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Crusade in Europe: Eisenhower, 1948

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  • Title: Crusade in Europe
  • Author: Dwight David (Ike) Eisenhower
  • Date: 1948
  • Condition: See description
  • Inches: 8 3/4 x 6 [Book]
  • Centimeters: 22.22 x 15.24 [Book]
  • Product ID: 308272

First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen

The wartime memoir of the 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. The maps to this work were provided by Rafael Palacios. Recounts Eisenhower's appointment by General George Marshall to plan the defense of the Philippines and continues to describe his appointment to and the execution of the role of Supreme Allied Commander in Northern Europe. This copy is without the slipcase yet remains in a fantastic condition. With map endpapers, four colored maps, sixteen photos, numerous in-text maps.

Important association copy of this famous account of the Second World War. Presented by Eisenhower to a significant military contributor of the WWII effort, Captain Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, WWI pilot and Ace of Aces.

Cloth. First edition after the printing of 1,426 numbered copies with D-Day order signed by Eisenhower.  An exceptionally fine copy of this work. In the publisher's original cloth binding, very well preserved, externally excellent with little to no shelf-wear, this despite lack of slipcover which Rickenbacker did not keep. Bookplate to the recto of front endpaper, DDE, surmounted by five-star general’s insignia pattern, on which presentation inscription typed to WWI Ace of Aces, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, with warm-hearted sentiment in Eisenhower’s hand. 


To Captain Eddie Rickenbacker

With my best wishes and the hope you will enjoy this narrative of the War in the Mediterranean and Europe.

with warm regard from your devoted friend, Dwight D. Eisenhower

Arthur Cyr: Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Enduring Legacy

"Eisenhower was a supremely gifted leader of Americans, and others as well. He demonstrated public modesty but when necessary also employed an iron fist.  On June 22, 1945, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke in Abilene, Kansas, his hometown. He received a monumental welcome, in every sense.  Local people of the town and many others were assembled, an enormous crowd. The locals were bursting with pride and the audience overall personified happiness and relief that World War II in Europe ended the previous month.

After a procession of introducers, including the governor of Kansas, Ike himself spoke. His remarks were brief, unlike some of the introductions, clear and powerful. He spoke of a young boy’s ambitions, perhaps to become a railroad conductor, and went on to underscore the importance of returning home.  Eisenhower’s profound main point was that any importance he held was as a representative of the three million American men and women who had served in the European theatre during the war just ended. They were the true heroes, in particular those who died.

The end of spring and beginning of summer contain other dates resonant from World War II. On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allies. On June 6, 1944 - D-Day - the Allies launched the gigantic, enormously complex, extremely risky and vitally important invasion of Nazi occupied Europe on the beaches of Normandy in France.  Germany surrendered without ceremony. Eisenhower remained in his office. Afterwards, General Alfred Jodl was escorted there.  Ike briefly confirmed Jodl understood the terms, stated Germany’s delegation was personally responsible for any violations. He avoided saluting. In contrast, General Douglas MacArthur turned Japan’s surrender into a gigantic public extravaganza worthy of Hollywood.

The Normandy invasion combined thorough planning, vast matériel and great imagination. A year of extremely brutal, almost continuous combat lay ahead, but the end of Nazi Germany was in sight once forces secured the beaches.

Eisenhower was crucial.

He demonstrated great executive ability in supervising the enormous logistics, and brilliant interpersonal skill that welded and held together the most diverse military alliance in history.  Remarkably, he was able to establish overall unity of command. This eluded even the American military alone in the Pacific, where flamboyant, theatrical MacArthur pursued one strategic vision, while the U.S. Navy implemented a different approach.  Extensive bombing of transport routes and supply depots in France was viewed by Eisenhower as crucial preparation. Such action would bring an estimated minimum of 60,000 civilian casualties, and perhaps far more. For various reasons, many American and British air commanders resisted, arguing for a more limited effort.                       

He was adamant about the absolute need for heavy bombing, arguing that less would put the risky invasion in even graver danger. Free French General Charles de Gaulle agreed and gave unequivocal support. Ike was correct, and had managed to establish an effective working relationship with the difficult French leader.  Ike never lost awareness of the terrible human costs of war, borne primarily by the enlisted ranks. He constantly stressed the fundamental role of the combat soldier, and regularly visited troops in the field. Photographs with young American paratroopers preparing to depart on D-Day are gripping. Like U.S. Grant, his uniform was plain and unadorned.

Eisenhower was a supremely gifted leader of Americans, and others as well. He demonstrated public modesty but when necessary also employed an iron fist.  When Eisenhower died, President Richard Nixon’s eulogy placed him with George Washington: first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

“Fight Like a Wildcat”

Adapted from C.V. Glines:  Captain Eddie Rickenbacker: America’s World War I Ace of Aces

"Edward Vernon Rickenbacker was born in Columbus, Ohio, on October 8, 1890.  He was called America’s Ace of Aces during World War I, the highest scorer of American aerial victories over the Germans.  He quit school at age 11 to support his family after the death of his father, and became an accomplished automobile mechanic and race car driver. When America entered the war in 1917, Rickenbacker volunteered despite the fact that he was making a reported $40,000 a year at the time. He wanted to learn to fly, but at 27 he was overage for flight training and had no college degree. However, because of his fame as a race car driver, he was sworn in as a sergeant and sailed for Europe as a chauffeur. Contrary to legend, he was not assigned to General John J. Pershing but did wangle an assignment driving Colonel William ‘Billy’ Mitchell’s flashy twin-six Packard. He pestered Mitchell until he was permitted to apply for flight training, claiming to be 25, the age limit for pilot trainees.

After only 17 days as a student pilot, Rick graduated, was commissioned a lieutenant and assigned to the 94th Aero Squadron.  Rickenbacker was happier tinkering with engines than socializing. Older than all the others, he was conservative in his flying and had to work to overcome a dislike for aerobatics. He scored his first solo conquest on May 7. Rickenbacker’s technique was to approach his intended victims carefully, closer than others dared, before firing his guns.  Rickenbacker scored his sixth victory on May 30.

On September 25, Rickenbacker was given command of the 94th, and on that same day he volunteered for a solo patrol. He spotted a flight of five Fokkers and two Halberstadt CL.IIs near Billy, France, and dived into them. Firing as he went through the formation, he shot one of each type down. His aggressive actions that day earned him the French Croix de Guerre and the coveted U.S. Medal of Honor.  By October 1, Rickenbacker’s score stood at 12 and he had been promoted to the rank of captain. He was the most successful U.S. Air Service fighter pilot alive, and the press dubbed him ‘America’s Ace of Aces.’ He disliked that title, however, because he felt ‘the honor carried the curse of death.’ Three others had held that title before him and all had died.  During October 1918, Rickenbacker scored 14 victories for what he and World War I historians have always claimed made a total of 26.

When Rickenbacker left active duty, he was promoted to major. He started an automobile company, creating the first car with four wheel brakes, but a recession in 1925 and vicious competition led to the company’s downfall. The company went bankrupt two years later.  Rickenbacker found himself a quarter of a million dollars in debt but refused to declare personal bankruptcy. He vowed to pay off every penny of debt — and did eventually, ‘through hard work and some fortunate business deals.’  In November 1927 Rickenbacker was offered financing by a friend to buy the majority of the common stock of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He served as the speedway’s president until after World War II.  He was also appointed head of sales by General Motors.  He ultimately made his way into the airline industry, and in 1933,  he became general manager of Eastern Air Transport.  By the advent of WWII, he was president of Eastern.

In September 1942 Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson asked Rickenbacker to visit England as a non-military observer, to evaluate equipment and personnel because of his ‘clear and sympathetic understanding of human problems in military aviation.’ Rick asked for a salary of only a dollar a year and paid his own expenses. He was offered a commission as a brigadier general but refused it. The offer was upped to major general and again he refused. He wanted to be able to criticize whatever he found wrong without restraint.

When Rickenbacker returned to the States that October, Stimson immediately sent him to the Pacific on a similar inspection mission, which included taking a memorized, verbal message to General Douglas MacArthur from President Roosevelt. He was en-route in a Boeing B-17 from Honolulu to Canton Island when the pilot got lost and had to ditch after running out of fuel.  No one knew where to look for them when they were overdue at Canton Island. Rickenbacker’s raft was located by a Navy Catalina flying boat after 22 days adrift at sea.  He had lost 60 pounds, had a bad sunburn and salt water ulcers, and was barely alive.  Although he was weakened by the ordeal and could have come home immediately to a hero’s welcome, Rickenbacker continued on his mission to see General MacArthur and visit bases in the war zone.

After returning stateside, Rickenbacker continued to serve the war effort by speaking at bond rallies and touring defense plants, and in mid-1943 was sent on a three-month, 55,000-mile trip to Russia and China via American war bases in Africa ‘and any other areas he may deem necessary for such purposes as he will explain in person.’ The mission included checking what the Russians were doing with American equipment under the Lend-Lease agreement. He was allowed a rare view of Russian ground and air equipment and returned with valuable intelligence information.

In an obituary published in a national magazine, William F. Rickenbacker, one of Captain Eddie’s two sons, wrote: ‘Among his robust certainties were his faith in God, his unswerving patriotism, his acceptance of life’s hazards and pains, and his trust in persistent hard work. No scorn could match the scorn he had for men who settled for half-measures, uttered half-truths, straddled the issues, or admitted the idea of failure or defeat. If he had a motto, it must have been the phrase I’ve heard a thousand times:

I’ll fight like a wildcat!"


Pages are bright and clean, binding sound. Page edges untrimmed. Slight corner dings. Collated, complete.

Two examples on market at time of writing:  

              Signed and inscribed by Eisenhower to WWII Field Marshal Viscount Slim, $49,556

              Signed and inscribed by Eisenhower to his brother Edgar, $43,750

Both from the edition of 1,426 with signed D-Day order, but lacking the slipcover