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General of the Army George Marshal's Pistol

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Now this Man was & is probably one of America’s best Unsung heros. Who was literally the right man, at the right time and had the right job.
Since it was he who raised up and trained the ragtag Army of the United States of the pre WWII era. To make it one of the best Armies at the end of WWII.
Anyways I found this information and thought it right & proper to bring this to your attention!
Thanks for sharing your time with me!

Time Magazine featuring General Marshall, October 19, 1942General George C. Marshall’s Model M .380 PistolSerial Number 135631– This spectacular and most important pistol appeared in a Colt internal newsletter in the 1940s.  The pistol is documented as having a wartime blue finish and standard checkered walnut grips and as being shipped to Springfield Armory on November 9, 1944.  The shipping book gives no indication of engraving.  The pistol is factory engravedand gold inlaid, featuring a facsimile of Gen. Marshall’s signature “G.C. Marshall” on the left side of the slide.Two recently discovered photos of this gun reveal two previously unknown facts:  1) This gun was thought to have been engraved for Marshall by Colt master engraver Wilber Glahn but was actually engraved by an engraver named “McGraw”; 2) it was believed that the gun was engraved at Colt’s when it was actually engraved at the Ithaca Gun Company, Ithaca, NY. The pistol was inscribed on the trigger guard at the time of engraving:

“Engraved By
Ithaca Gun Co.
Ithaca, N.Y.”

"Engraved By Ithaca Gun Co. Ithaca, N.Y."

Presumably, the left side roll markings have been relocated to the right side of the pistol.  (For another example of this type of work, see the Model M .32 presented to 1st LT. A.W. Norrie listed on the page of Inscribed pistols.)

The only known photo of General George Marshall’s engraved and gold inlaid Colt Model M .380 ACP pistol.

General George C. Marshall (ca. 1944)

MG George C. Marshall's Factory Engraved & Gold Inlaid Colt Model M

This photo was reproduced in a 1940s Colt internal newsletter.  This image is an enhanced  scan made from that newspaper photo and was enhanced to give the viewer an idea of how Marshall’s gold inlaid signature would appear.

George Marshall and Staff (ca. 1941)
General George C. Marshall believed men (and women) in uniform were the greatest weapons of war. Speaking at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in June 1941 he said, “It is true, as the daily press points out, that we are applying all of American energy, ingenuity and genius we can mobilize, to the task of equipping our new Army with the most modern and efficient weapons in the world—and in ever-increasing quantity.
“But underlying all, the effort back of this essentially material and industrial effort is the realization that the primary instrument of warfare is the fighting man. All of the weapons with which we arm him are merely tools to enable him to carry out his mission.”
As assistant commandant of the Army’s Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, George C. Marshall accomplished two remarkable things that enabled the United States and its allies to prevail during World War II. He transformed the curriculum in anticipation of the next large war following World War I. Famously, he said, “Study the first six months of the next war.” He possessed a remarkable vision that helped him during his entire career to “see” what was around the corner. He used this gift to identify future Army leaders as well. Nearly 200 officers whom Marshall trained at Benning became the leaders (“Marshall’s Men”) during World War II. He relied on them to execute the tactics that would accomplish the strategies he set in place as Chief of Staff.

Image result for General george Marshall personal gun

Image result for George Marshall personal gun
Here is some more about this Great Man!

George Marshall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
General of the Army
George Marshall
General George C. Marshall, official military photo, 1946.JPEG
3rd United States Secretary of Defense
In office
September 21, 1950 – September 12, 1951[1]
President Harry S. Truman
Preceded by Louis A. Johnson
Succeeded by Robert A. Lovett
50th United States Secretary of State
In office
January 21, 1947 – January 20, 1949
President Harry S. Truman
Preceded by James F. Byrnes
Succeeded by Dean G. Acheson
United States Special Envoy to China
In office
December 15, 1945 – January 1947
President Harry S. Truman
15th United States Army Chief of Staff
In office
September 1, 1939 – November 18, 1945
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Preceded by Malin Craig
Succeeded by Dwight D. Eisenhower
10th President of the American Red Cross
In office
October 1, 1949 – December 1, 1950
President Harry S. Truman
Preceded by Basil O’Connor
Succeeded by E. Roland Harriman
Personal details
Born George Catlett Marshall Jr.
December 31, 1880
Uniontown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died October 16, 1959 (aged 78)
Walter Reed Hospital
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Nonpartisan[2]
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Carter Coles
(m. 1902; her death 1927)
Katherine Boyce Tupper Brown
(m. 1930; his death 1959)
Alma mater Virginia Military Institute
Awards Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star
Nobel Peace Prize
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)
Legion of Honour (France)
World War I Victory Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Croix de Guerre (France)
Congressional Gold Medal
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1902–1951[3]
Rank US Army O11 shoulderboard-horizontal.png General of the Army
Unit USA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Commands Flag of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army.svg Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
5th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division
Fort Moultrie and District I, Civilian Conservation Corps
8th Infantry Regiment
15th Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Philippine–American War
World War I

World War II
Chinese Civil War

Korean War

College football career

Position Tackle
Career history
College VMI (1900)
Career highlights and awards

George Catlett Marshall Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American statesman and soldier. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army under presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, and served as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense under Truman. He was hailed as the “organizer of victory” by Winston Churchill for his leadership of the Allied victory in World War II.[5]
Born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, Marshall was a 1901 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. After serving briefly as commandant of students at the Danville Military Academy in Danville, Virginia, Marshall received his commission as a second lieutenant of Infantry in February, 1902. In the years after the Spanish–American War, he served in the United States and overseas in positions of increasing rank and responsibility, including platoon leader and company commander in the Philippines during the Philippine–American War. He was the Honor Graduate of his Infantry-Cavalry School Course in 1907, and graduated first in his 1908 Army Staff College class.
In 1916 Marshall was assigned as aide-de-camp to J. Franklin Bell, the commander of the Western Department. After the United States entered World War I, Marshall served with Bell while Bell commanded the Department of the East. He was assigned to the staff of the 1st Division, and assisted with the organization’s mobilization and training in the United States, as well as planning of its combat operations in France. Subsequently assigned to the staff of the American Expeditionary Forces headquarters, he was a key planner of American operations including the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
After the war, Marshall was assigned as an aide-de-camp to John J. Pershing, who was then serving as the Army’s Chief of Staff. He later served on the Army staff, commanded the 15th Infantry Regiment in China, and was an instructor at the Army War College. In 1927, he became assistant commandant of the Army’s Infantry School, where he modernized command and staff processes, which proved to be of major benefit during World War II. In 1932 and 1933 he commanded the 8th Infantry Regiment and Fort ScrevenGeorgia.
Marshall commanded 5th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and Vancouver Barracks from 1936 to 1938, and received promotion to brigadier general. During this command, Marshall was also responsible for 35 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Oregon and southern Washington. In July 1938, Marshall was assigned to the War Plans Division on the War Department staff, and he was subsequently appointed as the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff. When Chief of Staff Malin Craig retired in 1939, Marshall became acting Chief of Staff, and then Chief of Staff. He served as Chief of Staff until the end of the war in 1945.
As Chief of Staff, Marshall organized the largest military expansion in U.S. history, and received promotion to five-star rank as General of the Army. Marshall coordinated Allied operations in Europe and the Pacific until the end of the war; in addition to being hailed as the organizer of Allied victory by Winston ChurchillTime magazine named Marshall its Man of the Year for 1943. Marshall retired from active service in 1945, but remained on active duty, a requirement for holders of five-star rank.[6] In late 1945 and early 1946 he served as a special envoy to China in an unsuccessful effort to negotiate a coalition government between the Nationalist of Chiang Kai-shekand Communists under Mao Zedong.
As Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949, Marshall received credit for the Marshall Plan for Europe’s post-war rebuilding, the success of which was recognized with award of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize.[7] After resigning as Secretary of State, Marshall served as chairman of American Battle Monuments Commission[8] and president of the American National Red Cross.
As Secretary of Defense at the start of the Korean War, Marshall worked to restore the military’s confidence and morale at the end of its post-World War II demobilization and then its initial buildup for combat in Korea and operations during the Cold War.
After resigning as Defense Secretary, Marshall retired to his home in Virginia. He died in 1959 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Early life[edit]

1900 VMI Keydets football team. Marshall encircled

George Catlett Marshall Jr. was born into a middle-class family in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the son of George Catlett Marshall Sr. and Laura Emily (née Bradford) Marshall.[9] Marshall was a scion of an old Virginiafamily, as well as a distant relative of former Chief Justice John Marshall.[10]Marshall graduated from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI),[11] where he was initiated into the Kappa Alpha Order in 1901.[12] He was an All-Southern tackle for the VMI Keydets varsity football team in 1900.[13][14]

Entry into the Army and the Philippines[edit]

Following graduation from VMI in 1901, Marshall sat for a competitive examination for a commission in the U.S. Army.[15]While awaiting the results he took the position of Commandant of Students at the Danville Military Institute in Danville, Virginia.[16] Marshall passed the exam and was commissioned a second lieutenant in February, 1902.[17] Prior to World War I, he was posted to various positions in the United States and the Philippines, including serving as an infantry platoon leader and company commander during the Philippine–American War and other guerrilla uprisings. He was schooled and trained in modern warfare, including a tour at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from 1906 to 1910 as both a student and an instructor.[18] He was the Honor Graduate of his Infantry-Cavalry School Course in 1907, and graduated first in his 1908 Army Staff College class.[19]
After another tour of duty in the Philippines, Marshall returned to the United States in 1916 to serve as aide-de-camp to the commander of the Western Department, former Army chief of staff Major General J. Franklin Bell, at the Presidio in San Francisco. After the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, Marshall relocated with Bell to Governors Island, New York when Bell was reassigned as commander of the Department of the East. Marshall was soon after assigned to help oversee the mobilization of the 1st Division for service in France.

World War I[edit]

During the Great War, he had roles as a planner of both training and operations. He went to France in mid-1917 as the director of training and planning for the 1st Division. In this capacity he planned the first American attack and victory of the war at Cantigny, May 28–31, 1918.[20] In mid-1918, he was posted to the headquarters of the American Expeditionary Force, where he worked closely with his mentor, General John Joseph Pershing, and was a key planner of American operations. He was instrumental in the planning and coordination of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which contributed to the defeat of the German Army on the Western Front in 1918.[21] Marshall held the permanent rank of captain and the temporary rank of colonel;[22] he was recommended for promotion to temporary brigadier general in October 1918, but the Armistice occurred before the recommendation was acted on.[23] After the war, Marshall reverted to his permanent rank.[23]

Between World War I and II[edit]

Colonel George Marshall in France in 1919

In 1919, he became an aide-de-camp to General John J. Pershing. Between 1920 and 1924, while Pershing was Army Chief of Staff, Marshall worked in a number of positions in the army, focusing on training and teaching modern, mechanized warfare. Between World Wars I and II, he was a key planner and writer in the War Department, commanded the 15th Infantry Regiment for three years in China, and taught at the Army War College. In 1927, as a lieutenant colonel, he was appointed assistant commandant of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, where he initiated major changes to modernize command and staff processes, which proved to be of major benefit during World War II. Marshall placed Edwin F. Harding in charge of the Infantry School’s publications, and Harding became editor[24]:41 of Infantry in Battle, a book that codified the lessons of World War I. Infantry in Battle is still used as an officer’s training manual in the Infantry Officer’s Course and was the training manual for most of the infantry officers and leaders of World War II.
From June 1932 to June 1933 he was the commanding officer of the 8th Infantry Regiment at Fort ScrevenGeorgia. From July 1933 to October 1933 he was commander of Fort MoultrieSouth Carolina and District I of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and he was promoted to colonel in September 1933. He was senior instructor and chief of staff for the Illinois National Guard’s 33rd Division from November 1933 to August 1936.
Marshall commanded the 5th Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division and Vancouver Barracks in Vancouver, Washington from 1936 to 1938, and was promoted to brigadier general in October 1936. In addition to obtaining a long-sought and significant troop command, traditionally viewed as an indispensable step to the pinnacle of the US Army, Marshall was also responsible for 35 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps in Oregon and southern Washington. As post commander Marshall made a concerted effort to cultivate relations with the city of Portland and to enhance the image of the US Army in the region. With the CCC, he initiated a series of measures to improve the morale of the participants and to make the experience beneficial in their later life. He started a newspaper for the CCC region that proved a vehicle to promote CCC successes, and he initiated a variety of programs that developed their skills and improved their health. Marshall’s inspections of the CCC camps gave him and his wife Katherine the chance to enjoy the beauty of the American northwest and made that assignment what he called “the most instructive service I ever had, and the most interesting.”[25]
In July 1938, Marshall was assigned to the War Plans Division in Washington D.C. and subsequently reassigned as Deputy Chief of Staff. In that capacity, then-Brigadier General Marshall attended a conference at the White House at which President Roosevelt proposed a plan to provide aircraft to England in support of the war effort, lacking forethought with regard to logistical support or training. With all other attendees voicing support of the plan, Marshall was the only person to voice his disagreement. Despite the common belief that he had ended his career, this action resulted in his being nominated by President Franklin Roosevelt to be the Army Chief of Staff. Upon the retirement of General Malin Craig on July 1, 1939, Marshall became acting chief of staff. Marshall was promoted to general and sworn in as chief of staff on September 1, 1939, the same day the German Army launched its invasion of Poland.[26] He would hold this post until the end of the war in 1945.

World War II[edit]

As Chief of Staff, Marshall organized the largest military expansion in U.S. history, inheriting an outmoded, poorly equipped army of 189,000 men and, partly drawing from his experience teaching and developing techniques of modern warfare as an instructor at the Army War College, coordinated the large-scale expansion and modernization of the U.S. Army. Though he had never actually led troops in combat, Marshall was a skilled organizer with a talent for inspiring other officers.[27] Many of the American generals who were given top commands during the war were either picked or recommended by Marshall, including Dwight D. EisenhowerJacob L. DeversGeorge S. PattonTerry de la Mesa Allen Sr.Lloyd FredendallLesley McNairMark Wayne Clark and Omar Bradley.[28]

Expands military force fortyfold[edit]

Faced with the necessity of turning an army of former civilians into a force of over eight million soldiers by 1942 (a fortyfold increase within three years), Marshall directed General Lesley J. McNair to focus efforts on rapidly producing large numbers of soldiers. With the exception of airborne forces, Marshall approved McNair’s concept of an abbreviated training schedule for men entering Army land forces training, particularly in regard to basic infantry skills, weapons proficiency, and combat tactics.[29][30] At the time, most U.S. commanders at lower levels had little or no combat experience of any kind. Without the input of experienced British or Allied combat officers on the nature of modern warfare and enemy tactics, many resorted to formulaic training methods emphasizing static defense and orderly large-scale advances by motorized convoys over improved roads.[31] In consequence, Army forces deploying to Africa in Operation Torch suffered serious initial reverses when encountering German armored combat units in Africa at Kasserine Pass and other major battles.[32]Even as late as 1944, U.S. soldiers undergoing stateside training in preparation for deployment against German forces in Europe were not being trained in combat procedures and tactics in use there.[33]

Replacement system criticized[edit]

Originally, Marshall had planned a 265-division Army with a system of unit rotation such as practiced by the British and other Allies.[34] By mid-1943, however, after pressure from government and business leaders to preserve manpower for industry and agriculture, he had abandoned this plan in favor of a 90-division Army using individual replacements sent via a circuitous process from training to divisions in combat.[34] The individual replacement system devised by Marshall and implemented by McNair greatly exacerbated problems with unit cohesion and effective transfer of combat experience to newly trained soldiers and officers.[32][35] In Europe, where there were few pauses in combat with German forces, the individual replacement system had broken down completely by late 1944.[36] Hastily trained replacements or service personnel reassigned as infantry were given six weeks’ refresher training and thrown into battle with Army divisions locked in front-line combat.
The new men were often not even proficient in the use of their own rifles or weapons systems, and once in combat, could not receive enough practical instruction from veterans before being killed or wounded, usually within the first three or four days.[32][37][38] Under such conditions, many replacements suffered a crippling loss of morale, while veteran soldiers were kept in line units until they were killed, wounded, or incapacitated by battle fatigue or physical illness. Incidents of soldiers AWOL from combat duty as well as battle fatigue and self-inflicted injury rose rapidly during the last eight months of the war with Germany.[32][35][37] As one historian concluded, “Had the Germans been given a free hand to devise a replacement system…, one that would do the Americans the most harm and the least good, they could not have done a better job.”[37][39]
Marshall’s abilities to pick competent field commanders during the early part of the war was decidedly mixed. While he had been instrumental in advancing the career of the able Dwight D. Eisenhower, he had also recommended the swaggering Lloyd Fredendall to Eisenhower for a major command in the American invasion of North Africa during Operation Torch. Marshall was especially fond of Fredendall, describing him as “one of the best” and remarking in a staff meeting when his name was mentioned, “I like that man; you can see determination all over his face.” Eisenhower duly picked him to command the 39,000-man Central Task Force (the largest of three) in Operation Torch. Both men would come to regret that decision, as Fredendall was the leader of U.S. Army forces at the disastrous Battle of the Kasserine Pass.[28]

Planned invasion of Europe[edit]

Cover to the book Infantry in Battle, the World War II officer’s guide to infantry combat operations. Marshall directed production of the book, which is still used as a reference today.

During World War II, Marshall was instrumental in preparing the U.S. Army and Army Air Forces for the invasion of the European continent. Marshall wrote the document that would become the central strategy for all Allied operations in Europe. He initially scheduled Operation Overlord for April 1, 1943, but met with strong opposition from Winston Churchill, who convinced Roosevelt to commit troops to Operation Husky for the invasion of Italy. Some authors think that World War II could have ended one year earlier if Marshall had had his way; others think that such an invasion would have meant utter failure.
It was assumed that Marshall would become the Supreme Commander of Operation Overlord, but Roosevelt selected Dwight Eisenhower as Supreme Commander. While Marshall enjoyed considerable success in working with Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he refused to lobby for the position. President Roosevelt didn’t want to lose his presence in the states. He told Marshall, “I didn’t feel I could sleep at ease if you were out of Washington.”[40]When rumors circulated that the top job would go to Marshall, many critics viewed the transfer as a demotion for Marshall, since he would leave his position as Chief of Staff of the Army and lose his seat on the Combined Chiefs of Staff.[41]
On December 16, 1944, Marshall became the first American Army general to be promoted to five-star rank, the newly created General of the Army – the American equivalent rank to field marshal. He was the second American to be promoted to a five-star rank, as William Leahy was promoted to fleet admiral the previous day.
Throughout the remainder of World War II, Marshall coordinated Allied operations in Europe and the Pacific. He was characterized as the organizer of Allied victory by Winston ChurchillTime magazine named Marshall Man of the Year for 1943. Marshall resigned his post of chief of staff in 1945, but did not retire, as regulations stipulate that Generals of the Army remain on active duty for life.[6]

Analysis of Pearl Harbor intelligence failure[edit]

After World War II ended, the Congressional Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack received testimony on the intelligence failure. It amassed 25,000 pages of documents, 40 volumes, and included nine reports and investigations, eight of which had been previously completed. These reports included criticism of Marshall for delay in sending General Walter Short, the Army commander in Hawaii, important information obtained from intercepted Japanese diplomatic messages. The report also criticized Marshall’s lack of knowledge of the readiness of the Hawaiian Command during November and December 1941. Ten days after the attack, Lt. General Short and Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander of the Navy at Pearl Harbor, were both relieved of their duties. The final report of the Joint Committee did not single out or fault Marshall. While the report was critical of the overall situation, the committee noted that subordinates had failed to pass on important information to their superiors, including Marshall.[42][43]
A secret report into the Army’s role, the Clausen Report was authorised by Secretary Stimson; it was critical of Short and also of Colonel Bratton who, he concluded, arrived later on Sunday morning than he initially claimed during testimony and invented a story about not being able to get in touch with Marshall which “nearly destroyed” Marshall.

Post War: China[edit]

In December 1945, President Harry Truman sent Marshall to China, to broker a coalition government between the Nationalist allies under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Communists under Mao Zedong. Marshall had no leverage over the Communists, but he threatened to withdraw American aid essential to the Nationalists. Both sides rejected his proposals and the Chinese Civil War escalated, with the Communists winning in 1949. His mission a failure, he returned to the United States in January 1947.[44][45] Chiang Kai-shek and some historians later claimed that cease-fire, under pressure of Marshall, saved the Communists from defeat.[46][47] As Secretary of State in 1947–48, Marshall seems to have disagreed with strong opinions in The Pentagon and State Department that Chiang’s success was vital to American interests, insisting that U.S. troops not become involved.

Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize[edit]

Medallion issued in 1982 to honor George Marshall’s post-war work for Europe

After Marshall’s return to the U.S. in early 1947, Truman appointed Marshall Secretary of State. He became the spokesman for the State Department’s ambitious plans to rebuild Europe. On June 5, 1947 in a speech[48] at Harvard University, he outlined the American proposal. The European Recovery Program, as it was formally known, became known as the Marshall PlanClark Clifford had suggested to Truman that the plan be called the Truman Plan, but Truman immediately dismissed that idea and insisted that it be called the Marshall Plan.[49][50] The Marshall Plan would help Europe quickly rebuild and modernize its economy along American lines. The Soviet Union forbade its satellites to participate.

Marshall during World War II

Marshall was again named Time’s Man of the Year for 1947. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his post-war work in 1953, the only career officer in United States Army to ever receive this honor.
As Secretary of State, Marshall strongly opposed recognizing the state of Israel. Marshall felt that if the state of Israel was declared that a war would break out in the Middle East (which it did in 1948 one day after Israel declared independence). Marshall saw recognizing the Jewish state as a political move to gain Jewish support in the upcoming election, in which Truman was expected to lose to Dewey. He told President Truman in May 1948, “If you (recognize the state of Israel) and if I were to vote in the election, I would vote against you.”[51][52][53]However, Marshall refused to vote in any election as a matter of principle.[54]
Marshall resigned from the State Department because of ill health on January 7, 1949, and the same month became chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission.[8] In September 1949, Marshall was named president of the American National Red Cross.

Secretary of Defense[edit]

When the early months of the Korean War showed how poorly prepared the Defense Department was, President Truman fired Secretary Louis A. Johnson and named Marshall as Secretary of Defense in September 1950. The appointment required a congressional waiver because the National Security Act of 1947 prohibited a uniformed military officer from serving in the post. This prohibition included Marshall since individuals promoted to General of the Army are not technically retired, but remain officially on active duty even after their active service has concluded. General Marshall was the first person to be granted such a waiver, with Defense Secretary James Mattis being the second to receive it. Marshall’s main role as Secretary of Defense was to restore confidence and morale while rebuilding the armed forces following their post-World War II demobilization.

Korean War[edit]

George Marshall portrait by Thomas E. Stephens (c. 1949)

Marshall worked to provide more manpower to meet the demands of both the Korean War and the Cold War in Europe. To implement his priorities Marshall brought in a new leadership team, including Robert A. Lovett as his deputy and Anna M. Rosenberg, former head of the War Manpower Commission, as assistant secretary of defense for manpower. He also worked to rebuild the relationship between the Defense and State Departments, as well as the relationship between the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Marshall participated in the post-Inchon landing discussion that led to authorizing Douglas MacArthur to conduct operations in North Korea. A secret “eyes only” signal from Marshall to MacArthur on September 29, 1950 declared the Truman administration’s commitment: “We want you to feel unhampered strategically and tactically to proceed north of the 38th Parallel“. At the same time, Marshall advised against public pronouncements which might lead to United Nations votes undermining or countermanding the initial mandate to restore the border between North and South Korea. Marshall and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were generally supportive of MacArthur because they were of the view that field commanders should be able to exercise their best judgment in accomplishing the intent of their superiors.
Following Chinese military intervention in Korea during late November, Marshall and the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought ways to aid MacArthur while avoiding all-out war with China. In the debate over what to do about China’s increased involvement, Marshall opposed a cease–fire on the grounds that it would make the U.S. look weak in China’s eyes, leading to demands for future concessions. In addition, Marshall argued that the U.S. had a moral obligation to honor its commitment to South Korea. When British Prime Minister Clement Attlee suggested diplomatic overtures to China, Marshall opposed, arguing that it was impossible to negotiate with the Communist government. In addition, Marshall expressed concern that concessions to China would undermine confidence in the U.S. among its Asian allies, including Japan and the Philippines. When some in Congress favored expanding the war in Korea and confronting China, Marshall argued against a wider war in Korea, continuing instead to stress the importance of containing the Soviet Union during the Cold War battle for primacy in Europe.

Relief of General MacArthur[edit]

Increasingly concerned about public statements from General Douglas MacArthur, commander of United Nations forces fighting in the Korean War, which contradicted President Harry S. Truman‘s on prosecution of the war, on the morning of 6 April, 1951, Truman held a meeting with Marshall, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Omar Bradley, Secretary of State Acheson and advisor W. Averell Harriman to discuss whether MacArthur should be removed from command.
Harriman was emphatically in favor of MacArthur’s relief, but Bradley opposed it. Marshall asked for more time to consider the matter. Acheson was in favor but did not disclose this, instead warning Truman that if he did it, MacArthur’s relief would cause “the biggest fight of your administration.” At another meeting the following day, Marshall and Bradley continued to oppose MacArthur’s relief. On 8 April, the Joint Chiefs of Staff met with Marshall, and each expressed the view that MacArthur’s relief was desirable from a “military point of view,” suggesting that “if MacArthur were not relieved, a large segment of our people would charge that civil authorities no longer controlled the military.”
Marshall, Bradley, Acheson and Harriman met with Truman again on 9 April. Bradley informed the President of the views of the Joint Chiefs, and Marshall added that he agreed with them. Truman wrote in his diary that “it is of unanimous opinion of all that MacArthur be relieved. All four so advise.”[55] (The Joint Chiefs would later insist that they had only “concurred” with the relief, not “recommended” it.)
On April 11, 1951, President Truman directed transmittal of an order to MacArthur, issued over Bradley’s signature, relieving MacArthur of his assignment in Korea and directing him to turn over command to Matthew Ridgway. In line with Marshall’s view, and those of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, MacArthur’s relief was looked upon by proponents as being necessary to reassert the tenet of civilian control of the military.


Marshall retired in September 1951 to his home, Dodona Manor, in Leesburg, Virginia to tend to his gardens and continue his passion for horseback riding. He was head of the American delegation at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. He also served as Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission from 1949 to 1959.

Death and burial[edit]

Grave site of George Marshall at Arlington National Cemetery

Marshall died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. on October 16, 1959 at the age of 78. He is interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia in Section 7, Grave 8198. Marshall is buried with his first wife, Elizabeth Carter Coles (1875-1927); his first wife’s mother, Elizabeth Pendleton Coles (1849-1929); and his second wife, Katherine Tupper Brown Marshall (1882-1978).

Reputation and legacy[edit]

Marshall’s reputation for excellence as a military organizer and planner was recognized early in his career, and became known throughout the Army. In a performance appraisal prepared while Marshall was a lieutenant in the Philippines, his superior, Captain E. J. Williams responded to the routine question of whether he would want the evaluated officer to serve under his command again by writing of Marshall “Should the exigencies of active service place him in exalted command I would be glad to serve under him.” (Emphasis added.)[56]
In 1913 General Johnson Hagood, then a lieutenant colonel, completed a written evaluation of Marshall’s performance in which he called Marshall a military genius. Responding to the question of whether he would want his subordinate Marshall to serve under him again, Hagood wrote “Yes, but I would prefer to serve under his command.” (Emphasis added.)[57]
In addition to his military success, Marshall is primarily remembered as the driving force behind the Marshall Plan, which provided billions of dollars in aid to post war Europe to restart the economies of the destroyed countries. In recent years, the cooperation required between former European adversaries as part of the Marshall Plan has been recognized as one of the earliest factors that led to formation of the European Coal and Steel Community, and eventually the European Union.[58]
In a television interview after leaving office, Harry S. Truman was asked which American he thought had made the greatest contribution of the preceding thirty years. Without hesitation, Truman picked Marshall, adding “I don’t think in this age in which I have lived, that there has been a man who has been a greater administrator; a man with a knowledge of military affairs equal to General Marshall.”[59]
Orson Welles said in an interview with Dick Cavett that “Marshall is the greatest man I ever met… I think he was the greatest human being who was also a great man… He was a tremendous gentleman, an old fashioned institution which isn’t with us anymore.”[60]

Family life[edit]

George Marshall was the youngest of three siblings.[61] His older brother Stuart Bradford Marshall (1875-1956) was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, and became a manager and executive in several metal production corporations, including the American Manganese Manufacturing Company.[62][63][64] He later worked as a metallurgist and consulting engineer specializing in the production and operation of blast furnaces, coke ovens, and foundries.[65] George and Stuart Marshall were long estranged; according to relatives, George Marshall’s first wife, Lily, had dated other VMI cadets before him, and rejected their proposals, to include Stuart Marshall.[62] When Stuart found out George was engaged to Lily, Stuart made unkind remarks about her, and George “cut him off my list”.[62] His sister, Marie (1876-1962) was the wife of Dr. John J. Singer, an Army physician who died in 1934.[66]
Marshall married Elizabeth Carter Coles, or “Lily”, at her mother’s home on Letcher Avenue in Lexington, Virginia, in 1902.[67] She died in 1927 after thyroid surgery that put significant strain on her weak heart.[68] They did not have children.[69]
In 1930, Marshall married Katherine Boyce Tupper (October 8, 1882 – December 18, 1978); John J. Pershing served as best man.[70] Katherine Tupper was the mother of three children with Baltimore lawyer Clifton Stevenson Brown, who had been murdered by a disgruntled client in 1928.[71][72] The second Mrs. Marshall was a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts; she later studied at the Comédie-Française, and toured with Frank Benson‘s English Shakespearean Company.[73] She authored a memoir, 1946’s Together: Annals of an Army Wife.[74] One of Marshall’s stepsons, Allen Tupper Brown, was an Army lieutenant who was killed by a German sniper in Italy on May 29, 1944. Another stepson was Major Clifton Stevenson Brown Jr. (1914–1952). Step-daughter Molly Brown Winn, who was the mother of actress Kitty Winn, was married to US Army Major James J. Winn, who had been an aide to General Marshall.
Marshall was a Freemason, having been made a Mason “at sight” in 1941 by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia[75]
George Marshall maintained a home, known as Dodona Manor and later as The Marshall House, in Leesburg, Virginia.[76]This was his first and only permanent residence owned by Marshall who later said “this is Home…a real home after 41 years of wandering.”[77] The restored home and its surrounding gardens are open to the public as a museum.

Fictional portrayals[edit]

Marshall has been played in film and television by

Marshall is a character in three different alternate history timelines in novels by Harry TurtledoveWorldwarJoe Steele, and The Hot War.

Dates of rank[edit]

No pin insignia in 1902 Second lieutenantUnited States Army: February 2, 1902
US-O2 insignia.svg First lieutenant, United States Army: March 7, 1907
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain, United States Army: July 1, 1916
US-O4 insignia.svg MajorNational Army: August 5, 1917
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant colonel, National Army: January 5, 1918
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, National Army: August 27, 1918
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain, Regular Army (reverted to permanent rank): June 30, 1920
US-O4 insignia.svg Major, Regular Army : July 1, 1920
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant colonel, Regular Army: August 21, 1923
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, Regular Army: September 1, 1933
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier general, Regular Army: October 1, 1936
US-O8 insignia.svg Major general, Regular Army: September 1, 1939
US-O10 insignia.svg General, Regular Army, for service as Army Chief of Staff: September 1, 1939
US-O11 insignia.svg General of the ArmyArmy of the United States: December 16, 1944
General of the Army rank made permanent in the Regular Army: April 11, 1946

Awards and decorations[edit]

U.S. military honors[edit]

Bronze oak leaf cluster

Distinguished Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Silver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star
Philippine Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Philippine Campaign Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star

World War I Victory Medal with four campaign clasps
Army of Occupation of Germany ribbon.svg Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
American Defense Service ribbon.svg American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal

Foreign orders[edit]

Order of the Bath (ribbon).svg Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (United Kingdom)
Legion Honneur GC ribbon.svg Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (France)
Order of Military Merit.png Grand Cross of the Order of Military Merit (Brazil) (Presented by General Franciso José Pinto on behalf of President Getullo Vargas on 3 June 1939)[78]
CHL Order of Merit of Chile - Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Chile)
Order of Boyacá - Extraordinary Grand Cross (Colombia) - ribbon bar.png Grand Cross of the Order of Boyacá Cherifien (Colombia) (Given by President Ospina Perez as he opened the IX Panamerican Conference, March 1948)
Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg Member 1st Class of the Order of Military Merit (Cuba)
Order of Abdón Calderón 1st Class (Ecuador) - ribbon bar.png Member 1st Class of the Order of Abdon Calderon (Ecuador)
GRE Order of George I - Grand Cross BAR.png Knight Grand Cross with swords of the Order of George I (Greece)
Grande ufficiale SSML Regno BAR.svg Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Italy)
Grande ufficiale OCI Kingdom BAR.svg Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy (Italy)
MAR Order of the Ouissam Alaouite - Grand Cross (1913-1956) BAR.png Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Morocco)
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Knight Grand Cross BAR.png Knight Grand Cross with swords of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)
PER Order of the Sun of Peru - Grand Officer BAR.png Grand Officer of the Order of the Sun (Peru)
Order of Suvorov 106x30.png Member 1st Class of the Order of Suvorov (Soviet Union)

Foreign decorations and medals[edit]

CroixdeGuerreFR-BronzePalm.png Croix de Guerre (France)
Medal for the Centennial of the Republic of Liberia.png Medal for the Centennial of the Republic of Liberia
DK Forsvarets Medalje for Faldne i Tjeneste Ribbon.png Silver Medal for Bravery (Montenegro)
PAN Medalla de la Solidaridad.png Medal of Solidarity, 2nd Class (Panama)

Civilian honors[edit]

  • On October 16, 1945, he was presented with permanent membership in the Reserve Officers Association by President Harry Truman.
  • In 1946, he was awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal.[79]
  • In 1948, he was awarded the Grand Lodge of New York‘s Distinguished Achievement Award for his role and contributions during and after World War II.
  • 1953 Nobel Peace Prize for the Marshall Plan.
  • 1959 Karlspreis (International Charlemagne Prize of the city of Aachen).
  • 1960 George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, originally the Army Ballistics Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville Alabama, became a NASA field center and was renamed.
  • The United States Postal Service honored him with a Prominent Americans series (1965–1978) 20¢ postage stamp.
  • The British Parliament established the Marshall Scholarship in recognition of Marshall’s contributions to Anglo-American relations.
  • Many buildings and streets throughout the U.S. and other nations are named in his honor.
  • George C. Marshall Award, the highest award given to a chapter in Kappa Alpha Order.
  • George C. Marshall High School, founded in 1962 and located in Falls Church, Virginia, is the only public high school in the United States named for Marshall. The nickname of the school – “The Statesmen” – appropriately reflects his life and contributions.
  • The Marshall Elementary School is in the Laurel Highlands School District, Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
  • George C. Marshall Elementary School: located in Vancouver, Washington.
  • The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • George Catlett Marshall Medal, awarded by the Association of the United States Army. Awarded to Bob Hope in 1972.


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