Prior to World War II, Dwight Eisenhower had resigned himself to finishing out a distinguished but unremarkable military career. By 1943, however, he found himself serving as Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, Europe. "Ike" combined a talent for administration with an affable, yet commanding, personality that eventually placed him in positions of great power and responsibility, including leading the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944.
Born in Denison, Texas, Eisenhower began his military career as a West Point graduate in 1915, and concluded it as Supreme Commander of NATO (the North American Treaty Organization) in 1952. In between, he served in various military positions and locations until the events of World War II brought him international acclaim. He parlayed his military legend into politics, serving as U.S. president from 1952 to 1960.
His battlefield experiences once led him to declare, "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
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On June 6, 1944, Allied troops invaded Normandy, fighting to free Europe from Nazi occupation and end World War II.
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