3 pages, 8vo, with original postmarked envelope." />
19 May 2006
EISENHOWER, Dwight D. (1890-1969). Autograph letter signed ("Ike") to Mamie Eisenhower, [25 August 1942]. 3 pages, 8vo, with original postmarked envelope.
IKE IN THE HEADY DAYS OF HIS NEW COMMAND IN ENGLAND: "IT'S ALL SO HIGHLY INTERESTING & STIRRING THAT I NEVER KNOW HOW LONG I'VE WORKED."
A long and chatty letter to his wife back home, in which Ike enjoys a brief moment of relaxation from the stress and burdens of his new post as Commanding General, European Theatre of Operations based in London. Along the way he mentions Walter Bedell Smith, George Patton and others. Eisenhower both laments and revels in his job, which he calls "a cage" yet also finds "highly interesting & stirring." Reports of Mamie's ill health concern him: "Bedell told me you'd been feeling badly...I hope you're O. K. now." He relates news of Mamie's friends and finds it frustrating that he can't be more open: "Since my letters come to you by special pouch or courier, they are not censored (I think), but I try to be as careful in the subjects I talk about, as if they were. This leaves few matters for free discussion, because every one seems to run back into the war." A rare night of relaxation with a movie helps: "Last eve I saw my first movie. Private performance, arranged by Butch at Paramount. I had Everett, Al Gunther, Wayne Clark J. C. H. Lee, Col. Hawley (Med.), Geo. Patton, and Butch to dinner & then we went to see 'Ten Gentlemen from West Point.' We liked it. It was great relaxation--and I had more laughs than in all the rest of my time in England." The letter suddenly breaks off in mid-sentence then Ike resumes with "4 hours intervene. I must run darling. What a cage. But it's all so highly interesting & stirring that I never know how long I've worked."
At this stage of the war, Eisenhower was planning for the U. S. invasion of North Africa, Operation Torch. In early 1943 his command was expanded to include all of the Mediterranean, and even the British 8th Army fell under his purview. After successfully clearing the Nazis out of North Africa, Ike then oversaw the successful invasions of Sicily and Italy, all of which paved the way to his appointment as Supreme Allied Commander to oversee the Normandy landings.
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