George Marshall’s 1920 Letter on True Leadership


Brief and to the point.

Thanks to the reader who sent it in.

21 responses to “George Marshall’s 1920 Letter on True Leadership

  1. ((((Wolf Blitzer)))))) will hang.

    • Jimmy the Saint

      “((((Wolf Blitzer)))))) will hang” up his suit and go to sleep every night on a big pile of money until old age finally claims him.

  2. Fine words, no doubt.

    Why the fuck did he have Eisenhower’s back constantly when the latter kept that self-serving, idiotic and cowardly fool Monty in command over and over as he fucked up mission after mission (i.e.Caen, Market Garden, to name just two), allowed Bradley to hamstring Patton again and again and approve Operation Keelhaul which allowed Stalin to murder hundreds of thousand of good soldiers and civvies? Why did he not walk out as a point of honor?

    Why did screw Patton post-war for Gerorgie just trying to keep the citizens of his area from starving or freezing? 

    Why did he leave MacAuthur and his men hanging out to dry in the Pacific to be slaughtered by the Japs? Why did he not resign in protest?

    Why did he not quit when FDR and Churchill made it clear that the “second front” was going to be in France and not up from the South so as to thwart Stalin from overtaking half of Europe?

    And that’s just scratching this surface.

    Fine words, no doubt. Wish he had had the courage of those convictions to stick to them during WWII.

    • Socal bill is correct.

      This guy sucks balls.

      Put up bios of true patriits, not globalists.

    • to answer all the above, Marshall leaned Left, and “Ike” was his protege. Unlike MacArthur and Patton, who were combat officers, Marshall and Eisenhower were career staff who, as far as I know, never heard a shot fired in anger. I suspect one of the reasons c. 90% of the Venona decrypts are still classified is because some will confirm Marshall as a Soviet asset, i.e., agent of influence. Postwar, Marshall actually attempted to include the SU in the Marshall Plan…but Stalin backed off, fearing western contamination. And it wasn’t the Democrats who crucified Joe McCarthy; it was Eisenhower and the liberal Republican Senators: because McCarthy was closing in on a communist cell in the Dept. of the Army that Marshall had protected.

      MacArthur on Eisenhower: “a fair imitation of a loyal clerk”.

      Eisenhower on MacArthur: “yes, I once studied drama with him…”

      • Eustace Mullins said Marshall was homosexual. This fits with the mass of crypto queers and jews that infested the FDR administration.

  3. “Make a point of extreme loyalty, in thought and deed, to your chiefs personally”

    Imagine that put into wider practice. Better yet start by doing it yourself in whatever position you’re in now.

  4. Need to read what Joseph McCarthy had to report about Marshall in his “America’s Retreat from Victory”. Marshall was a staff offencer who never lead men is battle. A fraud just like Ike!

  5. socabill, hindsight is always 20-20. Remember, as Chief of Staff, he had to follow the orders of the President, and carry out his policies, no matter the way they went. Sure, he could have resigned. But then, vacant his position, influence and power, he would be totally unable to mitigate things in a way that at LEAST lessened the impact of some of these deadly things. He had to work with the possibility of the things he COULD do, not the things he COULD NOT. Such is the paradox that generals, and any other leaders are always caught in, having superiors who were at odds with morality, or even just the common sense thing, and still having to do the job. If the US had sent a rescue/relief to the Philippines, and lost the Navy’s aircraft carriers and other ships in a sea battle there (they most assuredly would have had to send them, if it was going to be a serious mission), the US would have been essentially defenseless against the JIN, and had to swallow hard, and accept some kind of truce, or even surrender. Men and equipment were traded for time, the most precious resource in war. It’s a rotten shit sandwich, and one you have to eat, it you want to survive. What do you think would have happened, politically, back in the US, with a second stunning defeat on the heels of Pearl Harbor? Chaos? Revolution? Certainly an electorate with no confidence whatsoever in the govt. And what about the Germans? Don’t you think they’d want a piece of the action, after the US is humbled by the Japs? Marshall had to deal with all this, and more, with commands screaming for reinforcements and logistics. No trained men. Few logistics. Everybody in the civilian sector wondering “What next?” We didn’t have that awesome war machine of 1945, in 1941, but mostly the blue prints, ideas, and a wistful longing for the money to do it. I often thank G*d in my prayers, that He gave us the men we had then, able to do the very hardest of things in war, restrain themselves, when every atom was screaming for revenge and action. Doing the hard thing is always thankless, and roundly cursed. And never seen, is the toll it takes on the men who have to do it. To be a leader is to be a rock. Alone, cold, lonely, and hard. Top it off with the fact you’re a HUMAN, and make mistakes, guess how people and history look at you.

    • Marshall was one of the 7 or 8 insiders – along with Roosevelt – on the Pearl Harbor massacre: who knew, from 26 November 1941 onward, when, where, and with what the Japanese were going to strike. Then sat on that knowledge in order to manufacture a bogus “infamy” and drag an unwilling country into the World War. That’s High Treason. The rest I agree with: Marshall was a competent military administrator. Ditto Eisenhower, and somewhat more: his 2 command decisions to attack in extremely marginal weather – Sicily and Normandy – were tough calls and both worked.

  6. Brief and to the point, all right.

    And wrong, 180 degrees out.

    This is leadership advice on being an unmitigated kissass suckup Pollyanna, and was rendered in light of the sort of common sense that had men charging machineguns and feeding The Reaper of Humanity in waves from 1914-1918, by the tens of thousands, under orders of “your chiefs”.

    It is jackassery of monumental magnitude, suitable mainly for getting your own guys killed wholesale, as it did.

    There are any number of thoughts on leadership floating about.
    And all far better than these words of dim-witted “wisdom” from a guy famous, primarily, for being everyones’ toadie, career-long, from Pershing to FDR to Truman.
    I suspect his lone Silver Star was awarded for staff “heroism”, not combat command or personal gallantry, and his initial move in WWII was to pick Lloyd Fredendall to command the troops that were devastated at Kasserine Pass. Well done, George.

    Everything Marshall knew about combat leadership was second-hand, and his firsthand knowledge of same could apparently be written inside a thimble with a sharpie.

  7. POd American

    If you want to have a little more insight into Marshall’s military service read,
    Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor
    by Robert B. Stinnett

  8. Aesop, perhaps you might note, American generals refrained from sending wave after wave of American soldiers straight into machine guns, (although, in some situations, there was nothing else that could be tried, or it was a part of a diversionary tactic), year after year. THAT was something that British, French, German, and Russian, Austrian, Italian, etc. generals did, over and over again in WW1. And Aesop, I haven’t seen the heavy responsibility of generals stars on YOUR shoulders, any time lately. Let him who puts his armor on, not boast as one who takes it off. I’m sure you could tell us lots of pretty tales of how you would do it, and win the war. My belief is that you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground, but that you do excel in shooting your mouth off about dangerous things you have no intention of ever encountering. Got scars? Or just scared?

    • Sean,

      “American generals refrained from sending wave after wave of American soldiers straight into machine guns….”

      Sean, you may want to reconsider your above thought. 33,000 US troops slaughtered in the hell that was the Hurtgen Forest, NOV 44. The bulk of the dead and wounded from Pennsylvania’s 28 ID.

      Senseless, tactically incompetent orders from “American generals” who ordered men into the senseless hell of the Hurtgen. It could have been bypassed just as the Marines island hopped in the Pacific.

      I have had little use or respect for commissioned officers above tne rank of O-4. Absolutely none for political hack flag officers. They were a problem in 1944 and today they continue to be a problem. They haven’t won a war since 1945.

      • They haven’t won a war since 1945.

        But. but. the flags. the yellow ribbons. the medals. the heroes…

        Thank Gawd they were fighting for our freedumbs.

      • If I remember right the Hürtgen Forest bloodbath was Bradly’s baby from the get-go, which Ike green-lit.

        There’s a movie I saw a while back (perhaps, “When Trumpets Fade” but I may be wrong) that zeroed in on some small-unit action that exemplified the rank stupidity of the whole operation.

        Very, very sad movie.

    • Sean, if you seriously suggest American troops were never ordered to charge into machinegun fire in WWI, exactly as the British, French, and Germans did, you don’t know enough about the relevant history to offer any further commentary. Stop embarrassing yourself.

      Instead, perhaps stick to addressing the point under discussion, and save your weak and worthless example of ad hominem for a class on comically bad logical fallacies.

      Marshall was a staff officer, with no experience of “leadership” as such, but rather only with “management”. Both useful, but hardly interchangeable. His offered advice, given in 1920, when he had been nothing but a staff officer since long years prior (which, however much he excelled at it, was all he ever became) is tainted by a dearth of any practical experience in actual leadership.

      You can gainsay that all you want, and you can point out that unlike Marshall, I never served during WWI, but it doesn’t make him any more of a non-expert on actual leadership than he is, or make his advice to toady up any more useful.

      Unless you’re programming drones.

      But hey, don’t believe a word I say: just Google up the combat glories attained by George C. Marshall, and demonstrate your command of the subject matter found by sharing what you discover with all of us.

  9. We look at humans actions and events from seventy years ago..we have a different take. Hindsight,especially from a safe,warm spot changes perspective.I had the honor and privilege of knowing many WWII Marine,Navy,Army, Army Air Force,and Merchant Marine veterans. They were good men and women whose lives were changed profoundly by their inclusion in WWII. Extreme violence changes you forever, unless you are a psychopath. Psychopaths do not make good warriors. You can’t trust them.