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Most overrated leader of WW2

LAURENCE REES: And the single most overrated leader?

RICHARD OVERY: I think the single most overrated leader is General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Now, he’s somebody who has had, on the whole, a pretty good press, because people like him as he doesn’t do anything particularly horrid. But I think the problem with Eisenhower is that his skills are managerial and diplomatic and so on, but, he plays almost no part really in constructing, organising, and carrying through the operations. Yet when people write about the American figures in the Second World War or write about the war in Europe, Eisenhower is the name that always comes up: Eisenhower is doing this, Eisenhower orders that, Eisenhower conquers France and so on.

Now, I have no particular beef against Eisenhower, it’s just I think that his reputation has been greatly inflated. He is a very effective manager, but in the end the manager works only because he has all these sub-managers who are able to do the things that are needed to be able to defeat the Germans, and I think that as a result his reputation has been perhaps unnecessarily inflated.