Dwight David Eisenhower, 1890–1969

Born in Denison, Texas, the US army officer and Republican politician graduated from West Point military academy in 1915. Eisenhower commanded an armoured training unit in the First World War and served in the Panama Canal Zone in 1922–4. He became an aide de camp to General Douglas MacArthur, the US army chief of staff. In 1942–3, Eisenhower became a department head at the Defence Department, was promoted to lieutenant general and commanded the Allied invasions of North Africa and Italy, and at Christmas 1943, became supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe. In that capacity, he prepared for and commanded the Normandy landings of 1944 and the campaigns that led up to Germany’s capitulation in 1945. After the war, he was appointed army chief of staff in Washington, and in 1951, military commander of Nato. Eisenhower won US presidential elections as a Republican in 1952 and November 1956. In his foreign policy, his intention of ensuring peaceful liberation of the ‘enslaved nations’ of the Soviet bloc] was supported by a strongly anti-communist stance. This included endorsement for the anti-communist witch-hunts in the United States, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy and some encouragement of resistance inside Soviet-bloc countries. On the other hand, he was concerned to further world peace through collective agreements and a conciliatory approach. He concluded the truce ending the Korean War in 1953. He did not intervene in the Hungarian uprising or join in the Anglo-French offensive over Suez, although the Eisenhower Doctrine proclaimed in 1957 promised military assistance to Middle East countries threatened by communist advances. He conducted intensive summit diplomacy with Nikita Krushchev, who] in 1959 became the first Soviet head of state to visit the United States [?& although US-Soviet relations deteriorated again in the following year.

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This page was created: Wednesday, 23-Aug-2000
Last updated: Wednes, 12-Sept-2001
Copyright © 2000 The Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

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