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To Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower
September 28, 1942 Washington, D.C.
I am sending this by hand of General Clark who plans to leave tomorrow morning. I am going to a meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in a few minutes where we purpose clearing up the points raised by Clark which required final settlement. I hope nothing comes up to complicate matters.
He spoke to me about the promotions. There should be no difficulty about that, but I will not bring up the issue until TORCH is actually under way. Clark will tell you of my comments regarding Hartle. I am seriously concerned about this, the more so since I learnt of the drastic changes in officers that were necessary to prepare the combat team from the 34th Division.
I am wondering from your last note about Gerow, whose appointment I accept, whether or not there has been some difficulty about Lee.1 I hope not.
I can’t think of any other matters to bring up at this time except to tell you again to deal with me on the frankest possible basis. When you disagree with my point of view, say so, without an apologetic approach; when you want something that you aren’t getting, tell me and I will try to get it for you. I have complete confidence in your management of the affair, and want to support you in every way practicable.
With warm regard,
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Dwight D. Eisenhower Papers, Pre-Presidential, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas.
Document Format: Type letter signed.
1. In a letter to Marshall dated September 19, Eisenhower wrote that he intended to leave Britain for Gibraltar the day before the North African landings (i.e., November 7) and that he would leave behind a deputy and a staff to carry out the planned shipments and to make any plan changes necessary. He had “become doubtful as to the wisdom” of making Major General John C. H. Lee his deputy, as Lee’s job as head of the service forces in the European theater might suffer if he was saddled with further responsibilities. Eisenhower thus suggested as his deputy Major General Leonard T. Gerow, who was soon to arrive in Britain with his Twenty-ninth Division. “I am quite well aware that you do not fully share my very high opinion of General Gerow’s abilities. But I submit that his loyalty, sense of duty, and readiness to devote himself unreservedly to a task, are all outstanding. Moreover, he is a very close personal friend of mine and for that reason alone would strain every nerve to meet any requirements I might place upon him.”(Papers of DDE. 1: 566-67.) Eisenhower’s plans for Gerow were predicated upon the assumption that Major General Russell P. Hartle would command the Center (Oran) Task Force; see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-338 [3: 367-68].
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), pp. 368-369.