4-632 To General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, December 30, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: December 30, 1944

Subject: World War II

To General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower

December 30, 1944 [Radio No. W-84337.] Washington, D.C.

Top Secret

For Eisenhower’s eyes only from Marshall.

I am violating somewhat my own orders to the staff here in bringing up some question with you while you are in the turmoil of this German offensive. However, as you seem to be succeeding and my guess is that you will without much delay seize the offensive yourself, I feel free to make these comments:

They may or may not have brought to your attention articles in certain London papers proposing a British Deputy Commander for all your ground forces and implying that you have undertaken too much of a task yourself. My feeling is this: under no circumstances make any concessions of any kind whatsoever. You not only have our complete confidence but there would be a terrific resentment in this country following such action. I am not assuming that you had in mind such a concession. I just wish you to be certain of our attitude on this side. You are doing a grand job and go on and give them hell.1

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. On the British press’s criticism of Eisenhower and assertions that operational command should revert to Montgomery, and American press’s reaction to this, see Bryant, Triumph in the West, p. 280, and Papers of DDE, 4: 2391. Montgomery had been outspoken in his belief that Eisenhower’s overall strategy was flawed; for example, see his comments to Marshall on October 8 in editorial note #4-542 Papers of George Catlett Marshall [4: 624]. Montgomery considered the German Ardennes offensive proof of the correctness of his views. But he also knew the gist of Marshall’s message printed above and how “het up” Eisenhower was about the command issue, so he decided to “pipe down.” (Montgomery, Memoirs, pp. 282, 284, 286.) Eisenhower replied to Marshall on January 1: “You need have no fear as to my contemplating the establishment of a ground deputy.” (Papers of DDE, 4: 2390.)

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. 720-721.

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Holding ID: 4-632

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