Who was the U.S. General demoted for talking about Op. Overlord

Eisenhower demoted and sent home a U.S. Major General (and West Point classmate) because he was openly speculating on the date of the Normandy invasion at a cocktail party. IIRC, the incident is even portrayed in The Longest Day. Who was the General in question?

It was Major General Henry J. F. Miller: Time Magazine

Ah - thanks! And thanks for the article. I was half way through it before I realized it was written in 1944! Given the era, I wouldn’t have guessed the press had access to that type of information so soon after the event. Interesting.

I’m guessing it was deliberately and comprehensively leaked pretty much as soon as the Overlord landings were made public knowledge. After all, one of the reasons for punishing people rather than just telling them to STFU is to encourage others to keep their lips buttoned. ‘Pour encourager les autres’ and all that.

Yeah, I can see that. While searching for the name of the General in the OP, I came across commentary that the Army had no issues with sacking senior officers for screw-ups, both minor and major, whereas the Navy seemed very reluctant to do the same. COUGHHalseyCOUGH

Out of GQ and into opinion…

It is also in the article itself - on that date, according to TIME, no admiral was known to have gotten busted. With Halsey the Navy may have claimed it was a case of “well, who else do I have who’s that good the other 95% of the time?”, but really, on the land side even Patton could get sent to cool his heels riding a desk just for pattonnishness, nevermind actually damaging the operation. I suppose the Navy institutional culture tended to consider that as too much of a “disgrace” to inflict on someone’s career.
For most of the nation’s history up to WW2 itself the Army in declared wartime was rich in officers holding wartime “operational rank” (a.k.a. “brévet”) several steps above their permanent grade – captains as colonels, lieutenant colonels as major generals. IIRC the Navy was much stingier with “frocking” their officers? ISTM, and I’m just hypothesizing in thin air here, that would lead to a culture where having your command and your stars taken from you may have been seen as more of an extreme action for the Navy than for the Army, if proportionately more generals than admirals were anyway expected to one day go back to running motor pools, or even just have to rejoin the civilian workforce soon after peace broke out.

Heh. You know, that’s probably where I read it. :smack:

As far as everything else you said, it makes perfect sense to me. Major General Miller’s permanent rank was 05 (and he was fortunate to make 06, according to the Time article). But, I can see from an internet search that he was a Brig General as early as November, 1941 - a month before Pearl Harbor. Perhaps the frocking occurred in preparation of war, as well as during.

Yes, already in 1940-41 there was a huge “peacetime” build-up, resulting in that a lot of officers would go from field rank in the Regular Army to general rank in the “Army of the US” within a few months to handle it. Miller’s busting was noteworthy for his being “one of the club”, a West Pointer on good personal terms with the 4-stars – “pour encourager” indeed.

I hadn’t heard about the pre-Overlord blabbermouth general before - interesting.

Nimitz ran a destroyer aground early in his career and was disciplined, but it didn’t seem to do his career any longterm harm.

I heard McCain crashed some planes and yet won the Presidency.