General Mark Clark

Commander of U.S. Fifth Army and Liberator of Rome

Jon Mikolashek

Date Published :
August 2021
Publisher :
Series :
Leadership in Action
Illustration :
16 pages of illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612001319
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781636240510
Pages : 272
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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"…makes a convincing case…provides an interesting perspective of Clark's generalship…” — ARMY

Although not nearly as well known as other U.S. Army senior commanders, General Mark Clark is one of the four men—along with Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley—who historian Martin Blumenson called “the essential quartet of American leaders who achieved victory in Europe.” Eisenhower nicknamed him the American Eagle.

A skilled staff officer, Clark rose quickly through the ranks, and by the time America entered the war he was deputy commander of Allied Forces in North Africa. Several weeks before Operation Torch, Clark landed by submarine in a daring mission to negotiate the cooperation of the Vichy French. He was subsequently named commander of U.S. Fifth Army and tasked with the invasion of Italy.

Fifth Army and Mark Clark are virtually synonymous. From the September 1943 landing at Salerno, Clark and his army fought their way north against skilled German resistance, augmented by mountainous terrain. The daring January 1944 end-run at Anzio, although not immediately successful, set the stage for Fifth Army’s liberation of Rome on 4 June 1944, after ten months of hard fighting. The war in Italy was not over, but the taking of Rome intact was a tremendous achievement. Pitted against one of Hitler’s most able commanders, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, Fifth Army spent another ten months in ferocious combat from the Gothic Line to the Po Valley, as Clark moved up to head all Allied ground forces in Italy as commander of 15th Army Group.

The brutal Italian Campaign has been long overshadowed by D-Day and the campaign across France and into Germany. Likewise, the senior U.S. commander in Italy has been largely overlooked when one thinks of the great captains of the war. The author, Mikolashek remedies this situation, shedding much needed historical light on one of America’s most important fighting generals in this “warts and all” biography. It also demonstrates the importance of the Italian Campaign, paying tribute to the valorous soldiers of U.S. Fifth Army and their Allied comrades.

Jon Mikolashek is a history professor at the U.S Army Command and General Staff College branch at Ft. Belvoir, VA, and also teaches history at American Military University.

About The Author

Jon Mikolashek is a history professor at the U.S Army Command and General Staff College branch at Ft. Belvoir, VA, and also teaches history at American Military University.



1. TWO MEN OF DESTINY: The Arrival of the American Ground Forces in England
2. ADVENTURE BELOW, POLITICS ABOVE: Clark’s Secret Mission to Africa and the Darlan Deal
3. THE BIRTH OF THE FIGHTIN’ FIFTH: The United States Fifth Army
4. DISASTER AVERTED: The Battle of Salerno
6. BLOODY RIVER: The Rapido River Crossing and the Planning for Anzio
8. ROME: The Prize?
9. STARVING TIME: The Failed Advance and the Second Winter


Appendix A
Works Cited


“…makes a convincing case…provides an interesting perspective of Clark’s generalship…”


"This is an interesting and well-researched examination of Mark W. Clark. This work should be studied by maneuver commanders to understand the complexity of dealing with allies, the struggle for resources during a conflict and the political overwatch of a campaign."

- ARMOR Magazine

".. relates the World War II story of this “often ignored and nearly always forgotten” general… informative…"

- The Journal of America’s Military Past

“… Jon B. Mikolashek, currently a professor of history at the U.S Army Command and General Staff College branch at Ft. Belvoir, VA, has given we history readers and buffs, as well as military historians a new introduction to a key American General of World War 2…Mikolashek neither venerates nor scourges Clark as a Commanding General nor what others have called a publicity seeker. Instead he seeks to contextualize Clark’s decisions and actions within the dynamics of the Italian campaign – an increasingly second place campaign against the developing and then active Normandy/Central European campaign of 1944-1945 that caused not just his unit but the British to lose men and material in preparation for it. And he does so as he points out the strategic importance of the Italian theater of operations which pinned down numerous German divisions that would have been used against the Normandy invaders in the west and the eventually advancing Russians in the east… a ‘great’ read and one that students of history as well as military history and leadership studies will enjoy”

- Jim Kane, 1 Man and His Books

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