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Social climber
So Cal
Jun 6, 2014 - 06:29pm PT
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good Luck! and Let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Jun 6, 2014 - 06:31pm PT
I went through Point du Hoc in April. Pretty cool. The ceilings were burned from the thermite grenades. There was a double black flag on a buoy in the water there. Wonder what that was.

The signs said, the guns hadn't been installed yet. They had one though.

Gun at Point du Hoc
Gun at Point du Hoc
Credit: John Duffield

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 6, 2014 - 06:37pm PT
Shot this pic of Point du Hoc a few years back.

Credit: Cragman

Jun 6, 2014 - 06:40pm PT
Ike has a message prepared that he never had deliver.

'Our landings in the Cherbourg-Haver area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops.

'My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available.

'The troops, the air, and the navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.'

I can only imagine what current leaders would do to avoid responsibility in situations of similar or lesser magnitude.

Actually, I don't have to imagine.


Social climber
So Cal
Jun 6, 2014 - 06:47pm PT
30 short years ago.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Jun 7, 2014 - 12:47am PT
Who was the officer that said, "Gentlemen, we are being killed on the beach. Let us move inland and be killed there."?

Toker: It was Colonel George Taylor, commander of the Big Red One's lead assault regiment on Omaha Beach, who actually said:

"Only two kinds of people are going to be on this beach, the dead and those who are going to die. Now get moving!"

He uttered those words while marching confidently up and down the beach, while exposing himself to withering incoming fire.

Colonel Taylor's words are used as the title for historian John C. McManus's new book on the Big Red One on Omaha Beach:


Trad climber
Jun 7, 2014 - 06:21am PT
I believe Guyman is right. It was General Norman Cota.

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 7, 2014 - 06:29am PT

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jun 7, 2014 - 12:02pm PT
TGT.... thanks for posting that speech.

Bruce, looks like a good book. I am sure that many brave leaders used similar words to save their men.

To stand up, walk around and encourage your guys to stand up, calm down and get to work, is the true sign of raw courage.

..... and Mark, you posting from Spain???
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Jun 7, 2014 - 12:55pm PT
Yep, McManus's new book is getting great reviews. It's already considered the definitive account of the battle on Omaha Beach. McManus is professor of Military History at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and author of The American Combat Soldier In WWII along with another book on Operation Market Garden. Sounds like an excellent marketing ploy too: releasing this title on the 70th anniversary of D-Day will automatically get a bunch of advanced sales. I ordered a copy for myself yesterday.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jun 7, 2014 - 01:50pm PT
It is very interesting that Rommel was convinced the landing would come at
Pas de Calais. Hitler was sure it would be Normandy but he had such faith
in Rommel that he didn't impose his will as he did in so many other instances.
Rommel also committed some serious tactical errors during the first days of
the invasion when it was still touch and go. He actually thought Normandy
was a feint so he held back major reserves in the Calais area despite overwhelming
intelligence to the contrary. Rommel often went with his gut when intel
said otherwise. This often worked in Africa because of his forces' superior
training and tactics. It didn't work in Normandy.
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