Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fox Conner.

This is coolbert:

"Read over and over again the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus, Turenne, Eugene and Frederic. ... This is the only way to become a great general and master the secrets of the art of war ..." - - Napoleon.

"'Nice chap, no General.' - - General Bernard Law Montgomery on his first impressions of American General Dwight D. Eisenhower"

Here is the man credited with having "made" Dwight David Eisenhower.

Fox Conner.

"Fox Conner (November 2, 1874-October 13, 1951) was a major general of the United States Army . . . is best remembered as 'the man who made Eisenhower'."

And outstanding U.S. Army general officer during World War One [WW1] and subsequently in the years after. Acted as a mentor for talented younger career officers, to include Dwight David Eisenhower.

"Conner set out to identify and guide the most talented younger officers, those who were likely to become the future leaders of the American Army." To include:

* George Catlett Marshall.

* George S. Patton, Jr.

* Dwight David Eisenhower.

Conner paid special attention to Eisenhower, seeking to develop through a systematic study of military history, Ike's analytical and intellectual capabilities.

"For the next three years Fox Conner taught graduate courses in military history, strategy, and leadership in a 'virtual' classroom located in the humid jungle of Panama. This classroom contained a single student, Dwight David Eisenhower. Military history classes at West Point had been poorly taught. But Fox Conner stirred Ike’s interest in history — he taught Ike how to read it, think it, and intelligently discuss its lessons"

Military science and military history would have been sparsely and poorly taught at West Point during the era while Eisenhower was a student [early 1900's]. Cadets graduating from the Military Academy would have obtained an engineering degree, the vast majority of class time spent on mathematics and similar engineering curriculum subjects. NOT military oriented subject matter!

This "virtual classroom" tutorial method of instruction was successful? Consider that:

"Conner helped Ike in gaining admission to the Army’s Command and General Staff School. Ike graduated first in his class."

Eisenhower's reputation as a staff officer was without peer. Ike prior to his assuming senior command during World War Two [WW2] HAD NEVER COMMANDED TROOPS AT ANY ECHELON - - PERIOD!! Strictly a staff man - - but the best that there was!!

Conner constantly stressed [admonitions heeded by Eisenhower during WW2] of the need for harmonious relations between partners engaged in coalition warfare [U.S./France/England] versus Germany in any future European war!

"dealing with the enemy can be a simple and straightforward matter when contrasted to securing close cooperation with an ally."

Ike also was considered to be, within the U.S. Army, the foremost expert on the campaigns of Napoleon. Was appreciative of the fact that in many instances, Napoleon was very successful in fighting and defeating opposition that consisted of coalitions. Coalitions traditionally do not fight well. Acrimony and dissension make for a lack of concentrated force and focused effort!

Maintaining a harmonious relationship between the various allied powers during WW2 was HIGH on the agenda for Ike. In this regard Eisenhower again was without peer? NO ONE ELSE could have done the job as well? Another legacy of the tutoring as administered many years earlier by Fox Conner?

"Montgomery even admitted that Eisenhower was the only one who had the personality to get all the Allies to cooperate and win the war"

Without Eisenhower, NO unconditional surrender of Germany in WW2? And, without Conner, NO Eisenhower?




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