American Military Leaders
The fighting of the First World War (WWI) started during 1914 and ended on 1918. The Second World War (WWII) started a lot later in 1939 and ended in 1945. These are the biggest military conflicts in the history of humankind. In both wars, military alliances formed by groups of countries were involved. The First World War (World War I, the War to End All Wars, the Great War) mainly occurred in Europe. The fighting nations were categorized in two groups, 'The Allied Powers' and 'The Central Powers'. Germany, Turkey, Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary were in the Central Powers group[footnoteRef:1]. The Allied Powers group consisted of Britain, Italy, France, Japan, Russia and the U.S., which joined in 1917. In The Second World War (World War II), the warring groups were called 'The Allies' and 'The Axis'. Germany, Japan and Italy made up The Axis. The U.S., China, France, the Soviet Union and Britain, made up The Allies. The Second World War was very heinous due to the mass killings of Jewish by the Nazis. Numerous military leaders from America were involved in both wars. [1: World War i Vs. World War Ii]
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower led the huge invasion into parts of Europe that were mainly occupied by Nazis, starting from D-Day (June 6, 1944) as the supreme commander of the Allied forces in Western Europe. He was convinced to run for president by the leading Republicans in 1952. He was the commander of the NATO forces in Europe at the time. He ran and won over Adlai Stevenson, a Democrat, and was supposed to serve in the White House for two terms (1953-1961). Before Eisenhower could go to Europe, however, World War I came to an end, causing him a lot of frustration. He was soon appointed to the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas[footnoteRef:2]. He graduated first in his class of 254 and became the military aide to the commander of U.S. forces during the First World War, General John J. Pershing. He later served the U.S. Army chief of staff, General Douglas MacArthur for seven years in which his station was in the Philippines between 1935 and 1939. [2: Dwight D. Eisenhower]
Soon after Nazi Germany invaded Poland, causing the beginning of World War II, Eisenhower went back to Europe. He was promoted to brigadier general in September 1941 and was given his first general's star. He was later called to be a planning officer in Washington D.C. by George C. Marshall, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General, in December after Japan's attack in Pearl Harbor. As from November 1942, Eisenhower led the Allied invasion of North Africa known as Operation Torch, which was successful. He also directed the fall of Rome in June 1944 through an amphibious invasion of Sicily as well as the Italy mainland in the year 1943. Having been made a general early in 1943, Eisenhower was promoted in December the same year to become supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. He was tasked with leading the Allied invasion of parts of Europe occupied by the Nazi as planned. On June 6, 1944 (D-Day), the English Channel was crossed by more than 150,000 Allied forces that attacked and occupied the Normandy beaches; as a result of the invasion, Paris was liberated on August 25 and the tide of the war was turned in the Allied direction. Eisenhower returned home in 1945 and was given a hero's welcome, having risen to a supreme commander of the forces that had won the war in Europe from the position of lieutenant colonel in the Philippines in only five years. He then served the U.S. Army as the chief of staff.
Commanding the American occupation forces in western Germany, Eisenhower was based in Europe through 1945. He supported new democratic practices which had not been practised in the German system before such as encouraging school teachers to teach conflicting points-of-view and welcoming criticism from news reporters. He was chief of staff of the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1948. This was a tough time for him since he had to be in charge of demobilization, a process which reduced the army from 8 million soldiers to less than one million. In 1948, he retired as a five-star general after which he wrote his collection of memories, Crusade in Europe. Eisenhower was extremely popular because of his open and friendly personality as well as what he had done in the army. He was so popular that both political parties considered nominating him to run for presidency in 1948[footnoteRef:3]. He declined their offers, stating that someone who has been a lifetime soldier should not get involved in politics. Instead,...
After the war, East Germany and many other Eastern Europe countries were occupied by the Soviets. They forced these nations to accept communist governments and appeared to be a threat to Western Europe. Canada, the U.S. and ten nations from Europe responded by creating a defence alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Eisenhower was appointed to command the NATO forces by President Harry S. Truman in 1950. His responsibility would be building a NATO army strong enough to stop the Communists from advancing into Western Europe. His success was limited due to a couple of reasons: first, the Europeans could not raise new armies because they were still recovering from the war's destruction; secondly, the American troops had diverted to assist South Korea after invasion by Communist North Korea in June 1950, igniting the Korean War. These actions prove that Eisenhower represented the American culture. On whether he was a Christian role model, I think he was not because his affiliation to the Christian faith has not been mentioned. He stood firm with the values of an American leader and a military commander. [3: Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), American Military Leader and 34th President of the United States (1953-1961)]
In 1903, MacArthur graduated from West Point's U.S. Military Academy, being at the top of his class. Prior to World War I, he was a junior officer stationed around the U.S. and in the Philippines. He served his father as an aide in the Far East and took part in America's occupation of Veracruz, Mexico, which took place in 1914. When the United States joined the First World War in 1917, MacArthur assisted in leading the 42nd "Rainbow" Division situated in France and earned a promotion to become brigadier general. He served as West Point's superintendant from 1919 to 1922 and instituted a number of reforms with the intention of modernizing the school. He then wedded Louise Cromwell Brooks, a socialite, in 1922 (c. 1890-1965). In 1929, the two divorced and MacArthur got married to Jean Faircloth in 1937 (1898-2000). The following year, they got a child who was named Arthur MacArthur IV[footnoteRef:4]. He was appointed chief of staff of the Army by President Herbert Hoover in 1930 and given the general's rank. In his new position, MacArthur instructed Army troops go to Washington, D.C, and remove the employed veterans from the First World War; they were called the Bonus Army in 1932. This incident caused MacArthur and the army a public relations disaster. He finished his term as chief of staff in 1935 and was given a task to develop the Philippines, a nation that had become a United States commonwealth that year (and became independent in 1946), an armed force. In 1937, McArthur learned that he was supposed to return to the United States for duty and resigned from the military, stating that he had not finished his mission. He continued staying in the Philippines and served President Manuel Quezon (1878-1944), who had named McArthur field marshal of the Philippines, as a civilian adviser. [4: Douglas MacArthur]
Douglas MacArthur was recalled to resume active duty in 1941 after Japan's expansionism posed a bigger threat. He was put in charge of the U.S. Army forces that were in the Far East. On December 8, 1941, the Japanese attacked by surprise and destroyed his air force, after which they invaded the Philippines. MacArthur's forces were forced to retreat to Bataan Peninsula, where they struggled for survival. In March 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) ordered MacArthur to flee Corregidor Island with his family and staff members. They used PT boats to escape to Australia. After a short while, MacArthur promised that he would return. In May 1942, the combined U.S. and Philippine forces were defeated by Japan. In April 1942, MacArthur was named the Allied forces' supreme commander that were located within the Southwest Pacific in April 1942. He was also awarded the Medal of Honor for defending the Philippines. He commanded an island-hopping campaign for the following two years and a half in the Pacific before he famously returned to set the Philippines free in October 1944. He waded on the shore at…
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