Ike in 1943: “Our victory is assured"

Amidst the brutal Italian campaign, Eisenhower says that the spirit of Americans will make the difference

Key Facts

  • A very inspirational wartime letter from the front home

Dwight D. Eisenhower was promoted four-star general in February 1943 and served as the Allied commander for all the major operations in the Mediterranean theatre throughout that year. After victory in the North Africa campaign, he made his main headquarters in Algiers, to which place most of his mail was forwarded. He also spent time in more forward positions, both in Tunis, and after Italy was invaded, in that country. The invasion of Sicily took place in July 1943, and after it was secured, the Italian mainland was the next Allied target. On September 23, 1943, General Eisenhower took the Italian surrender aboard HMS Nelson off Malta. The German Army continued to fight ferociously in southern Italy throughout the coming months as the Allied armies moved north towards Rome. One milestone was reached when the U.S. Army marched triumphantly into Naples on October 1, 1943.   

Eisenhower was often too preoccupied with running the war to answer his mail, but when a letter touched him or he found the free time, he would. Back from the front and Malta, and amidst news of hard fighting on the road to Rome, he found a letter from a World War I veteran who wanted to do his part in this new conflict. Ike responded with a show of confidence in victory.

Typed Letter Signed on his “Allied Force Headquarters” letterhead, October 7, 1943, to M.T. Lizner, a veteran of World War I who had written Ike about workers on the home front. "Thank you for your poem and the emblems of the “War Worker” and “Victory” that you sent me. They typify a real American, soldier of 1918 turned war worker of 1943, and one who is utilizing his every talent to win this war. That is the spirit we must have to win, and with it, our victory is assured." This is one of the strongest wartime statements from Ike on victory, and what it would take to achieve it, that we have seen.   

In December 1943, the different national units of the Mediterranean sector became a unified command, and Eisenhower was appointed its overall commander and based in England. Then in January 1944, he was appointed supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces for the Normandy landings that June.