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Statement by the President and Message Upon Appointing Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

April 28, 1952

GEN. MATTHEW B. RIDGWAY has been appointed Supreme Allied Commander, Europe to replace General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower. This appointment was made by the North Atlantic Council meeting in Paris. General Ridgway was nominated for this position by me in response to the unanimous request of the Council that I nominate an American officer for the post. General Ridgway's appointment and General Eisenhower's release as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe will become effective approximately June 1, 1952.

I feel that General Ridgway is particularly well-qualified to perform the duties of Supreme Commander. His service in the European theater in World War II and his leadership of the United Nations forces in Korea have been outstanding. His recent experience as Commander in Chief of the United Nations Command for Korea and as Supreme Commander Allied Powers in Japan have given him a broad background of international military responsibilities. General Ridgway brings exceptional knowledge of present-day combat, and of modern training needs and training methods to the common task of preparing our collective forces for the defense of Europe.

I have every confidence that General Ridgway will make an outstanding contribution to our common defense efforts.

In accordance with General Ridgway's desires, I am continuing to make Gen. Alfred M. Gruenther available as Chief of Staff to SACEUR. General Gruenther has outstanding experience and abilities. He is thoroughly conversant in North Atlantic Treaty affairs and is well known to all of the NATO commanders. General Gruenther affords a continuity of staff leadership and planning to Supreme Headquarters that is especially valuable at this time.

I have every confidence that Generals Ridgway and Gruenther will make an outstanding team for our common defense effort.


THE North Atlantic Council has requested that I nominate an American officer for appointment by the Council as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, to succeed General Eisenhower. I have nominated you for that position and the Council has appointed you.

You have my highest personal esteem and best wishes as you assume this great responsibility. I know that all our people will be fully and warmly behind you as will all freedom loving people the world over.

I am appointing General Mark W. Clark as your successor.


Note: See also Item 113.

Harry S. Truman, Statement by the President and Message Upon Appointing Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230600

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