HYDE PARK, N. Y. -- Roosevelt today announced Dwight D. Eisenhower as commander of the forth-coming Allied invasion of Europe.
In a Christmas Eve radio address to the nation and men of the American armed services around the world, Mr. Roosevelt said as a result of the international conferences at Cairo and Teheran, Gen. Eisenhower, now Allied commander for North Africa, had been giving the task of leading the new "combined attack" against Germany.
Mr. Roosevelt, who indicated the "zero hour" was near, also revealed that American armed forces overseas number 3,800,000 and will rise to more than five million by next July.
Gen. Eisenhower, the President said, will be succeeded in the Mediterranean by a British officer whose name will be announced by Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Gen. Eisenhower will have command of "air, sea and land power" in tackling Germany from new "points of the compass" and he will be assisted by Lt. Gen. Carl Andrew Spaatz who will command "the entire American strategic bombing force operating against Germany."
Mr. Roosevelt, speaking from his Hyde Park home where he was spending Christmas for the first time since he entered office, reported at length on his recent overseas conferences, saying that the United States, Great Britain, China and Russia were in agreement that after the war "international force' would be used if necessary to preserve peace.
He also struck at those who see the war's end near at hand, saying, "We shall have to look forward to large casualty lists" and that the end is "not yet in sight."
In telling the news of Gen. Eisenhower's new command, the President painted in general terms the plan of global battle that came out of the talks in the Middle East with Mr. Churchill, Premier Josef Stalin and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
"The Russian army will continue its stern offensives on Germany's Eastern Front," he said in discussing plans for Europe. "The Allied armies in Italy and Africa will bring relentless pressure on Germany from the south, and now their encirclement will be complete as. great American and British forces attack from other points of the compass."
"The commander selected to lead the combined attack from these other points." Mr. Roosevelt announced dramatically, "is Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. His performances in Africa, Sicily and Italy have been brilliant. He knows by practical and successful experience the way to co-ordinate air, sea and land power. All these will be under his control.
"Lt. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz will command the entire American strategic bombing force operating against Germany."
Gen. Spaatz now commands the American strategic bombing force in the Mediterranean.
Gen. Eisenhower thus assumes the role approximate to that occupied by Marshal Ferdinand Foch. who late in World War I was appointed generalissimo of Allied forces.
The appointment left the American top command unchanged. Gen. George C. Marshall, fresh from conferences in the Pacific, remains as Army Chief of Staff in active charge of the nation's global war plans. Adm. William D. Leahy continues as Mr. Roosevelt's personal chief of staff.
Mr. Roosevelt promised Gen. Eisenhower's successor in the African and Mediterranean theater "that our powerful ground, sea and air forces in stand by his side until every is attained."
Hailing the Cairo and Teheran conferences as being eminently successful, the Chief Executive said the four powers rejected the enemy doctrine "that the strong shall dominate the weak."
"But at the same time, we are agreed that if force is necessary to keep international peace, international force will be applied for as long as it may be necessary."
Seemingly as a warning to nations that refuse to cooperate with the Allies, the President added :
"It has been our steady policy and it is certainly a common sense policy that the right of each nation to freedom must be measured by the willingness of that nation to fight for freedom."
Mr. Roosevelt far from ignored the war in the Pacific, saying that he and Mr. Churchill had settled with the Chinese Generalissimo not only "definite military strategy," but also had discussed "certain long-range principles which we believe can assure peace in the Far East for many generations to come."