THE SUPREME COMMAND. By Forrest C. Pogue. (1954,1989; 607 pages, 11 tables, 9 charts, 16 maps, 64 illustrations, 7 appendixes, bibliographical note, glossaries, index, CMH Pub 7-1.)

This book, while it contains the history of the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, is focused on the decisions of the Supreme Commander rather than the machinery of command. It is primarily a history of the decisions of General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower.

To present these decisions in the round, it includes their background: the situations, military and political, that confronted the Supreme Commander, the discussions leading to his decisions; and the controversies--inter-Allied, interservice, personal, or purely military--which he had to resolve. It also includes an account of the reactions to his decisions and their effect on the course of the war. Since the author drew his information and impressions from interviews with more than a hundred of the leading participants as well as from public and personal records, he has been able to assess and illustrate, in many cases, the weight of personality as a factor influencing Eisenhower's final decisions and their effect. To give further perspective, the author has drawn on German records and interrogations to present the enemy's views, plans, and positions, not always known to the Supreme Commander at the time.

The period covered runs from December 1943 to 14 July 1945. The author reaches back (in Ch. II) to review the origins of SHAEF and to summarize (in Ch. V) the evolution of General Eisenhower's strategic mission as embodied in the OVERLORD plan.

The volume deals with the most complex combined (Allied) and joint (Army, Navy, Air) command that had appeared in the history of war, a headquarters founded

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on the principle of Allied "integration," first applied by General Eisenhower in his organization of the Allied headquarters in the Mediterranean in 1942 (AFHQ). It was the culminating expression of the principle of unity of command which the Allies applied in World War II with varying degrees of success in all theaters of operations.

Recognizing this, the author has included the facts and references necessary for a study not only of the antecedents, machinery, and activities of SHAEF (Chs. II-IV), but also of its relations, on the one hand, with the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the supreme instrument of the Allied governments for the military direction of the war, and, on the other, with the principal subordinate commands that directed operations in northwestern Europe on land and sea and in the air, from 6 June 1944 until 7 May 1945.

The Supreme Commander's primary responsibility was military, and after 2 September 1944 he assumed direct command of the operations of the ground forces of the Allies. In order to furnish the setting and trace the consequences of General Eisenhower's military decisions, the book includes a full account of the campaigns of the Allied Expeditionary Force. The scale of this account is determined by the outlook of SHAEF. In general, it follows at army and army group level operations that are being recounted in greater detail in the campaign volumes of the United States Army in World War II and in the British and Canadian official histories. Since the present account is necessarily based chiefly on American records, it gives a more complete and authoritative history of American than of British operations.

Although the Supreme Commander's primary responsibility was military, the scope of his command repeatedly put him astride the traditional line between military and political considerations which modern war tends to obliterate. This line presented a problem in his relations with the British and French commanders, particularly with Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, and in the recommendations he had to make on relations with the Soviets in the last phase of the war. The volume also discusses in detail the difficulties of making politico-military decisions without timely, clear, or positive directives from higher authorities.

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