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To Major General Willis D. Crittenberger1
May 4, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
The review of the Second Armored Division for Field Marshal Sir John Dill and me was a most impressive affair. The mere fact that the entire division, less a few trucks passed the reviewing point in less than 25 minutes was definite evidence of the efficiency of the organization.2
I was sorry that we could not see some of your training and particularly some of your firing. However, short as our time was, we carried away a very definite impression of high efficiency and morale. All you need now is a German objective to prove the outstanding efficiency of the American soldier, given a reasonable period of preparation—which your division has had.3
With my thanks and congratulations,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Crittenberger (U.S.M.A., 1913) had been commanding general of the Second Armored Division since August 8, 1941.
2. Marshall had ordered that armored units be massed and pass in review quickly in front of Dill. The chief of staff declared that he wanted no “elaborate salutes” or “motorcycles that fill my face full of dust.” He wanted to give Dill a close look at the American soldier—”the human end of the thing.” (Telephone Conversation between General Marshall and General Leven C. Allen, April 29, 1942, NA/ RG 165 [OCS, SGS, Telephone Conversations File].) On Dill’s trip, see Marshall to Pershing, April 29, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-171 [3: 176-77].
3. Marshall sent a similar letter to Major General Lloyd R. Fredendall, commanding general of the Second Army Corps, Jacksonville, Florida. (Marshall to Fredendall, May 5, 1942, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
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. 180-181.