Armed Forces: The General Manager

Standing under an olive tree in Sicily in September 1943, an unsmiling American general accepted Italy's unconditional surrender. Just 20 months later, the same general, still stiff and frozen faced, met in a French schoolhouse with the emissaries of defeated Nazi Germany, and without outward emotion scribbled his name on the document that ended World War II in Europe. Those two rustic but historic occasions marked the climax of a brilliant military career for Walter Bedell Smith. In the postwar years, he served his nation notably as a diplomat and as chief of intelligence. But it is in his...

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