Eisenhower 2 Essay, Research Paper
Dwight D. Eisenhower
What do you think of when you hear the name, Dwight D. Eisenhower? For most they think of him as just a president and nothing else, but he was also one of or maybe the greatest general of all time.
In 1909, Dwight D. Eisenhower graduated from Abilene High School, Abilene, Kansas. After he got out of high school, he got a invitation to enter West Point Military Academy. He did not want to be in the Army, but he learned that by attending West Point he could get a college education. In 1915 he graduated from West Point, and he was 61st in a class of 164, and he was 95th in deportment. Prior to graduated he was commissioned second lieutenant of infantry and he was assigned to the 19th Infantry, at Fort Sam Houston, near San Antonio, Texas. Shortly after his arrival, he met Mamie Geneva Doud, and later on July 1st of 1916, they got married.
In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, he was promoted to captain, and he was assigned to training duty at Fort Oglethorpe and also Fort Leavenworth as an instructor in officer courses. In 1918 he commanded 6,000 men at Tank Training Center at Camp Colt, near Getttysburg, Pennsylvania and was promoted to temporary major and then lieutenant colonel when he commanded the Tank Brigade at Camp Meade. Even though he never went overseas, he was given the Distinguished Service Medal for his work.
After the war he was reverted to rank of captain and soon after, he advanced to major and commanded the 301st Tank Battalion. In 1922 he was again reverted to rank of captain and was again promoted to major as the executive officer at Camp Gaillard, in the Panama Canal Zone till 1924. After he returned to the United States, he attended the Command and General Staff School, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He graduated 1st in class out of 275 in 1926. In 1928 he graduated from the Army War College and went on to serve in the Office of the Chief of Staff as aide to General Douglas MacArthur.
In 1933 Eisenhower was sent to the Philippine government as a military advisor under MacArthur. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1936 and served as the executive officer of the 15th Infantry at Fort Ord and later as the chief of staff of the 3rd Division prior to World War II.
World war II began in Europe in 1939. The Congress of the United States responded by ordering a military draft that began in 1940. On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the next day the United States entered World War II against the Axis Powers (Japan, Germany, and Italy). A week later, General George C. Marshall called Eisenhower to Washington DC and put him in charge of the War Plans Division. Opinions differed on how to fight the war. Eisenhower favored the strategy of “Germany first”, which meant that Germany would be concentrated on before Japan. President Roosevelt and army chief of staff George Marshall both supported him on this plan. Marshall liked it so much that he placed Eisenhower as the commander of the American forces in Europe and promoted him to major general.
In February 1943 Rommel counterattacked at Kasserine Passin Tunisia. This was Eisenhower s first real battle, and he did poorly. But he recovered, stopped Rommel, and went on the offensive. By early May, the Allies under his command had cleared the Germans out of Africa.
Following successes in Africa, and then in Sicily, and a successful landing on the Italian mainland, Eisenhower was put in command of Operation Overlord. Eisenhower introduced the plan of taking out the railway system using bombers. Eisenhower’s plan was implemented, and most of northern France was isolated from reinforcements. To achieve surprise, Eisenhower decided to attack south into Normandy rather than east toward Calais, where the German fortifications and troop concentrations were strongest. The Normandy invasion was a complete success, and the Allies advanced rapidly through France.
Eisenhower was named Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. He worked 20 hours a day. Eisenhower’s next challenge came at the Battle of the Bulge. Eisenhower’s generals were completely caught off guard by the weather-based offensive that the Germans initiated. Eisenhower, faced with generals who were at the point of desperation, saw the offensive as an opportunity to hit the Germans while they were outside their fortified territory. However, due to an unresponsive General Montgomery, while the Allied forces repelled the German offensive, most of the German attack force escaped.
On December 15, Eisenhower was promoted to the U.S. highest rank, general of the army. The next day Germany began its last offensive in the Ardennes region of Belgium. Finally, on May 7, 1945, the Germans surrendered unconditionally to Eisenhower. Eisenhower had won one of the greatest military victories in history, using the largest single force ever put together. Following the surrender, he remained in Germany to conduct the occupation of the American zone, where he taught about democratic practices and urged the formation of a democratic government.
In Dwight David Eisenhower s entire military career, he spent 33 hours on active duty, served in World Wars I and II, and the Korean War, and earning nine U.S. service medals as well as 55 foreign decorations. He went on to serve 2 presidencies and then went back as General of the Army in 1961. He died in Washington, D.C., on March 28th 1969, from a multiple heart attacks.