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Walter Bedell Smith

Walter Bedell Smith
Three quarter length portrait of seated man in uniform. He is bare headed and wearing his medal ribbons. He is wearing the SHAEF shoulder sleeve insignia.
Personal data
NicknameBeetle
Date of birth5 October 1895
Place of birthIndianapolis, Indiana
Date of death9 August 1961(age 65)
Place of deathWashington, DC
SpouseMary Eleanor Smith
ProfessionSoldier
ReligionRoman Catholic
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1911 1953
RankGeneral
CommandsFirst United States Army
Battles/warsWorld War I: *Aisne-Marne Offensive World War II: *Operation Torch *Tunisia Campaign *Allied invasion of Sicily *Allied invasion of Italy *Operation Overlord *Siegfried Line Campaign *Battle of the Bulge *Western Allied invasion of Germany
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
National Security Medal
(more, see below)
United States Ambassador to Soviet Union
In office3 April 1946 - 25 December 1948
PresidentHarry S Truman
Succeeded byAlan G. Kirk
Preceded byW. Averell Harriman
4th Director of Central Intelligence
In office7 October 1950 - 9 February 1953
PresidentHarry S Truman
Succeeded byAllen W. Dulles
Preceded byRoscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Under Secretary of State
In office9 February 1953 - 1 October 1954
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Succeeded byHerbert Hoover, Jr.
Preceded byDavid K. E. Bruce

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Walter Bedell "Beetle" Smith (5 October 1895 9 August 1961) was a senior United States Army general who served as General Dwight D. Eisenhower's chief of staff at Allied Forces Headquarters during the Tunisia Campaign and the Allied invasion of Italy. Later he was Eisenhower's chief of staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) from 1944 to 1945.

Smith enlisted as a private in the Indiana National Guard in 1911. During World War I he was commissioned as an officer in 1917 and wounded in the Aisne-Marne Offensive in 1918. After the war he was a staff officer and an instructor at the United States Army Infantry School. In 1941 he became Secretary of the General Staff. The next year he became Secretary to the Combined Chiefs of Staff. His duties involved participation in discussions at the highest level, and Smith often briefed President Franklin D. Roosevelt on strategic matters.

Smith became chief of staff to Eisenhower at Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ) in September 1942. He acquired a reputation as Eisenhower's "hatchet man" for his brusque and demanding manner. However, he was also capable of representing Eisenhower on sensitive missions requiring diplomatic skill. Smith was involved in negotiating the Armistice between Italy and Allied armed forces, which he signed on behalf of Eisenhower. In 1944 he became Chief of Staff of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), again under Eisenhower. He successfully negotiated food aid for the starving Dutch civilian population in the cities in the west of the country, and opened discussions for the peaceful and complete German capitulation in Holland. In May 1945 he met with the representatives of the German High Command to negotiate the surrender of the German Armed Forces.

After the war he served as Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1946 to 1948. He became Director of Central Intelligence, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, in 1950. Smith reorganized the agency, redefined its structure and mission, and gave it a new sense of purpose. He made the CIA the arm of government primarily responsible for covert operations. He left the CIA in 1953 to become Under Secretary of State. After retiring as Under Secretary of State in 1954, Smith continued to serve the Eisenhower administration in various posts.

Walter Bedell Smith Video

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Joe Ramos tells a few interesting stories from his experiences during World War II as a Radio Operator on C47 and B17 aircraft. This video is non-profit for ...
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APCO hosted Walter Isaacson and Sally Bedell Smith in what was a truly enjoyable evening. APCO Worldwide was delighted to host Walter and Sally in partnershi...
59.20 min. | 5.0 user rating
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Unused / unissued footage - dates and locations unclear / unknown. Cuts from newsreel 47/23 - Moscow Conference, Russia. Titles read: 'BEVIN IN MOSCOW' (news...
1.07 min. | 0 user rating

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End of the US as a democracy - The Nation, Pakistan Tweet this news
The Nation, Pakistan---...- Directors in the times of President Truman and CIA Director General -Walter Bedell Smith-, came from the financial and legal circles of the Wall Street.--- - Date : Tue, 12 Oct 2010 02:30:15 GMT+00:00
Quell'infame patto dei Savoia con i nazisti - ALDO CHIARLE - Avanti! Tweet this news
Avanti!--L'incontro avviene il 19: Castellano si incontra a Lisbona con il generale americano -Walter Bedell Smith- che presenta le bozze di un armistizio in dodici ... - Date : Mon, 06 Sep 2010 14:46:27 GMT+00:00
Beyond Conspiracy Theories - Iran and the CIA: The Fall of Mosaddeq Revisited - Payvand Tweet this news
Payvand---...- B: When their TP-AJAX failed they moved "to snuggle up to Mosaddeq" in the words of General -Walter Bedell Smith- who ran the show then in Washington. ... - Date : Thu, 17 Jun 2010 16:04:10 GMT+00:00
Pike County Court Notes 6-2-2010 - Scranton Times-Tribune Tweet this news
Scranton Times-Tribune--Elise Klein Renee, formerly of Greene Twp.; letters of administration to David -Bedell-, 116 New Norwalk Road, New Canaan, Conn. - -Walter- J. Noone, formerly ... - Date : Wed, 02 Jun 2010 08:08:32 GMT+00:00
Many Canadians don't know why VE Day is celebrated - The Lacombe Globe Tweet this news
The Lacombe Globe---Walter Bedell Smith-, who was the chief of staff for General Dwight Eisenhower. British Prime Minister Winston Churchillon May 8, 1945proclaimed that May ... - Date : Wed, 12 May 2010 18:20:47 GMT+00:00
L'Allemagne nazie capitule à Reims - L'Union Tweet this news
L'Union--Le général -Walter Bedell---Smith-, chef d'état-major du général Eisenhower regarde droit dans les yeux le trio de la délégation allemande composé du général ... - Date : Fri, 07 May 2010 13:04:10 GMT+00:00
8 mai 1945 - Et l'Allemagne a capitulé - France Soir Tweet this news
France Soir---...- du haut commandement soviétique, le général -Walter Bedell---Smith-, qui représente le commandement suprême des forces expéditionnaires alliées, ... - Date : Fri, 07 May 2010 17:42:06 GMT+00:00
Ein Archiv verwahrt das Kriegsende - Nordwest-Zeitung Tweet this news
Nordwest-Zeitung--Mai in Reims von Jodl sowie vom amerikanischen General -Walter Bedell Smith- und dem russischen General Iwan Susloparow unterzeichnet und trat am darauf ... - Date : Fri, 07 May 2010 03:47:27 GMT+00:00
Dni zwycięstwa - Salon 24 Tweet this news
Salon 24--Ze strony aliantów zachodnich podpis pod dokumentem złożył generał -Walter Bedell Smith- (szef sztabu generał Eisenhowera), a ze strony ZSRR generał Iwan ... - Date : Fri, 07 May 2010 09:15:46 GMT+00:00
65. rocznica zakończenia II wojny światowej w Europie - Nauka W Polsce (PAP) Tweet this news
Nauka W Polsce (PAP)--Brytyjczykom wystarczało, że szef sztabu Eisenhowera, generał -Walter Bedell Smith-, złożył podpis w Reims także w ich imieniu. ... - Date : Fri, 07 May 2010 01:20:07 GMT+00:00

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
W. Averell Harriman
United States Ambassador to Soviet Union
1946-1948
Succeeded by
Alan G. Kirk
Military offices
Preceded by
Roscoe B. Woodruff
Commanding General of the First United States Army
1949-1950
Succeeded by
Roscoe B. Woodruff
Government offices
Preceded by
Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter
Director of Central Intelligence
1950-1953
Succeeded by
Allan W. Dulles
Preceded by
David K. E. Bruce
Under Secretary of State
1953-1954
Succeeded by
Herbert Hoover, Jr.

Under Secretary of State :

Under Secretary of State :
US military decorations
  Army Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
  Navy Distinguished Service Medal
  Legion of Merit
  Bronze Star Medal
US Military Service Medals
  World War I Victory Medal with three battle clasps
  American Defense Service Medal
  European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with seven service stars
  World War II Victory Medal
  Army of Occupation Medal with "Germany" clasp
  National Defense Service Medal
US Civil Service Medals
  National Security Medal
International and Foreign Awards
  Grand Croix de 1'Ordre de la Couronne with palm (Belgium)
  Croix de guerre with palm (Belgium)
  Order of Military Merit, Grand Cross (Brazil)
  Medal of Military Merit of the Army, First Class, Grand Cross (Chile)
  Order of the White Lion, Star II Class (Czechoslovakia)
  War Cross 1939 1945 (Czechoslovakia)
  Legion of Honor, Grand Officer (France)
  Croix de guerre 1914 1918 with palm (France)
  Croix de guerre 1939 1945 with palm (France)
  Order of the Bath, Knight Commander (United Kingdom)
  Order of the British Empire, Knight Commander (United Kingdom)
  Order of the Oak Crown, Grand Cross (Luxembourg)
  Order of Ouissam Alaouite, Grand Cross (Morocco)
  Order of the Netherlands Lion, Knight Grand Cross (Netherlands)
  Order of Polonia Restituta, II Class (Poland)
  Order of Virtuti Militari, Silver Cross (Poland)
  Cross of Grunwald, Second Class (Poland)
  Order of Nichan Iftikhar (Tunisia)
  Order of Kutuzov, First Class (USSR)

Directors of Central Intelligence and Central Intelligence Agency

Central IntelligenceSidney Souers * Hoyt Vandenberg * Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter * Walter B. Smith * Allen W. Dulles * John A. McCone * William Raborn * Richard Helms * James R. Schlesinger * William Colby * George H. W. Bush * Stansfield Turner * William J. Casey * William H. Webster * Robert Gates * R. James Woolsey, Jr. * John M. Deutch * George Tenet
Central Intelligence AgencyPorter J. Goss * Michael Hayden * Leon Panetta

United States Under Secretaries of State

Polk * Davis * Fletcher * Phillips * Grew * Olds * Clark * Cotton * Castle * Phillips * Welles * Stettinius * Grew * Acheson * Lovett * Webb * Bruce * Smith * Hoover * Herter * Dillon * Bowles * Ball * Katzenbach * Richardson * Irwin



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