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Remarks at Yale University
February 16, 1944 New Haven, Connecticut
The award this afternoon of the Howland Memorial Prize to Field Marshal Sir John Dill of the British Army appeals to me as a happy augury for the immediate future. I say this because in my opinion the triumph over Germany in the coming months depends more on a complete accord between the British and American forces than it does on any other single factor, air power, ground power, or naval power. Therefore the recognition today of the contribution of Sir John Dill to such Allied harmony is both timely and prophetic.
Throughout the war we have known that the agents of the enemy have endeavored to stir up ill will and misunderstandings among the Allies. They had worked against our accord with Russia. These attempts were thwarted at the Moscow conference and buried at Teheran. But the Nazi propagandists will be ceaseless in their effort to create dissension between the great English-speaking peoples.
The harmful possibilities of such discord have been serious in the past and will continue to be so in the future because of the necessity in the European theater for combined operations, even involving on occasions the complete intermingling of troops, as is now the case in the Fifth Army in Italy. Under such circumstances the possibility that misunderstandings may develop into festering sores should be evident to all, not to mention the fatal effect on the power of our blows that would result from any lack of harmony in the command and staff direction of our combined efforts.
That we have been able to master these very human difficulties, that in fact we have triumphed over them to the disaster of the enemy, is in my opinion the greatest single Allied achievement of the war. So I am gratified, I am tremendously encouraged to see Yale University honor the man who, in my opinion, has made an outstanding, a unique personal contribution to the coordination of the Allied effort. Little of his great influence on the succession of momentous events in this war will be found of record by the students of history. Therefore it is the more gratifying to see his service to our common cause recognized today in the midst of the conflict.
I might add in conclusion my belief that the hope of a post-war concord which will give us peace and security for the future, will in a large measure depend on the contribution of men like Sir John Dill of whom there are very, very few—men free of prejudice, singleminded in the sincerity of their efforts to promote the unity of our two great nations.1
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Speeches, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed draft.
1. See the following document (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-257 [4: 305-6]).
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 304-305.