Bradley, General Omar, 1893-1981

A protege of EISENHOWER, who had been in the same class as he at West Point, Bradley’s career was also linked with PATTON’s. Bradley first rose to prominence when he took command of the II Corps, from Patton, in North Africa. He immediately showed his mettle, when troops under his command stormed Bizerta on 7 May 1943 and took 40,000 prisoners. The II Corps then took part in operations in Sicily landing at Gela and Scogliti. Bradley’s great contribution to the Allied victory was the part played in Operation Overlord. He was chosen by Eisenhower to command the US landings on D-Day, as Commander of the US 1st Army. After the landings, Patton arrived to take command of the new 3rd Army and Bradley became his superior, as Commander of the 12th Army Group. Although Bradley had served under Patton and was susceptible to his influence, this turned out to be a workable relationship, beneficial to both men. Bradley’s great moment came during the German Ardennes Offensive, when his men were completely taken by surprise, but Bradley kept his head and was able to prevent a decisive breakthrough by the Germans. After breaking through the Siegfried Line, his troops crossed the Rhine at Remagen in March 1945, and in the following month met the Soviet troops on the Elbe. Bradley was a quiet and calm man, with a sound grasp of tactics, who inspired the confidence of his superiors and also of his men.

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