June 06, 2008

Remember D-Day June 6, 1944

Ike's 'Order of the Day' draft (click 4 big)
General Eisenhower's determination that operation OVERLORD (the invasion of France) would bring a quick end to the war is obvious in this message to the troops of the Allied Expeditionary Forces on June 6, 1944, the morning of the invasion.
From the Eisenhower Presidential Library.
See the final printed version, as distributed to the soldiers. Here is what it says:
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 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
Fly your flag. Spend some time reflecting on the sacrifices made this day in 1944. Then enjoy the freedoms those sacrifices (and so many more in World War II) secured for you against the threat of National Socialism.
General Eisenhower also penciled a message to be used in the event that the D-Day invasion failed. He got the date wrong. Thank God he never had to use it.

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