Mark Wayne Clark was a United States Army officer who saw service during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. He was the youngest four-star general in the US Army during World War II.
During World War I, he was a company commander and served in France in 1918, as a 22-year-old captain, where he was seriously wounded by shrapnel. After the war, the future US Army Chief of Staff, General George Marshall, noticed Clark's abilities. During World War II, he commanded the United States Fifth Army, and later the 15th Army Group, in the Italian campaign. He is known for leading the Fifth Army when it captured Rome in June 1944.
Clark has been heavily criticized for ignoring the orders of his superior officer, British General Sir Harold Alexander, and for allowing the German 10th Army to slip away, in his drive to take Rome, the capital of Italy, a strategically-unimportant city. Clark ordered Lucian Truscott to select Operation Turtle rather than Operation Buffalo, which Alexander had ordered. Clark had, however, left Operation Turtle as an option if Operation Buffalo ran into difficulty. The German 10th Army then joined the rest of the German army group at the Trasimene Line.