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Memorandum for the Secretary of War
May 3, 1941 Washington, D.C.
Subject: Commander for the Third Army.
General Brees, the present commander of the Third Army, goes on leave preparatory to retirement, on May 15th. He retires June 30th, but I desired his earlier departure in order that the new Army Commander would be in charge throughout the approaching period of the Corps and Army Maneuvers. The senior army corps commander of that region is permanent Major General Walter Krueger. I wish to place him in command of that Army on May 15th.
General Krueger is a few weeks my junior in years, and was my senior in rank. He has been one of the intellectuals of the Army; is a very hard worker; is of the German type; won his commission from the ranks in the Philippines in 1901. Krueger was head of the War Plans Division when made a brigadier general in 1936. Later on he was commander of the second triangular division at San Antonio, and of one of the improvised army corps in the maneuvers of last May in Louisiana.
General Brees considers General Krueger the proper successor for him, and as it was desirable in the development of the plans for the major maneuvers in June, July and August, I permitted Brees to tell Krueger that I had in mind proposing him for the command. If Krueger is passed over, I am inclined to think his efficiency as a corps commander would be affected.
I attach a confidential letter of mine to Krueger regarding his personal traits as a leader, and his acknowledgment.1
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. See Marshall to Krueger, April 14, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-421 [2: 473-74]. In a handwritten postscript, Marshall noted: “The approval of the President is not necessary.” Secretary Stimson returned the memorandum to Marshall with his approval.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 492-493.