Taylor file photo [1019]

Maxwell Taylor

SurnameTaylor
Given NameMaxwell
Died19 Apr 1987
CountryUnited States
CategoryMilitary-Ground
GenderMale

Contributor:

ww2dbaseAn accomplished soldier and statesmen, Maxwell Davenport Taylorís career spanned some of the most important moments of the 20th century.

ww2dbaseA graduate of the US Military Academy in 1922, Taylor's steady rise through the ranks eventually led him to the 82nd Airborne Division, where he was Chief of Staff under Matthew Ridgeway. He also served as the Divisionís artillery commander for operations in Sicily and Italy.

ww2dbaseTaylor was not inclined to let his soldiers assume all the risks of war. He is credited with passing

"through enemy lines 24 hours before the Allied invasion of Italy (1943) to confer with Italian leaders about the possibility of conducting an airborne assault on Rome."

ww2dbaseSeveral months before Operation Overlord, Taylor assumed command of the 101st Airborne Division after its first commander was injured in a training jump. Taylor jumped with his troops into Normandy on D-day and commanded the Division until the end of the war.

ww2dbaseIn late 1944, his "Battered Bastards of Bastogne" became famous for defending Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, though he was absent attending a conference in Washington DC.

ww2dbaseIn Behind Hitlerís Lines Taylor's son, Thomas, recounts what his father's response might have been to the famous surrender ultimatum issued by the German command:

"Years later [I] asked Taylor how he would have replied to Luttwitz [the German General making the demand] had he returned in time for the surrender ultimatum. Taylor's answer was that because this was an international communication he would have replied in French, the proper language of diplomacy, and would have said something like, 'These are still the Ardennes, but this is no longer 1940.'"

ww2dbaseGeneral Taylor reached the Division three days after the ultimatum was delivered, and by then "Nuts!" (General McAuliffeís response) went "out to the world and into history." Despite his absence at Bastogne, Taylor led arguably one of the best fighting Divisions in the European theatre.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Taylor served as commander of the Allied troops in Berlin and later as the Army Chief of Staff. He retired from the military in 1959, but was recalled to service by President Kennedy in 1962. Taylor acted as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until 1964 and as Ambassador to South Vietnam from 1964-1965.

ww2dbaseGeneral Taylor died in 1987.

ww2dbaseSources: Arlington National Cemetery, Behind Hitlerís Lines, Britannica Online, Wikipedia.

Maxwell Taylor Timeline

19 Apr 1987 Maxwell Taylor passed away.

Photographs

Badoglio declared war on Germany, 13 Oct 1943; American representative Taylor on leftUS Major General Maxwell Taylor posing in paratrooper equipment, circa 1944-1945Portrait of US Army Major General Maxwell Taylor, circa 1945-1949US Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting with Secretary of Defense, Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico, Apr 1956; L to R: Radford, Wilson, Taylor, Burke, Pate, Phillips
See all 6 photographs of Maxwell Taylor



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More on Maxwell Taylor
Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender
» Normandy Campaign, Phase 1

Maxwell Taylor Photo Gallery
Badoglio declared war on Germany, 13 Oct 1943; American representative Taylor on left
See all 6 photographs of Maxwell Taylor




Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944