during world war i and that's when general john j commander of the american expeditionary force, came to check on training. you have to understand that ton ofg was under a pressure from the french to get the american army up and ready to take a position in the trenches. pershing comes out and is looking at training and he's not happy. he thinks the training is too slow and not very challenging, and he's really upset by what he to take it proceeds out on the division commander, a generalhe name of seibert, and he proceeds to chew him out in front of all of his subordinates. marshall thought that this was
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extremely disrespectful and uncalled for, and as a lowly captain, he grabbed that major general by the arm and proceeded to tell him, rather angrily, how he thought that was totally uncalled for. when he was done, general pershing kind of pulled his arm away, mumbled something, and stormed off. marshall's friend shook his hand, wished him farewell because his career was over. don't you know when general pershing came back, he would go find marshall and ask him how things were going. formed af them relationship that would affect both of them throughout their lives. marshall went staff ande adf -- aef worked for general pershing. after the war was over, he became an aide to general pershing, and pershing was the
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best man in marshall's wedding when he got married the second time. war as --nded the actually, he finishes as a lieutenant colonel and then is reverted back to major, but he did pretty well in the interwar period. he committed a regimen, then a division, then 35 caps throughout oregon. camps throughout oregon. he was brought to washington as a brigadier general, by then chief of staff of the army wanted marshall to succeed him as chief of staff of the army, so he brought him there, made in the chief of the war camp division, eventually made him .eputy to the chief of staff becoming chief of staff was let's talk about marshall and
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roosevelt, and a little bit about churchill. workedlt and marshall very well together, although the two were never close. they were opposites. marshall confessed he did not like roosevelt when he first moved to washington. general marshall was very guarded. -- he valued vowed dignity. marshall valued dignity. nobody would ever call him funny. you notice the first picture i showed you was marshall smiling. don't for -- don't believe anything that you read. there aren't that many pictures of a man with a smile on his face. he never met a person he would not shake hands with. he was always smiling.
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politiciansthe deep-seated -- deep seeded aversion to answering a question with a straight answer. he always wanted plausible deniability. it drove marshall absolutely nuts. needs to know what direction the country is going. marshall never let the president get too close to him personally. he never laughed at the presidents jokes. he never allowed the president to call him george. any never visited the president in new york. army manwas also an and the president was a navy man he served as the assistant -- man. he served as the assistant secretary of the navy. he was an accomplished sailor.
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marshall had to ask the president to stop saying "they when talking about the army and when talking"we" about the navy. he had succumbed to the promise of air power. he thought that all of america's problems could be solved through buying more planes. he is constantly trying to purchase more airplanes. marshall objected. he thought there should be a more balanced approach to how they procured equipment for the different branches. in november of 1938, roosevelt had a meeting with all of his top advisers. america ought up by about 20,000 airplanes that would keep us safe.
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you know how it is when your boss comes up with an idea and everybody says, great idea, boss , and everybody is shaking their heads. he turns around and says, don't you think so, george? because henced called him george. marshall never allowed anybody to call him george except for his wife. he said, mr. president, i don't agree with that at all. the president was surprised because everybody else was in the meeting and they all got up and left. they shook his hand and wished him good luck because your career is over. this was the second episode that
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his values were always something he should stand up for. churchill very rarely ever challenged him directly. if marshall was doing something that churchill did not agree with he would talk to eisenhower, roosevelt, anybody but marshall and try to get them to change their mind. that does not mean he did not have great respect for marshall. churchill called marshall the organizer of victory. openly when he visited marshall on his deathbed in 1959. 1939, roosevelt brought marshall into his office and offered him the dream job, chief of staff of the army. dream job, was a marshall had a list of demands if you will. i will work as hard for you as i can, but i need to be able to come in and speak honestly with you.
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i need to be able to bring you bad news. roosevelt reluctantly agree to that. he expected to get the very best that marshall had. marshall became the acting army chief of staff. this is in april of 1939, he was acting until the first of .eptember, 1939 september 1, the day that germany attacked:. world war ii begins, marshall becomes the chief of staff of the army. -- germany attacked poland. world war ii begins, marshall becomes the chief of staff of the army. in france the loss of friends is a shock to the united states.
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it brings the united states out of its complacency. .ot out of its isolationism congress and the american people wanted nothing to do with the war in europe, but congress understands they have to begin preparing for war. the louisiana maneuvers, held in 1940 and 1941, were designed to see how well the army performed. the answer was not well. has iron pipes being labeled cannons, and trucks being and biplanes being labeled bombers. the army was understaffed. 200,000 soldiers totaled in the army at this point. marshall determine it might be time to build up the army. after the first series of exercises, marshall and the
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president go to congress and nact this service act and bring 900,000 draftees into the army, and also activating the national guard. initially marshall has a large number of soldiers to train. they are only in the army for a year. their term of enlistment is almost up, and nobody is more excited than the soldiers themselves. the louisiana maneuvers of 1941 were fundamentally different. excuse me. onshall's insistence perforation and realistic training had paid off. that herepeatedly wanted mistakes made in louisiana rather than in europe. of 1941 exercises consisted 400,000 service members. twice the number that was in the army the year before. have 19 divisions actively
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out there participating in these wargames. the wargames are over in 1941. we are well on our way to creating a much better army. our army is about to go away with the expiration of the selective service act. marshall, and a number of the goes to talk to congress to extend the selective service act for 18 months. which will guarantee that we keep getting soldiers into the army. there is one other aspect of the louisiana maneuvers that deserves to be mentioned. that marshall came around and he was watching. he was always on the lookout for new talent. rumor was that he had a little black book. when he spotted somebody with high potential and high talent, he would write their names down in this book. . one of the people they identified was colonel dwight eisenhower, who was responsible
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for the blue force, coming up with the planning, training, and the exercises were an overwhelming victory for eisenhower. another person was major general george patton. a number of other folks that were supposedly had their names in this book were folks like omar bradley, mark clark, joseph bradley, and maxwell taylor. this little black book has never been found. did it exist? did it not exist? if there was no book that marshall messed of -- must've cap these names in his mind. these were folks that were groomed for high command once the war broke out. been at war with germany since 1939. above all, they were intent on preserving the british empire after the war. or imperial general staff,
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the british general staff completely rejected the idea of ever having a cross channel attack, and confronting the germans in europe itself. they preferred an approach that attacked the periphery of germany. in other words, they would have a blockade. there maybe be would block a german ports, restricting the amount of trade coming in. thatchurchill believed was this would undermine morale. you did not really need to confront them directly, you could attack them in places like north africa, italy on the borders or on the periphery of the german empire. marshall fundamentally disagreed with that. he said the only way you will do feature many is to fight journal to fight germany. it will be a confrontation
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between the americans and british throughout the war. when germany invaded the soviet union in 1941, churchill and roosevelt believed that we had to supply everything that we could to the soviets to keep them in the war. marshall fundamentally disagree. the sovietbelieve union was going to be able to survive the attack by the germans. the russian air force was largely eliminated in the first few weeks of the war. millions of men were killed or taken prisoner. the germans on the outskirts of moscow. he fundamentally do not believe there was a way the soviets waste thatve, so why equipment when the u.s. and british would need that. if the soviets are out of the war, it will be up to the americans and british to defeat these huge german armies. whenre probably wondering
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the eisenhower piece of this talk on marshall and eisenhower is ever going to kick in. let's talk about general eisenhower for a few minutes. octoberrn in texas, 14th, 1890. he is the third of seven boys. here is the eisenhower brothers with their mother. the family moved to abilene, kansas in 1892, but they never had a lot of money. and one of his brothers agreed they would alternate years and go into college. one would work, one would go to college, then they would switch. after a couple of years eisenhower says the only way he will get to college is if somebody else pays. he applied to west point and became a member of the west point class of 1915. 59 members were to achieve general officer rank.
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at west point he makes a varsity football team but not the baseball team. he is supposedly devastated by that. he meets and marries mamie in 1960. 1916. he is scheduled to get on a ship november 18, 1918. needless to say, he never makes it to france. he thinks his career is over for not having seen combat during world war i. eisenhower's career was not bad. not great, but pretty good for not having been in combat. he is a brigadier general when pearl harbor is attacked. he spent five years working for douglas macarthur in the philippines. he does not get along well with douglas macarthur. ike was a great staff officer. he made his bosses look really good.
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even though mcarthur and eisenhower did not get a long great, he still would not let eisenhower go because he was such a great staff officer. other officers were being weeded out of the army, particularly during the great depression, eisenhower continued to get promoted pretty steadily. during the great depression and up to world war ii, marshall is looking for a commander that can work with senior commanders from other nations and organize diverse interests and a common goal. he had not identified that many december when pearl harbor took place. eisenhower and marshall were complete opposites. marshall was reserved and proper, and ike was very quiet -- very outgoing. he is ready to chat with anyone for extended periods of times. he is very social.
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again, the opposite of marshall. eisenhower was never called ike. marshall never called anybody by their first name. it was always eisenhower, clark, bradley. no matter how high rank you were it was almost -- it was always a formal address by marshall. later in life you did relent from calling him eisenhower and did call him, mr. president. [laughter] dr. mills: if that is loosening up a little. less than a week after the attack on pearl harbor, eisenhower gets a phone call. hey, thehall's office, boss wants to see you, get up to washington, d.c. into hiscalls ike office. he explains all the problems that the army has in defeating the japanese. then he asked eisenhower, how do we solve those problems?
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eisenhower says, give me a couple hours. he walks off, starts with a blank piece of paper, and proceeds to think through the problem. how would we operate in the pacific? says,le of hours later he here is what i think we ought to do. we should stage troops out of australia. build a coalition of willing nations to work with us in order to beat back the japanese. we need to make sure our lines of communications are always open. so we can supply the coalition soldiers with the equipment they need. marshall listens quietly, nods and says, i agree with you, go make it happen. alsost got a job, and he turned to marshall and said, don't wait for me to approve every move, solve the problems and tell me about it later. there tostood he was make important decisions and
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make things happen. he was just given a test and he had just passed. he was in the far eastern division of the work plans decisions. eisenhower began to do a better job than his boss. normally that is a career problem when you do better than your boss, but that is what marshall was looking for. he ended up promoting eisenhower's boss out of that position ahead of the war plans division so he could give it to eisenhower. eisenhower is promoted to major general in march of 1942. pearl harbor was a disaster, and quite an emotional even for america. however, for the british, it was a stroke of luck who were struggling in their war with jim -- with germany. churchill led a contingent of
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military planners after pearl harbor in december of 1941. they begin planning what they were going to do going forward. one of the greatest headaches for the american generals during the war was dealing with the british. they constantly questioned the readiness of the american army and try to implement plans, and always had a british officer as the commander. one of the first conferences between these two countries was called the arcadia conference, where they sought to develop a common strategy. churchill is about, let's attack the periphery, north africa, and marshall says the only way we will win is by confronting the germans. he wants a cross channel attack in 1942, nearly immediately. they did not agree on a shadow g for going forward. what they did -- on a strategy
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for going forward. they did agree on a strategy of unity. charge. has to be in you cannot have a vast number of commanders with everybody having an equal say. you can only have one. that person has to be in charge of all ground, air and sea assets. when the arcadia meeting was over, the allies were determined to work together to defeat the germans, but they still did not have a coherent war strategy. the british were adamant that north africa was a logical place to start. marshall and eisenhower disagreed. they wanted to build combat power in england for a cross channel attack as soon as possible. they started making all of the preparations. they understood that they needed to do something dramatic to draw some of the german forces away
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from the soviets, who had their hands full at this point. they are trying to keep the soviet union from collapsing. either being defeated or negotiating a separate piece. either would be catastrophic for the british and americans. the americans suggested operation sledgehammer. it is not a large scale invasion of france, but a reinforced raid. running into france, waving their arms saying, here we are, and pulling off a number of units from the eastern front. in 1943, once they built up enough combat power, that's when the real cross channel attack would occur. that's when they would go to war with the germans. roosevelt approved the plan and set a small group of americans to england to brief churchill and other folks on this plan. the british were not
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enthusiastic. they argued that they did not have enough troops in europe to be able to pull this off. any attack like this would be an enormous gamble with the army they did have. they were not ready to do this. however, rather than argue with their allies, they said, we will consider it. we will make this plan a, but we will keep thinking. the americans walked away from the plan thinking they got approval, but they don't. louis says, we are adamantly opposed to your idea. marshall explodes. he thinks he has gotten the word of the british. the plan was a cross channel attack and now they are remaking -- renigging. the british are against it.
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if you can't do a cross channel attack, where can we go? planting the idea that north africa is the logical place. with note the meeting settling the idea or the notion of where they will attack. the americans are still convinced that perhaps a cross possiblettack is still in 1942. we have to figure out who the commander will be. numbertish recommended a of their own officers. marshall was against it 202-748-8000. he understood and americans were providing a majority of manpower and equipment that would be used -- against it. werederstood the americans providing a majority of manpower and equipment that would be used. he was hoping he would be drafted as the commander. laying it out there for roosevelt a bite on this war but he is not having an of it -- any
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of it. roosevelt does not want to let marshall go. they settle as eisenhower as the commander for the invasion of europe. englandnhower goes to to begin planning the invasion of europe, or the cross channel attack. he writes his first letter to marshall. eisenhower will write 108 letters to marshall throughout the war. marshall never really bothers to write him back very often. it's not like they corresponded. it's just eisenhower letting marshall know what's going on. here is what we are planning, here's what's going on. was to simply support eisenhower in everything he did. i just want you to know you got our support, you are doing a great job, keep it up. it was guiding hands more than a superior talking to a junior
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officer. he began to plan the invasion of france and it became clear that the british were right. for a crosseady channel attack in 1942. here is a cross channel attack in 1944. we did not have any of this stuff available in 1942. the british stepped up pressure to get the americans to agree to an offense it in north africa. it did not help the american cause when president roosevelt changes sides and agrees with churchill. andyou have the president the prime minister arguing that north africa is the logical place. roosevelt does not want to be the guy to have to deliver the bad news. he wants somebody else to do it. when nobody does he contact the commanders and says, look, you guys need to come up with a in 1942, that will take
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the pressure off the russians. cross channel attack is off the table, it becomes north africa. the british agreed to a unified command. they agreed to let eisenhower become the overall commander. here is a map. you will see this map a couple of times. a, because i'm lazy. b, because this works. you can see the different invasions. --t we are talking about is so here is casablanca. whereare the places operation torch will take place. the american gis continue to come to england. up combat power because we will eventually cross the channel into france. as more americans show up in england, this gives rise to the statements that the americans were overpaid -- overfed,
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overpaid and oversexed. eventually the americans and british hammer out a plan for north africa. the three different offenses take place where i pointed out. general pat and users -- patton is responsible for invading casablanca in the west. general freedom hall is responsible for taking iran. british general anderson is responsible for the offensive in the east. the campaign in africa goes back and forth, and back and forth, eventually the allies are victorious. forcing the germans to either surrender or evacuate. imagine, the next question is, what do we do know? the americans want to focus on europe. promised that
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1943 is the year of the cross channel attack. three guesses of what the british come to the table with. we are not ready to cross through the channel in 1943, let's go to sicily, followed by an invasion in italy. eisenhower and marshall are opposed to this idea. let's promote eisenhower into the stratosphere so that we can put a brit in charge and make it easier to get what we want. that did not happen so they said, let's put a deputy in to help eisenhower that will take over everything and undermine everything the americans are doing. that did not work either. it did not help that the british were so frustrated that they gave a number of interviews to british newspapers, arguing that the americans did not do much in north africa, it was mostly a british campaign. you can understand that did not theell with their allies,
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americans. risks the calculated taken by george marshall during world war ii, none was bolder than the decision in 1943 to maintain the u.s. army's combat spring at 90 divisions. 90 divisions is an important number. 1942 -- 1941 and 1942 estimates of divisions were high. they anticipated needing somewhere in the number of 215 divisions, which would take a whole lot of manpower. these numbers were premised on a lot of offense of operations in thate, and the probability the soviets would be knocked out necessary, making it for the british and americans to take on huge german armies.
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many other demands for american manpower at the time, and people -- don'td women power let my use of the term manpower confuse you. needse army not only folks in the army, so does the marines and the navy, but also heavy industry and barnes need a lot of people. it becomes clear that the arsenal of democracy will smuggle the germans and japanese guns,hanks, -- tanks, wheat, corn coming out of the factories. of the 25 million young men physically fit enough to join the military, the top number of men that whatever actually be brought into the service was 15 million.
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25 million fit, 15 million the top number. but really the number we are working with is 8 million, and in fact that number will drop to 7.7 million in 1944. withmerican army starts 200,000 soldiers in 1939, gets up to 8.8 million in 1943, drops to 7.7 million in 1944. one of the first changes marshall makes when preparing for war was to change the organization of u.s. infantry divisions. he goes from the square division, four regiments, to the triangular division with three regiments. as you can imagine, if you have a number of infantry divisions already staffed, those regiments will make up the bulk of infantry divisions you are trying to make. ,he 23rd infantry division
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because it was formed in new caledonia, was made up of orphan regiments from national guard units from illinois, north dakota, and massachusetts. a number of other divisions were formed in this way as well. square division was better for trench warfare, the triangular division better for maneuver. in addition to reorganizing the infantry division, there was a tent toward increasing the number of infantry and airborne divisions during 1943. you were able to peel them faster and they required less equipment, making it possible to ship them overseas much faster. there were fewer armored and motorized divisions and more standard infantry divisions. originally planners estimated we needed about 61 armored divisions. no more than 16 were actually fielded, if that gives you an idea. by mid-1943, the last infantry division was formed.
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in total, there were 90 divisions. 67 infantry, 16 armored, two cavalry, five airborne. the question of 90 divisions, would that be the right number or did we just make a colossal mistake is going to be a question that would come back and haunt the wartime planners over and over. there is that map again. may 12, 1943, the same day the germans surrendered in north africa, the trident conference in washington, d.c., where churchill was adamant the allies should invade sicily, followed by italy. churchill kept calling italy the soft underbelly of europe. did not quite turn out that way, but he was convinced and he is the prime minister, so his boat counts more than most folks. when, marshall explodes churchill is trying to push this.
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the british had promised a cross channel attack after north africa. they are feels like only going back on their word and this is the only way you are going to end the war, confronting germany directly. the british argued a cross channel attack was no longer necessary in 1940 three, because the soviets were winning. after stalingrad, they were pushing the germans back to their own borders. there was no longer a need to pull german units off the eastern front. besides that, they are still understrength. 37 divisions in europe ready for the cross channel attack. germans had 50 divisions in france. it is a mass question. they are two outnumbered to make a cross channel attack feasible in 1943. a compromise strategy begins to take shape. the british agree to a cross channel attack, no kidding this 1944, if the americans agreed to an attack in sicily
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and italy proper. the only difference was that after the attack on sicily, the americans are going to pull seven infantry divisions out of the mediterranean, sent them to england to prepare for the cross channel attack. the invasion of italy would be the sideshow and subject to cancellation, not the invasion of france. sicily is captured on august 17. many germans escape to italy. it is just after this that pattonwer heard of slapping soldiers that he accused of cowardice. eisenhower simply glossed over this in his reports to marshall. he made the decision that having patton on his side and defeating the germans was more important than some of the other questions that might come up. he felt even more so that this was the right course of action,
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especially after patton apologized, not only to members of the hospital staff where the incidents took place, but also to the soldiers themselves. in allies meet in québec august of 1943 for the quadrant conference, where the question was what to do next. americans insisted on overlord going forward in 1944, while the british were arguing for the invasion of italy. this time marshall is willing to compromise. he would continue the invasion of italy as long as they didn't interfere with overlord. on that point he was firm, as was roosevelt. for 12 days at this quadrant conference, the americans and british are working to hammer out the details. finally they agreed. the british wanted a full invasion of italy. the americans said no, and you can't make us. we are going to france in 1944. so eventually the british are
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worn down. the british still are not done trying to put off this cross channel invasion. in november of 1943, the big 3 -- roosevelt, stalin, churchill -- meet in toronto for the first time, the first time they have met with stalin. churchill tries to convince stalin that the best idea is to attack italy enforce. even stalin says no, that is a dumb idea. he does not say dumb. he says that is not the best idea. the best idea is an attack on france. the americans used this as an excuse. stalin says, overlord, invasion of france. that's what we agreed to, so that's what we are going to do. time -- we are going across the channel, going to invade france. now it is time to make sure we understand who the commander is
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going to be. marshall walks into roosevelt's pretty easily up the opportunity for roosevelt to make marshall the commander. he won't ask for the job, but he really wants it. roosevelt is not biting. finally roosevelt breaks the stalemate by saying, well, i guess eisenhower is the man. marshall says, ok, let's make that happen. he never complained about it. he was disappointed, but he understood the most important point was to defeat the germans. so eisenhower moved to london and starts planning for overlord. he wants to take british general harold alexander with him to be the ground commander and invasion planner. churchill objects. if eisenhower is no longer commander in the mediterranean, why not put a british officer in charge? asy want to name alexander the commander of all forces down
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there. however, just like in north africa, there is going to be a deputy commander for air and sea and ground, but this time there is going to be a fourth deputy commander. the deputy commander responsible for writing, implementing the final plan was general , who most people didn't get along with. marshall didn't get along with him well, eisenhower didn't. wasof the reasons montgomery had been a soldier in world war i. he was actually shot in the chest through the lungs. he was pronounced dead on the battlefield. guess what, he didn't die. when you are pronounced dead and uris from the dead, you have got this complex that says you were saved for a reason. so what you are going to do next
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is probably pretty important. labeled as kind of an arrogant person and difficult to deal with. nobody ever accused him of not being a meticulous planner. he was an incredibly detail oriented person. he was selected to write the plan for operation overlord. it was his job to make sure the landing force was not pushed off the normandy beaches. there is that map again. what we are looking for -- what we are going to be talking about his operation and both, the invasion of southern france in addition to overlord in normandy. asset that montgomery brought was he was a meticulous planner. the original scope of the operation called for three divisions attacking into the normandy beach had. it was montgomery who said, we need a minimum of five.
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everybody agreed that was a much better plan. eisenhower insisted on the invasion of southern france, vil, whichan would require more landing craft than they had in france. guess where those landing craft were going to come from? italy. the british had a fundamental problem again with operation overlord, which starts a whole new series of arguments. the british argued that anvil would deplete italy of the required equipment. eisenhower simply didn't care. not only were the british putting up a hard time, but now the air corps planners were so convinced of their superiority, that bombing could end the war, they did not want any part in operation overlord. the planners had called for them to bomb all of the rail facilities throughout normandy to keep the germans from
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reinforcing normandy, and they didn't want to play. they were like, if you guys would leave us alone for 30 days , we can end the war without having to invade france. that didn't really sit too well with eisenhower, but he is getting a lot of pushback on his plans and he starts to cave in. he starts to negotiate with people and he is telling marshall about this. marshall is limited and -- is livid. but takes at first, on more of a dictatorial town. no, you can't give into the british again. they had canceled the cross general attack in 1942 and 1943 and had gone their way in north africa, sicily, italy. it is time for you to stand firm. the idea is for the germans to divert their forces away from normandy, not the allies.
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so marshall went from suggesting to demanding, and ike got the message. he put anvil back on the table firmly. we are going to exercise operation and both and you are going to give me the landing craft i need. better getuys, you on board with the plan as well. things were not going well for the british in italy. eisenhower simply didn't care. ike and marshall had serious disagreements over the planning, but it was a temporary setback. they got over it. as you know, operation overlord was a success. five divisions got onshore, three airborne divisions successfully landed behind the landing -- divisions landing on the beaches. by the end of the first day, 156,000 allied troops are in france.
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,he allies are ashore in france but the germans were good at keeping them bottled up for quite a while. andventually they broke out a lack of fuel and ammunition stopped the rapid advance of patton's army. it was at this point that eisenhower agreed to montgomery's plan of operation market garden, to seize a series of bridges, the last one being over the rhine. the bridge too far that you are probably familiar with. they just couldn't hold onto that bridge, so the operation was not successful. eventually they get the red ball express, bringing fuel and ammunition to the front. 1944, end of september there are 40 divisions in europe, four more and route. 21 divisions in the pacific. the germans attacked the
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the battle of the bulge in december of 1944. americans were hoping to keep a strategic reserve in america, between five and 15 divisions, but everybody is sent to europe at this point. groups bythree army the beginning of the battle of the bulge. montgomery's 21st army group, bradley's 12th group, and devers' six group. the allies had 87 divisions and 6000 tanks. the germans had 50-some divisions and like 1500 tanks. eisenhower said they needed more combat power. there are more people responsible for supply in world war ii than there are combat soldiers. even though he has got 1.5
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million soldiers in europe, only about 350,000 are actually combat soldiers, if that tells you how much stuff an army consumes. so he starts flipping the logistics companies of typist, mechanics, cooks, starts sending those guys to the front to be infantrymen. the allies beat back the german offensive in the ardennes that had begun on september 16, effectively breaking the back of the german army. however, the british had one more opportunity to annoy marshall and eisenhower. newspapers, british for some mysterious reason, begin to attribute all of the success to general montgomery's 21st army group. the papers hardly mentioned patton. and montgomery decided that he should be in charge of most of
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the american army as well, for various reasons. wordeds a very sternly message to eisenhower. by this time eisenhower had absolutely had it. he picked up the phone, looking for montgomery, tell that guy to come to my headquarters. his chief of staff picks up the phone. what's going on? ear fulan your full -- l. it is the british officer who called down montgomery -- called down eisenhower that kept montgomery from being relieved of command. the chief of staff gets a hold of montgomery. montgomery rushes over to eisenhower, says, hey, that poorly worded request, forget i even said that. let's just ignore that. so eisenhower does. p forgives him, the war was nearly over. why go through that partake -- that heartache?
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so in the spring of 1945, the allies pushed deeper into germany, then slowed down, then stopped. the soviets were in the process of taking berlin, which is the prize. they lose 352,000 soldiers simply taking berlin, a cost that eisenhower and marshall were simply not willing to pay. the soviets could have the honor of taking berlin and paying that bloody caused. it is time to end the war. the long partnership between marshall and eisenhower had proved successful, if not always cheerful. they had done their duty. marshall and eisenhower had made a very formidable team. they didn't always get along. marshall was the chief of staff and viewed eisenhower as working for him. however, he never made it seem
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like it was a senior and a subordinate type of relationship. he knew that eisenhower was under tremendous strain, being the overall commander for years. in fact, a number of times marshall would send him a cable, i need to see you in washington. the only reason he did that was to give eisenhower a rest, bring him back to the u.s., give him an easy schedule for a week and let him catch his breath. he would, behind eisenhower's back, be talking to members of eisenhower's staff, asking, how many hours of sleep is he getting, how is he eating, is he getting exercise? make sure he is relaxed, do what you can to take the pressure off. so their relationship was more of a partnership, with marshall constantly telling ike that he needed to make decisions and marshall supporting him at every turn. given that, given their
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relationship and the fact that marshall selected eisenhower and he performed admirably throughout the entire war, it was really marshall's guidance and leadership that set eisenhower up for success and gave us president eisenhower, eventually. a couple of books i would recommend. a book called partners in command really looks at the relationship between eisenhower and marshall. there is a new one that i haven't had a chance to read, marshall and the atomic bomb. eisenhower didn't know anything about the atomic bomb. when it was detonated twice in japan, he was beside himself, outraged that we would do something like that. that probably carried over into his presidency. there was one simply called george marshall: a biography by debbie unger. and i suppose her husband, whose name i can't recall.
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with that, if anybody has any questions, that i probably won't be able to answer, you are welcome to ask. please make sure you use the microphones. [applause] >> i have always been fascinated by the africa corps being elite troops. you mentioned a log of the guys in sicily, germans got away, but we bagged the entire africa corps. was not a big deal, that we took 250,000 elite german -- maybe they were not elite, but i always had the idea that the africa corps was the elite of the german army -- was not a big deal? strategically, was that a big
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deal? ok?mills: are you >> yeah, i am fine. thank you. yes, sir, it was a very big deal. british, one, the of their main reasons for trying to take control of the operations was their argument that the american army was simply not trained, not ready. they were constantly being ridiculed as a fighting force. gave thery in africa americans the credibility they needed to go back to the british and say, we are no longer this untrained force of which you speak. we are just as bloodied as you are and our army can go anywhere and do anything. >> am i wrong assuming the africa corps was a truly elite
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fours in the german army or was that exaggeration? mr. mills: i would hesitate to say they were anymore elite than the folks fighting on the russian front or the ss units. i think they were a very good army. they had been fighting for years already. goodnk they were just as as many of the other german units. >> [indiscernible] mr. mills: it was important that they were bloodied and survived and eventually went on to be victorious in africa yes, sir. wanting to speculate, if montgomery had not absorbed all the emulation that pat needed, do you think patton could have shortened the war? mr. mills: that would call for a fair amount of speculation. was short ofry
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ammunition and fuel. wasof his arguments eisenhower wanted a broad front strategy. he wanted all three army groups moving forward, moving east in a line of rest. montgomery said, we don't have the fuel or ammunition to do that. you need to make me the priority, give me all the fuel and ammo and we will have a narrow strategy. once they figured out the fuel problem, set up the express and were moving all kinds of fuel forward -- so once patton does get the fuel he needs, i think it is indicative of what does happen. patton is able to move forward kind of at will, at least until the battle of the bulge. >> looks like the british didn't know much about geography. the roads to go into holland where one lane, surrounded by dikes and things. in italy, there was one mountain
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range after another and we were still fighting two years after we invaded. mr. mills: yeah, the italy campaign was a fundamental -- disaster is such an ugly word, but it did not go the way folks had envisioned. italy was still being fought in 1945. it was not the soft underbelly that churchill kept thinking. looks cool on a map, but once you are confronted with these things called alps, things get harder. >> may be needed geography lessons. mr. mills: he was adamant. he had his ideas and wasn't going to be convinced. >> with what happened in notre dame this last week, i was wondering on the marshall plan, when they rebuild europe. i was watching the history channel and they were showing the salt mines where they found all of hitler's stash of what he stole.
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i was wondering how much america really paid to rebuild europe. mr. mills: long story short, the marshall plan -- first, too late to make this a short story. the long version is you got to understand that germany is a conquered country after world war ii. there was a move to punish germany. simplyn envisioned taking all of the industry away and making germany an agricultural nation. they figured out pretty quickly you just can't do that. rebuilding germany is fundamental to rebuilding all of europe. the marshall plan was nothing more or less than making all the nations in europe that wanted to participate, that needed loans to rebuild their countries, make them come up with plans. if we give you money, what are you going to do? rebuild roads, infrastructure, railroads. back when $1 billion was a lot of money, the entire marshall plan was simply for $13 billion
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spread over five years. it did a number of things. it gave the europeans the confidence that they were not being abandoned, that america was their ally. even for germany, we are a conqueror, but also a liberator. we are going to make sure germany is rebuilt, as well as the other nations in europe. the marshall plan -- the reason he wins the nobel peace prize is because there were folks starving, fundamentally starving, throughout europe, and the marshall plan gave people hope. it did more than anything to rebuild europe, if that answers your question, sir. >> i think we have time for this one last question. >> did the dynamic change when truman became president? mr. mills: truman becomes president in april of 1945, when most of the fighting was already over.
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instrumental in the peace process between germany and japan. as you well know, the decision to drop the atomic bomb on japan. so truman really inherited roosevelt's administration. war,ghout the rest of the he did whatever he believed roosevelt would have done. he had not really found his feet and he did not fundamentally start doing different things or breaking from what he thought roosevelt would do. ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming out. we will see you next time. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] announcer: sunday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on american artifacts, we are at the library of
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congress to learn about a muslim scholar from west africa. towas captured, shipped south carolina, and sold into slavery. he wrote the only known american slave narrative in arabic. the curators shows us his autobiography and several documents from the library's collection. >> people thought it was important enough to carry it on. there probably were others written by people who were enslaved, but this is the only manuscript in arabic written by a slave. announcer: watch american artifacts sunday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. announcer: this august will mark 45 years since president nixon resigned from office. this weekend on the presidency, jeff shepard, principal deputy to the president's lead defense attorney, makes the case for
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what he said was judicial and prosecutorial abuse in the watergate scandal. here is a preview. >> from the outset, there was a full court press by the department of justice -- not surprisingly -- to find out what the heck had been going on. it just got worse and worse. in the beginning, it was the career prosecutors, and that would have been ok. it is when the cover-up collapsed -- should have collapsed -- and we brought in highly partisan, specially recruited people to take the investigation in an entirely new direction. they postponed the indictments for 10 months and launched investigations into every aspect of the nixon presidency. that's where it went off the rails, but it is our fault in a bigger sense because of the cover-up. it made it much, much worse. announcer: watch the entire
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class this sunday at 8:00 p.m. at midnight eastern on the presidency. you are watching american history ,> next on the civil war university of cincinnati professor christopher phillips talked about the way tactics and ideologies from the western theater, such as guerrilla fighting, influenced other theaters in the civil war. this talk was part of a daylong conference hosted by the university of virginia center for civil war history. >> our final speaker of the day whor. christopher phillips, is a john and dorothy how many's professor of history at the university distinguished professor at the arts and humanities social sciences at the university of cincinnati. he's the author of seven books on the civil war era, including "the rivers ran


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