With the outbreak of the greatest war the world had ever seen, American Soldiers and the war-fighting materials supporting them spread slowly over the face of the planet, waging a total war, involving not only the hard-fighting men on the front lines, but also the industrial might of the United States. American strategic decision-makers during World War II directed everything from the operations of the massive assembly lines turning out tanks, aircraft, and artillery shells to the boots on the ground. A handful of men made these decisions, forced to balance politics and economics against military necessity. On Wednesday, September 21, 2016, author Jonathan W. Jordan will give a lecture showing how personality, politics, and the professional backgrounds of America’s top leaders shaped the grand strategy in mankind's greatest military conflict. Focusing on the four main subjects of his book, American Warlords, - a liberal Democrat, a conservative Republican, a bipartisan general, and an apolitical admiral - Jordan will describe how decision-makers of the United States’ high command set aside fundamental differences and pulled together when their country needed them most.
As the Second World War turned into a total war, President Franklin D. Roosevelt found his ability to expertly deal with Congress and the press did not translate into running a conflict on such a grand scale. He turned to his high command, a three-sided team in constant, but effective, conflict with each other and all of the Allies’ powerful players. The team included Secretary of War Henry Stimson, whose forward thinking pushed new weapons and industry, General George C. Marshal, who built the Army that saved the world, and Admiral Ernest J. King, who handled the Japanese, General MacArthur, and the British to conduct a campaign in the Pacific which resulted in unconditional victory. The triumvirate was by no means without conflict: Soldiers and politicians clashed as the Army and Navy learned to work together. Despite the trials, the team set aside personal, political, and professional differences to lead America and the Allies through four years of bitter, unrelenting warfare and ultimately, to victory.
Jonathan W. Jordan is the author of American Warlords: How Roosevelt's High Command Led America to Victory in World War II, the New York Times bestseller Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe, and the award-winning book Lone Star Navy: Texas, the Fight for the Gulf of Mexico, and the Shaping of the American West. His writing has appeared in World War II magazine, Armchair General, Military History, World War II History, and MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History.
All lectures are held in the multipurpose rooms of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The building opens at 6:30pm, the talk begins at 7:15pm, and the question period concludes around 8:30pm. All are welcome, and the event is free! For further information, please call 717-245-3972.