EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D. 1890-1969. Typed Letter Signed ("Dwight D. Eisenhower") to General Henri Giraud (1879-1949) as he travelled to Algiers on the eve of Operation Torch restating the Allied plan and offering him control of French affairs, both civil and military, throughout French North Africa, never delivered,

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Lot 72
EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D. 1890-1969.
Typed Letter Signed ("Dwight D. Eisenhower") to General Henri Giraud (1879-1949) as he travelled to Algiers on the eve of Operation Torch restating the Allied plan and offering him control of French affairs, both civil and military, throughout French North Africa, never delivered,

Sold for US$ 12,575 inc. premium
EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D. 1890-1969.
Typed Letter Signed ("Dwight D. Eisenhower") to General Henri Giraud (1879-1949) as he travelled to Algiers on the eve of Operation Torch restating the Allied plan and offering him control of French affairs, both civil and military, throughout French North Africa, never delivered, 4 pp, rectos only, 272 x 202 mm, in French on ALLIED FORCE HEADQUARTERS letterhead, London [but Gibraltar], November 4 [but 6], 1942, old paperclip stain to upper corner.

SUBSTANTIAL, IMPORTANT, AND ULTIMATELY UNDELIVERED EISENHOWER LETTER TO GENERAL GIRAUD WRITTEN ON THE EVE OF GIRAUD'S ARRIVAL IN GIBRALTAR. With the success of Operation Torch hanging in the balance, Giraud, who had been tapped by the Allies to be installed as leader of the French Forces in North Africa, traveled from his exile in Vichy France via British submarine (disguised as American), to be picked up by airplane and flown to Algiers. After weeks of negotiations with General Mark Clark and Giraud's representative in Algiers Charles Mast, broad agreement was reached on the shape of an Allied invasion of North Africa. Eisenhower, hoping that Giraud would proceed directly to Algiers, composed this letter with masterful diplomacy, outlining once again the American-led plan emphasizing "that the French will retain their territory, [AND] that Giraud can be civil and military leader of the French in Africa" (Butcher, p 163). In so doing, Eisenhower draws on the long history of cooperation of the two countries, "Le sang ne doit pas couler entre deux armees unies d'une amitie si ferme depuis que votre grand pays joua un role vital dans la fondation de ma patrie" ["The blood must not flow between two united armies of such firm friendship ever since your great country played a vital role in the founding of my homeland"].

In any event, as soon as Giraud's submarine surfaced, he requested to see Eisenhower in person, and the letter was never delivered. Giraud was very displeased that he was not given Allied command in North Africa, and despite the best efforts of Eisenhower and Clark, he chose to remain a spectator in order to retain the honour and prestige of his family, and did not proceed to Algiers until November 9th. The operation was an unqualified success, aided by a coup perpetrated by the French resistance. Events on the ground in Algiers moved quickly, so that by the time Giraud had agreed to Allied plans, Admiral Darlan who was in Algiers had already assumed (real) authority, and proceeded to strike a deal with the Allied commanders.

The success of Operation Torch, the first joint operation of the war, was a major turning point in World War 2, establishing a second front for the Allies in the war with Germany, relieving pressure in Egypt and Russia. Further victories in the campaign in North Africa offered a launching pad for an Allied foray into Italy through Sicily. Without French assistance the success of the operation was in doubt, and this letter and its circumstances deftly illustrate the diplomatic tightrope that Eisenhower was walking trying to coordinate three major world powers with a complicated history. A manuscript draft copy of the letter in English exists in the Eisenhower Papers but this finished typed copy in French, signed by Eisenhower to be sent to Giraud, illustrates Eisenhower's creativity and adaptability. See Butcher, My Three years With Eisenhower, New York, 1956, pp 161-178; and Chandler, ed, The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, Volume I Baltimore, 1970, Item 582, pp 656-658.

Contacts
EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D. 1890-1969. Typed Letter Signed ("Dwight D. Eisenhower") to General Henri Giraud (1879-1949) as he travelled to Algiers on the eve of Operation Torch restating the Allied plan and offering him control of French affairs, both civil and military, throughout French North Africa, never delivered,
EISENHOWER, DWIGHT D. 1890-1969. Typed Letter Signed ("Dwight D. Eisenhower") to General Henri Giraud (1879-1949) as he travelled to Algiers on the eve of Operation Torch restating the Allied plan and offering him control of French affairs, both civil and military, throughout French North Africa, never delivered,
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