(K. Brent Tomer),
Eisenhower’s Armies: The American-British Alliance during World War II. By Niall Barr. Pegasus; 544 Pages; $35.
MANY writers have explored the relationship between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Just as rich, but sometimes overlooked, are the complexities of British and American military co-operation during the second world war. Niall Barr, a military historian at King’s College London, sifts through the squabbles and triumphs; his is an authoritative and highly readable account.
It was, he writes, the first time that two armies had worked together so closely in wartime. During the first world war, America’s top general had irked Britain and France by insisting on maintaining a separate army. In the second world war the British and the Americans adopted a unified command structure, clearing the way for the appointment of Dwight Eisenhower (pictured) in 1943 as Allied Supreme Commander. However, one lingering benefit of the earlier structure, Mr Barr notes, is that it gave American officers like George Marshall and George Patton an independence and authority that would prove…Continue reading