George C. Marshall

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George C. Marshall

General George C. Marshall, official military photo, 1946.JPEG
Official portrait, 1946
3rd United States Secretary of Defense
In office
September 21, 1950 – September 12, 1951
PresidentHarry S. Truman
DeputyStephen Early
Robert A. Lovett
Preceded byLouis A. Johnson
Succeeded byRobert A. Lovett
2nd Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission
In office
January 1949 – October 16, 1959
Preceded byJohn J. Pershing
Succeeded byJacob L. Devers
50th United States Secretary of State
In office
January 21, 1947 – January 20, 1949
PresidentHarry S. Truman
DeputyDean Acheson
Robert A. Lovett
Preceded byJames F. Byrnes
Succeeded byDean Acheson
United States Special Envoy to China
In office
December 20, 1945 – January 6, 1947
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
15th Chief of Staff of the United States Army
In office
September 1, 1939 – November 18, 1945
PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Preceded byMalin Craig
Succeeded byDwight D. Eisenhower
Personal details
Born
George Catlett Marshall

(1880-12-31)December 31, 1880
Uniontown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedOctober 16, 1959(1959-10-16) (aged 78)
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Cause of deathMultiple strokes
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
Political partyIndependent[1]
Height6 ft (183 cm)[2]
Spouse(s)
Lily Carter Coles
(m. 1902; died 1927)

Katherine Boyce Tupper Brown
(m. 1930)
Parents
  • George C. Marshall Sr.
  • Laura Emily Bradford
ResidenceDodona Manor
EducationVirginia Military Institute
Civilian awardsNobel Peace Prize
Congressional Gold Medal
Charlemagne Prize
Complete list
Signature
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1902–1959[3]
Rank General of the Army
CommandsChief of Staff of the United States Army
Deputy Chief of Staff of the United States Army
5th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division
Fort Moultrie and District I, Civilian Conservation Corps
Fort Screven and District F, Civilian Conservation Corps
8th Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsPhilippine–American War
World War I

World War II
Chinese Civil War

Cold War

Korean War
Military awardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star
Croix de Guerre
Complete list
College football career
VMI Keydets
PositionLeft Tackle
Career history
CollegeVMI (1900)
Career highlights and awards
Colonel Marshall in France in 1919

George Catlett Marshall Jr. GCB (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American soldier and statesman. He rose through the United States Army to become Chief of Staff under presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, then served as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense under Truman.[4] Winston Churchill lauded Marshall as the "organizer of victory" for his leadership of the Allied victory in World War II. After the war, he spent a frustrating year trying and failing to avoid the impending civil war in China. As Secretary of State, Marshall advocated a U.S. economic and political commitment to post-war European recovery, including the Marshall Plan that bore his name. In recognition of this work, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.[5]

Born in Pennsylvania, Marshall graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 1901. Marshall received his commission as a second lieutenant of Infantry in February 1902 and immediately went to the Philippines. 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 nation entered World War I in 1917, Marshall served with Bell who 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 became an aide-de-camp to John J. Pershing, who was then the Army's Chief of Staff. Marshall later served on the Army staff, was the executive officer of 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 later became 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, a position he held until the war's end 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 accolades from Churchill and other Allied leaders, Time magazine named Marshall its Man of the Year for 1943 and 1947.[6] Marshall retired from active service in 1945, but remained on active duty, as required for holders of five-star rank.[7] From December 15, 1945 to January 1947, Marshall served as a special envoy to China in an unsuccessful effort to negotiate a coalition government between the Nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek and Communists under Mao Zedong.

As Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949, Marshall advocated rebuilding Europe, a program that became known as the Marshall Plan, and which led to his being awarded the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize.[8] After resigning as Secretary of State, Marshall served as chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission[9] 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 with honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Early life and education[edit]

George Catlett Marshall Jr. was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the youngest of three children born to George Catlett Marshall and Laura Emily (née Bradford) Marshall.[10][11] He was a scion of an old Virginia family, as well as a first cousin, three times removed, of former Chief Justice John Marshall.[12][13] Marshall's father was active in the coal and coke business.[11] Later, when asked about his political allegiances, Marshall often joked that his father had been a Democrat and his mother a Republican, whereas he was an Episcopalian.[14]

Marshall was educated at Miss Alcinda Thompson's private school in Uniontown and spent a year at Uniontown's Central School.[11] Having decided early in life that he desired a career in the military, but unlikely to obtain an appointment to the United States Military Academy because of his average grades, he looked to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for a formal education.[15] Marshall's brother Stuart, a VMI alumnus, believed George would not succeed and argued that their mother not to let George attend out of concern that he would "disgrace the family name."[16] Determined to "wipe his brother's face," Marshall enrolled at the age of sixteen in December 1897.[10][17] To pay for his tuition and expenses, Marshall's mother sold parcels of land she owned in Uniontown and Augusta, Kentucky.[15]

At the start of his college career, Marshall was subjected to a hazing incident in which upperclassmen positioned an unsheathed bayonet with the point up and directed him to squat over it.[18] After twenty minutes, Marshall fainted and fell.[19] When he awoke, he had a deep laceration to one of his buttocks.[19] While being treated for his injury, Marshall refused to inform on his classmates.[19] Impressed with his bravery, the hazers never bothered him again.[19]

During his years at VMI, Marshall always ranked first in military discipline and about midway academically.[10] He attained the rank of first captain, the highest a cadet could achieve, and graduated 15th of 34 in the Class of 1901.[10][20][a] He played offensive tackle on the football team and in 1900 he was selected for All-Southern honors.[22]

Early infantry career and the Philippines[edit]

Following his graduation from VMI, Marshall served as Commandant of Students at the Danville Military Institute in Danville, Virginia.[23] He took a competitive examination for a commission in the United States Army, which had greatly expanded to deal with the war with Spain and the occupation of the Philippines.[24]:23 Marshall passed, and used endorsements his father obtained from both of Pennsylvania's U.S. Senators to bolster his application.[24]:23 VMI Superintendent Scott Shipp also supported Marshall's application, and in a letter to President William McKinley compared him favorably to other VMI graduates serving in the Army, saying Marshall was "Fully the equal of the best."[25]:18 He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry in February 1902.[24]:23 In a matter of days he married, resigned the Danville job, and shipped out to serve with the 30th Infantry Regiment in the Philippines.[24]:23 [26]

Prior to World War I, Marshall received various postings 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.[10] He was schooled in modern warfare, including a tour at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from 1906 to 1910 as both a student and an instructor.[27] He was the Honor Graduate of his Infantry-Cavalry School Course in 1907, and graduated first in his 1908 Army Staff College class.[10]

After another tour of duty in the Philippines, Marshall returned 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 of San Francisco.[28] 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.[29] Shortly afterwards, Marshall was assigned to help oversee the mobilization of the 1st Division for service in France.[10]

World War I[edit]

During World War I, Marshall had roles as a planner of both training and operations. In the summer of 1917, he was assigned as assistant chief of staff for operations on the staff of the 1st Division.[10] After overseeing the division's mobilization and organization in Texas, he departed for France with the division staff in mid-1917.[10] On the long ocean voyage, his roommate was the division's assistant chief of staff for training, Lesley J. McNair;[30] the two formed a personal and professional bond that they maintained for the rest of their careers.[30]

After arriving in France, Marshall served with the 1st Division on the St. Mihiel, Picardy, and Cantigny fronts.[10] In late 1917, John J. Pershing, the commander of the American Expeditionary Force, inspected the 1st Division.[24]:29 Unimpressed by what he observed, Pershing began to berate division commander William L. Sibert in front of Sibert's staff.[24]:29 Sibert took Pershing's criticism in silence, but when Pershing turned his attention to the division chief of staff, Marshall angrily interceded to inform Pershing of logistical and administrative difficulties of which Pershing was unaware.[31] Marshall also informed Pershing that the AEF staff had not been very helpful in dealing with the problems.[24]:29 The division commander and staff were concerned that Marshall's willingness to confront Pershing had probably cost him his career.[24]:29 Instead, Pershing began to seek out Marshall and ask for his advice.[24]:29

Marshall won recognition and acclaim for his planning of the Battle of Cantigny, which took place from May 28 to 31, 1918;[10] Marshall's success resulted in the first notable American victory of the war.[32] On May 26, Marshall was injured while traveling to several subordinate units to conduct pre-attack coordination.[33] As he departed the division headquarters area, his horse stumbled, fell, and rolled over;[34] Marshall's left foot was caught in the stirrup, and he sustained a severe sprain and bruise.[34] A physician bound Marshall's injured ankle and foot with adhesive tape so that he could avoid medical evacuation and remain with the division to oversee the attack.[35] Marshall was awarded the Citation Star for his heroism during this battle.[36] When the Silver Star medal was created in 1932, Citation Stars were converted to the new award.[36][37]

In mid-1918, Pershing brought Marshall on to the AEF operations staff, G-3, where he worked closely with Pershing and was a key planner of American operations.[10] 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.[38] Marshall held the permanent rank of captain and the temporary rank of colonel;[39] He was recommended for promotion to temporary brigadier general in October 1918, but the Armistice occurred before the recommendation was acted on.[40] After the Armistice, Marshall served as chief of staff for the U.S. Eighth Corps.[10]

Brigadier General Marshall in 1938

Between the wars[edit]

After the war, Marshall reverted to his permanent rank of captain.[40] In 1919, he became an aide-de-camp to General Pershing.[10] Between 1920 and 1924, while Pershing was Army Chief of Staff, Marshall worked on a number of projects that focused on training and teaching modern, mechanized warfare. He taught at the Army War College and was a key planner in the War Department.[10] He then served as executive officer of the 15th Infantry Regiment in China, where he remained for three years and learned to speak basic Mandarin.[10] 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.[10] Marshall placed Edwin F. Harding in charge of the Infantry School's publications, and Harding became editor[41]: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, Marshall was the commanding officer of the 8th Infantry Regiment at Fort Screven, Georgia.[10] 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.[10] He was senior instructor and chief of staff for the Illinois National Guard's 33rd Division from November 1933 to August 1936.[10]

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.[10] 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.[10] 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 provided a vehicle to promote CCC successes, and he initiated a variety of programs that developed participants' 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."[42]

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 White House conference at which President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a plan to provide aircraft to England in support of the war effort. With all other attendees voicing support, Marshall was the only one to disagree, pointing out the lack of consideration for logistical support or training. Marshall also spoke in favor of a large ground army although Roosevelt had said a large air force would be a greater deterrent to enemies.[43] Despite others' belief then that Marshall had ended his career, his willingness to express disagreement resulted in Roosevelt nominating Marshall to be the Army Chief of Staff. At the time of the appointment, Marshall was only 34th in seniority, outranked by 21 major generals and 11 brigadier generals, but he was fifth under an unwritten rule that the chief of staff should be able to serve a four-year term before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 64.[44]

Upon the retirement of General Malin Craig on July 1, 1939, Marshall became acting chief of staff.[45] 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.[46] He held this post until retiring in November 1945.[47]

On May 11, 1940 the United States Congress cut $10 million from a $28 million appropriation budget for equipment to detect Japanese aircraft off the west coast of America. Marshall met with Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. and they went to see Roosevelt; Marshall emphasized the supreme importance of getting the full amount and told Roosevelt "you have got to do something and you've got to do it today". Marshall's advocacy worked and he got "all he wanted and more".[48]

In 1941, Marshall became a Freemason, raised "at sight" by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.[49] ("At sight" is the procedure by which a Grand Master confers on a candidate all three Masonic degrees - Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master - at one time.)[49]

World War II[edit]

Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall

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.[50] 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.[51]

Expands military force fortyfold[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.

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 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.[52][53] 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.[54] In consequence, Army forces deploying to Africa in Operation Torch suffered serious initial reverses when encountering German armored combat units in Africa in the Battle of Kasserine Pass and other major battles.[55] 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.[56]

Replacement system criticized[edit]

Army Chief of Staff 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.[57] 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.[57] The individual replacement system devised by Marshall and implemented by McNair exacerbated problems with unit cohesion and effective transfer of combat experience to new soldiers and officers.[55][58] In Europe, where there were few pauses in combat with German forces, the individual replacement system had broken down completely by late 1944.[59] Hastily-trained replacements or service personnel reassigned as infantry were often given only a few weeks' refresher training before being 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 weapons, and once in combat, could not receive enough practical instruction from veterans before being killed or wounded, sometimes within the first few days.[55][60][61] Under such conditions, many soldiers suffered a crippling loss of morale, while veterans were kept at the front until they were killed, wounded, or incapacitated by battle fatigue or illness. Incidents of soldiers going 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.[55][58][60] 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."[60][62]

Marshall's abilities to pick competent field commanders during the early part of the war was decidedly mixed. He was instrumental in advancing the careers of the highly capable generals such as Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, Krueger and Clark. A notable exception was his recommendation of the swaggering 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.[51]

Planned invasion of Europe[edit]

Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall with Chief of the Army Air Force General Henry "Hap" Arnold in England on July 23, 1945.

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 Allied invasion of Sicily for the invasion of Italy.[63] Some authors think that World War II could have ended earlier if Marshall had had his way; others think that such an invasion would have meant utter failure.[64]

It was assumed that Marshall would become the Supreme Commander of Operation Overlord, but Roosevelt selected Eisenhower as Supreme Commander. While Marshall enjoyed considerable success in working with Congress and 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."[65] When rumors circulated that the top job would go to Marshall, many critics viewed the potential 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.[66]

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.[67] 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.[6] Marshall resigned his post of chief of staff on November 18, 1945, but did not retire, as regulations stipulate that Generals of the Army remain on active duty for life. He was succeeded as Army chief of staff by General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower.[7]

Analysis of Pearl Harbor intelligence failure[edit]

General Marshall with General "Hap" Arnold, President Harry Truman and Secretary of State James F. Byrnes at the White House on August 13, 1945, following the defeat of Germany and Italy in European Theater.

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.[68] 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.[69][70]

A secret report into the Army's role, the Clausen Report was authorized by Secretary Henry Stimson; it was critical of Short and also of Colonel Bratton who, he concluded, arrived later on Sunday morning than he initially claimed during testimony and invented a story about not being able to get in touch with Marshall which "nearly destroyed" Marshall.[71]

Post war: China[edit]

President Harry Truman in December 1945 sent Marshall to China, where he had served in the 1920s. His new mission was to broker a coalition government between the Nationalist allies under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Communists under Mao Zedong. Mao promised Marshall the Communists would give up armed revolution, embrace the old enemies, and build a democracy in China. Marshall hoped for a coalition government, and toasted their common future. The Americans assumed that if the Communists won the Civil War, they would remain on friendly terms with the United States.[72] 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.[73][74] Chiang Kai-shek and some historians later claimed that cease-fire, under pressure of Marshall, saved the Communists from defeat.[75] 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[edit]

General Marshall being sworn in as Secretary of State by Chief Justice Fred Vinson in the Oval Office on January 21, 1947.
Secretary of State George C. Marshall

After Marshall's return to the U.S. in early 1947, Truman appointed Marshall Secretary of State. As one of the most well-regarded and least politicized national leaders, he made an ideal front office personality. He became the spokesman for the State Department's ambitious plans to rebuild Europe. He did not design the plans, and paid little to details or negotiations. He did not keep current on details of foreign affairs. As one biographer notes, he had never been a workaholic. He turned over major responsibilities to his deputies, especially Under-Secretary Robert A. Lovett, and refused to be troubled by minutiae. By 1948, with frailties building up, his participation was further curtailed. Marshall said, "The fact of the matter is that Lovett bears the principal burden as I get away whenever possible."[76] On June 5, 1947 in a speech[77] 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.[78][79] The Marshall Plan would help Europe rebuild and modernize its economy along American lines, and open up new opportunities for international trade. Stalin ordered his satellites in Eastern Europe not to participate. Marshall was again named "Man of the Year" by Time in January 1948.[80]

Secretary of State Marshall speaks to The House Appropriations Committee. January 15, 1948.

Truman repeatedly rejected Marshall's advice on Middle Eastern policy.[81] As Secretary of State, Marshall strongly opposed recognizing the newly formed state of Israel. Marshall felt that if the state of Israel was declared 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."[82][83][84] However, Marshall refused to vote in any election as a matter of principle.[85][86]

During his tenure as Secretary of State, Marshall also urged Truman to immediately call for The Netherlands to stop their invasion of Indonesia, a former Dutch colony which had declared independence in 1945. The Netherlands ignored the Truman administration's initial entreaties. As a result, the Marshall Plan program for The Netherlands economic recovery was put on hold and the Truman administration threatened to cut all economic aid. The Netherlands finally agreed to withdraw and transferred sovereignty following the Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference in 1949.[87]

Marshall resigned as Secretary of State because of ill health on January 7, 1949. He was severely exhausted throughout his tenure in the position. Dean Acheson in late 1947 said he was underperforming like "a four-engine bomber going only on one engine."[88] Truman named him to the largely honorific positions of chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission and president of the American National Red Cross.[89] He received the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize for his post-war work, despite the criticism that he was a warrior not a pacifist.[90]

Secretary of Defense[edit]

Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall in his office at The Pentagon.

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.[4] 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.[91] Marshall was the first person to be granted such a waiver; in 2017, Jim Mattis became the second and in January 2021, General Lloyd Austin became the third.[92] Marshall's main role as Secretary of Defense was to restore confidence and morale to the Defense Department while rebuilding the armed forces following their post-World War II demobilization.

Korean War[edit]

Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall discussing the Korean War with President Truman and Special Assistant to the President Averell Harriman in the Oval Office.

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".[93] 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.[94] 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]

Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall greeting President Truman following Truman's return from the Wake Island Conference at Washington National Airport, October 18, 1950.

Increasingly concerned about public statements from MacArthur, commander of United Nations forces fighting in the Korean War, which contradicted President 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 Dean Acheson and advisor W. Averell Harriman to discuss whether MacArthur should be removed from command.[95]

Harriman was emphatically in favor of MacArthur's relief, but Bradley opposed it.[95] Marshall asked for more time to consider the matter.[95] 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."[96]:429 At another meeting the following day, Marshall and Bradley continued to oppose MacArthur's relief.[95] 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."[97]:179

Marshall, Bradley, Acheson and Harriman met with Truman again on 9 April.[95] Bradley informed the President of the views of the Joint Chiefs, and Marshall added that he agreed with them.[95] Truman wrote in his diary that "it is of unanimous opinion of all that MacArthur be relieved. All four so advise."[98] (The Joint Chiefs would later insist that they had only "concurred" with the relief, not "recommended" it.)[99]

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.[24]:99 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.[95]

Later life[edit]

Dodona Manor, the 19th century home and gardens of George Marshall and his wife Katherine

Retirement[edit]

In September 1951, after 49 years of continuous public service, Marshall retired to his home, Dodona Manor, in Leesburg, Virginia.[100] Purchased by the Marshalls in 1941, Dodona had previously served as a quiet weekend retreat for the busy couple.[101] The home was restored beginning in the 1990s and the house are gardens are open to the public as a museum.[100]

It was at Dodona Manor that Marshall enjoyed his favorite food, roast leg of lamb, and his favorite beverage, an old fashioned.[102] Gardening was one of Marshall's favorite pastimes, and in retirement he grew vegetables throughout the year, including tomatoes and pumpkins, while Katherine Marshall enjoyed tending to her rose garden.[101] In a 1942 letter to David Burpee, president of the W. Atlee Burpee & Company, Marshall wrote, "The business of seeds and flowers tantalizes me because I have been an amateur gardener, both flower and vegetable, since a boy of ten. There is nothing I would so much prefer to do this spring as to turn my mind to the wholesome business of gardening rather than the terrible problems and tragedies of war."[103]

Katherine's love of roses was well known, leading inventor Eugene S. Boerner to create the Katherine Tupper Marshall Rose, a pink hybrid tea rose.[104] It was patented by Jackson and Perkins in 1943.[104]

American Battle Monuments Commission[edit]

Throughout his retirement, Marshall served as chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission.[105] He oversaw the construction of fourteen cemeteries in eight countries following World War II to memorialize those killed or missing in battle.[106] In the early 1950s, Marshall argued for the speedy construction and funding of cemeteries despite budget and staff cuts for the Korean War. Marshall wrote to General Joseph McNarney in March 1951 saying, "I am naturally hesitant to become personally involved in individual personnel problems, but in this case, am deeply concerned about the overall moral factor if our foreign national cemeteries are not adequately maintained...."[106] Marshall's efforts to secure building and maintenance staff for the cemeteries were successful, doubling the number of military officers assigned to the work.[106] On September 13, 1952, Marshall attended the dedication ceremony of Suresnes American Cemetery in France.[106][107]

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II[edit]

After retiring, Marshall largely withdrew from public life.[108] A notable exception was in June 1953, when he accepted President Eisenhower's appointment to head the American delegation to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.[109] The delegation included Earl Warren and Omar Bradley, and according to Bradley, as Marshall walked up the Westminster Abbey aisle to take his seat before the ceremony, the audience rose to its feet as a gesture of respect.[108] Marshall looked behind him to see who the arriving dignitary was, then realized the audience had stood for him.[108] Marshall was also invited to the post-ceremony banquet at Buckingham Palace, and was the only non-royal seated at Queen Elizabeth's table.[108]

Family life[edit]

Cover of Together: Annals of an Army Wife, by Katherine Tupper Marshall. Published 1946.

George Marshall was the youngest of three siblings.[110] 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.[111][112][113] He later worked as a metallurgist and consulting engineer specializing in the production and operation of blast furnaces, coke ovens, and foundries.[114] George and Stuart Marshall were long estranged because George married Lily Coles, who a few years before had rejected Stuart's proposal.[111] When Stuart found out George was engaged to Lily, Stuart made unkind remarks about her, and George "cut him off my list."[111] Marshall's sister, Marie Louise (1876–1962) was the wife of Dr. John Johnson Singer, an Army physician who died in 1934.[115]

On February 11, 1902, Marshall married Elizabeth Carter "Lily" Coles at her mother's home in Lexington, Virginia.[22] Marshall met Lily after listening to her play the piano across the street from VMI.[116] Marshall, being immediately smitten, would "run the block," or leave barracks after hours, to be with her.[116] After traveling abroad to Japan, Korea, and China with Marshall, Lily returned to the U.S. to have a goiter removed. She died on September 15, 1927 after thyroid surgery that strained her weak heart.[117] They did not have children.[118]

On October 15, 1930, Marshall married Katherine Boyce Tupper (October 8, 1882 – December 18, 1978);[119][120] They had no children, but she was the mother of three children with Baltimore lawyer Clifton Stevenson Brown.[121] He had been murdered by a disgruntled client in 1928.[122][123] 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.[124] She authored a memoir in 1946, Together: Annals of an Army Wife.[125]

One of Marshall's stepsons, Allen Tupper Brown, was an Army lieutenant who was killed in Italy on May 29, 1944.[126] Another stepson was Major Clifton Stevenson Brown Jr. (1914–1952).[127] Stepdaughter Molly Brown Winn, the mother of actress Kitty Winn, was married to Colonel James Julius Winn, who had been an aide to Marshall.[128][121] Molly Winn was active in preserving Marshall's legacy, including preserving Dodona Manor and publishing Marshall's World War I memoirs.[128]

Death and burial[edit]

Grave site of George Marshall at Arlington National Cemetery

After a series of strokes, Marshall died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. on October 16, 1959.[129] Although he was entitled to official proceedings, Marshall preferred simplicity, so he received a special military funeral that dispensed with many of the usual activities.[130] The ceremonies included lying in state at Washington National Cathedral for 24 hours, guarded by representatives from each U.S. armed service and a VMI cadet.[130]

In 1956, Marshall detailed his instructions, in writing, to his aide, Colonel C. J. George:

The following is merely a repetition or confirmation of instructions I gave to you some years ago.

In the event of my death I wish:

a. The services be conducted in the Fort Myer chapel.

b. To be buried in my lot in Arlington Cemetery. (a new headstone will be necessary to include Katherine's name)

c. The services in the cemetery to be private.

d. The selection of the pall bearers to be left to you, except to include you, Sergeant Powder, Sergeant Heffner, Bedell Smith if he is in town, the following if convenient to them: Lovett, Jim Bruce, Frank McCarthy. No long list.[131]

— GC Marshall

President Eisenhower ordered flags flown at half-mast, and was among the 200 guests invited for the funeral service held at Fort Myer.[130] Other dignitaries included former President Truman, Secretary of State Christian A. Herter, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, former Governor W. Averell Harriman and Generals Omar N. Bradley, Alfred M. Gruenther, and Matthew B. Ridgway.[130] His parish priest, Franklin Moss Jr., from St. James Episcopal Church in Leesburg conducted the chapel and graveside services, assisted by former chief chaplain and National Cathedral Canon the Reverend Luther Miller.[130] In accordance with Marshall's wishes, there was no eulogy.[130] Following the burial service, an artillery battery fired a 19-gun salute and a bugler played taps. The flag that draped Marshall's casket was folded and given to Mrs. Marshall by a VMI cadet.[130]

Marshall was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 7, Grave 8198, beside his first wife and her mother, Elizabeth Pendleton Coles (1849–1929).[129][132] His second wife was also buried with him after she died on December 18, 1978.[133] On its reverse side, the marble headstone lists General Marshall's positions held: "Chief of Staff U.S. Army, Secretary of State, President of American Red Cross, Secretary of Defense." The five-star rank adorns both sides of the stone.

Reputation and legacy[edit]

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

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.)[134]

In 1913, Lieutenant Colonel Johnson Hagood 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.)[135] Hagood went on to recommend Marshall's immediate promotion to brigadier general, despite the fact that there were more than 1,800 officers, including Hagood, who were senior to him.[136]

After the surrender of the Nazi German government in May 1945, Henry L. Stimson, the Secretary of War, paid tribute to Marshall in front of a gathering of members of the Army staff, concluding with: "I have seen a great many soldiers in my lifetime and you, Sir, are the finest soldier I have ever known."[137]

Historians credit the high regard others had for Marshall's personal integrity as another reason for his positive legacy.[138] In addition to his willingness to confront Pershing over Pershing's berating of the 1st Division chief of staff during World War I, Marshall cited other instances where he provided persistent advice that kept Pershing from creating needless controversy.[138] In one, Marshall recalled a time when Pershing and Harbord intended to change a War Department policy implemented by Peyton March, the chief of staff of the Army and Pershing's nominal superior, with whom Pershing had a long-running feud.[138] Marshall counseled against it several times, and Pershing angrily indicated that Harbord and he intended to submit their proposal despite Marshall's advice.[138] Rather than submit, Marshall replied that Pershing was letting his personal feud with March cloud his judgment and that Harbord, who also disliked March, was doing the same.[138] Rather than continuing to "pull rank," Pershing yielded to Marshall's judgment and said "Well, have it your own way."[138]

In another incident that highlighted Marshall's reputation for integrity, when President Franklin Roosevelt, a former Assistant Secretary of the Navy, favored the Navy during World War II planning, Marshall suggested that Roosevelt stop referring to the Navy as "us" and the Army as "them."[139] Roosevelt laughed, but Marshall's humorous protest had made its point.[139]

In addition to his military success, Marshall is primarily remembered as the driving force behind the Marshall Plan, which provided billions of dollars 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.[140]

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."[141]

Orson Welles said in a 1970 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."[142] The story Welles related to Cavett to illustrate his point was about a time he saw Marshall take the time to speak with a young American soldier who had accidentally entered the same room.[142]

Tributes and memorials[edit]

A statue of General Marshall is unveiled at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies on April 30, 1998.

Two non-profit organizations, the George C. Marshall Foundation and the George C. Marshall International Center, actively propagate General Marshall's legacy. The Marshall Foundation oversees Marshall's official papers and over two million other documents relating to the 20th century. The International Center preserves Marshall's home, Dodona Manor, as a museum and hosts educational programs focusing on Marshall's life, leadership, and role in American history.[42]

Numerous streets are named for General Marshall, including George-Marshall-Straße in Wiesbaden, Germany and George-C.-Marshall-Ring in Oberursel, Germany.[143][144]

On April 30, 1998, the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies unveiled the first public statue of General Marshall in Europe in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.[145] The slightly larger-than-life statue was sponsored by the Marshall Center, the Friends of the Marshall Center and the City of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It shows Marshall in uniform walking across a bronze bridge, facing east, to greet new friends and allies and was designed by artist Christiane Horn of Wartenberg, Bavaria. Vernon A. Walters, former U.S. ambassador to Germany, was a keynote speaker during the dedication ceremony.[145]

Gallery[edit]

Fictional portrayals[edit]

Marshall has been played in film and television by:

Dates of rank[edit]

President Roosevelt's nomination of General Marshall to be Major General. June 30, 1939.

Marshall's dates of rank were:[158][10]

Insignia Rank Component Date
No pin insignia in 1902 Second lieutenant United States Army February 2, 1901

(Appointment accepted 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 June 30, 1920

(Reverted to permanent rank)

US-O4 insignia.svg Major Regular Army July 1, 1920
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant colonal 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 Army of the United States September 1, 1939
US-O11 insignia.svg General of the Army Army of the United States December 16, 1944
US-O11 insignia.svg
General of the Army Regular Army April 11, 1946

Note – Marshall relinquished his active duty status when he became secretary of state in January 1947. He was returned to active duty upon leaving office in January 1949.[159]

Awards and decorations[edit]

President Harry S. Truman awarding General Marshall an Oak Leaf Cluster to his Distinguished Service Medal on November 26, 1945.
General Marshall's Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (France)
U.S. Military Decorations
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster[160]
Silver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star[36]
Former U.S. Army Marksmanship Badge for rifle.
Expert Rifleman Badge[161]
U.S. Service Medals
Philippine Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Philippine Campaign Medal[159]
Silver star
World War I Victory Medal with five campaign clasps[162][163]
Army of Occupation of Germany ribbon.svg Army of Occupation of Germany Medal[159]
Bronze star
American Defense Service Medal with Foreign Service Clasp[159]
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal (First recipient)[164]
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal[159]
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal[159]
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal[159]
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars[159]
Mexican Border Service Medal
Mexican Border Service Medal[159]
Four Overseas Chevrons (for service in World War I)[165]
Army Overseas Service Bar
One Overseas Service Bar[165]
Foreign Orders
Order of the Bath (ribbon).svg Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)[159]
Legion Honneur GC ribbon.svg Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (France)[166]
BRA Ordem do Merito Militar Gra-cruz.png Grand Cross of the Order of Military Merit (Brazil)[167]
CHL Order of Merit of Chile - Grand Cross BAR.svg Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Chile)[159]
Order of Boyacá - Extraordinary Grand Cross (Colombia) - ribbon bar.png Grand Cross of the Order of Boyacá Cherifien (Colombia)[159]
PRT Order of Christ - Commander BAR.png Member 1st Class of the Order of Military Merit (Cuba)[159]
Order of Abdón Calderón 1st Class (Ecuador) - ribbon bar.png Member 1st Class of the Order of Abdon Calderon (Ecuador)[159]
GRE Order of George I - Grand Cross BAR.png Knight Grand Cross with swords of the Order of George I (Greece)[159]
Cavaliere di gran Croce Regno SSML BAR.svg Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Italy)[159]
Gran croce OCI BAR.svg Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy (Italy)[159]
Ordre de l'Ouissam Alaouite GC ribbon (Maroc).svg Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Morocco)[159]
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Knight Grand Cross BAR.png Knight Grand Cross with swords of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)[159]
PER Order of the Sun of Peru - Grand Officer BAR.png Grand Officer of the Order of the Sun (Peru)[159]
Order of Suvorov 106x30.png Member 1st Class of the Order of Suvorov (Soviet Union)[159]
Foreign Decorations and Medals
CroixdeGuerreFR-BronzePalm.png Croix de Guerre 1914–1918 with bronze palm (France)[159]
Medal for the Centennial of the Republic of Liberia.png Medal for the Centennial of the Republic of Liberia (Liberia)[159]
DK Forsvarets Medalje for Faldne i Tjeneste Ribbon.png Silver Medal for Bravery (Montenegro)[159]
PAN Medalla de la Solidaridad.png Medal of Solidarity, 2nd Class (Panama)[159]
Ribbon – QE II Coronation Medal Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (United Kingdom)[159]
Fourragère CG.png
French Fourragère in the colors of the Croix de Guerre[168]

Civilian honors[edit]

General Marshall's Congressional Gold Medal. Designed by Anthony de Francisci in 1946.
Date Awarding Organization Award
1943 American Legion Distinguished Service Medal[169]
1943 Time magazine Man of the Year[6]
1944 Pennsylvania Society Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement[170]
1945 Reserve Officers Association Permanent Membership
1945 Theodore Roosevelt Association Distinguished Service Medal of Honor[159]
1946 United States Congress Congressional Gold Medal[171]
1947 Freedom House Freedom Award[159]
1947 Time magazine Man of the Year[6]
1948 Grand Lodge of New York Distinguished Achievement Award
1948 Kappa Alpha Order Award for Distinguished Achievement[172]
1948 Variety Clubs International International Humanitarian Award[173]
1949 American Planning Association Gold Medal[159]
1949 New Orleans, Louisiana Key to the City[174]
1949 San Juan, Puerto Rico Key to the City[175]
1949 Fraternal Order of Eagles National Civic Service Award[159]
1949 New York Board of Trade Award for distinguished service and contribution to the American way[159]
1949 U.S. Conference of Mayors Award for Distinguished Public Service[159]
1950 Franklin Institute Honorary Membership
1950 Youngstown, Ohio Key to the City[176]
1950 Disabled American Veterans, New York Chapter Citizenship Award[159]
1951 Commonwealth of Virginia Virginia Distinguished Service Medal[177]
1952 Four Freedoms Fund Four Freedoms Fund Award[159]
1953 Norwegian Nobel Committee Nobel Peace Prize[178]
1954 American Veterans 10th Anniversary Award[159]
1956 Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for Distinguished Service[159]
1957 Organization for European Economic Cooperation Silver Medal
1957 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Meritorious Medal[159]
1959 Aachen, Germany Charlemagne Prize[179]

Honorary degrees[edit]

Honorary degrees[180][159]
Location Date School Degree
 Kansas 1934 Command and General Staff College Doctor of Military Science (DScMil)
 Pennsylvania 1939 Washington and Jefferson College Doctor of Science (Sd.D)
 Pennsylvania 1940 Pennsylvania Military College Doctor of Military Science (DScMil)
 Virginia 1941 College of William and Mary Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 Connecticut 1941 Trinity College Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 Vermont 1942 Norwich University Doctor of Military Science (DScMil)
 New York 1947 Columbia University Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 New Jersey 1947 Princeton University Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 Massachusetts 1947 Harvard University Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 Massachusetts 1947 Amherst College Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 Rhode Island 1947 Brown University Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 Quebec 1947 McGill University Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 Pennsylvania 1947 Lafayette College Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 California 1947 University of California Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 United Kingdom 1947 University of London Doctor of Laws (LL.D)
 United Kingdom 1947 University of Oxford Doctor of Civil Law (DCL)
 New Jersey 1948 Princeton University Doctor of Laws (LL.D)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Marshall received a diploma, not a degree.[21] At the time of his graduation, the top five or six VMI graduates received bachelor's degrees.[21] The rest received diplomas attesting to their status as graduates.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marshall Papers Pentagon Office Selected Correspondence Box 69 Folder 18 George C. Marshall Foundation
  2. ^ Liebling, A. J. (October 18, 1940). "Chief of Staff". The New Yorker. New York, NY. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  3. ^ 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. p. 1685. ISBN 978-1-85109-961-0.
  4. ^ a b "George C. Marshall – Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  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 c d "Person of the Year: A Photo History - TIME". Time. 2006-12-16. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  7. ^ a b "General George C Marshall". general-wedemeyer.com. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  8. ^ W. Del Testa, David; Florence Lemoine; John Strickland (2001). Government Leaders, Military Rulers, and Political Activists. p. 120.
  9. ^ New York Times: January 8, 1949, p. 1.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "George Catlett Marshall: Timeline & Chronology". Biography: George C. Marshall. Lexington, VA: The George C. Marshall Foundation. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  11. ^ a b c Zajac, Frances Borsodi (October 26, 2003). "Reporter, historian recalls interviews with General George Marshall". The Herald-Standard. Uniontown, PA.
  12. ^ Higginbotham, Don (1985). George Washington and the American Military Tradition. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-8203-2400-5.
  13. ^ "Family relationship of General George C. Marshall and John Marshall via John Marshall". famouskin.com. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  14. ^ Stoler, Mark (2015). "The Noblest Romans: Winston Churchill and General of the Army George C. Marshall". Winston Churchill.org. Washington, DC: International Churchill Society.
  15. ^ a b Cray, Ed (1990). General of the Army: George C. Marshall, Soldier and Statesman. New York, NY: Cooper Square Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-1-4616-6099-6 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ "Early Career". George C. Marshall. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  17. ^ "George Marshall". npg.si.edu. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  18. ^ Behrman, Greg (2007). The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe. New York, NY: Free Press: Simon & Schuster. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7432-8263-5 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ a b c d The Most Noble Adventure, p. 10.
  20. ^ Taylor, William A., ed. (2020). George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War: Policy, Politics, and Society. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-8061-6765-7 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ a b c Skutt, Mary Sutton (1997). Growing Up, by George!: George C. Marshall's Early Years, Uniontown, Pennsylvania-Lexington, Virginia, 1880-1901. Lexington, VA: M. S. Scutt. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-9661-5820-5 – via Google Books.
  22. ^ a b Stevens, Sharon Ritenour; Williams, Alice Trump (2009). Images of America: Lexington. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7385-6818-8.
  23. ^ Pops, Gerald M. (2009). Ethical Leadership in Turbulent Times: Modeling the Public Career of George. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 307. ISBN 9780739124772.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Willbanks, James H., ed. (2013). Generals of the Army: Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Arnold, Bradley. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-4212-8 – via Google Books.
  25. ^ "Fully the Equal of the Best": George C. Marshall and the Virginia Military Institute. Lexington, Virginia: George C. Marshall Foundation. 1996. p. 18.
  26. ^ Stoler, Mark (1989). George C. Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century. Woodbridge, CT: Twayne Publishers. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-0-8057-7768-0 – via Internet Archive.
  27. ^ Stoler (1989), pp. 21-25.
  28. ^ Jolemore, Kenneth A. (July 1986). "The Mentor: More than a Teacher, More Than A Coach". Military Review. Ft. Leavenworth, KS: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. p. 6 – via Google Books.
  29. ^ Zabecki, David T.; Mastriano, Douglas V., eds. (2020). Pershing's Lieutenants: American Military Leadership in World War I. New York, NY: Osprey Publishing. p. 115. ISBN 978-1-4728-3861-2 – via Google Books.
  30. ^ a b Calhoun, Mark T. (2012). "General Lesley J. McNair: Little-Known Architect of the U.S. Army" (PDF). kuscholarworks.ku.edu/. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas. p. 43.
  31. ^ Runkle, Benjamin (October 3, 2017). "When Marshall Met Pershing". War on the Rocks. Washington, DC: Rocks Media, LLC.
  32. ^ Davenport, Matthew J. (2015). First Over There. New York: St. Martins. ISBN 978-1-2500-5644-3.
  33. ^ Marshall, George C. (1976). Memoirs of My Services in the World War, 1917–1918. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-395-20725-3.
  34. ^ a b Memoirs of My Services in the World War, 1917–1918, p. 93.
  35. ^ Memoirs of My Services in the World War, 1917–1918, pp. 93–94.
  36. ^ a b c Melissa (February 8, 2020). "Marshall's Silver Star". Marshall Foundation Blog. Lexington, VA: The George C. Marshall Foundation.
  37. ^ Plampin, William (September 1, 1963). "Army Medals and Decorations". Army Information Digest. Washington, DC: Department of the Army. p. xiv – via Google Books.
  38. ^ Lengel, Edward G. (2008). To Conquer Hell. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 978-0-8050-7931-9.
  39. ^ Tucker, Spencer; Roberts, Priscilla Mary (2006). World War I: A Student Encyclopedia. I, A–D. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 1186. ISBN 978-1-85109-879-8.
  40. ^ a b World War I: A Student Encyclopedia, p. 1186.
  41. ^ 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.
  42. ^ a b "Home". www.georgecmarshall.org. Retrieved 2016-07-04.
  43. ^ Roberts 2008, p. 26.
  44. ^ Roberts 2008, p. 27.
  45. ^ Liebling, A. J. (October 18, 1940). "Profiles: Chief of Staff". The New Yorker. New York, NY: Condé Nast.
  46. ^ George C. Marshall's Early Career Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine. georgecmarshall.org
  47. ^ "General of the Army George Catlett Marshall". National Museum of the United States Army. Fort Belvoir, VA: Army Historical Foundation. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  48. ^ Roberts 2008, pp. 32,33.
  49. ^ a b Stewart, Greg (June 13, 2011). "Made a Mason at Sight". Masonic Education and Analysis. Freemason Information.
  50. ^ Bland, Larry I., George C. Marshall and the Education of Army Leaders, Military Review 68 (October 1988) 27–51, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas
  51. ^ a b Ossad, Steven L., Command Failures: Lessons Learned from Lloyd R. Fredendall, Army Magazine, March 2003
  52. ^ 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. 271–84
  53. ^ 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
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Further reading[edit]

  • Alperovitz, Gar, Robert L. Messer, and Barton J. Bernstein. "Marshall, Truman, and the decision to drop the bomb." International Security 16.3 (1991): 204–221. online
  • Bland, Larry I. "George C. Marshall and the education of Army leaders." Military Review 68 (1988): 27–37. Online
  • Brower, Charles F. George C. Marshall: Servant of the American Nation (2011) Excerpt.
  • Bryan, Ferald J. "George C. Marshall at Harvard: A Study of the Origins and Construction of the 'Marshall Plan' Speech." Presidential Studies Quarterly (1991): 489–502. online Archived 2020-02-03 at the Wayback Machine
  • Clarcq, J., DeMartino, R., & Palanski, M. E. George C. Marshall: An enduring model of leadership effectiveness" Journal of Character and Leadership Integration (2011). 2:17–34.
  • Cray, Ed. General of the Army: George C. Marshall, Soldier and Statesman (W.W. Norton & Company, 1990)
  • Findling, John E. and Frank W. Thackeray eds. Statesmen Who Changed the World: A Bio-Bibliographical Dictionary of Diplomacy (Greenwood, 1993) pp 337–45.
  • Friedrich, Tamara L., et al. "Collectivistic leadership and George C. Marshall: A historiometric analysis of career events." Leadership Quarterly 25.3 (2014): 449-467. online
  • Gullan, Harold I. "Expectations of Infamy: Roosevelt and Marshall Prepare for War, 1938–41." Presidential Studies Quarterly Volume: 28#3 1998. pp. 510+ online edition
  • Higginbotham, Don. "George Washington and George Marshall: Some Reflections on the American Military Tradition" (US Air Force Academy, 1984) online.
  • Hopkins, Michael F. "President Harry Truman's Secretaries of State: Stettinius, Byrnes, Marshall and Acheson." Journal of Transatlantic Studies 6.3 (2008): 290-304.
  • Jordan, Jonathan W., American Warlords: How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory in World War II (NAL/Caliber 2015).
  • Kurtz-Phelan, Daniel. The China Mission: George Marshall's Unfinished War, 1945-1947 (2018) online review
  • May, Ernest R. "1947–48: When Marshall Kept the U.S. Out of War in China". Journal of Military History 2002 66(4): 1001–10. ISSN 0899-3718
  • Levine, Steven I. "A New Look at American Mediation in the Chinese Civil War: the Marshall Mission and Manchuria." Diplomatic History 1979 3(4): 349–375. ISSN 0145-2096
  • Munch, P. G. "General George C. Marshall and the Army staff: A study in the effectiveness of staff leadership" Military Review (1994). 74:14–23
  • Nelsen, J. T. "General George C. Marshall: Strategic leadership and the challenges of reconstituting the Army, 1939–1941" in Professional Readings in Military Strategy (Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College (1993) 7: 1–95.
  • Olsen, Howard A. "George C. Marshall, emergence of a politician, 1 September 1939 to 6 December 1941" (Army Command And General Staff College, 1990) online
  • Parrish, Thomas. Roosevelt and Marshall: Partners in Politics and War (1989). 608 pp.
  • Perry, Mark. Partners in Command: George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War and Peace (Penguin Press, 2007)
  • Forrest Pogue, Viking, (1963–87) Four-volume authorized biography: complete text is online
  • Pops, Gerald. "The ethical leadership of George C. Marshall." Public Integrity 8.2 (2006): 165-185. Online
  • Puryear Jr., Edgar F. 19 Stars: A Study in Military Character and Leadership (Presidio Press, 2003) covers Marshall as well as Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Patton.
  • Roberts, Andrew (2008). Masters and Commanders. How Roosevelt, Churchill, Marshall and Alanbrooke won the war in the west. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9969-3. Online free to borrow]
  • Roll, David L. George Marshall: Defender of the Republic. (2019) online
  • Steele, Richard W. The First Offensive, 1942: Roosevelt, Marshall, and the Making of American Strategy. (1973)
  • Stoler, Mark C. George C. Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century. (Twayne, 1989) 252 pp.
  • Taaffe, Stephen R. Marshall and His Generals: U.S. Army Commanders in World War II. (2011) excerpt
  • Taylor, William. George C. Marshall and the Early Cold War. (University of Oklahoma Press, 2020) 310 pp.
  • Thompson, Rachel Yarnell. Marshall: A Statesman Shaped in the Crucible of War. (2014). ISBN 978-0615929033
  • Unger, Debi and Irwin with Stanley Hirshson. George Marshall: a Biography. (Harper, 2014). ISBN 9780060577193
  • Weissman, Alexander D. "Pivotal politics—The Marshall Plan: A turning point in foreign aid and the struggle for democracy." History Teacher 47.1 (2013): 111-129. online, for middle and high school students
  • Widener, Jeffrey M. "From General to Diplomat: The Success and Failure of George C. Marshall’s Mission to China after World War II." Chinese Historical Review 27.1 (2020): 32-49.

Primary sources[edit]

  • The Papers of George Catlett Marshall: (Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens, eds.) online edition
    • Vol. 1: "The Soldierly Spirit," December 1880 – June 1939. (1981)
    • Vol. 2: "We Cannot Delay," July 1, 1939 – December 6, 1941. (1986)
    • Vol. 3: "The Right Man for the Job," December 7, 1941 – May 31, 1943. (1991)
    • Vol. 4: "Aggressive and Determined Leadership," June 1, 1943 – December 31, 1944. (1996)
    • Vol. 5: "The Finest Soldier," January 1, 1945 – January 7, 1947. (2003)
    • Vol. 6: "The Whole World Hangs in the Balance," January 8, 1947 – September 30, 1949. (2012)
    • Vol. 7: "The Man of the Age," October 1, 1949 – October 16, 1959. (2016)
  • Bland, Larry; Jeans, Roger B.; and Wilkinson, Mark, ed. George C. Marshall's Mediation Mission to China, December 1945 – January 1947. Lexington, Va.: George C. Marshall Found., 1998. 661 pp.
  • Marshall, George C. George C. Marshall: Interviews and Reminiscences for Forrest C. Pogue. Lexington, Va.: George C. Marshall Found., 1991. 698 pp. online edition
  • George Catlett Marshall. Memoirs of My Services in the World War, 1917–1918 (1976). online edition
  • Marshall, George. The Infantry Journal Incorporated (1939). Infantry in Battle (PDF). Washington, DC: Garrett and Massey. ISBN 0-940328-04-6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-21.
  • Wilson, Rose Page. General Marshall Remembered. Upper Saddle River, Nj: Prentice-Hall, 1968. 399 pp.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Stanley Dunbar Embick
Deputy Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1938–1939
Succeeded by
Lorenzo D. Gasser
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

1947–1949
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Dean Acheson
Preceded by
Louis A. Johnson
U.S. Secretary of Defense
Served under: Harry S. Truman

1950–1951
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Robert A. Lovett
Awards and achievements
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Prince Konoye
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July 29, 1940
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October 19, 1942
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Patriarch Sergius I of Moscow
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January 3, 1944
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March 25, 1946
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King George II of Greece
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