The General Who Wore Six Stars


The General Who Wore Six Stars

The Inside Story of John C. H. Lee

Hank H. Cox
Foreword by Clarence E. McKnight Jr.

280 pages
18 photographs


March 2018


$44.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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March 2018


$44.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

March 2018


$44.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Lt. Gen. John C. H. Lee wore six stars on his helmet, three in front and three in back—an unusual affectation. He was a stickler for discipline and a legendary military figure whom servicemen and historians loved to hate. Yet Lee was an intensely religious person and an advocate of opportunity for African Americans in the era of Jim Crow, setting him apart from the conservative officer corps at this time. Lee was also responsible for supplying the Allied armies in Europe during World War II from D-Day through Germany’s surrender. In this long-overdue biography of the brilliant and eccentric commander, Hank H. Cox paints a vivid picture of this enormous logistical task and the man who made it all happen.

The General Who Wore Six Stars delves into the perplexing details of how Lee let his idiosyncrasies get the better of him. This “pompous little son-of-a-bitch,” as some historians have called him, who was “only interested in self-advertisement,” famously moved his headquarters to Paris, where during the height of the American Army supply crisis, twenty-nine thousand of his Service of Supply troops shacked up in the finest hotels and, due to sheer numbers, created an enormous black market. Yet, Cox argues, Lee’s strategical genius throughout the war has been underappreciated not only by his contemporaries but also by World War II historians. The General Who Wore Six Stars provides a timely reassessment of this intriguing individual.


Author Bio

Hank H. Cox is a retired journalist, editor, and public information officer based in Washington DC. He is the author of Lincoln and the Sioux Uprising of 1862and For Love of a Dangerous Girl. Clarence E. McKnight Jr., a retired three-star U.S. Army general, was the first commander of the Army Communications Command at Fort Huachuca and also witnessed the merger of tactical and strategic communications in the military.


"The General Who Wore Six Stars increases our historical understanding of one of the key, yet relatively unknown, individuals responsible for victory in Europe and reminds the military professional that logistics cannot be relegated to an afterthought."—Maj. Kyle Hatzinger, Army Magazine

"Hank Cox is a talented writer, and he conveys great respect for Lee's many accomplishments, which far outweighed his eccentricities. . . . For those interested in learning how the Army tackled its considerable logistic challenges during World War II, this volume is a must-read."—Roger D. Cunningham, Journal of America's Military Past

"The General Who Wore Six Stars will probably serve as the standard biography of Lee for some time."—A. A. Nofi, Strategy Page

"The General Who Wore Six Stars belongs in the personal library of every serious scholar of World War II. . . . Readers will admire C.H. Lee's sanguinity in the face of nearly universal vituperation and have no doubt about his personal impact on the war in Europe."—Thomas E. Hanson, Michigan War Studies Review

"This biography should be required reading for anyone interested in better understanding U.S. Army operations in World War II."—James Lankford, On Point

“Valuable, informative, and comprehensive. . . . [Lt. Gen. John C. H. Lee] accomplished the nearly impossible task of supporting logistically the greatest, most complex, and most demanding enterprise in human history.”—Gen. Frederick J. Kroesen, U.S. Army (Ret.)


“This is a gem of a book that needed to be written. . . . Cox makes a persuasive case that the general was the pivotal figure in assuring that the combat forces were able to move with the speed in which they did from Normandy to Berlin. For anyone interested in expanding his or her knowledge of how the Allies were victorious, this well-written history is essential reading.”—Martin Lowery, executive vice president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

“A fascinating and very important story! Hank Cox has done a masterful job telling this little-understood story of how wars are won by the vital and sustaining power of manufacturing, transportation, and military supply and logistics, . . . [which] are vitally important to military victory and winning wars, then, now, and forever.”—Daniel M. Kush, consultant for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, specializing in government, public, and media relations

Table of Contents

Foreword by Clarence E. McKnight Jr.     
List of Abbreviations    
Chapter One. Slings and Arrows    
Chapter Two. A Woman Named John    
Chapter Three. Love and War    
Chapter Four. The Great Flood of 1927    
Chapter Five. Tragedy    
Chapter Six. War Clouds on the Horizon    
Chapter Seven. Bolero    
Chapter Eight. Lee’s Darkest Hour    
Chapter Nine. Torch    
Chapter Ten. Back to Bolero    
Chapter Eleven. Countdown to D-Day    
Chapter Twelve. The Overlord Logistical Plan    
Chapter Thirteen. The Great Adventure Begins    
Chapter Fourteen. The Great Breakout    
Chapter Fifteen. Taking the City of Light    
Chapter Sixteen. Lee in the Crosshairs    
Chapter Seventeen. Stalemate on the Western Front    
Chapter Eighteen. Lee’s Finest Hour    
Chapter Nineteen. Lee’s Advocacy of African Americans    
Chapter Twenty. Victory in Europe    
Chapter Twenty-One. Lee’s Excellent Italian Adventure    
Chapter Twenty-Two. An Unsung Hero    

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