EISENHOWER AS MILITARY COMMANDER by E. K. G. Sixsmith

EISENHOWER AS MILITARY COMMANDER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Major Sixsmith does not impress the reader as a congenitally charitable type, nor is he a sycophant, as his earlier Montgomery as Military Commander proved. Yet his detailed assessment of Eisenhower's performance as World War II battle strategist is almost completely positive, the controversial decisions defended as both militarily and politically correct, at least at the time. Eisenhower's choice, for example, to ignore Berlin in the final drive, concentrating on Leipzig and Dresden instead, was justified by ""the rapidity with which Germany was overrun as far as the Elbe,"" and, adds the Major, ""It is easy enough now to forget that the Russians were our Allies"" at that point. Even Sixsmith's few minor criticisms of Eisenhower the commander come off as lefthanded praise: his excessively circumspect invasion of Italy was not an entirely masterful operation but others must shoulder the blame for the snafus -- ""Only in his decision not to land an airborne division at Rome can Eisenhower be said to have been too cautious."" On the other hand, Ike's generally acknowledged strong points are paraded about in the most glowing language -- his ""special genius"" was management (""He managed the generals, the admirals, and the air marshals, and even the politicians, and he managed mighty armies""h his special quality was the ""absolute integrity and the humanity that shone from him""; his special military contribution was implementation of a ""completely new"" command concept based on the unity principle. Just misses being hagiography.

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 1972
ISBN: 0938289136
Publisher: Stein & Day