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General Mark Wayne Clark was the commanding general of the US 5th Army that fought in the Italian Campaign. In December 1944, he was promoted to commanding general of the 15th Army Group, which had command of the US 5th and British 8th Army.

Clark was a graduate of West Point and saw a few days of combat in WW1. Then sat out the years between the wars as a Captain. He remained in that rank for 18 years, but at outbreak of WW2, he rose in rank from Lt-Colonel to Major-General in only 18 months--a rise only surpassed by Eisenhower.

He was prone to media attention and asked reporters to refer to his command as "Mark Clark's Fifth Army". Some thought him to be arogant. While serving in Italy, there were 3 controversal events that occured.

(1) Bombing of the Monastery at Cassino. The New Zealand general requested the monastery be bombed. Clarke deferred the question to his higher ranking commander, General Alexander.

(2) Attack on the Rappido River by 36th Infantry Division. This attack on 22 Jan 1944 was a frontal attack up the Liri Valley and failed with heavy losses.

(3) Decision to capture Rome versus entrapping the German 14th Army. The US 5th Army broke out of Cassino front, but instead of advancing north to entrap the Germans, he ordered his troops to move towards Rome. Some say he wanted to get the glory of being the first general in Rome.

He served in the Korean War as one of the commanding generals. He wrote two books: "Calculated Risk" and "From the Danube to the Yalu", about his command experience in Korean War. In his book, he descibes several close calls at Anzio: his PT boat was fired on by a friendly minesweeper and his light observation plane struck a barrage balloon cable causing it to crash.

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14y ago

Mark W. Clark was an American general during both WW2 and the Korean war ; see related link below to additional information .

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Q: Who was General Mark Wayne Clark?
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