4-453 To General Dwight D. Eisenhower, July 14, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: July 14, 1944

Subject: World War II

To General Dwight D. Eisenhower

July 14, 1944 Radio No. WAR-65051 Washington, D.C.


Personal for Eisenhower from Marshall.

The release of the names of corps and division commanders has had a happy effect in the home press though you still have one corps commander secreted away, for what reason I don’t know.1

I think that you might to great advantage in the progress of your battle follow some such method as this:

Have Bradley turn in the name of a regimental or battalion commander or other leader every 2 or 3 days, and not once a year, who has displayed very aggressive leadership with his unit and send us his name and the designation of the unit and what they did. I think nine times out of ten no secrecy would be involved as the divisions have been largely identified, and I am certain the effect would be tremendous in having everyone in your forces realize that the publicity was not confined only to generals and that if you did a fine stunt you and your unit were mentioned. I assume that some of the opposers of this proposition would state that it will be hard to determine which unit without a board and that somebody else’s jealousy might be aroused. This carries no weight with me whatever.2

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-65051, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. For the chief of staff’s interest in publicity for commanders, see Marshall to Eisenhower, June 23, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-419 [4: 489-90].

2. “I long ago gave instructions that such a similar procedure was to be followed but it was my fault that I did not follow up to see that it was done,” replied Eisenhower on July 15. He suggested that rather than send stories to Washington for publication that they would have more effect if filed by correspondents in the field. Eisenhower replied he would discuss the matter again with Omar Bradley and the public relations officers. (Papers of DDE, 3: 2008-9.) General Marshall replied that Eisenhower’s proposal for release of stories there was correct. “My apparent proposal for release here was merely an error of careless or hurried dictation,” Marshall responded. “Bureau of Public Relations suggests, however, that total effect will be improved if after release in theater your Public Relations Officer sends expanded details to War Department by air courier for feature and magazine release, since limitations on wire space may keep correspondents from giving full play to action on which your release is based.” (Marshall to Eisenhower, Radio No. WAR-66121, July 16, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OPD, TS Message File (CM-OUT-66121)].)

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. 522-523.

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Holding ID: 4-453

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