Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley. Three great U.S generals that led the Allies to victory in Europe during WWII. But WWII wasn’t the first time these three men met. Decades before they forged friendships and rivalries with one another that would influence their path to leadership. My guest today has written a biography of the complex relationships between these three men and how they impacted the tide of WWII. His name is Jonathan Jordan and his book is Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership That Drove the Allied Conquest of Europe. We begin our conversation discussing how these three men met — Eisenhower and Bradley (who Ike called Brad) at West Point, Eisenhower and Patton (who Ike called Pat) at Camp Meade after WWI, and Bradley and Patton at a military base in Hawaii.

Jonathan then explains the tension that existed between these three officers as each balanced personal career ambitions with the need to work with others, how each man understood the limitations of his fellow leaders, and how their friendships made them a stronger team.

We end our conversation discussing both the leadership weaknesses and the leadership strengths of each individual general.

Show Highlights

  • How all 3 men ended up missing action in WWI
  • How the tank brought Eisenhower and Patton together
  • The early West Point connection forged by Eisenhower and Bradley
  • Why Patton and Bradley never really connected socially 
  • What were the professional tensions like between these men during WWII?
  • The multiple times Eisenhower saved Patton’s skin 
  • The point at which Eisenhower and Patton’s relationship became less than friendly 
  • Would the war have been different without these 3 men?
  • The leadership lessons — both in the positive and negative — that we can take from these men

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Jonathan

Jonathan’s website

Jonathan’s Facebook page 

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The post Podcast #463: The Friendship, Rivalry, and Leadership of WWII’s 3 Greatest American Generals appeared first on The Art of Manliness.



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