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Home Leaders & Commanders United States High Command

United States High Command

rooseveltFranklin Delano Roosevelt 1882 - 1945

President and Commander in Chief of US armed forces. Roosevelt had been President since 1933. Before the United States entered the war he was in favour of supporting Britain against the Axis. He introduced the Lend-Lease Act in order to supply Britain and her Allies with war material. Roosevelt died on April 12th 1945, shortly before the end of the war.


trumanHarry S. Truman 1892 - 1972

Vice President after replacing Henry Wallace in 1944. Became President in April 1945 following Roosevelt's death. During his term as Vice-President, Truman was rarely consulted by Roosevelt, however, after succeeding to the Presidency he adapted quickly to the role and the heavy responsibility of deciding upon the use of the atomic bomb.



SimsonHenry L. Stimson 1867 - 1950

Secretary of War from July 1940. Stimson was a supporter of Lend-Lease aid to Britain and was also in favour of repealing the Neutrality Act. He was present at all the major Allied conferences during the war. Stimson introduced compulsory military service and supported using the atomic bomb against Japan. He resigned in September 1945.



hopkinsHarry Hopkins 1890 - 1946

Secretary of Commerce until August 1940 and special advisor and envoy to Roosevelt. Hopkins was a skilled mediator and often represented Roosevelt at Allied meetings. He conferred with Churchill and Stalin on wartime aid requirements and helped to get Lend-Lease underway.



hullCordell Hull 1871 -1955

Secretary of State until November 1944. Principally involved with US-Japanese negotiations before Pearl Harbor. Hull had to take on a more back seat role in international negotiations following the US entry into the war.



stettinusEdward R. Stettinius Jr. 1900 -1949

Succeeded Hull as Secretary of State in November 1944. Stettinius had previously been special advisor to Roosevelt on matters of war production and war economics. He was succeeded by James Byrnes in July 1945.




knoxFrank Knox 1874 -1944

Secretary of the Navy from 1940. Knox was responsible for supplying and expanding the US Navy. He died in office in April 1944.





kingAdmiral Ernest J. King 1878 -1956

Chief of Naval Operations, King was known as one of the top strategic planners of the war.





marshallGeneral George C. Marshall 1880 -1959

Army Chief of Staff from 1939. Marshall was an expert planner and led the expansion of the US armed forces from 130,000 men to a strength of some 8.3 million men. He played a leading role in strategic planning for all theatres of the war and was considered the top candidate for the command of Allied forces in Europe. His value to Roosevelt in Washington however, prevented him from being appointed and Eisenhower was given the role instead. Marshall retired in November 1945.

leahyAdmiral William D. Leahy 1875-1959

Chief of Naval Operations from 1937-1939; Governor of Puerto Rico 1939-1940; Ambassador to Vichy France 1940-1942; Chief of Staff to the President from 1942 to 1949. Leahy was an invaluable advisor to Truman following the death of Roosevelt.

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