“Mikolashek . . . has given we history readers and buffs, as well as military historians a new introduction to a key American General of World War 2.”—Jim Kane, 1 Man and His Books
Although not nearly as well-known as other US Army senior commanders, General Mark Clark is one of the four men—along with Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley—who historian Martin Blumenson called “the essential quartet of American leaders who achieved victory in Europe.” Eisenhower nicknamed him the American Eagle.
A skilled staff officer, Clark rose quickly through the ranks, and by the time America entered the war he was deputy commander of Allied Forces in North Africa. Several weeks before Operation Torch, Clark landed by submarine in a daring mission to negotiate the cooperation of the Vichy French. He was subsequently named commander of US Fifth Army and tasked with the invasion of Italy.
Fifth Army and Mark Clark are virtually synonymous. From the September 1943 landing at Salerno, Clark and his army fought their way north against skilled German resistance, augmented by mountainous terrain. The daring January 1944 end-run at Anzio, although not immediately successful, set the stage for Fifth Army’s liberation of Rome on 4 June 1944, after ten months of hard fighting.
Mikolashek, a history professor at the US Army Command and General Staff College, sheds much needed historical light on one of America’s most important fighting generals in this “warts and all” biography. He also demonstrates the importance of the Italian Campaign, paying tribute to the valorous soldiers of US Fifth Army and their Allied comrades.