George Marshall and Hap Arnold

In 1938, Brig. Gen. George Marshall was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, and Lt. Col. Henry “Hap” Arnold was Assistant Chief of Air Corps. On the face, their jobs appear equal – both second in line – but the Army Air Corps was under the command of the Army, hence the difference in […]

Christmas 1941 at Camp Lee, Virginia

Christmas 1941 was two and one-half weeks after the shocking devastation of Pearl Harbor. The United States was at war, and for men and women already in uniform, the future was uncertain and scary. At Fort Lee, VA, soldiers posed for Army Signal Corps photos showing Christmas preparation as a morale-booster to be shared throughout […]

Marshall and the “Game of the Century”

George Marshall’s fondness for the all-American game of football is no secret. He successfully joined the Virginia Military Institute’s Keydet football team in 1900, playing as an offensive left tackle. In fact, his skills so were adept that he won a spot on the College Football All-Southern Team, an all-star team of college football players. […]

Back-to-Back-to-Back Conferences: Cairo to Tehran to Cairo

In November and December 1943, American and British leaders, including President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, met with Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek and Marshal of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin, but not at the same time. The first of these three conferences was in Cairo, Egypt, November 22-26 with Chiang, the only one […]

“I Don’t Believe It!!”

On November 5, 1943, about a dozen British and American military officers gathered around a large table for a meeting about the progress in and plans for the war. The men are cordial but serious as they discuss topics like the preliminary plans for the invasion of Europe. You’d think it was not a suitable […]

Robert Lovett: A Man of Character and Ability

The main library room at the George C. Marshall Foundation is called the “Lovett Reading Room,” and there is a large painting of Robert Lovett on display. This confuses some visitors who may not recognize Lovett, or know the long working relationship George Marshall and Lovett had.     Lovett was a World War I […]


Here at the Marshall Foundation Library, we hold a special fondness for canines.  General and Mrs. Marshall had many dogs over the years, most notably Fleet, the dalmatian.   Fleet was a bit of a runner, once escaping the Marshall’s home in D.C., and ended up getting a ride home from the military police! General […]

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion update

Last week, the Associated Press ran an article about the efforts to honor surviving members 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion with the Congressional Gold Medal. Legislation passed the Senate earlier this year, and a bill is currently waiting on a vote in the House. Information about finding and contacting your local representative can be found […]

D-Day +6

Gen. George C. Marshall and other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff left Washington, D.C., just after D-Day on June 8, 1944, traveling to the United Kingdom, to be absent about two weeks. In England, they met with the Combined Chiefs of Staff (the American Joint Chiefs and the British military chiefs) June 10 […]

The Urgent Necessity of Frequent Visits

“The big thing I learned in World War II was the urgent necessity of frequent visits … I was abreast of what was going on all over the place. I could sense their reactions and I could see how they felt urgently about this or that, which we at headquarters did not really feel so […]

How Far? All the Way!

Benjamin Franklin first envisioned airborne troops dropped by parachute from hot air balloons flying behind enemy lines in a 1784 letter, “And where is the Prince who can afford so to cover his Country with Troops for its Defense, as that Ten Thousand Men descending from the Clouds, might not in many Places do an […]

“Powder” in Pictures

George Marshall called him “Powder.” Powder ordered a warm winter coat for Gen. Marshall before traveling to Russia and found a birthday cake on Christmas Eve for Katherine to celebrate Field Marshal Dill’s birthday. He traveled to conferences in Paris, Casablanca, Yalta, Quebec, Algiers, and Potsdam, but he was not in any of the photos. […]

Oh, Fleet!

George Marshall loved dogs. He had several as a boy, and usually had one around as an adult. This is the story of Fleet the dalmatian, George Marshall’s dog at the beginning of World War II. Fleet was a gift from Secretary of State Edward Stettinius. Fleet was grandson of a champion; he learned to […]

Elizebeth Who?

She wrote the book on code breaking for the U.S. Army, and taught the first cryptography classes to soldiers in WWI. In three months, she decrypted two years of backlogged Coast Guard messages, using only a pencil and paper. She was the only woman employed by the Coast Guard at the time. She served as […]

The first wartime Christmas

The third week of December, 1941, a British delegation including Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff arrived in Washington, D.C. for ARCADIA, the first of several meetings in the nation’s capitol, and the last of several conferences attended by the British and American delegations that year. Gen. Marshall suggested to Katherine […]

“I Am Interested in the Soldier Having His Pants”

While a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, George Marshall studied military history and tactics, and was doubtless familiar with Napoleon Bonaparte’s ill-fated attack on Russia that ended with French soldiers freezing in the Russian winter. As a young officer in World War I, Capt. Marshall first met Gen. Pershing when he disputed Pershing’s scathing […]

Marshall on a fishing trip

Friends and Pranksters: Marshall and Brigadier General Adams

It is difficult to imagine Marshall as inhabiting anything but the no-nonsense, resolute persona of his professional life. This image is so pervasive that we are commonly asked if he ever smiled at all. The Marshall Foundation archives house documents and photos that reveal the General’s personal life, including his lighter side.  In a 1957 interview with Marshall biographer Forrest C. Pogue, Brigadier General […]

Gratitude and Turkey

When Lt. Col. George Marshall served in World War I, he gained a personal knowledge how hard it is to be separated from loved ones for the holidays. In France 1917, soldiers enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast much like they were used to at home: This must have left quite an impression on Marshall, for in […]

Not Retirement At All

Gen. George Marshall served as Army Chief of Staff from September 1939 to November 1945, longer than the ordinary four-year term. As World War II ended, so did Marshall’s service. Thanksgiving weekend of 1945, Marshall took a much-needed break and went pheasant hunting in North Dakota with friend and co-worker Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold. It […]

No more let us falter! From Malta to Yalta!

“No more let us falter! From Malta to Yalta!” telegraphed Prime Minister Winston Churchill to President Roosevelt on New Year’s Day, 1945. The Yalta Conference, set for February 4 through 11, was going to decide the fate of Postwar Europe. But first, the British and American delegations were meeting at Montgomery House on the Mediterranean […]

Breaking “Purple” in William Friedman’s own words

In late 1938, a decoded Japanese message indicated that in February 1939, the current “A” encryption would no longer be used, but would switch to the new “B” encryption. Japanese diplomatic messages had been decoded and read from the “A” encryption for several years, so the switch was at first worrisome, and then problematic, for […]

Three WACs from Virginia

In the blog about the 6888th Central Postal Delivery Battalion, it was noted that the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was not intended to serve overseas. It’s not that the women couldn’t serve overseas, but the women serving in the WAAC were not given the same securities as soldiers. They weren’t protected by the Geneva Convention, […]

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

The 64th anniversary of the dedication of the Colleville-sur-Mer Normandy American Cemetery was commemorated July 18. Among the thousands of graves, there are four American women buried there – three from the same battalion: the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion. The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion consisted of 850 officers and enlisted in four companies, […]

D-Day for Staff Sgt. Richard H. Hobbs

My father, Richard H. Hobbs, joined the Washington, D.C. National Guard as a military policeman in 1938, when he was 21. When the 29th Infantry Division (the same National Guard Division in Virginia today) was federalized in February 1941, he was sent to Fort Meade and trained to drive a 2.5 ton GMC truck. In […]

Seeing Stars

There’s an issue with this photo. Do you see it? Hint: Look at their uniform collars. “Uniform” means everything should be worn the same, which isn’t happening in this photo. Most generals wear stars on both collar points. Sometimes, Gen. Marshall wore his stars on the right, as above, but sometimes on the left. I […]

Victory in Europe

“The mission of this Allied force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945,” Gen. Eisenhower to the Combined Chiefs of Staff and British Chiefs of Staff from S.H.A.E.F. headquarters in Reims. (Papers of DDE, 4:  2696.) Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, accepted the unconditional surrender of German forces on May 7. […]

Marshall and the Knutsford Affair

This is a previously published blog. General George S. Patton’s comments at the opening of a British Welcome Club for American soldiers in Knutsford, England, are one of many well-known and controversial episodes from Patton’s army career. U.S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall’s response to Patton’s comments are less well known. They serve […]

Cooking with World War II Rations – What I Learned

Cooking with World War II ration recipes – Main dish Many of us are cooking from what we have in the pantry as we endeavor to keep trips to the grocery and other stores to a minimum. My ingredients are somewhat limited, and it occurred to me that my grandmother faced similar limitations during World […]

Remembering Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, the USS Oklahoma was moored at Ford Island, in Pearl Harbor. Japanese aircraft dropped numerous torpedoes that caused the ship to explode and capsize during the surprise attack. According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, “when the ensuing chaos subsided enough to allow an accurate headcount of the ship’s personnel, a […]

Marshall and Dill

The relationship between General George C. Marshall and Field Marshal Sir John G. Dill has been considered one of the most critically important personal relationships to the success of the Allies during World War II. Although Dill was a British Army officer, his ability to disagree with Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s opinions, to talk with […]

“How Churchill and Marshall Waged War”

On Tuesday evening, Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, England, concluded the “Friends” in High Places sequence of the Marshall Legacy Series with his captivating lecture “How Churchill and Marshall Waged War.” His lecture can be seen below, or on the foundation’s YouTube channel. Packwood’s lecture drew […]

Marshall and the Why We Fight films

This blog was originally published on November 28, 2014. On May 27, 1942, the first of seven documentary films, Prelude to War, was released. This documentary series, Why We Fight, was commissioned by the United States Army. In a letter to President Roosevelt, General Marshall states the films would “replace the series of lectures given […]

Marshall and the Recall of Stilwell

Lt. Col. George C. Marshall served as executive officer of the 15th Regiment in Tientsin, an area in northern China, from 1924 and 1927. During that time, he met Joseph Stilwell who was a battalion commander with the 15th Regiment and would later become one of “Marshall’s Men” as an instructor at Fort Benning, Georgia. […]

“The Two Georges: Marshall and Patton”

Last evening Christopher Kolakowski, Director of the MacArthur Memorial, delivered an insightful lecture that examined George C. Marshall’s long and eventful relationship with George S. Patton, Jr. Kolakowski, who served as the Director of the General George Patton Museum of Leadership prior to coming to the MacArthur Memorial, cited many examples of how Marshall directly […]

Marshall and His Extension as Chief of Staff

August 31, 1943, was the last day of General George C. Marshall’s 4-year appointment as chief of staff of the U.S. Army. On the day he had been sworn into office, September 1, 1939, Germany had invaded Poland, marking the start of World War II in Europe. A little more than half way through Marshall’s […]

Marshall and “Pa” Watson

Seventy-eight years ago this week, Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Senior Military Aide, Major General Edwin M. “Pa” Watson. Watson, who was born in Alabama and raised in Martinsville, Virginia, graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1908. After he completed tours of duty in […]

The Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid

This month, August 19th, sees the 76th anniversary of the (overwhelmingly) British-Canadian raid on the French port of Dieppe. This assault on the French town also featured small contingents of French, Czech and Polish troops as well as some 50 U.S. Army Rangers. Although a tactical defeat for the Allies, in strategic terms, it was […]

Marshall and the Office of War Information

On June 13, 1942 Executive Order 9182 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the United States Office of War Information (OWI). The OWI was seen as the connection between the battlefront and civilians back home. Its purpose was to centralize the various information services of the U.S. government. The OWI not only created a single […]

Marshall and W.A.C. Recruitment

On this day in 1944, a confidential memorandum from General George C. Marshall was distributed to all War Department General Staff and Special Staff divisions, overseas commanders, Army Ground Forces down to tactical units, as well as Army Air Forces, Army Service Forces, and Defense Commands down to posts, camps, and stations. The constantly increasing […]

Marshall and Oveta Culp Hobby

This blog was originally posted on May 15, 2015. Oveta Culp Hobby learned about service to community and government from her family. She watched her mother collect food and clothing for the poor and was often sent to deliver baskets of goods to neighbors. From her father she acquired a love of the law and […]

Marshall and The Tehran Conference

The Tehran Conference, codenamed EUREKA and held November 28-December 1, 1943, was a top-secret meeting of the “Big Three”- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin. This was the first time the three met to negotiate military and diplomatic solutions to the war. Negotiations concerned the unconditional […]

George C. Marshall: Soldier of Peace

On Wednesday evening Dr. Mark A. Stoler, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Vermont and editor of volumes 6 and 7 of The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, delivered the final lecture of The World Wars sequence in which he presented George C. Marshall’s numerous contributions to the army, the United States, and […]

Marshall and the Invasion of Poland

September 1, 2017 marks the anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, the act responsible for starting World War II. That same day in 1939, George C. Marshall became the chief of staff of the United States Army; a position he would hold for the duration of the war and which earned him the accolade “Organizer […]

Marshall and the Quebec Conference

The first Quebec Conference (code-named QUADRANT) which occurred August 14-24, 1943, was the third crucial Anglo-American conference in seven months. As at Casablanca in January and Washington in May (code-named TRIDENT), the chief difficulty was the strength of Allied commitment to the cross-Channel invasion and the consequent allocation of resources between the invasion of France […]

Marshall and the Atlantic Conference

On the evening of July 30, 1941, General George C. Marshall, chief of staff of the United States Army, was suddenly called to the White House. When Marshall arrived, he was directed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to prepare, in secrecy, for a meeting at sea with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his military […]

Marshall and His Generals

Noted scholar and author Dr. Steve Taaffe discussed last week the criteria General Marshall used to select Army combat commanders who led Allied forces in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. His lecture, “Marshall and His Generals,” can be seen below, or on our YouTube channel. It was a part of the Marshall […]

Marshall and D-Day

During the June 17 Legacy Series presentation of “General Marshall and Private Martin: Two Perspectives on D-Day,” LTC Bradley Coleman focused on General Marshall’s keen interest in using airborne forces to open a second front behind enemy lines as part of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Although Marshall’s plans were never implemented, […]

Marshall and the Knutsford Affair

General George S. Patton’s comments at the opening of a British Welcome Club for American soldiers in Knutsford, England, are one of many well-known and controversial episodes from Patton’s army career. U.S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall’s response to Patton’s comments are less well known. They serve as an example of his leadership. […]

Marshall, Frank Capra, and Film

On May 27, 1942, the first of seven documentary films, Prelude to War, was released. This documentary series, Why We Fight, was commissioned by the United States Army. In a letter to President Roosevelt, General Marshall states the films would “replace the series of lectures given newly inducted soldiers as to why we are in the […]

Marshall & the Enigma Machine

Next week the movie Imitation Game will be released. British mathematician, logician and cryptanalyst Alan Turing was a key figure in cracking the code used by Nazi Germany that helped the Allies win World War II. The British-American movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch, as Turing and Keira Knightley, as Joan Clarke, Turing’s fiancé and fellow code […]