Eisenhower's impressive performance in the 1941 army maneuvers led to his assignment in Washington, D.C. as chief of operations (1942) and preceded his meteoric rise to the top as Allied military commander of World War II. In June, 1942, General Eisenhower was named U.S. commander of the European theater of operations. He commanded U.S. forces in the North African landings (Nov., 1942) and in Feb., 1943, became chief of all Allied forces in North Africa. After successfully directing the invasions of Sicily (July, 1943) and Italy (Sept.), he was called (Dec.) to England to be supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. He was largely responsible for the cooperation between the British, American, and other forces and for the integration of land, sea, and air forces in the great battle for the European continent. His own account of the Allied defeat of Germany was published in book form as Crusade in Europe (1948).
In Dec., 1944, he was made general of the army (five-star general), and in 1945 he commanded the U.S. occupation forces in Germany. In Nov., 1945, he became chief of staff of the U.S. Army and advocated the unification of the U.S. armed forces and universal military training. He resigned (Feb., 1948) as chief of staff to become (June) president of Columbia Univ.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.