The Soldier's General: Omar Bradley and the United States Military in Peace and War (296 pages, softcover)
By Janice A. Petterchak
Legacy Press Books
On this seventieth anniversary of the 1944 Allied invasion of Europe, the leader of U.S. forces, Army General Omar Bradley, is the subject of a new biography. His career spanning nearly the entire twentieth century, Bradley participated in the rise of the U.S. military from the horse-and-wagon era to the nuclear age. His unparalleled service resulted primarily from association with two men, George C. Marshall and Harry S. Truman. General Marshall mentored his protégé Bradley and in 1943 assigned him to the North African campaign under Dwight D. Eisenhower and George S. Patton. Then, after leading a corps in Sicily, Bradley commanded all American forces in Europe—the largest U.S. military force ever assembled.
Immediately after the war, President Truman chose Bradley to direct the Veterans Administration, a position he hesitantly accepted but truly did not want. He prevailed over an entrenched bureaucracy to implement the 1944 “G. I. Bill” programs for returning service members. Then, after nearly two contentious years at the VA, Bradley succeeded Eisenhower as Army Chief of Staff, became the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and achieved the rank of five-star General of the Army.
Following his four-decade military career, Bradley spent some twenty years in the corporate world, a key figure in the rise of the U.S. military-industrial complex. As chairman of the Bulova Company during the Vietnam war, he led the firm’s transformation from watch-making into one of the nation’s foremost defense contractors. Throughout a lifetime of defending and strengthening the U.S. military, Omar Bradley actively contributed to the legend of America’s “Greatest Generation.”
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