Memorandum for the Press
November 4, 1944 Washington, D.C.
The following is a statement by General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, on the death of Field Marshal Sir John Dill:1
The fact that Allied Forces stand poised at the gates of Germany is due in no small measure to the breadth of vision and the selfless devotion of Field Marshal Sir John Dill to our common cause.
I know of no man who has made a greater contribution to that most vital requirement to an Allied victory, the complete military cooperation between British and American forces. His death signals a loss of no less magnitude for the United States than for his own country, for the direction of his matchless efforts towards combined victory gave him strength to lay aside all other considerations.
I speak for all ranks of the Army in mourning him as a great soldier and military statesman, one to whom both nations could look for wisdom and guidance through difficult days. I speak for myself in mourning the loss of a dear friend.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Speeches, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Dill died on November 4. Regarding his illness, see Marshall to Dill, July 12, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-448 [4: 518–19]. On November 6, Marshall recorded the statement printed here for the British Broadcasting Corporation.
2. Marshall wrote to Lady Dill: "I know that it is not necessary for me to tell you of my distress of mind at this moment. Officially the United States has suffered a heavy loss, and I personally have lost a dear friend, unique in my lifetime, and never to be out of my mind." (Lady Dill to Heather Dill, November 24, 1944, quoted in Alex Danchev, Very Special Relationship: Field-Marshal Sir John Dill and the Anglo-American Alliance, 1941–44 [London: Brassey's Defence Publishers, 1986], p. 3.)
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981– ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943–December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 652–653.