Harry S. Truman was Commander-in-Chief at one of the (if not the) critical moments in American--and global--military history: when the decision had to be made to drop the Bomb. As to his military credentials, however, he is often dismissed as little more than a weekend warrior, the Kansas City haberdasher. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth, as this book makes clear. Revealing the little-known facts of Truman's remarkable military performance--as a soldier and as a politician--The Soldier from Independence adds a whole new dimension to the already fascinating character of the thirty-third president of the United States. Author Dennis Giangreco shows how, as a field artillery battery commander in World War I, Truman was already making the hard decisions that he knew to be right, regardless of personal consequences. Giangreco describes how Truman saved a neighboring infantry regiment from a surprise German attack, only to be rebuked by his regimental commander. Truman would have been court martialed, which certainly would have derailed any future career in politics, but for the intervention of commander of American forces in France General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing. The book also recounts Truman's activities as head of the Senate Armed Forces Committee during the build-up to and early years of WWII--activities that made him the most powerful man in military affairs next to President Roosevelt. Truman oversaw the end of the war, stood up to Stalin, and met the test of North Korea's invasion of the south. He also had the fortitude to stand up to General Douglas MacArthur, one of America's most revered wartime leaders, and ultimately fired the Far East commander who has been characterized as the American Caesar. Filling in the details behind these world-changing events, this military biography supplies a heretofore missing--and critical--chapter in the story of one of the nation's most important presidents.
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