Allied General Staff: the Americans

The Allied General Staff. The Americans: General Bradley, General Eisenhower and General Patton.

 

General Bradley

Omar Nelson BradleyOmar Nelson Bradley
(12th February 1893 - 8th April 1981)

Graduate of West Point Military Academy in 1915, Omar Bradley became instructor and Commander of the military academy.

In 1943, he was Eisenhower’s aide-de-camp, participating in the victory over the Afrika-Korps in Tunisia. After this, he landed in Sicily under the command of George Patton. 

Bradley commanded the first U.S. army to land in Normandy in 1944.

During the Battle of Normandy he conducted the great offensive, code named Operation Cobra, which ended the Battle of Normandy on 21st August 1944.  

Afterwards he was in Germany, commanding an ensemble of U.S. armies. He was one of the great American military leaders of the Second World War, together with Eisenhower, to whom he was a loyal subordinate.

 

Dwight David EisenhowerGeneral Eisenhower

Dwight David Eisenhower

(14th October 1890 - 28th March 1969)

Eisenhower graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1915. He became instructor, teaching innovative strategic and tactical concepts of warfare. He was noted by General MacArthur who employed him as adviser and together they formed the plan for the defence of the Philippines. 

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, General George Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army, chose him to "determine the general line of action". Eisenhower convinced Marshall of the need for strong military action in Europe.  

In April 1942, the Allied General Staffs accepted the idea of landings in the European theatre.  

On the advice of Marshall, President Roosevelt conferred upon Eisenhower command of all the Allied forces to be landed on the French coast. Before this operation was launched however, it was decided to first conduct Operation Torch: the landings in North Africa, which began on 8th November 1942. These first landings were successful and proved rich in information for Eisenhower.  

After this, he commanded the Sicily landings in July 1943, which augured well for those in Normandy.  

At the end of 1943, Eisenhower was in London to become head the SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) and plan for Operation Overlord.  

On 5th June 1944, while the storm which had delayed the operation’s start continued to blow, Eisenhower took the decision to launch the operation on the night of 5th to 6th June 1944. This choice paid off as the Germans, reassured by the unfavourable weather had relaxed their vigilance.

As head of Inter-Allied command during the Battle of Normandy , he had to show great tact to reconcile American, British and French interests.  

He notably authorised the General Leclerc’s 2nd DB to enter Paris in August 1944. 

 

General Patton

Général PattonGeorge Smith Patton

(11th November 1885 - 21st December 1944)

Field officer and great specialist in armoured warfare, Patton won his first victory over the Germans in North Africa. At the end of July 1944, he commanded the US 3rd Army, leading Operation Cobra and the breakthrough from the south of the Cotentin toward Brittany. The Americans effected a bypass movement in the direction of Paris and surrounded the Germans in the Falaise Pocket. He well knew the bocage in Normandy, where he had visited between the wars; he had even written a thesis on the tactics to use in warfare in this type of area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the contribution of Remy Desquesnes                                                                       

Historian