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The Supreme Commander: The War Years of General Dwight D. Eisenhower

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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  452 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
In North Africa, on the beaches at Normandy, and in the Battle of the Bulge, Dwight David Eisenhower proved himself as one of the world's greatest military leaders. Faced with conciliating or disagreeing with such stormy figures as Churchill, Roosevelt, and DeGaulle, and generals like Montgomery and Patton, General Eisenhower showed himself to be as skillful a diplomat as ...more
Paperback, 732 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by University Press of Mississippi (first published June 1970)
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Tim Martin
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book is many things. Tough to stay with. Hard to put down. Long, but how did Ambrose confine this subject to so few pages, and tell the entire story so well? A text book for leadership and team building. A study of a common man, a nice guy and a political wizard. The history of events that shaped all our lives and will continue to do so until, God forbid, the next world war comes along.

Everyone should read this.
John Nevola
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While rife with adulation for Eisenhower, The Supreme Commander is essential reading for those who yearn for a deeper understanding of the Allied victory in Europe. Ambrose does a very credible job of explaining the challenges facing any commander of a force as large as the one assembled to retake Europe. But due to his unique relationship and intimate knowledge of Eisenhower the person, he brings great insight into this work.

Why was an American placed in charge of this huge multi-national forc
...more
Rupin Chaudhry
Suppose you were laeding the largest military force ever assmbled in the history of human conflict, against a well disciplined, formidable military and you succeed in if (D day +336days) how do you inform your superiors "The mission of this allied force was fullfilled at 0241 local time, may 7 1945".

This last line from the book speaks volumes about Gen. Dwight D Eisenhower. This man was no soldier and had no combat experience yet he led the allied nations to victory against the Nazis. Through hb
...more
Isaiah Snell-Feikema
Fairly comprehensive. However, as usual I felt Stephen Ambrose took the side of the subject more than was perhaps warranted.
Len Thornquist
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Excellent Account of the US effort in Europe and Africa in WWII

By using Eisenhower as his vehicle this is a compressive picture of the war in Europe from a strategic perspective.
Annette
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great study of the war years and how Eisenhower came into power to become Supreme Commander. A bit dry and I was bogged down at times, but the General's character shined through.

Larry
Jun 23, 2012 rated it liked it
This is one of Stephen Ambrose's first efforts after working with Dwight Eisenhower on Eisenhower's personal papers (The Supreme Commander first published in 1970). It is obvious that he was still very much infatuated by Ike's persona at this point in time. As such The Supreme Commander can tell almost as much about Stephen Ambrose as it does Dwight Eisenhower. As other reviewers noted, the criticism of Eisenhower's Hurtgen Forest campaign, the army's replacement policy, and the segregated army ...more
Diana
Let me start by saying, I've been reading this book forever (really more than 6 weeks), but that has more to do with my life than with the book. However, if you are considering reading this, you should know, this is a tome.

But don't let that discourage you. "The Supreme Commander" was worth every minute I put into it. Stephen Ambrose is, as always, fascinating and thorough. His insights are particularly strong in this volume because of the role he filled in curating the Eisenhower papers. He dea
...more
Rich Hornbuckle
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent.
DPUTiger (amy hughes)
I'm glad I read this, although there were (many) days I wasn't sure I was going to finish before my library book expired. I've called a house on Eisenhower Drive home for most of my life, so it seemed fitting that I read this book on Ike. Although I was a history major, I wasn't particularly good at doing all of my assigned reading, so this did feel a bit like I was back in class.

As I was finishing this book (read the last 120 pages in one sitting), I could feel my favorite college history prof
...more
Dale
Mar 10, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is a detailed, technical account of Eisenhower's World War II service. It does focus a great deal on the personalities of the leaders involved, notably DeGaulle and Montgomery. I enjoyed the book, but a casual WWII reader would likely get bogged down in this level of detail. What I found most interesting was the significant foreign policy aspects of Eisenhower's position. I finished the book thinking that Eisenhower was far better qualified to be President than most people give him cre ...more
Dan Ward
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a long book to read. Very long with incredible amounts of detail. I wouldn't reccomend it as your first shot of learing about Ike's life. If you are really interested in the nitty gritty details or WWII in the European theater then this book is interesting. I found the political mess that Eisenhower had to wade through particulary fascinating. It is amazing that at some point he didn't just throw his hands up and say forget it with all the pressure he recieved from the US, England and Fr ...more
Trish
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a biography of Dwight Eisenhower. There was very little about Eisenhower's personal life. The book is the military strategy of the Allies campaign in Europe to defeat the Nazis. I learned more about troop maneuvers that I thought possible.

But I couldn't put it down. It turned out to be much more fascinating than I would have predicted.

If you like history and military strategies I highly recommend this book.
Patrick Houston
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ambrose is good -- you can always count on him for making history accessible. This one wasn't as flesh-and-blood as some of his other works, such as Band of Brothers or Lewis and Clark. That being said, the book managed to make Ike a role model for me. It also spurred me to read Ike's Bluff, a 2013 recounting of the Eisenhower Administration and how Ike's poker playing skills kept nuclear war at bay when the Cold War may have been at its heights.
Danny Houghton
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very good book that gave me a commander's view of the ground war in Europe, and a glimpse of the diplomacy required to keep the allied command unified in vision and focus. Ike was a great Supreme Commander.

Liked how Ambrose presented Ike's view, while also doing a good job of representing the views of his subsidiary generals. Brought up a rather resounding distaste for Monty.
Ross Cohen


A details-heavy, hagiographic account of Ike's years as the Supreme Allied Commander. Though too dense for one with a beginner's interest in - and knowledge of - WWII, "The Supreme Commander" is supremely satisfying.
Miles Mathews
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ambrose's book is superb! Anyone seeking to understand the difficulties involved in commanding allied military forces will benefit immensely from this work. As an academic historian, I found Ambrose's book well-researched and his conclusions sound. Highly recommended!
Vikas
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me insights and knowledge about second world war, which I never had before. I will recommend this voluminous book to every one who truly desires to know about this great war in depth.
Peter C
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story

I enjoy reading these wonderful historical tomes by Ambrose and Goodwin -Kearns . I often am astounded by the level of work that must be done to write even one paragraph .

Bravo to The Supreme Commander and also to Mr. Ambrose .
William J.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ambrose is partial to Eisenhower but he does a pretty good job at being objective in evaluating the Supreme Commander's abilities. Thorough book but very readable as are those written by Stephen Ambrose.
Xdw
Nov 21, 2010 rated it liked it
ike in africa, italy, and france. quite good
Andrew Reynolds
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book - a good insight into Eisenhower during WWII.
Ron Roberts
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book. A different perspective on the war in Europe.
Thomas W Parish
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent

This book gives deep insight to Eisenhower's thinking, his character, his skills and his wisdom. He was the perfect Supreme Commander! Five Stars.
Paulo Mendes
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is a great book to understand deeply the Normandy invasion on the context of the entire war as well as to learn about strains on a Coalition commander, even today.
stevendphllbrick sr+
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Quite enthralling and comprehensive. Must read for lovers of history.
Bob Roe
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2016
Bill Gross
rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2016
Ashley
rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2017
Tom R Jones Jr
rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2016
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Stephen Edward Ambrose was an American historian and biographer of U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon. He received his Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

More about Stephen E. Ambrose...