Eisenhower, Steven J. Zaloga

Eisenhower, Steven J. Zaloga

As commander-in-chief for the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy and the liberation of Europe, Eisenhower was the most important American general of the Second World War.

Most of the book (42 out of 64 pages) is devoted to Eisenhower's meteoric rise to senior rank and his performance as Allied commander-in-chief in North Africa and then in north-western Europe. The earlier parts of this long chapter are the best, looking at Eisenhower's career in 1942 where he went from being a junior staff officer, to the officer in charge of war planning, to Commanding General, European Theatre of Operations, and his time in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Here we look at Eisenhower's style of command and why he was so suited to command a coalition army. The section on the D-Day landings and its aftermath isn’t quite as strong, partly because there is more material to cover and so less time for analysis, but there is still material on the major controversies of this period, including the decision to take personal command of the armies, the narrow or broad thrust argument and Market Garden.

This is a good shorter biography of a key figure in the Second World War, and gives a good idea of why he was such a success as a coalition general.

The early years
The military life
The hour of destiny
Opposing commanders
Inside the mind
When war is done
A life in words
Further reading

Author: Steven J. Zaloga
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 64
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2011

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