The World at War


George C. Marshall

George Marshall was born December 31st, 1880 in Uniontown , Pennslyvania. Marshall entered Virginia Military Institute in 1897. He was commisioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1902 waws married and immediately posted to the Philippines for 18 months. Marshall developed habits of self-discipline and concentration which would serve him well all through his career.
     He advanced steadily through the ranks and during World War 1 served as chief of operations of the 1st Division going to France in the spring of 1917 followed by service as chief of operations of the 1st Army during the Meuse-Argonne offensive in 1918. He served for 5 years as aide to General of the Armies John J. Pershing, 1919-1924. In his next assignment as assistant commandant of instruction at the Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia he strongly influenced army doctrine as well as many officers who would later serve with distinction in World War 2.
     He was sworn in as Chief of Staff of the US Army on September 1st, 1939, the day Hitler invaded Poland.The next six years Marshall directed the raising and training of troops, the selection of top commanders and the development and deployment of new weapons and equipment. The US Army was expanded from less than 200,000 when he entered office to a well trained and equipped force of more that 8,400,000 in less than four years, a feat which gained him the sobriquet of "Organiser of Victory" from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Marshall lead the fight for the cross channel invasion of France in opposition to the Mediterranean strategy of the British. He resigned from the Army on 21 November 1945. He was persuaded by President Truman to mediate the Chinese Civil War and although unsuccessful he became secretary of state in 1947. In June of that year he proposed the European recovery plan that became known as the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Western Europe. During his leadership as secretary of state crucial aid was provided to Greece and Turkey, Isreal was recognized as a nation, and discussions which led to the formation of NATO were held. Marshall left his post due to ill health in 1949. In 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
     George C. Marshall died in Washington, D.C. in 1959.

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