World War II is one of the most tragic events in the history of the 20th century. That is why historians and the public pay much attention to the discussion of the role in this war of those personalities who persistently led the Western anti-Hitler coalition to the victory over Nazi Germany and its allies.
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The figure of Dwight D. Eisenhower is one of the most significant among the commanders of the Western allies because General Eisenhower is famous for his decisive actions in controlling all the land operations at the Western front since 1943. During the whole war, Eisenhower developed his great leader and tactician’s skills to make the future victory possible.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was always interested in military history and hoped to become a soldier. He entered the Military Academy at West Point in 1911. When World War I began a young man started training tank crews and was considered as a good specialist.
However, when the war ended, Eisenhower’s military career was not very active, and the most significant achievement was the service at the Panama Canal Zone (Wicker). Thus, the peacetime required a new approach to life, and Eisenhower concentrated on administrative activity. Nevertheless, 1939-1941 years can be discussed as turning points in his military career (Smith).
After Eisenhower’s serving as Chief of Staff of the Blue Army in 1941, he was appointed to be responsible for developing the war plans to defeat Germany and its allies. Taking an active part in the development of strategic operations for the American army, Eisenhower attracted the senior military leaders’ attention, and in 1942 he was appointed Supreme Commander Allied Force of the North African Theater of Operations (Smith). His important task was also to strengthen the unity between the Americans and the British to avoid a surge of any nationalistic visions which could prevent the allies from effective military actions (Wicker).
Having analyzed the possibilities of the Western forces, Eisenhower consistently insisted on the soonest landing in France to attack Nazi Germany directly. However, the openness of the second front was preceded by the development of such successful operations as the Torch in Morocco and operations at Sicily headed by General Eisenhower (Smith).
It is impossible to overestimate the role of General Eisenhower in providing the operations at the Western front because, in 1943, Eisenhower became the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He planned and organized the largest operation of that period known as Overlord when the allied troops landed at the Norman coast (Wicker).
The effect of suddenness for Germany was fully achieved. This fact helped to develop an effective operation. However, when the allied forces came closer and closer to Germany’s borders, the army experienced the challenges of the panic fear of sabotage, and Eisenhower’s task was to inspire soldiers for overcoming all the difficulties to become closer to the victory (Wicker).
The next achievement of Eisenhower was the largest Rhine-Ruhr offensive operation of 1945, which success proved the power of the allied forces and their further victory. Nevertheless, many historians argue the effectiveness of Eisenhower’s strategic operations and further actions by focusing on his lack of previous war experience (Smith).
However, the successes of those operations planned and provided by Dwight D. Eisenhower emphasize the General’s leader and tactician’s talents and make people think of the great role of this person in leading the allied forces to the victory over Nazi Germany.
Smith, Jean Edward. Eisenhower in War and Peace. USA: Random House, 2012. Print.
Wicker, Tom. Dwight D. Eisenhower. USA: Times Books, 2002. Print.