Stephen Taaffe explores how and why Marshall selected the Army's commanders. Among Marshall's chief criteria were character (including "unselfish and devoted purpose"), education (whether at West Point, Fort Leavenworth, or the Army War College), and striking a balance between experience and relative youth in a war that required both wisdom and great physical stamina. As the war unfolded, Marshall also factored into his calculations the combat leadership his generals demonstrated and the opinions of his theater commanders.
Delving deeper than other studies, this path-breaking work produces a seamless analysis of Marshall's selection process of operational-level commanders. Taaffe also critiques the performance of these generals during the war and reveals the extent to which their actions served as stepping stones to advancement.
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By Jean on 18-12-17
Marshall's Black Book
George Marshall was appointed Chief of Staff of the Army on the day Britain declared war on Germany. The army was small and had suffered decades of austerity. The promotions had been stagnant and there was lots of deadwood. Marshall had to quickly get rid of the deadwood, increase the size of the army and provide it with the latest equipment as he prepared the army for World War II.
The book is less about Marshall the man, but focuses on how he chose his generals and a brief biography of each of his generals. Taaffe provides a good understanding of how Marshall’s command appointment directly influenced the war. Taaffe points out the strong and weak points of each general. The author includes the famous and lesser known generals and covers both the European and Pacific theatres.
The book is well written and researched. The author left me with a good understanding of the command staff during World War II. The book is easily readable.
The book is just over seventeen hours. James Anderson Foster does a good job narrating the book. Foster is a ten-time Voice Arts nominated Audiobook Narrator. He won in 2015, 2016 and 2017. This is my first experience listening to Foster. This is also the first time I have read a book by historian, Stephen R. Taaffe.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Guillelmus on 21-06-18
Good book - very interesting. It is inexplicable that the narrator is so very bad at pronunciation of proper nouns. There are two acceptable variants: pronounce proper nouns actually correctly OR at least use the standard English pronunciation of these words. Simple place names like Alsace are simply incorrectly pronounced and even Pershing’s name is occasionally fumbled. Inexplicable and highly distracting. This would get a better rating with a narrator who put in just a *little* effort to get names right.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful