Command Decision was a 1948 play in three acts written by William Wister Haines, and formed the basis for his best-selling novel of the same title. Produced by Kermit Bloomgarden and directed by John O'Shaughnessy, it ran for 409 performances from October 1, 1947 to September 18, 1948 at the Fulton Theatre in New York City. Paul Kelly won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play that year, while James Whitmore received the Tony Award for Best Newcomer.
Haines, a novelist, served during World War II as an intelligence officer on the staff of the U.S. Eighth Air Force in England between 1942 and 1945. From his experiences he wrote Command Decision as a stage play in 1945 but was unable to sell it. He followed suggestions that he first publish it in novel form and the book became both a best-seller and critical success. Dialogue describing the infighting to build strategic airpower over the two decades preceding U.S. participation in World War II, particularly spoken by General Kane, are thinly disguised versions of actual events and personages.
The play was adapted in 1948 as a film of the same name.
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