WWII Scholar to Discuss Marshall and Roosevelt

Renowned author and scholar Nigel Hamilton will discuss the relationship between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and General George C. Marshall. His presentation “Marshall and the President, 1943” begins at 5:30 pm on May 11 in the Pogue Auditorium at the Marshall Foundation in Lexington.

Several times in 1943 command of the invasion of northern France was promised to General George Marshall, its architect and chief advocate. FDR gave the coveted command to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, assuring Ike, not Marshall, would win the highest battle honors of the war. Dr. Nigel Hamilton, who has been studying Franklin Roosevelt as U.S. commander in chief in WWII, offers a fresh perspective on one of the most debated promotions in history.

Nigel Hamilton is an award-winning Anglo-American historian and biographer, currently completing the third volume of his FDR at War trilogy. Dr. Hamilton is best known for Monty, his three-volume study of WWII field commander, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. Dr. Hamilton’s many books have been translated into 17 languages. He divides his time between Boston, where he is senior fellow in the McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts—Boston, and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Reservations for this event are required by calling Leigh McFaddin at 540-463-7103, ext. 138 or by email to reservations@marshallfoundation.org. Seating will be first come, first served. Members and students will be admitted free; non-members will pay $15 at the door.

Guests are invited to see the new exhibition, “Six Degrees of Marshall,” in the Lower Gallery that evening. The exhibition uses an infographic to connect Marshall to people and programs important to both world wars.
The individuals who led in World War II—Marshall, Patton, MacArthur, Churchill, Roosevelt, Truman, among others—were involved in World War I. Their direct involvement in the first war informed their leadership and the decisions they made in the second. Marshall evolved from a battle planner and logistics genius into a global military strategist drawing on the knowledge and experience of coalition warfare and fighting on a global scale. As chief of staff of the U.S. Army during World War II, he operated both at the head of the US military and behind the scenes, establishing his reputation as the “organizer of victory” and as an indispensable man of World War II.

The exhibition Six Degrees of Marshall not only maps out Marshall’s connections to individuals who shaped him but those he selected to lead during World War II. The exhibition also features artifacts on loan from the MacArthur Memorial, General George S. Patton’s engraved pistol from the Virginia Military Institute Museum, a D-Day map carried ashore by Gen. Leonard Gerow, and World War I artifacts from the Marshall Museum’s own collection.

This event is a part of the Marshall Legacy Series and is being presented with sponsorship from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The George C. Marshall Legacy Series interprets General Marshall’s legacy during a four-year series of exhibitions, speakers and programs centered on key themes or episodes from General Marshall’s career.