Mark W. Clark

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General Mark W. Clark

Mark Wayne Clark (born May 1, 1896 in Madison Barracks , New York , † April 17, 1984 in Charleston , South Carolina ) was an American general during the Second World War and the Korean War .


Early years

Clark was a descendant of the revolutionary leader George Rogers Clark . He spent much of his youth in Chicago , Illinois . Clark attended the Military Academy at West Point , where he gained early access at the age of 17, but lost time in college due to illness. In 1917 he completed his studies and entered the US Army .

As a captain in the infantry , Clark served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I , where he was wounded. In December 1929, Mark Wayne Clark became a member of the Freemasonry Union , his lodge Mystic Tie Lodge No. 398 is based in Indianapolis .

In the interwar period he held various functions and held various positions in the Ministry of Defense ; he was also deputy chief of personnel for the Civilian Conservation Corps (an American job creation scheme ). He graduated from General Staff School in 1935 and attended Army War College in 1937 .

Second World War

In the fall of 1942, as major general, he was deputy in command of Operation Torch , the Allied invasion of North Africa. He landed on the British submarine HMS Seraph weeks before the invasion to negotiate with representatives of the Vichy regime in North Africa . In April and July 1943 Luis Orgaz Yoldi , the Alto Comisario de España en Marruecos , took part in maneuver observations of the 5th US Army at an official invitation from Clark . In 1943, Clark was promoted to lieutenant general as the youngest US officer to date .

In 1943, shortly before the Allied troops landed near Salerno ( Operation Avalanche ), he was given command of the 5th US Army . Parts of his army occupied the Italian capital Rome on June 5, 1944 without a fight.

On December 16, 1944, Clark took command of the 15th British / American Army Group from Harold Alexander , which made him commander in chief of all ground troops in Italy until the end of the war. His conduct of operations remains controversial, such as the attack on Monte Cassino , the poor progress in the occupation of Italy and the unsuccessful containment and capture of German troops.

After the war he was US High Commissioner for Austria from 1945 to 1947 and was promoted to general in 1946 as the youngest officer in the US Army to date . After his return to the USA he was given command of the 6th US Army .

Korean War

On May 12, 1952, Clark took over command of the UN troops in the Korean War from General Matthew Ridgway and signed the armistice agreement with North Korea on July 27, 1953 .

From 1952 he delegated US military aid to France during the Indochina War .

Another résumé

After retiring from active service, Clark served as President of The Citadel Military College in Charleston, South Carolina from 1954 to 1966 , and President of the American Battle Monuments Commission from 1969 to 1984 .

After the death of his wife Maurine "Renie" Doran, who was married to him on May 17, 1924 (born October 5, 1892 in Milwaukee , † October 5, 1966 in Pinopolis , South Carolina ), who in 1956 had published her memoirs focused on the life of her husband , married Mary Mildred Applegate (later widow) on October 17, 1967.

Mark W. Clark died on April 17, 1984 at the age of 88; he was buried in The Citadel in Charleston, SC.

honors and awards

Announcement from the parish of St. Marienkirchen near Schärding about the award of honorary citizenship to Clark


He wrote two volumes of memoirs:

  • Calculated Risk . First edition. Harper, New York City 1950. (Updated edition: Enigma Publisher, New York City 2005, ISBN 1-929631-36-7 ).
    • (German edition :) My way from Algiers to Vienna . Obelisk-Verlag, Velden / Vienna 1954.
  • From the Danube to the Yalu . Harper & Brothers, New York City 1954. (Autobiography 1945–1953).


  • Otto Kauders (1893–1949), Mark W. Clark: Festive event for the foundation of the Austrian-American Society on January 6, 1946 in the Great Music Association Hall in Vienna . (German English). Holzhausen, Vienna 1946.
  • Promotion of the High Commissioner of the United States of America for Austria, General Mark W (Ayne) Clark, as an honorary doctorate in political science from the University of Vienna . Austrian State Printing House, Vienna 1947.
  • Reginald L. Williams, Joseph J. Huberman (Ill.): 15th Army Group History. December 16, 1944 - May 2, 1945. General Mark W (Ayne) Clark commanding . Austrian State Printing Office, Vienna 1948.
  • Martin Blumenson: Mark Clark . Congdon & Weed, New York 1984, ISBN 0312925174 . (Biography in English).
  • Ian M. Koontz (Eds.), George A. Freund (Foreword): Hometown heroes: Dubuque remembers WWII. Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa 2001.
  • Mark W. Clark Collection - Inventory . (English). The Citadel Archives & Museum, Charleston (South Carolina) 2006. - Full text online (PDF; 0.35 MB).
  • Sidney T. Mathews: General Clark's Decision to Drive on Rome . In: Command Decisions . Ed .: Martin Blumenson, Robert W. Coakley, Stetson Conn, Byron Fairchild, Richard M. Leighton, Charles VP von Luttichau. Chapter 14 of the book (pp. 351-364). Editions 1960/2006. CMH Pub 70-7-1 (CMH = Center for Military History)


  • Robert F. Slatzer (Director): No Substitute for Victory . (English). USA 1970.

Web links

Commons : Mark Wayne Clark  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Denslow, William R .: 10,000 Famous Freemasons. Missouri Lodge of Research, Trenton, Missouri 1957-1961 (4 vol.).
  2. Mead Dodd: The New international year book , 1944 ( limited preview in Google book search)
  3. Pope Pius XII. refused in the days before to leave Rome and tried to get a universal declaration of Rome as an open, military-free city . Many helped him, on the Vatican side Pankratius Pfeiffer , Domenico Tardini , Otto Faller , on the German side Ernst von Weizsäcker and SS-General Karl Wolff . At the beginning of June 1944 Field Marshal Albert Kesselring declared Rome an “open city” and withdrew all troops except for a rearguard.
  4. ^ William Jackson: The Mediterranean and Middle East: Volume VI Victory in the Mediterranean. Part III - November 1944 to May 1945. Naval & Military Press, Uckfield 2004 ISBN 1-845740-72-6 . P. 73
  5. The British historian Norman Davies judges in his book Europa im Krieg 1939–1945 (2009, p. 192) that Clark's vanity had missed a golden opportunity to block the German withdrawal.
  6. Christopher E. Goscha : Historical Dictionary of the Indochina War (1945-1954) - An International and Interdisciplinary Approach. Copenhagen 2011, p. 107
  7. Maurine Doran Clark: Captain's Bride, General's Lady. The Memoirs of Mrs. Mark W. Clark . (English). McGraw-Hill, New York 1956. - Full text online .
  8. ^ Mark W. Clark in the Find a Grave database . Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  9. a b Chronicle of State History: 1946 at
  10. Overview , Chapter 14
  11. ^ No Substitute for Victory . In: , accessed May 13, 2013.


  1. The marriage comes from William Doran Clark (* 1925) and Patricia Ann (1926–1962; Oosting married from 1952, sometimes also: Costing).
predecessor Office successor
- Commanding General 5th U.S. Army
January 1943 - March 1944
Lucian K. Truscott
Harold Alexander Commander in Chief of the 15th Army Group
December 1944 - July 1945
- Commander in Chief United States Forces in Austria and American High Commissioner in Austria
July 1945 - May 1947
Geoffrey Keyes
Matthew B. Ridgway United Nations Command in Chief
May 1952 - October 1953
John E. Hull
Jacob L. Devers Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission
Andrew J. Goodpaster