This study presents a comprehensive look at a complex man who exhibited an unfaltering commitment to the military and to his soldiers but whose career was marked by controversy. As a senior Army officer in World Wars I and II, Lt. Gen. Edward M. Almond lived by the adage that "units don't fail, leaders do." He was chosen to command the 92nd Infantry Division one of only two African American divisions to see combat during WWII but when the infantry performed poorly in Italy in 1944-1945, he asserted that it was due to their inferiority as a race and not their maltreatment by a separate but unequal society. He would later command the X Corps during the Inchon invasion that changed the course of the Korean War, but his accomplishments would be overshadowed by his abrasive personality and tactical mistakes.
This book addresses how Almond's early education at the Virginia Military Institute, with its strong Confederate and military influences, shaped his military prowess. Presented is a thorough assessment of Almond's military record; how he garnered respect for his aggressiveness, courage in combat, strong dedication, and leadership; and how he was affected by the loss of his son and son-in-law in combat during WWII. Following the war, Almond would return to the US to assume command of the US Army War College, but would find himself unprepared for a changing world. This volume asserts that since his death, his bigoted views have come to dominate his place in history and undermine his military achievements.