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Eisenhower (Command)

Eisenhower (Command) [Kindle Edition]

Steven J Zaloga
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Dwight Eisenhower represented a fundamentally new type of modern military commander. Eisenhower was a manager commander, whose grasp of the politics and large-scale tactics of battle were uniquely suited to leading the huge coalition of forces that fought in Europe during the Second World War. Educated at West Point, Eisenhower rose to his position as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force through a series of powerful contacts and his natural aptitude for leadership and large scale tactical planning. This book analyses how Eisenhower’s tactics and political astuteness helped him successfully lead the invasion of Europe, how he coaxed contradictory parties into supporting his policies and how he triumphed in his now infamous clash with Montgomery. Uniquely, the author goes on to describe how Eisenhower’s military influence continued when he became President, as his leadership and vision were tested by the outbreak of the Cold War.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 13044 KB
  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (20 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #198,191 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of a commander 30 Jan 2013
Eisenhower: Osprey Command Series 18

This book is in the Osprey series `Command' and in 64 pages provides a brief description of Eisenhower's life, most particularly his role as Supreme Allied Commander in WWII. His formative years and those after the war, including his US Presidency are also described of course. As with other Osprey books, it's very well illustrated, including maps of his campaigns in the Mediterranean and Western Europe, as the Allies closed in on Germany. The book is well written and appears very well balanced in treating the matter of his relationships with difficult individuals such as Patton, Clark, Montgomery, Leigh-Mallory & Churchill.

Eisenhower himself comes across as a very measured & well balanced individual with no signs of an obstructive ego. He achieved his seniority without ever taking part in a battle or controlling one at a tactical level. His role as Supreme Allied Commander has been described as more like a chairman of a board than a hands-on soldier. A primary aim of his was to ensure a harmonious relationship between the American & their British allies and this is clear from his even handed dealings with Montgomery, Patton & Bradley.

He had a number of key mentors throughout his career, latterly & perhaps most importantly George C Marshall, who elevated him to his highest appointments and with whom he shared a deep mutual trust and respect. After the war he was approached by both the Democratic and Republican parties to stand as US President despite not having had a formal Political track record. This as much as anything I think, indicates his ability as a manager, diplomat and a statesman.

For those wishing to read more about Eisenhower there is a useful chapter and bibliography at the end of the book. A great little read; five stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative introduction to an enigmatic commander 1 Sep 2011
By Jonathan Lupton - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This title, like others in Osprey's Leadership-Strategy-Conflict series, makes no pretense of being an in-depth biographical study. It is instead an introduction to Dwight Eisenhower, offering more depth than a Wikipedia article, but a quicker, easier read than a full-length biography. Zaloga's narrative mastery makes this title a pleasant, informative, and engaging read.

Eisenhower's personality was an enigma. Some contemporaries thought they perceived a mediocrity, but they were overlooking his best qualities. A better-than-average listener, Eisenhower built loyalty among subordinates, and trust with superiors. His sometimes quiet, often smiling demeanor masked a first-rate intelligence, relentless personal drive, and astuteness in handling personalities. He did not need to be a colorful combat commander. Ike was running a different kind of war, serving more as a CEO than a front-line general. He willingly delegated authority to leaders like Patton, Bradley, and even - to some extent - Montgomery, allowing them to put their own personalities and command style onto their armies and army groups.

Zaloga points out astutely that Ike's Midwestern upbringing left him free of the anti-British bias then common among certain members of America's East Coast elite. His less biased outlook helped with balancing the complex alliance's needs. Much the nostalgia many Brits and Americans feel for shared war experience probably owes something to Eisenhower's fairness and astute diplomacy.

Zaloga demonstrates the subtle wisdom of Eisenhower's more controversial decisions. Ike ordered Bradley to liberate Paris despite plans to by-pass the city with its 4 million hungry inhabitants. What this decision lacked in military logic it more than made up in politics and symbolism. Images of liberation helped strengthen the "good war" image, mitigating the trauma of a costly summer stalemate in Normandy hedgerows, which had depressed morale among soldiers as well as on the home front. Eisenhower's 'broad front' strategy after D-Day prevented Allied forces from presenting the Germans with a point of concentration against which to counter-attack. It also kept the Germans guessing the main axis of Allied advance.

The author concludes with a brief and informative sketch of a few of Eisenhower's German opponents, with a particular emphasis on his smiling German counterpart Kesselring, whose generalship did so much to slow the Allies in their costly slog up the Italian boot. The title concludes with a brief account of Eisenhower's presidency, and a summary of useful sources for further research. All in all, this is a fine short biography, amply illustrated with informative photo captions, some good art work, and useful maps. Eisenhower was consistently under-estimated and under-appreciated. His best qualities, like balanced judgment, deep-down integrity, fairness, and willingness to entertain new ideas, are virtues too rarely found in leaders, across the span of history and unto the present day.
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