Bradley, Omar N.

  • Grades: 6–8, 9–12

Omar Nelson Bradley, b. Clark, Mo., Feb. 12, 1893, d. Apr. 8, 1981, was one of the ablest U.S. generals of World War II. He graduated from West Point in 1915 and was commandant of the infantry school at Fort Benning, Ga., and leader of the 82d and 28th divisions before being named commander of the II Corps. In this last position he participated in the invasion of North Africa, his forces playing a pivotal role in the victory in Tunisia in May 1943 as well as the capture of Sicily in August.

A stable, moderating influence among commanders, Bradley possessed the respect and affection of common soldiers as well as superiors. He took part in the Normandy Invasion in June 1944, and his forces liberated Paris on August 25. Promoted to command of the million-man Twelfth Army Group, comprising the First, Third, Ninth, and Fifteenth armies, Bradley played a significant part in helping to defeat the German forces in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and Czechoslovakia. Gen. George C. Marshall called him "the finest army group commander in any nation's ground forces."

After World War II, Bradley served as head of the Veterans Administration (1945-47), Army Chief of Staff (1948-49), and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1949-53). In the last capacity, he supported President Harry Truman in relieving Douglas MacArthur as supreme Allied commander in Korea. Bradley retired from the army in 1953 as a five-star general of the army, a rank to which he had been named in 1950.

Warren W. Hassler, Jr.

Bibliography: Bradley, Omar N., and Blair, C., A General's Life (1983).

  • Subjects:
    World War II

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