A 1919 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, he was a temporary Lieutenant Colonel at the outbreak of World War II in December 1941. His first major assignment had come earlier in the year when President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the War Department to develop tactics to win the war that he believed the U.S. was destined to enter.
He was the only U.S. officer to graduate from the German Army General Staff College and used what he learned there to draw up what became known as the Victory Program, which advocated the defeat of the German armies on the European continent. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the U.S. declared war on both Germany and Japan, a modified version of his plan was adopted by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. This culminted with the invasion of France by Allied Forces in June 1944.
He remained with the War Deprtment until 1943 when he was assigned to be Chief of Staff for Lord Mountbatten, the British Admiral who was Commander in Chief of the Allies' Southeast Asia Command. He later became Commander of all U.S. Forces in China, then racked by Civil War. In his report, which he later charged that President Harry Truman had suppressed, he called for U.S. military intervention in China. He was then assigned to the Pentagon for a period of time but after submitting his China Report he was named 6th Army Commanding General in San Francisco. Considering this a dead-end position, he submitted his retirement in 1951. He was promoted to Full General in 1954 by an Act of Congress. He published his memoirs, “Wedemeyer Reports,” in 1958.” He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan.
He died on December 17, 1989 at the age of 92 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He is survived by his wife, the former Elizabeth Dade Embick (the daughter of Leiutenant General Stanley Dunbar Embick), whom he married in 1925; two sons, Albert Dunbar Wedemeyer of Boyds, Maryland, and Robert Dade Wedemeyer of Arivaca, Arizona; six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.”
He is buried in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery.
WEDEMEYER, ELIZABETH DADE
On Sunday, September 3, 2000, of Ft. Belvoir, VA. Beloved wife of the late General Albert C. Wedemeyer; mother of Albert D. and Robert D. Wedmeyer. Also survived by six grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Funeral service will be held at Ft. Myer Old Post Chapel at 3 p.m. on Thursday, September 21. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Peter's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 387, Poolesville, MD 20837.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard