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Memorandum for the President1
March 6, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
I now consider it timely to recommend the advancement of Major Generals Patton and Spaatz to the grade of lieutenant general.2 General Patton is now in command of our II Corps in Tunisia, having replaced General Fredendall, and it is for this reason that the latter’s name is not included.3 General Spaatz has the overall air command which was a major factor in turning back Rommel’s recent thrust. Both officers have been handicapped for some time by lack of suitable rank, but recommendations have been withheld for the considerations which were explained at the time General Eisenhower’s nomination was submitted.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. This document was written by Marshall but signed by Secretary of War Stimson.
2. For previous consideration of these promotions, see Marshall Memorandum for the President, February 9, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-507 [3: 539-40].
3. On March 4 Marshall asked Eisenhower if the recent fighting around Kasserine Pass had influenced his opinion regarding Major General Lloyd R. Fredendall’s promotion. Eisenhower replied on March 4, that while Fredendall was “a good fighter, energetic and self-confident,” he had demonstrated some weaknesses; the following day Eisenhower notified the War Department that Patton had replaced Fredendall. (The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, ed. Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., et al. [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1970- ], 2: 1007.) George S. Patton, Jr., and Carl Spaatz were promoted to lieutenant general on March 12. Fredendall returned to the United States; on June 1 he took command of Second Army and was promoted to lieutenant general.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 580.