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A man, who was well respected by his troops and recognized meritously by President Truman,
must now be remembered through these pages of history

Lieutenant General Geoffrey Keyes, born on October 30th, 1888, served the United States Army during World War II. He began the war as a member of the Chief Supply and Transportation Branch Supply Division War Department General staff. He then served as a member of the 2nd  and 9th Armored Divisions during 1942 before becoming a deputy commander to General George S. Patton while in North Africa and Sicily. He later assumed command of the II corps, leading them up the western side of Italy to meet up with the US Fifth Army in May of 1945 during the campaigns of Rome and the occupation of Salzburg, Austria.

Keyes then served the United States Army during the occupation of Germany as the commanding general of the U.S. 3rd Army. He assumed command when the 3rd Army took operational responsibility of the Third and Seventh Army Zones, and the 7th Army became nonoperational. He served at this position until January 10th, 1947.

Keyes was also assigned to become the United States High Commissioner on the Allied Council for Austria by President Harry S. Truman on May 17th, 1947. Keyes' term as high commissioner exemplified the struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union following World War II. He was reluctant to adhere to the Austrian government by removing troops for fear that the Soviets would take control over Austria.
 
His term had a rough start with fourteen strikes during his first month as high commissioner, which he believed were sparked by Soviet provocation. Keyes was ardent in having American troops remain in Austria, as he felt that the country would become a strategic piece in the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. Keyes particularly feared economic domination by the Soviets in the Austrian economy, and set forth a plan to use money from the Marshall Plan to constitute an economy that would resist Soviet economic and political pressure. Keyes also believed in physical protection from the Soviet Union, and believed that it was necessary to situate military troops in Austria to prevent invasion. Keyes' propositions recieved support in 1948 when nearby Czeckoslovakia experienced a communist takeover. Despite this boost in endorsement, Keyes' economic plans were dismissed, although his plans for a security force progressed, and plans to create an Austrian Army were formed.

Keyes remained as the High Commissioner until 1950 when he retired from the military. Following his resignation, Keyes recieved a letter from President Truman, thanking him for his service to his country.
___________________________________________________
 
Letter to Keyes:

Dear General Keyes:

Now that you have returned to your homeland, I wish to express my congratulations and my gratitude for the services you have rendered to your country as the United States High Commissioner to Austria. During a period of complex strains and vexing problems, you have displayed statesmanship of the highest order.

We now mark the point in the history of the Occupation of Austria at which the Department of State will assume the occupation responsibilities which have heretofore been exercised by the Department of the Army through you. This represents the climax of one of the finest chapters in the history of our Army—the chapter in which our soldiers, after carrying through to victory the battle against Fascism, turned to the tasks of peace and helped to rebuild a shattered world.

To you and to all the Army personnel who have worked with you, both in uniform and as civilians, our nation pays profound respect for the effectiveness with which you have handled the work of peaceful reconstruction and economic rehabilitation which, in large part, has been the American contribution toward the settlement of Austria’s post-war problems. 


Sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN

 (Source: World Book Advanced: Encyclopedia)


FunFact:
Keyes used to be head coach of the Army football team in 1917 and had a record of 7 wins to 1 loss.

GeoffreyKeyes5thperiod/GeoffreyKeyes1.jpg
Lieutenant General Geoffrey Keyes


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Sources:
 
- "Biography of Lieutenant-General Geoffrey Keyes." Generals of World War II. Web. 15 Jan. 2010.
<http://www.generals.dk/general/Keyes/Geoffrey/USA.html>.
 
- Dodge, Russ. Find-a-Grave. Record added: Jan 30, 2000. <http://www.findagrave.com/photos/2005/281/8346_112890399752.jpg> 
 
- "Geoffrey Keyes (1888 - 1967) - Find A Grave Memorial." Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records. Web. 28 May 2010.
<http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8346>.
 
- "Interagency Operations: General Geoffrey Keyes in Austria | The Heritage Foundation." Conservative Policy Research and Analysis | The Heritage Foundation. Web. 14 Jan. 2010.
<http://www.heritage.org/Research/Commentary/2010/01/Interagency-Operations-General-Geoffrey-Keyes-in-Austria>.
 
- Sepi. Find-a-Grave. Record added: Jan 30, 2000. <http://www.findagrave.com/photos/2005/191/8346_112109917697.jpg>

- Truman, Harry S. Public Papers of Harry S. Truman -- 274 Letter to General Geoffrey Keyes, Retiring U.S. High Commissioner in Austria. 30-Oct-50. World Book Advanced. Web. 28 May 2010.
 
- Woolley, John T., and Gerhard Peters. "Letter to Geoffrey Keyes, Retiring U.S. High Commissioner in Austria." The American Presidency Project. UCSB. Web.
<http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=13650>.
 


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