World War II American General Officers' Project



A project dedicated to the study of the American General Officer and the preservation of their original uniforms, flags and medals.

  General Edward Brooks

In his memoirs, General Matthew Ridgeway describes a great commander as someone who “anticipates where the hardest fighting is to come, and helps his commanders in any way he can”.  No better example of Ridgeway’s definition of a great commander is there than General Edward Brooks.  

General Brooks traveling with four officers and 6 enlisted men through the French town of Marchiennes which had just been cleared by his 2nd Armored division, was notified by friendly inhabitants of an approaching German column of vehicles from the south. General Brooks quickly deployed his little force of nine men to cover the three roads leading from the village. With a total armament of one armored car with machine gun, on quarter-ton truck with light machine gun, one sub-machine gun and several carbines, General Brooks' little force opened fire on the German column from several angles. Only after exhausting all availible ammunition did General Brook's party give ground. However, this action delayed the German advance long enough to permitted a platoon of medium tanks to deploy and set a trap for the enemy column. The enemy column advanced directly into the trap and was almost completely destroyed.  Only one vehicle escaped.

The total enemy losses included 22 command and reconnaissance cars, 43 trucks, 14 half-tracks, 9 gun trailers, 8 motorcycles, 12 20mm guns, 4 75mm guns, 8 150mm guns, 3 150mm howitzers, and 4 88mm dual purpose guns, as well as approximately 300 enemy killed and 60 captured. (1)

During the war General Brooks was promoted to commander VI Corps, and in February 1945, General Brooks was listed on General Eisenhower assessment of top generals based on value of services rendered during the war. 

 (1) Information taken from General Brooks Silver Star citation (second award).   Provided by Ted Kempster, great grandson of General Brooks