Matthew Ridgway. The Soldier's General by Thomas Fleming

By Thomas Fleming

The maximum American common of the 20 th century wasn't Dwight Eisenhower or George Patton or Douglas MacArthur. the distinction, in line with manhattan occasions bestselling historian Thomas Fleming, belongs to Matthew Ridgway, who led America's 8th military to victory in Korea. the following, during this short-form publication, is his brave tale.

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Seoul was recaptured on March 14, a symbolic defeat of epic proportions to the Communists’ political ambitions. Ridgway was now “supremely confident” his men could take “any objective” assigned to them. “The American flag never flew over a prouder, tougher, more spirited, and more competent fighting force than was the Eighth Army as it drove north beyond the parallel,” he declared. But he agreed with President Truman’s decision to stop at the parallel and seek a negotiated truce. In Tokyo, his immediate superior, General Douglas MacArthur, did not agree and let his opinions be known.

He dazzled old sergeants and military policemen on lonesome roads by remembering not only their names but the place where they had met and what they had said to each other. But this skill was not enough to revive EUSAK. Everywhere Ridgway found the men unresponsive, reluctant to answer his questions, hesitant to air their gripes. The defeatism ran from privates through sergeants all the way up to the generals. He was particularly appalled by the atmosphere in the Eighth Army’s central command post in Daegu.

By this time, he could recognize an estimated 5,000 men at a glance. He dazzled old sergeants and military policemen on lonesome roads by remembering not only their names but the place where they had met and what they had said to each other. But this skill was not enough to revive EUSAK. Everywhere Ridgway found the men unresponsive, reluctant to answer his questions, hesitant to air their gripes. The defeatism ran from privates through sergeants all the way up to the generals. He was particularly appalled by the atmosphere in the Eighth Army’s central command post in Daegu.

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