Dwight D. Eisenhower
Supreme Allied Commander - World War II
While Dwight D. Eisenhower served as the thirty-fourth president of the United States, his vision and leadership as Supreme Allied Commander of the European campaign against Hitler's Nazi Germany . . . and in particular D-Day on June 6th, 1944 . . . set the stage for him being called Mr. President.
The following is the order that he issued, starting the allies' invasion to liberate France and finally defeat Hitler's Nazi Germany.
SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
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 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 and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Order of the Day
June 6, 1944
D-Day (June 6, 1944)
/ Operation Overlord
"This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that's the way it's going to be. We're going down there, and we're throwing everything we have into it, and we're going to make it a success." General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Weather was very critical at so many levels on the ultimate success of D-Day . . . even the frustrating delays due to weather conditions in hindsight seem to have some divine guidance.
The meticulously planned Operation Overlord was originally delayed on May 17th to an unalterable June 5 by Supreme Allied Commander General Eisenhower, who then was forced to delay the order on June 5 for another 24 hours . . . when improving weather conditions (a grace of God?) allowed for this eventful day to proceed without the enemy learning of what was to come...
The landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men. Just imagine . . . young men, most under 20 years old, carrying eighty pounds of equipment as they entered the stormy cold Atlantic with rolling waves . . . and still having over 200 yards of beach before protection could be reached on Normandy's rugged coast.
Anyone who has seen the epic movie, Saving Private Ryan (1998), has at least a visual and auditory sense of what those of the "greatest generation" went through as the bullets and exploding artillery shells smothered the air around them like a swarm of hungry mosquitoes -- but with lethal bites!
Over 4,000 allies paid the ultimate price with nearly 6,000 more wounded in achieving this great victory. And many of these fallen's graves are marked by white crosses on France's countryside . . . and stand as constant solemn reminders of this historic day.
So, every June 6th going forward, please remember them and all others who valiantly fought on D-Day . . . as we are now enjoying the benefits of what the "greatest generation" provided for us.
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Ok, Let's Go: D-Day |