Lemnitzer: Soldier (H)

L. James Binder, Author, John S. D. Eisenhower, Foreword by Potomac Books $32.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-57488-107-3
On the 25th anniversary of the end of WWII, the U.S. Army planned a film series of famous generals, which was conceived to inspire military personnel ""through the patriotic example set by great men."" Included in the series was General Lyman Louis Lemnitzer. Though little known to the public, Lemnitzer had 51 years of Army duty, 27 of them as a general. He did not hold a top command in either WWII or the Korean War. He did, however, wield enormous influence on American military policy, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, supreme Allied commander in Europe, vice chief and then chief of staff of the Army, and commander-in-chief in the Far East. Binder, former longtime editor-in-chief of Army magazine, offers a straightforward, heavily researched, fact-filled account of Lemnitzer's career from his early days as a West Point cadet to his death in November 1988. Lemnitzer was a superb planner, not a warrior, Binder shows, although he displayed exceptional courage and bravery when, as described in the most exciting bit of the book, he took a secret submarine trip to a seaside villa to help plan the Allied invasion of North Africa during WWII. Binder's writing is clean but not inspired, although he does provide enough detail on both political and military machinations to capture the reader's interest. In so doing, he fills out a book that is less a full-scale biography than a knowledgeable intelligence report of events that Lemnitzer was involved with during his distinguished life. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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