However by this time Roosevelt had made the decision that if a war did break out in the near future he would want to bring Leahy back to help him run it. Present are (from left to right): General Henry H. Arnold, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Air Forces; Admiral William D. Leahy, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Admiral Ernest J. Beyond the close personal relationship between Leahy and Roosevelt, the admiral had a number of key skills. That is why, when President Truman in early 1947 decided to intervene in Greece and Turkey, which is often seen as the start of the Cold War, Leahy was strongly opposed. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was now president, highly valued Leahy's diplomatic skills and he now appointed him governor of Puerto Rico. Vote Now! King, Chief of Naval Operations and Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet; and General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army. However, Leahy had no pre-existing relationship with Harry Truman, and so he immediately lost his preeminent position as a close friend and longtime confidant of the president when Roosevelt passed. It meant that when they did work together running the American Navy in the 1930s, they instinctively reinforced each other’s perceptions and made a very strong team. Whenever Marshall pressed the idea of a 1943 invasion, Roosevelt and Leahy pushed for delays. After Torch, Leahy’s number one goal for the war in Europe was to delay the invasion of France until 1944. Continue As such, the country could benefit by rethinking how and where it should involve itself in the world. In this conversation O’Brien sheds light on Admiral Bill Leahy’s momentous contributions to U.S. strategy and foreign policy in the critical years during and following World War II, as well as his personal style of discreetly exercising influence as “the second most powerful man in the world.”. Discussions over whether the U.S. should have invaded France in 1943 or 1944, or whether it should fight a Germany-First war are perhaps the most famous examples of this. The United States sent more overall equipment to the Pacific over Europe or North Africa. By 1936 Leahy had reached the rank of admiral and the following year he was became chief of naval operations and held the post until he retired from the United States Navy in August 1939. Roosevelt and Harry S Truman. This political, personal skill was a powerful weapon in his arsenal. On the other hand, someone like the left-wing Wallace, about whom Leahy was intensely skeptical, seemed to think that the admiral was a friend or at least thought well of him when that was certainly not the case. How would you describe Admiral Leahy’s personal style of leadership and management? Above: NAZI GERMANY & ITS ALLIED/ OCCUPIED TERRITORIES IN 1945. Admiral Leahy confers with Puerto Rican officials about new post as Governor. (both standing behind Churchill); and Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, (standing behind Roosevelt). As he rose up politically, he was surrounded by ambitious people trying to take advantage of his power to further their own careers—and he often held them at arm’s length because of this. From 1942-1949, he was Chief of Staff to Presidents F.D. Leahy's influence declined precipitously upon the death of FDR but then quickly revived as Truman found that he, too, needed the (now) five-star admiral's sage advice. He could use it on people he genuinely liked, such as Franklin Roosevelt, or those of whom he was deeply skeptical, such as Vice President Henry Wallace. Phillips Payson O'Brien is the author of The Second Most Powerful Man in the World: The Life of Admiral William D. Leahy, Roosevelt’s Chief of Staff, and professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. Leahy once addressed graduating midshipmen, “all have to a greater or lesser degree something else that is intangible…a combination of loyalty to ideals, tradition, courage, devotion, clean living, and clear thinking…it reaches far beyond the corps and comradeship.” On the mantelpiece was an order Leahy signed in the White House in August 1945 to General of the Army George C. Marshall, the service chief of staff, and Fleet Admiral Ernest J. He recounts many personal encounters with Marshal Petain of Vichy France and describes the other prominent personalities and conflicts there. Within 24 hours, some 2,500 Americans would be killed in France. WorldCat record id: 741354726. He was instinctively political (this is discussed in more detail later) and he was undoubtedly competent and thorough. It would, he feared, take many extra years and a great deal of American blood to take the fight to Tokyo. “Everybody may have peace if they are willing to pay any price for it,” he said. The following day the Democratic House Majority Leader John McCormack denied the reports and quoted Admiral Leahy as saying “the story about Fala, the president’s dog, is made out of whole cloth. The Admirals: 2 of 4: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King – The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea Audible Audiobook – Unabridged. The most-senior five-star officer in the U.S. military got some recognition July 17 when Quarters BB at the Old Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., was renamed Leahy House in his honor., By the time World War II started for the U.S., the American Navy was more the creation of these two men than any others. Playing next. Having failed to convince the president and his closest advisor to support his plan, Marshall was forced to accept that the attack would not occur until later. Born in Hampton, Iowa, where his father, Michael Leahy … Leahy, for his part, tried to moderate the cold-warrior mentality of Truman and his advisers and also tried to … Learn how your comment data is processed. To renew items by telephone, call 651-450-2999. Discussions over whether the U.S. should have invaded France in 1943 or 1944, or whether it should fight a Germany-First war are perhaps the most famous examples of this. The other joint chiefs favored inducting huge numbers of men and women into the forces, at one point devising a plan for more than ten million U.S. military personnel. Looking at the war from an overall perspective, Leahy did not want the United States to fight a Germany-First war, which Marshall and many others, including Winston Churchill, strongly supported. He tried to change the president’s mind, but to no avail. CIMSEC had the opportunity to discuss with Phillips Payson O’Brien his latest book, The Second Most Powerful Man in the World: The Life of Admiral William D. Leahy, Roosevelt’s Chief of Staff. (National Archives and Records Administration), At a luncheon meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, circa 1943. Report. Seventy-five years later, Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day, is part of the American story, but at the time, the when and the where were hardly inevitable. Title: Admiral Leahy confers with Puerto Rican officials about new post as Governor. Roosevelt and Harry S Truman. He has sometimes been inaccurately portrayed as a simple, hardline Cold Warrior. On the mantelpiece was an order Leahy signed in the White House in August 1945 to General of the Army George C. Marshall, the service chief of staff, and Fleet Admiral … Whenever the British acted like they might once again oppose the invasion, either the president or the admiral would say that they needed to launch D-Day because they had promised the Russians. Leahy is little remembered. Enter your email address to join CIMSEC as a "Subscription-Only" Member and receive notifications of new posts by email. After meeting him, Truman decided he wanted to keep Leahy on as his chief of staff, and by 1946 they were even on the road to becoming friends. In the event, the speech was completed on board the train and shown to Truman, Byrnes and Admiral Leahy. Even within the American ranks, the premise of an invasion was hotly debated. 4 star admiral (1) 60. He disagreed strongly with Truman over the U.S. decision to recognize Israel for instance, which he believed would lead to decades-long religious war in the region—a war that would eventually drag in the U.S. A crisis ensued and hard choices needed to be made in the second half of 1942 about what would be built, and even more controversially, what would have to be cut. Robert Peary, in full Robert Edwin Peary, (born May 6, 1856, Cresson, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died February 20, 1920, Washington, D.C.), U.S. Arctic explorer usually credited with leading the first expedition to reach the North Pole (1909).. Peary entered the U.S. Navy in 1881 and pursued a naval career until his retirement, with leaves of absence granted for Arctic exploration. Japan’s leaders were simply looking for an honorable surrender. Tag: Admiral William D. Leahy President Truman Creates the National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group, January 22, 1946: The Documents September 25, 2014 May 26, 2020 by textmessageguest , posted in CIA & NSA , Presidents , Records Reference and Research Leahy is little remembered. The United States opted for an equipment heavy, personnel-light military force structure that kept casualties down. Admiral Leahy frequently interacted with many well-known individuals of the WWII era, including those known for their strong personalities such as Admiral Ernest King, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and others. Admiral Leahy had been Franklin Roosevelt’s friend for years, going back to Roosevelt’s early job as the assistant secretary of the Navy. They were committed believers in the importance of a strong American navy and both had been strongly influenced by the ideas of Alfred Thayer Mahan. There, at a small liberal arts college, Admiral William D. Leahy, the highest-ranking member of the American military, was set to give a commencement speech before an assemblage of reporters. "The life of Franklin Roosevelt's most trusted and powerful advisor, Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief"-- Upon the admiral’s retirement in 1939, the president confided to him that if war came, Leahy would be recalled to help run it. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Aside from FDR, no American did more to shape World War II than Admiral William D. Leahy--not Douglas MacArthur, not Dwight Eisenhower, and not even the legendary George Marshall. He did not want to try an invasion in 1943, which Marshall supported, because Leahy believed it was an unnecessary risk which could result in high U.S. casualties (and he also believed it would deprive the war against Japan of needed equipment). Naval Academy. Not only would this preserve British troop reserves, in his view, it would also open up the Mediterranean, restoring the quickest lifeline to India, the jewel of the crown in the British Empire and a colony that Churchill, for one, was desperate to hold onto. Both Churchill and Stalin eventually understood how much Leahy was valued by Roosevelt and by the end of the war treated him with great respect. However, once this was ruled out, Leahy enthusiastically supported D-Day in 1944, and helped force the British to accept this position at the grand strategic conferences in Washington, Quebec, Cairo, and Tehran which were held in 1943. Admiral William D. Leahy speaks on the importance of keeping American free of the tyranny that is gripping a large portion of Europe. (Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives), President Harry S. Truman is piped aboard USS Missouri (BB-63), during the Navy Day fleet review in the Hudson River, New York City, 27 October 1945. The single most important element in Leahy’s rise to the top of the U.S. government in World War II was his longstanding friendship with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Privacy Statement In this, Leahy walked arm-in-arm with Chief of Naval Operations Ernest King. While he had no confidence in the future of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. wartime alliance, he was also dead set against the U.S. turning into a world policeman, deploying troops around the world and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. (Cryppie): Mike Lambert, The Conservative Wahoo (Defense): Bryan McGrath, The Navy's Grade 36 Bureaucrat (Admin and Bureacuracy), Vietnam’s Struggles in the South China Sea: Challenges and Opportunities, Revamping Wargaming Education for the U.S. Department of Defense. Speaking with a bluntness that impressed Leahy, Stalin disparaged any plan of Churchill’s that did not make D-Day the focus of Anglo-American operations in 1944. To allow this to happen, Roosevelt kept Leahy employed. As a Navy man—and more importantly, as the first chairman of the newly-formed Joint Chiefs of Staff—Leahy had a different opinion. When Churchill heard the Navy Day address, he decided to press ahead with an address of his own, which became known as the Iron Curtain speech. “The following week on Sept. 12 th, Knutson accused the President of sending a plane to pick up Fala. Advertising Notice Smithsonian Institution, (Time Life Pictures / US Army Signal Corps /The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images), (© Museum of Flight / CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images). The establishment of a strong working relationship with Truman allowed Leahy to keep influence in a few areas—most importantly relations with the Soviet Union. 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