Talk:Leslie Groves

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Presence at famous MacArthur speech?[edit]

In Douglas MacArthur's famous Duty, Honor, Country speech at West Point in 1962, MacArthur begins the speech with:

"General Westmoreland, General Groves, distinguished guests, and gentlemen of the Corps."

William Westmoreland was Superintendent of West Point, but does "General Groves" refer to Leslie Groves? He would have been retired by then, but might have been invited as a distinguished alumnus of West Point. As far as I can tell from Groves' bio, he never served directly with MacArthur, so it seems improbable that they had a personal relationship. Does anyone have any info on this? --rogerd 19:10, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Groves was deeply involved in West Point's alumni affairs, according to Arlington Cemetery - MacArthur certainly knew that Japan surrendered because of Grove's project, and that due to its success war plans for an island-hopping conquest of Japan itself (and the casualty calculations) could be discarded. Metarhyme 12:56, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Leslie Groves was not only present(he appears in some pictures alongside MacArthur at this event), he was the president of the Association of Graduates in 1962, and presented the Sylvanus Thayer Award to MacArthur, which was the occasion for the speech. As to a personal relationship, I don't know, but Groves served in the Office of the Chief of Engineers in the early 1930's, while MacArthur was Army Chief of Staff, so both men were in Washington, D.C. at the same time. Given the small size of the Army in those days, and the fact that MacArthur began his career in the engineers, it seems logical they had at least a passing acquaintance. Beau Martin

If you know of any images of the event which are public domain, it would be nice to include them in MacArthur's article or perhaps the West Point, Grove's or Westmoreland's. If you have the url of a PD source, it would be appreciated. --rogerd 13:42, 29 September 2006 (UTC)


In the biography section, someone included the following: "By this time, Groves had developed a reputation as an officer of high intelligence, tremendous drive and energy, and great organizational and administrative ability, as well as considerable ruthlessness, arroganceItalic text, and self-confidence."

While it may be true, it sounds like a personal slam, to me. Furthermore, self-confidence, for those who've earned it, is little more than knowing who you are, what you can do, what you can't do, and being sure of both. As for the "ruthlessness" and "arrogance" accusations, that's debatable, as is whether those two qualities are somehow negative in general officers during times of war. For that matter, a man who knows who he is, what he's capable of, what his men are capable of, what the enemy is capable of, where the rubber meets the road might indeed be arrogant. He may also simply be smart, well-trained, well-informed, above average, and may simply come across to those who aren't as smart, well-trained, well-informed, or above average as "arrogant" when in fact they're not.

Tell you what - Let's ask General Groves. If he's all history has cracked him up to be, he'll tell you whether he's arrogant or not, he'll tell you the truth, and he'll be right. Generally speaking, that's why people like him are the one's who become generals.

His ruthlessness and arrogance were considered by his admirers and detractors to be extremely important. Kenneth Nichols, his right-hand man, describes Groves in his book as so:
First, General Groves is the biggest S.O.B. I have ever worked for. He is most demanding. He is most critical. He is always a driver, never a praiser. He is abrasive and sarcastic. He disregards all normal organizational channels. He is extremely intelligent. He has the guts to make timely, difficult decisions. He is the most egotistical man I know. He knows he is right and so sticks by his decision. ... He ruthlessly protected the overall project from other government agency interferences... And in summary, if I had to do my part of the atomic bomb project over again and had the privilege of picking my boss I would pick General Groves.
(Emphasis added by me.) I am sure General Groves would have agreed with Nichols' assessment and would have been flattered by it. He did not see himself as an easy guy to work with. He just wanted to get the job done. -- (talk) 00:28, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Actually Groves went round asking people; "Did he really say I was an S.O.B.?" See Nichols book for details. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:47, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Some thoughts[edit]

  • Citation 40, with the third paragraph of Post-War Section, is entirely Original Research and unsuited for a wikipedia article.
    • Yes check.svg Done
  • Popular culture mentions are only cited to IMDB, an unreliable source, and seem to be almost random in their selection. Breaches WP: Trivia and would recommend removing.
    • I've never had a problem with using the IMDB but I have no attachment to popular culture bits. Removed and see if someone else complains.
  • The pictures seem a tad big, and shrinking them would help sandwich the text less and make the article easier to read. Skinny87 (talk) 19:59, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Quality paperback[edit]

Yes, they misspelt his middle initial on his own book. Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:10, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Date format[edit]

Why is this article in the international (dmy) date format? He was a US general, wasn't he? I'm aware that military operations and such use the dmy format (as well as the 2400 format for time), but this is a biography, not a military operation. HandsomeFella (talk) 07:01, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Articles on the modern American military use the American military date format per WP:STRONGNAT. Hawkeye7 (talk) 08:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Are you sure that goes for bios too? I'm (almost) sure most American military bios I've seen use the mdy format. The wording is "articles on the modern US military use day before month" – how do you define "US military"? It might as well be defined as the US armed forces as a power, its barracks, vessels, operations, battles, etc, without necessarily including the individuals. Judging from the word "modern", it seems to me that this is the case. You wouldn't call Groves a "modern US military", wouldn't you? And if it applied to people too, what about those that switch between military and civilian careers? Maybe there is some ambiguity to the guidelines. HandsomeFella (talk) 09:23, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Update: I randomly picked the top entry of each of the three columns over several pages of the Category:United States Army generals, and all turned out to use the mdy format, regardless of era. HandsomeFella (talk) 09:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The Dept of Defense uses the 24 hr clock in all settings - not just for ops. This is why the 24 hr clock is also called "military time". As an aside, they also commonly use the international/European date scheme in which the date comes before the month (i.e 19 July, 2013) rather than the American style which is the reverse. Ckruschke (talk) 17:34, 17 July 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke
Sure, I don't doubt that, as you might have seen further up, but you're not answering the questions. Besides, this was about date format, not time format. HandsomeFella (talk) 18:00, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Ancestry: English, Welsh & French[edit]

Groves: My grandfather did not live too long. I do not know just when he died. I never knew any of my grandparents, either my grandmothers either. He was Welsh, born in Remsen, New York, shortly after his family got there. My mother’s mother was born in Wales. And she had some very well-to-do Canadian cousins who ran a flour mill at Guelph, Canada, that has now been amalgamated with various other things.

Groueff: So you are half Welsh?

Groves: Yes, half Welsh. All the other ancestry is English straight through, excepting for the original French. Well, there may have been a little here and there, but none that we know about. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bombadil USA (talkcontribs) 19:00, 13 April 2016 (UTC)