History Wars World War II

Today in military history: Eisenhower takes command of Allies

Team Mighty Avatar

On Feb. 11, 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenhower took command of the allied armies in Europe during World War II.

General Eisenhower was nearly withheld from commissioning into the Army when a knee injury ended his football career while playing for the United States Military Academy in 1912. It’s also easy to forget that Eisenhower was a relatively junior officer with no battlefield experience at the start of World War II.

He would go on to lead the allies to victory against the Nazi Third Reich. 

During the war, Allied leaders appointed commanders to manage multinational forces for each theater of war. Eisenhower served in successive leadership positions throughout the European theater, Africa, and the Mediterranean area of operations.

Later he would become the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, charged with executing the Normandy D-Day assault — an invasion force of 4,000 ships, 11,000 planes, and nearly three million soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors.

He remained in command until the allies achieved victory in 1945 and would go on to serve as the President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. 

Featured Image: Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower speaks to paratroopers before D-Day invasions. (U.S. Army)