One day last spring General George C. Marshall summoned Dwight David ("Ike") Eisenhower to his office and said to him: "You're going over to command the European divisions. When can you leave?" Eisenhower's blue eyes widened. "Tomorrow morning," he gulped.
U.S. troops were already arriving in the United Kingdom in a stream that steadily grew bigger. Eisenhower arrived in London on June 24. Less than five months later he led his army into combat.
It was a tough summer for Eisenhower and his staff, quartered in a neighborhood of hotels and flats in...