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"General of the Army
George Marshall
""General George C. Marshall, official military photo, 1946.JPEG
3rd "United States Secretary of Defense
In office
September 21, 1950 – September 12, 1951[1]
President "Harry S. Truman
Preceded by "Louis A. Johnson
Succeeded by "Robert A. Lovett
"50th "United States Secretary of State
In office
January 21, 1947 – January 20, 1949
President "Harry S. Truman
Preceded by "James F. Byrnes
Succeeded by "Dean G. Acheson
United States Special Envoy to "China
In office
December 15, 1945 – January 1947
President "Harry S. Truman
15th "United States Army Chief of Staff
In office
September 1, 1939 – November 18, 1945
President "Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Harry S. Truman
Preceded by "Malin Craig
Succeeded by "Dwight D. Eisenhower
10th President of the "American Red Cross
In office
October 1, 1949 – December 1, 1950
President "Harry S. Truman
Preceded by "Basil O'Connor
Succeeded by "E. Roland Harriman
Personal details
Born George Catlett Marshall, Jr.
(1880-12-31)December 31, 1880
"Uniontown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died October 16, 1959(1959-10-16) (aged 78)
"Walter Reed Hospital
"Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party "Nonpartisan[2]
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Carter Coles
(m. 1902; her death 1927)

Katherine Boyce Tupper Brown
(m. 1930; his death 1959)
"Alma mater "Virginia Military Institute
Religion "Episcopalian[3]
Awards "Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
"Silver Star
"Nobel Peace Prize
"Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)
"Legion of Honour (France)
"World War I Victory Medal
"World War II Victory Medal
"Croix de Guerre (France)
"Congressional Gold Medal
Signature ""
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  "United States Army
Years of service 1902–1959[4]
Rank ""US Army O11 shoulderboard rotated.svg "General of the Army
Unit ""USA - Army Infantry Insignia.png "Infantry Branch
Commands ""Flag of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army.svg "Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
5th Brigade, "3rd Infantry Division
"Fort Moultrie and District I, "Civilian Conservation Corps
"8th Infantry Regiment
"15th Infantry Regiment

"Philippine–American War
"World War I

"World War II
"Chinese Civil War

"Korean War

College football career
Position "Tackle
Career history
College "VMI (1900)
Career highlights and awards

George Catlett Marshall, Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American statesman and soldier. He was "Chief of Staff of the United States Army under presidents "Franklin D. Roosevelt and "Harry S. Truman, and served as "Secretary of State and "Secretary of Defense under Truman. He was hailed as the "organizer of victory" by "Winston Churchill for his leadership of the "Allied victory in "World War II.[5]

Born in "Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Marshall was a 1901 graduate of the "Virginia Military Institute. After serving briefly as commandant of students at the Danville Military Academy in "Danville, Virginia, Marshall received his commission as a second lieutenant of Infantry in February, 1902. In the years after the "Spanish–American War, he served in the United States and overseas in positions of increasing rank and responsibility, including platoon leader and company commander in the Philippines during the "Philippine–American War. He was the Honor Graduate of his Infantry-Cavalry School Course in 1907, and graduated first in his 1908 "Army Staff College class.

In 1916 Marshall was assigned as "aide-de-camp to "J. Franklin Bell, the commander of the Western Department. After the United States entered "World War I, Marshall served with Bell while Bell commanded the Department of the East. He was assigned to the staff of the "1st Division, and assisted with the organization's mobilization and training in the United States, as well as planning of its combat operations in France. Subsequently assigned to the staff of the "American Expeditionary Forces headquarters, he was a key planner of American operations including the "Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

After the war, Marshall was assigned as an "aide-de-camp to "John J. Pershing, who was then serving as the Army's Chief of Staff. He later served on the Army staff, commanded the "15th Infantry Regiment in China, and was an instructor at the "Army War College. In 1927, he became assistant commandant of the Army's "Infantry School, where he modernized command and staff processes, which proved to be of major benefit during "World War II. In 1932 and 1933 he commanded the "8th Infantry Regiment and "Fort Screven, "Georgia.

Marshall commanded 5th Brigade, "3rd Infantry Division and "Vancouver Barracks from 1936 to 1938, and received promotion to "brigadier general. During this command, Marshall was also responsible for 35 "Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Oregon and southern Washington. In July 1938, Marshall was assigned to the War Plans Division on the War Department staff, and he was subsequently appointed as the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff. When Chief of Staff "Malin Craig retired in 1939, Marshall became acting Chief of Staff, and then Chief of Staff. He served as Chief of Staff until the end of the war in 1945.

As Chief of Staff, Marshall organized the largest military expansion in U.S. history, and received promotion to "five-star rank as "General of the Army. Marshall coordinated Allied operations in Europe and the Pacific until the end of the war; in addition to being hailed as the organizer of Allied victory by "Winston Churchill, "Time magazine named Marshall its "Man of the Year for 1943. Marshall retired from active service in 1945, but remained on active duty, a requirement for holders of five-star rank.[6] In late 1945 and early 1946 he served as a special envoy to China in an unsuccessful effort to negotiate a coalition government between the "Nationalist of "Chiang Kai-shek and "Communists under "Mao Zedong.

As "Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949, Marshall received credit for the "Marshall Plan for Europe's post-war rebuilding, the success of which was recognized with award of the 1953 "Nobel Peace Prize.[7] After resigning as Secretary of State, Marshall served as chairman of "American Battle Monuments Commission[8] and president of the "American National Red Cross.

As "Secretary of Defense at the start of the "Korean War, Marshall worked to restore the military's confidence and morale at the end of its post-World War II demobilization and then its initial buildup for combat in Korea and operations during the "Cold War.

After resigning as Defense Secretary, Marshall retired to his home in Virginia. He died in 1959 and was buried at "Arlington National Cemetery.


Early life[edit]

"1900 VMI Keydets football team. Marshall encircled

George Catlett Marshall, Jr., was born into a middle-class family in "Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the son of George Catlett Marshall, Sr. and Laura Emily (née Bradford) Marshall.[9] Marshall was a scion of an old "Virginia family, as well as a distant relative of former "Chief Justice "John Marshall.[10] Marshall graduated from the "Virginia Military Institute (VMI),[11] where he was initiated into the "Kappa Alpha Order in 1901.[12] He was an "All-Southern "tackle for the "VMI Keydets varsity football team in "1900.[13][14]

Entry into the Army and the Philippines[edit]

Following graduation from VMI in 1901, Marshall sat for a competitive examination for a commission in the "U.S. Army.[15] While awaiting the results he took the position of Commandant of Students at the Danville Military Institute in Danville, Virginia.[16] Marshall passed the exam and was commissioned a second lieutenant in February, 1902.[17] Prior to World War I, he was posted to various positions in the United States and the "Philippines, including serving as an infantry platoon leader and company commander during the "Philippine–American War and other guerrilla uprisings. He was schooled and trained in modern warfare, including a tour at "Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from 1906 to 1910 as both a student and an instructor.[18] He was the Honor Graduate of his Infantry-Cavalry School Course in 1907, and graduated first in his 1908 "Army Staff College class.[19]

After another tour of duty in the Philippines, Marshall returned to the United States in 1916 to serve as aide-de-camp to the commander of the Western Department, former Army chief of staff Major General "J. Franklin Bell, at the "Presidio in San Francisco. After the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, Marshall relocated with Bell to "Governors Island, New York when Bell was reassigned as commander of the Department of the East. Marshall was soon after assigned to help oversee the mobilization of the "1st Division for service in France.

World War I[edit]

During the "Great War, he had roles as a planner of both training and operations. He went to France in mid-1917 as the director of training and planning for the "1st Division. In this capacity he planned the first American attack and victory of the war at Cantigny, May 28–31, 1918.[20] In mid-1918, he was posted to the headquarters of the "American Expeditionary Force, where he worked closely with his mentor, "General "John Joseph Pershing, and was a key planner of American operations. He was instrumental in the planning and coordination of the "Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which contributed to the defeat of the "German Army on the "Western Front in 1918.[21]

Between World War I and II[edit]

In 1919, he became an "aide-de-camp to "General "John J. Pershing. Between 1920 and 1924, while Pershing was Army Chief of Staff, Marshall worked in a number of positions in the army, focusing on training and teaching modern, mechanized warfare. Between World Wars I and II, he was a key planner and writer in the "War Department, commanded the "15th Infantry Regiment for three years in China, and taught at the "Army War College. In 1927, as a "lieutenant colonel, he was appointed assistant commandant of the "Infantry School at "Fort Benning, where he initiated major changes to modernize command and staff processes, which proved to be of major benefit during "World War II. Marshall placed "Edwin F. Harding in charge of the Infantry School's publications, and Harding became editor[22]:41 of Infantry in Battle, a book that codified the lessons of World War I. Infantry in Battle is still used as an officer's training manual in the Infantry Officer's Course and was the training manual for most of the infantry officers and leaders of World War II.

From June 1932 to June 1933 he was the commanding officer of the "8th Infantry Regiment at "Fort Screven, "Georgia. From July 1933 to October 1933 he was commander of "Fort Moultrie, "South Carolina and District I of the "Civilian Conservation Corps, and he was promoted to colonel in September 1933. He was senior instructor and chief of staff for the Illinois National Guard's "33rd Division from November 1933 to August 1936.

Marshall commanded the 5th Brigade of the "3rd Infantry Division and "Vancouver Barracks in "Vancouver, Washington from 1936 to 1938, and was promoted to "brigadier general in October 1936. In addition to obtaining a long-sought and significant troop command, traditionally viewed as an indispensable step to the pinnacle of the US Army, Marshall was also responsible for 35 "Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Oregon and southern Washington. As post commander Marshall made a concerted effort to cultivate relations with the city of Portland and to enhance the image of the US Army in the region. With the CCC, he initiated a series of measures to improve the morale of the participants and to make the experience beneficial in their later life. He started a newspaper for the CCC region that proved a vehicle to promote CCC successes, and he initiated a variety of programs that developed their skills and improved their health. Marshall's inspections of the CCC camps gave him and his wife Katherine the chance to enjoy the beauty of the American northwest and made that assignment what he called "the most instructive service I ever had, and the most interesting."[23]

In July 1938, Marshall was assigned to the War Plans Division in "Washington D.C. and subsequently reassigned as Deputy Chief of Staff. In that capacity, then-Brigadier General Marshall attended a conference at the White House at which "President Roosevelt proposed a plan to provide aircraft to England in support of the war effort, lacking forethought with regard to logistical support or training. With all other attendees voicing support of the plan, Marshall was the only person to voice his disagreement. Despite the common belief that he had ended his career, this action resulted in his being nominated by "President "Franklin Roosevelt to be the "Army Chief of Staff. Upon the retirement of General "Malin Craig on July 1, 1939, Marshall became acting chief of staff. Marshall was promoted to "general and sworn in as chief of staff on September 1, 1939, the same day the "German Army launched its "invasion of Poland.[24] He would hold this post until the end of the war in 1945.

World War II[edit]

As Chief of Staff, Marshall organized the largest military expansion in U.S. history, inheriting an outmoded, poorly equipped army of 189,000 men and, partly drawing from his experience teaching and developing techniques of modern warfare as an instructor at the "Army War College, coordinated the large-scale expansion and modernization of the U.S. Army. Though he had never actually led troops in combat, Marshall was a skilled organizer with a talent for inspiring other officers.[25] Many of the American generals who were given top commands during the war were either picked or recommended by Marshall, including "Dwight D. Eisenhower, "Jacob L. Devers, "George S. Patton, "Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr., "Lloyd Fredendall, "Lesley McNair, "Mark Wayne Clark and "Omar Bradley.[26]

Expands military force fortyfold[edit]

Faced with the necessity of turning an army of former civilians into a force of over eight million soldiers by 1942 (a fortyfold increase within three years), Marshall directed General "Leslie McNair to focus efforts on rapidly producing large numbers of soldiers. With the exception of airborne forces, Marshall approved McNair's concept of an abbreviated training schedule for men entering Army land forces training, particularly in regard to basic infantry skills, weapons proficiency, and combat tactics.[27][28] At the time, most U.S. commanders at lower levels had little or no combat experience of any kind. Without the input of experienced British or Allied combat officers on the nature of modern warfare and enemy tactics, many resorted to formulaic training methods emphasizing static defense and orderly large-scale advances by motorized convoys over improved roads.[29] In consequence, Army forces deploying to Africa in "Operation Torch suffered serious initial reverses when encountering German armored combat units in Africa at "Kasserine Pass and other major battles.[30] Even as late as 1944, U.S. soldiers undergoing stateside training in preparation for deployment against German forces in Europe were not being trained in combat procedures and tactics in use there.[31]

Replacement system criticized[edit]

Marshall with "Secretary of War "Henry Stimson

Originally, Marshall had planned a 265-division "Army with a system of unit rotation such as practiced by the "British and other Allies.[32] By mid-1943, however, after pressure from government and business leaders to preserve manpower for industry and agriculture, he had abandoned this plan in favor of a 90-division Army using individual replacements sent via a circuitous process from training to divisions in combat.[32] The individual replacement system devised by Marshall and implemented by McNair greatly exacerbated problems with "unit cohesion and effective transfer of combat experience to newly trained soldiers and officers.[30][33] In Europe, where there were few pauses in combat with German forces, the individual replacement system had broken down completely by late 1944.[34] Hastily trained replacements or service personnel reassigned as infantry were given six weeks' refresher training and thrown into battle with Army divisions locked in front-line combat.

The new men were often not even proficient in the use of their own rifles or weapons systems, and once in combat, could not receive enough practical instruction from veterans before being killed or wounded, usually within the first three or four days.[30][35][36] Under such conditions, many replacements suffered a crippling loss of morale, while veteran soldiers were kept in line units until they were killed, wounded, or incapacitated by battle fatigue or physical illness. Incidents of soldiers AWOL from combat duty as well as battle fatigue and self-inflicted injury rose rapidly during the last eight months of the war with Germany.[30][33][35] As one historian concluded, "Had the Germans been given a free hand to devise a replacement system..., one that would do the Americans the most harm and the least good, they could not have done a better job."[35][37]

Marshall's abilities to pick competent field commanders during the early part of the war was decidedly mixed. While he had been instrumental in advancing the career of the able Dwight D. Eisenhower, he had also recommended the swaggering "Lloyd Fredendall to Eisenhower for a major command in the American invasion of North Africa during "Operation Torch. Marshall was especially fond of Fredendall, describing him as "one of the best" and remarking in a staff meeting when his name was mentioned, "I like that man; you can see determination all over his face." Eisenhower duly picked him to command the 39,000-man Central Task Force (the largest of three) in Operation Torch. Both men would come to regret that decision, as Fredendall was the leader of U.S. Army forces at the disastrous "Battle of the Kasserine Pass.[26]

Planned invasion of Europe[edit]

Cover to the book Infantry in Battle, the World War II officer's guide to infantry combat operations. Marshall directed production of the book, which is still used as a reference today.

During World War II, Marshall was instrumental in preparing the U.S. Army and "Army Air Forces for the invasion of the European continent. Marshall wrote the document that would become the central strategy for all Allied operations in Europe. He initially scheduled "Operation Overlord for April 1, 1943, but met with strong opposition from Winston Churchill, who convinced Roosevelt to commit troops to Operation Husky for the invasion of Italy. Some authors think that World War II could have ended one year earlier if Marshall had had his way; others think that such an invasion would have meant utter failure.

It was assumed that Marshall would become the Supreme Commander of "Operation Overlord, but Roosevelt selected "Dwight Eisenhower as Supreme Commander. While Marshall enjoyed considerable success in working with Congress and President "Franklin D. Roosevelt, he refused to lobby for the position. President Roosevelt didn't want to lose his presence in the states. He told Marshall, "I didn't feel I could sleep at ease if you were out of Washington."[38] When rumors circulated that the top job would go to Marshall, many critics viewed the transfer as a demotion for Marshall, since he would leave his position as Chief of Staff of the Army and lose his seat on the "Combined Chiefs of Staff.[39]

On December 16, 1944, Marshall became the first American Army general to be promoted to "five-star rank, the newly created "General of the Army – the American equivalent rank to "field marshal. He was the second American to be promoted to a five-star rank, as "William Leahy was promoted to "fleet admiral the previous day.

Throughout the remainder of World War II, Marshall coordinated Allied operations in Europe and the Pacific. He was characterized as the organizer of Allied victory by "Winston Churchill. "Time magazine named Marshall "Man of the Year for 1943. Marshall resigned his post of chief of staff in 1945, but did not retire, as regulations stipulate that Generals of the Army remain on active duty for life.[6]

Analysis of Pearl Harbor intelligence failure[edit]

After World War II ended, the Congressional Joint Committee on the Investigation of the "Pearl Harbor Attack received testimony on the intelligence failure. It amassed 25,000 pages of documents, 40 volumes, and included nine reports and investigations, eight of which had been previously completed. These reports included criticism of Marshall for delay in sending General "Walter Short, the Army commander in Hawaii, important information obtained from intercepted Japanese diplomatic messages. The report also criticized Marshall's lack of knowledge of the readiness of the Hawaiian Command during November and December 1941. Ten days after the attack, Lt. General Short and Admiral "Husband E. Kimmel, commander of the Navy at Pearl Harbor, were both relieved of their duties. The final report of the Joint Committee did not single out or fault Marshall. While the report was critical of the overall situation, the committee noted that subordinates had failed to pass on important information to their superiors, including Marshall.[40][41]

Post War: China[edit]

In December 1945, President "Harry Truman "sent Marshall to China, to broker a coalition government between the "Nationalist allies under Generalissimo "Chiang Kai-shek and "Communists under "Mao Zedong. Marshall had no leverage over the Communists, but he threatened to withdraw American aid essential to the Nationalists. Both sides rejected his proposals and the "Chinese Civil War escalated, with the Communists winning in 1949. His mission a failure, he returned to the United States in January 1947.[42][43] Chiang Kai-shek and some historians later claimed that cease-fire, under pressure of Marshall, saved the Communists from defeat.[44][45] As Secretary of State in 1947–48, Marshall seems to have disagreed with strong opinions in "The Pentagon and State Department that Chiang's success was vital to American interests, insisting that U.S. troops not become involved.

Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize[edit]

Medallion issued in 1982 to honor George Marshall's post-war work for Europe

After Marshall's return to the U.S. in early 1947, Truman appointed Marshall "Secretary of State. He became the spokesman for the State Department's ambitious plans to rebuild Europe. On June 5, 1947 in a speech[46] at "Harvard University, he outlined the American proposal. The European Recovery Program, as it was formally known, became known as the "Marshall Plan. "Clark Clifford had suggested to Truman that the plan be called the Truman Plan, but Truman immediately dismissed that idea and insisted that it be called the Marshall Plan.[47][48] The Marshall Plan would help Europe quickly rebuild and modernize its economy along American lines. The "Soviet Union forbade its "satellites to participate.

Marshall during World War II

Marshall was again named Time's Man of the Year for 1947. He received the "Nobel Peace Prize for his post-war work in 1953, the only career officer in United States Army to ever receive this honor.

As Secretary of State, Marshall strongly opposed recognizing the state of "Israel. Marshall felt that if the state of Israel was declared that a war would break out in the Middle East (which it did in 1948 one day after Israel declared independence). Marshall saw recognizing the Jewish state as a political move to gain Jewish support in the upcoming election, in which Truman was expected to lose to Dewey. He told President Truman in May 1948, "If you (recognize the state of Israel) and if I were to vote in the election, I would vote against you."[49][50][51] However, Marshall refused to vote in any election as a matter of principle.[52]

Marshall resigned from the "State Department because of ill health on January 7, 1949, and the same month became chairman of the "American Battle Monuments Commission.[8] In September 1949, Marshall was named president of the "American National Red Cross.

Secretary of Defense[edit]

When the early months of the "Korean War showed how poorly prepared the Defense Department was, President Truman fired Secretary "Louis A. Johnson and named Marshall as "Secretary of Defense in September 1950. The appointment required a congressional waiver because the "National Security Act of 1947 prohibited a uniformed military officer from serving in the post. This prohibition included Marshall since individuals promoted to "General of the Army are not technically retired, but remain officially on active duty even after their active service has concluded. General Marshall was the first person to be granted such a waiver, with Defense Secretary "James Mattis being the second to receive it. Marshall's main role as Secretary of Defense was to restore confidence and morale while rebuilding the armed forces following their post-World War II demobilization.

Korean War[edit]

George Marshall portrait by "Thomas E. Stephens (c. 1949).

Marshall worked to provide more manpower to meet the demands of both the "Korean War and the "Cold War in Europe. To implement his priorities Marshall brought in a new leadership team, including "Robert A. Lovett as his deputy and "Anna M. Rosenberg, former head of the "War Manpower Commission, as assistant secretary of defense for manpower. He also worked to rebuild the relationship between the Defense and State Departments, as well as the relationship between the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Marshall participated in the post-"Inchon landing discussion that led to authorizing "Douglas MacArthur to conduct operations in North Korea. A secret "eyes only" signal from Marshall to MacArthur on September 29, 1950 declared the Truman administration's commitment: "We want you to feel unhampered strategically and tactically to proceed north of the "38th Parallel". At the same time, Marshall advised against public pronouncements which might lead to "United Nations votes undermining or countermanding the initial mandate to restore the border between North and South Korea. Marshall and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were generally supportive of MacArthur because they were of the view that field commanders should be able to exercise their best judgment in accomplishing the intent of their superiors.

Following Chinese military intervention in Korea during late November, Marshall and the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought ways to aid MacArthur while avoiding all-out war with China. In the debate over what to do about China's increased involvement, Marshall opposed a cease–fire on the grounds that it would make the U.S. look weak in China's eyes, leading to demands for future concessions. In addition, Marshall argued that the U.S. had a moral obligation to honor its commitment to South Korea. When British Prime Minister "Clement Attlee suggested diplomatic overtures to China, Marshall opposed, arguing that it was impossible to negotiate with the Communist government. In addition, Marshall expressed concern that concessions to China would undermine confidence in the U.S. among its Asian allies, including Japan and the Philippines. When some in Congress favored expanding the war in Korea and confronting China, Marshall argued against a wider war in Korea, continuing instead to stress the importance of containing the Soviet Union during the Cold War battle for primacy in Europe.

Relief of General MacArthur[edit]

President Truman's relief of General Douglas MacArthur

Increasingly concerned about public statements from General "Douglas MacArthur, commander of United Nations forces fighting in the Korean War, which contradicted President "Harry S. Truman's on prosecution of the war, on the morning of 6 April 1951 Truman held a meeting with Marshall, "Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Omar Bradley, Secretary of State "Acheson and advisor "W. Averell Harriman to discuss whether MacArthur should be removed from command.

Harriman was emphatically in favor of MacArthur's relief, but Bradley opposed it. Marshall asked for more time to consider the matter. Acheson was in favor but did not disclose this, instead warning Truman that if he did it, MacArthur's relief would cause "the biggest fight of your administration." At another meeting the following day, Marshall and Bradley continued to oppose MacArthur's relief. On 8 April, the "Joint Chiefs of Staff met with Marshall, and each expressed the view that MacArthur's relief was desirable from a "military point of view," suggesting that "if MacArthur were not relieved, a large segment of our people would charge that civil authorities no longer controlled the military."

Marshall, Bradley, Acheson and Harriman met with Truman again on 9 April. Bradley informed the President of the views of the Joint Chiefs, and Marshall added that he agreed with them. Truman wrote in his diary that "it is of unanimous opinion of all that MacArthur be relieved. All four so advise."[53] (The Joint Chiefs would later insist that they had only "concurred" with the relief, not "recommended" it.)

On April 11, 1951, President Truman directed transmittal of an order to MacArthur, issued over Bradley's signature, relieving MacArthur of his assignment in Korea and directing him to turn over command to "Matthew Ridgway. In line with Marshall's view, and those of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, MacArthur's relief was looked upon by proponents as being necessary to reassert the tenet of "civilian control of the military.


Marshall retired in September 1951 to his home, "Dodona Manor, in "Leesburg, Virginia to tend to his gardens and continue his passion for horseback riding. He was head of the American delegation at "the coronation of "Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. He also served as Chairman of the "American Battle Monuments Commission from 1949 to 1959.

Death and burial[edit]

Gravesite of George Marshall at Arlington National Cemetery

Marshall died at "Walter Reed Hospital in "Washington, D.C. on October 16, 1959 at the age of 78. He is interred at "Arlington National Cemetery in "Arlington, Virginia.

Reputation and legacy[edit]

Marshall's reputation for excellence as a military organizer and planner was recognized early in his career, and became known throughout the Army. In a performance appraisal prepared while Marshall was a lieutenant in the Philippines, his superior, Captain E. J. Williams responded to the routine question of whether he would want the evaluated officer to serve under his command again by writing of Marshall "Should the exigencies of active service place him in exalted command I would be glad to serve under him." (Emphasis added.)[54]

In 1913 General "Johnson Hagood, then a lieutenant colonel, completed a written evaluation of Marshall's performance in which he called Marshall a military genius. Responding to the question of whether he would want his subordinate Marshall to serve under him again, Hagood wrote "Yes, but I would prefer to serve under his command." (Emphasis added.)[55]

In addition to his military success, Marshall is primarily remembered as the driving force behind the "Marshall Plan, which provided billions in aid to post war Europe to restart the economies of the destroyed countries. In recent years, the cooperation required between former European adversaries as part of the Marshall Plan has been recognized as one of the earliest factors that led to formation of the "European Coal and Steel Community, and eventually the "European Union.[56]

In a television interview after leaving office, "Harry S. Truman was asked which American he thought had made the greatest contribution of the preceding thirty years. Without hesitation, Truman picked Marshall, adding "I don't think in this age in which I have lived, that there has been a man who has been a greater administrator; a man with a knowledge of military affairs equal to General Marshall."[57]

"Orson Welles said in an interview with "Dick Cavett that "Marshall is the greatest man I ever met... I think he was the greatest human being who was also a great man... He was a tremendous gentleman, an old fashioned institution which isn't with us anymore."[58]

Family life[edit]

George Marshall was the youngest of three siblings.[59] His older brother Stuart Bradford Marshall (1875-1956) was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, and became a manager and executive in several metal production corporations, including the American Manganese Manufacturing Company.[60][61][62] He later worked as a metallurgist and consulting engineer specializing in the production and operation of blast furnaces, coke ovens, and foundries.[63] George and Stuart Marshall were long estranged; according to relatives, George Marshall's first wife, Lily, had dated other VMI cadets before him, and rejected their proposals, to include Stuart Marshall.[60] When Stuart found out George was engaged to Lily, Stuart made unkind remarks about her, and George "cut him off my list".[60] His sister, Marie (1876-1962) was the wife of Dr. John J. Singer, an Army physician who died in 1934.[64]

Marshall married Elizabeth Carter Coles, or "Lily", at her mother's home on Letcher Avenue in Lexington, Virginia, in 1902.[65] She died in 1927 after thyroid surgery that put significant strain on her weak heart.[66] They did not have children.[67]

In 1930, Marshall married Katherine Boyce Tupper (October 8, 1882 – December 18, 1978); "John J. Pershing served as best man.[68] Katherine Tupper was the mother of three children with "Baltimore lawyer Clifton Stevenson Brown, who had been murdered by a disgruntled client in 1928.[69][70] The second Mrs. Marshall was a graduate of the "American Academy of Dramatic Arts; she later studied at the "Comédie-Française, and toured with "Frank Benson's English Shakespearean Company.[71] She authored a memoir, 1946's Together: Annals of an Army Wife.[72] One of Marshall's stepsons, Allen Tupper Brown, was an Army lieutenant who was killed by a German sniper in Italy on May 29, 1944. Another stepson was Major Clifton Stevenson Brown Jr. (1914–1952). Step-daughter Molly Brown Winn, who was the mother of actress "Kitty Winn, was married to US Army Major James J. Winn, who had been an aide to General Marshall.

Marshall was a "Freemason, having been made a Mason "at sight" in 1941 by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the "District of Columbia. [73]

George Marshall maintained a home, known as Dodona Manor and later as "The Marshall House, in "Leesburg, Virginia.[74] This was his first and only permanent residence owned by Marshall who later said "this is Home...a real home after 41 years of wandering."[75] The restored home and its surrounding gardens are open to the public as a museum.

Fictional portrayals[edit]

Marshall has been played in film and television by

Marshall is a character in three different "alternate history timelines in novels by "Harry Turtledove: "Worldwar, "Joe Steele, and The Hot War.

Dates of rank[edit]

No pin insignia in 1902 "Second lieutenant, "United States Army: February 2, 1902
""US-O2 insignia.svg "First lieutenant, United States Army: March 7, 1907
""US-O3 insignia.svg "Captain, United States Army: July 1, 1916
""US-O4 insignia.svg "Major, "National Army: August 5, 1917
""US-O5 insignia.svg "Lieutenant colonel, National Army: January 5, 1918
""US-O6 insignia.svg "Colonel, National Army: August 27, 1918
""US-O3 insignia.svg Captain, "Regular Army (reverted to permanent rank): June 30, 1920
""US-O4 insignia.svg Major, "Regular Army : July 1, 1920
""US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant colonel, Regular Army: August 21, 1923
""US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, Regular Army: September 1, 1933
""US-O7 insignia.svg "Brigadier general, Regular Army: October 1, 1936
""US-O8 insignia.svg "Major general, Regular Army: September 1, 1939
""US-O10 insignia.svg "General, Regular Army, for service as "Army Chief of Staff: September 1, 1939
""US-O11 insignia.svg "General of the Army, "Army of the United States: December 16, 1944
General of the Army rank made permanent in the Regular Army: April 11, 1946

Awards and decorations[edit]

U.S. military honors[edit]

""Bronze oak leaf cluster
"Distinguished Service Medal with one "Oak Leaf Cluster
""Silver Star ribbon.svg "Silver Star
""Philippine Campaign Medal ribbon.svg "Philippine Campaign Medal
""Bronze star
""Bronze star
""Bronze star
""Bronze star
"World War I Victory Medal with four "campaign clasps
""Army of Occupation of Germany ribbon.svg "Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
""American Defense Service ribbon.svg "American Defense Service Medal
""American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg "American Campaign Medal
""World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg "World War II Victory Medal
""National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg "National Defense Service Medal

Foreign orders[edit]

""Order of the Bath (ribbon).svg Honorary Knight Grand Cross "Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)
""Legion Honneur GC ribbon.svg Grand Cross "Legion of Honor (France)
""BRA Ordem do Merito Militar Cavaleiro.png "Order of Military Merit (Brazil) (Presented by General Franciso José Pinto on behalf of President Getullo Vargas on 3 June 1939)[76]
""CHL Order of Merit of Chile - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of the "Order of Merit (Chile)
""Order of Boyacá - Extraordinary Grand Cross (Colombia) - ribbon bar.png Grand Cross of the "Order of Boyacá Cherifien (Colombia) (Given by President Ospina Perez as he opened the IX Panamerican Conference, March 1948)
""Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg Order of Military Merit, First Class (Cuba)
""Order of Abdón Calderón 1st Class (Ecuador) - ribbon bar.png "Star of Abdon Calderon, First Class (Ecuador)
""GRE Order of George I - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross "Order of George I with swords (Greece)
""Grande ufficiale SSML Regno BAR.svg "Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Italy)
""Grande ufficiale OCI Kingdom BAR.svg "Order of the Crown of Italy (Italy)
""MAR Order of the Ouissam Alaouite - Grand Cross (1913-1956) BAR.png "Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Morocco)
""NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Knight Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross with Swords "Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)
""PER Order of the Sun of Peru - Grand Officer BAR.png Gran Official del "Sol del Peru (Peru)
""Order suvorov1 rib.png "Order of Suvorov, 1st class (Soviet Union)

Foreign decorations and medals[edit]

""CroixdeGuerreFR-BronzePalm.png "Croix de Guerre (France)
""Medal for the Centennial of the Republic of Liberia.png Medal for the Centennial of the Republic of Liberia
""DK Forsvarets Medalje for Faldne i Tjeneste Ribbon.png Silver Medal for Bravery (Montenegro)
""PAN Medalla de la Solidaridad.png Medal of Solidarity, 2nd Class (Panama)

Civilian honors[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "George C. Marshall - Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office. 
  2. ^ Marshall Papers Pentagon Office Selected Correspondence Box 69 Folder 18 George C. Marshall Foundation
  3. ^ George Catlett Marshall, General of the Army
  4. ^ U.S. officers holding five-star rank never retire; they draw full active duty pay for life.Spencer C. Tucker (2011). The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History. ABC-CLIO. pp. 1685. "ISBN "978-1-85109-961-0. 
  5. ^ "George Catlett Marshall, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Secretary of State". CNN. Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  6. ^ a b "General George C Marshall". Retrieved 7 September 2015. 
  7. ^ W. Del Testa, David; Florence Lemoine; John Strickland (2001). Government Leaders, Military Rulers, and Political Activists. p. 120. 
  8. ^ a b New York Times: January 8, 1949, p. 1.
  9. ^ George Marshall Childhood
  10. ^ Higginbotham, Don (1985). George Washington and the American Military Tradition. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. p. 106. "ISBN "978-0-8203-2400-5. 
  11. ^ Uldrich, Jack (2005). Soldier, Statesman, Peacemaker: Leadership Lessons From George C. Marshall. pp. 14–15. 
  12. ^ Groom, Winston (2015). The Generals: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, and the Winning of World War II. Washington, DC: National Geographic. p. 36. "ISBN "978-1-4262-1549-0. 
  13. ^ "All-Southern Football Team". The Times. February 10, 1901. p. 10. Retrieved March 10, 2015 – via "  "open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ W. H. Hoge (1901). "All Southern Football Team". Spalding's Football Guide: 123. Retrieved March 10, 2015 – via "Google books.  "open access publication – free to read
  15. ^ Risjord, Norman K. (2006). Giants in Their Time: Representative Americans from the Jazz Age to the Cold War. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 183. "ISBN "978-0-7425-2784-3. 
  16. ^ Pops, Gerald M. (2009). Ethical Leadership in Turbulent Times: Modeling the Public Career of George. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 307. "ISBN "978-0-7391-2476-5. 
  17. ^ Axelrod, Alan; Kingston, Jack A. (2007). Encyclopedia of World War II. 1. New York, NY: Facts on File. p. 547. "ISBN "978-0-8160-6022-1. 
  18. ^ Stoler, Mark (1989). George C. Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century. pp. 21–25. 
  19. ^ "George Catlett Marshall: A Chronology". Biography: George C. Marshall. Lexington, VA: The George C. Marshall Foundation. Retrieved August 24, 2016. 
  20. ^ Davenport, Matthew J. (2015). First Over There. New York: St. Martins. "ISBN "1250056446. 
  21. ^ Lengel, Edward G. (2008). To Conquer Hell. New York: Henry Holt. "ISBN "0-8050-7931-9. 
  22. ^ Campbell, James (September 30, 2008). The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea—The Forgotten War of the South Pacific. Three Rivers Press. p. 400. "ISBN "978-0-307-33597-5. 
  23. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  24. ^ George C. Marshall's Early Career.
  25. ^ Bland, Larry I., George C. Marshall and the Education of Army Leaders, Military Review 68 (October 1988) 27–51, "Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas
  26. ^ a b Ossad, Steven L., Command Failures: Lessons Learned from Lloyd R. Fredendall, Army Magazine, March 2003
  27. ^ "Ambrose, Stephen, "Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany June 7, 1944 – May 7, 1945, New York: "Simon & Schuster (1997), pp. 271–284
  28. ^ Keast, William R. (Maj), Provision of Enlisted Replacements, Army Ground Forces Study No. 7, Washington, D.C.: Historical Section – Headquarters Army Ground Forces, 314.7(1 Sept 1946)GNHIS September 1, 1945
  29. ^ George, John B. (Lt. Col), Shots Fired In Anger, NRA Press (1981), "ISBN 0-935998-42-X, pp. 13–21
  30. ^ a b c d Keast, William R. (Maj), Provision of Enlisted Replacements
  31. ^ Hanford, William B., A Dangerous Assignment, Stackpole Books, "ISBN 978-0-8117-3485-1, p. viii
  32. ^ a b Vandergriff, Donald E., Seven Wars and a Century Later, a Failed System, Article
  33. ^ a b Ambrose, Stephen, Citizen Soldiers, pp. 277–284
  34. ^ Henry, Mark R., The US Army in World War II: Northwest Europe, "Osprey Publishing (2001), "ISBN 1-84176-086-2, "ISBN 978-1-84176-086-5, pp. 12–14
  35. ^ a b c Henry, Mark R., The US Army in World War II: Northwest Europe, Osprey Publishing (2001), "ISBN 1-84176-086-2, "ISBN 978-1-84176-086-5, pp. 12–14
  36. ^ Ambrose, Stephen, Citizen Soldiers, pp. 271–284
  37. ^ Ambrose, Stephen, Citizen Soldiers, p. 277
  38. ^ Buell, Thomas B.; John H. Bradley. The Second World War: Europe and the Mediterranean. p. 258. 
  39. ^ Pogue, Forrest C. "The Supreme Commander". OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF MILITARY HISTORY. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  40. ^ Hearings before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-Ninth Congress (Washington, D.C.), Part 39, P 144-145.
  41. ^ Conclusions and Recommendations of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-Ninth Congress (Washington, D.C.)P. 252, 265
  42. ^ Stoler, Mark A. (1989). George C. Marshall. pp. 145–51. 
  43. ^ Tsou, Tang (1963). America's Failure in China, 1941–50. 
  44. ^ Harold M. Tanner (18 March 2013). The Battle for Manchuria and the Fate of China: Siping, 1946. Indiana University Press. p. 15. "ISBN "978-0-253-00734-6. 
  45. ^ "蔣介石敗退台灣最恨誰?日記顯示並非毛澤東" [Who did Chiang Kai-shek hate most with his withdraw to Taiwan? Diary says it's not Mao Zedong]. Xin Hua Net. July 31, 2013. 
  46. ^ "The Marshall Plan". Archived from the original on January 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  47. ^ "McCullough, David (1992). "Truman. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 717. "ISBN "0-671-86920-5. 
  48. ^ Behrman, Greg (2007). The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe. Free Press. "ISBN "0-7432-8263-9. 
  49. ^ "President Truman's Decision to Recognize Israel". Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  50. ^ "Truman Adviser Recalls May 14, 1948 US Decision to Recognize Israel". Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. May–June 1991. p. 17. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  51. ^ "Recognition of Israel". The Truman Library. Retrieved 2009-02-17. 
  52. ^ Uldrich, Jack (2005). Soldier, Statesman, Peacemaker: Leadership Lessons from George C. Marshall. AMACOM Books. "ISBN "9780814415962. Marshall even went to great lengths to prevent himself from falling prey to the allures of power. He had always refused to vote because he subscribed to the belief that a professional soldier should remain above politics, but he took a number of other steps to insulate himself from the corrupting influence of power once he became chief of staff. 
  53. ^ "Diary entries, 6–7,April 1951, Truman Papers.". Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  54. ^ "1-070, Editorial Note on Becoming General Liggett's Aide, February 1915". George C. Marshall Foundation. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  55. ^ Puryear, Edgar F., Jr. (2000). American Generalship: Character Is Everything: The Art of Command. New York, NY: Random House. p. 191. "ISBN "978-0-89141-770-5. 
  56. ^ "History of the Marshall Plan". George C. Marshall Foundation. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  57. ^ Farinacci, Donald J. (2010). Truman and MacArthur: Adversaries for a Common Cause. Bennington, VT: Merriam Press. p. 253. "ISBN "978-0-557-40902-0. 
  58. ^ "Orson Welles talks about Cornelia Lunt". YouTube. 
  59. ^ Jeffers, H. Paul; Axelrod, Alan (2010). Marshall: Lessons in Leadership. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. pp. 6–8, 10, 12. "ISBN "978-0-230-11425-8. 
  60. ^ a b c Marshall: Lessons in Leadership, pp. 6-8, 10, 12.
  61. ^ Parmelee, H. C. (August 15, 1918). "Personal: Mr. Stuart B. Marshall". Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering. Vol. XIX no. 4. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Company. p. 214. 
  62. ^ Glenn, Justin (2014). The Washingtons: A Family History. 5 (Part One). El Dorado, CA: Savas Publishing. p. 568. "ISBN "978-1-940669-30-4. 
  63. ^ Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering, p. 214.
  64. ^ "A Greenburg Resident: General Marshall's Sister Dies at 85". Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, PA. June 12, 1962. p. 22. (Subscription required (help)). 
  65. ^ Stevens, Sharon Ritenour; Williams, Alice Trump (2009). Images of America: Lexington. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 123. "ISBN "978-0-7385-6818-8. 
  66. ^ Mullins, Richard J. (January 1, 2017). "The General's Goiter: The Outcome of a Subtotal Thyroidectomy Performed on United States Army General George Catlett Marshall". Journal of the American College of Surgeons. New York, NY: American College of Surgeons. p. 79. 
  67. ^ Brooks, David (2015). The Road to Character. New York, NY: Random House. p. 117. "ISBN "978-0-8129-9325-7. 
  68. ^ "Pershing is Best Man for His Former Aide". The Morning News. Wilmington, DE. Associated Press. October 16, 1930. p. 9. (Subscription required (help)). 
  69. ^ "Pershing is Best Man for His Former Aide".
  70. ^ Pearson, Richard (December 20, 1978). "Katherine Marshall, 96, Dies". Washington Post. Washington, DC. 
  71. ^ "Katherine Marshall, 96, Dies".
  72. ^ Marshall, Katherine Tupper (1946). Together: Annals of an Army Wife. New York, NY: Tupper and Love. p. Title. 
  73. ^ "Famous Masons". MWGLNY. January 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-11-10. 
  74. ^ "The Marshall House". Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  75. ^ Wheeler, Linda (20 February 2015). "Restoration of Marshall House in Leesburg Enters Home Stretch". Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  76. ^ "Homenagem á Missão Militar Norte Americana". Correio Paulistano. VASP. 4 June 1939. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  77. ^ Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives Archived July 23, 2011, at the "Wayback Machine.

Primary sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
"Malin Craig
"Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1939 – 1945
Succeeded by
"Dwight D. Eisenhower
Political offices
Preceded by
"James F. Byrnes
"U.S. Secretary of State
Served under: "Harry S. Truman

Succeeded by
"Dean Acheson
Preceded by
"Louis A. Johnson
"U.S. Secretary of Defense
Served under: "Harry S. Truman

Succeeded by
"Robert A. Lovett
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
"Prince Konoye
"Cover of Time Magazine
July 29, 1940
Succeeded by
"Sir Alan F. Brooke
Preceded by
"Ed Flynn
"Cover of Time Magazine
October 19, 1942
Succeeded by
"John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort
Preceded by
"Patriarch Sergius I of Moscow
"Cover of Time Magazine
January 3, 1944
Succeeded by
"Erich von Manstein
) )