- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
Gen. George C. Marshall was usually very close-mouthed about the tensions he felt with our British allies during World War II. But in a 1947 letter to McGeorge Bundy, who was helping write the memoirs of former Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Marshall was pretty candid:
… there was quite evident to me the feeling that of the British leaders that our ground army was not going to be effective, at least in time to play a decisive part in the fighting. As you know, Mr. Churchill had grave doubts about the comparative fighting ability of the American divisions as compared to the German divisions, though we should never say this publicly…. There was also the feeling that we would have no commanders comparable to the British Field Marshal…"
(P. 236, The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, Vol. 6: ‘The Whole World Hangs in the Balance.’ Edited by Larry Bland, Mark Stoler, Sharon Stevens and Daniel Holt. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. Buy it now! )
Uri Friedman is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, he reported for the Christian Science Monitor, worked on corporate strategy for Atlantic Media, helped launch the Atlantic Wire, and covered international affairs for the site. A proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he studied European history at the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in Barcelona, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland.| Passport |