"Given those parameters then the U.S. frequently placed whole armies under foreign operational control during World War II, while maintaining overall command over those forces"
I am not asking this to be agrumentative, I merely wish to gain further understanding. Perhaps you can help.
I was born in 1948, too late to have witnessed these things first hand. My father served in the Pacific theater. He was a SeaBee. Other than reading and some historically based movies I have seen, my knowledge of the military operations comes from personal accounts I have gotten from Veterans of that era. The situation as I understand it was one in which US troops not only were NOT under foreign control, but that a friendly rivalry existed between the Allied Armies over who could dominate the field of battle more effectively.
Specifically, there was the well publicized competition between Patton and Montgomery, in which Patton chose to ignore directives from Allied command to claim specific victories for his army.
Did not the ultiumate command AND control of all Allied armies rest with Eisenhower? Has it not been a condition of our participation in NATO that the NATO commander is always an American General?
Again, I am not asking to be argumentative. If my information is wrong I would appreciate you correcting me!
PS: Regarding Clinton's Directive: Leave it to Bubba to parse words to appease both sides while doing the bidding of the UN! This sounds like something Kerry would have thought up. (Except he probably would have specifically put our boys under the French flag!)
Then you have to ask, does the NATO commander 'command' those NATO forces under him or does the ultimate command lay with the countries providing them? I think that the second is true because ultimately the German forces answer to the German government and the British answer to the British government. The NATO commander will exercise operational control, just like the U.S. command in Iraq may exercise operational control over the coalition forces there. But command in the ultimate control form of the word? No. And I believe that this was also true when Eisenhower ran the show. Eisenhower exercised operational control over the units but in the end the ultimate command authority went up their chain of command to their King or their Commander-in-Chief. In any case, there were other Supreme Commanders of other areas, one of which was Admiral Mountbatten who commanded the forces in the Southwest Pacific area, including China, Burma, and India. If Eisenhower exercised command over the allied forces in Europe then one would have to say that Mountbatten exercised command over the allied forces in his area, including Americans.
Absolutely not. Command of the Mediterranean Theater was under Field Marshal Wilson and then Field Marshal Alexander, both British.