[June 5, 2019] The thumbnail to this article shows General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, speaking with paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division before their jump into France on this date, June 5, 1944. The day before D-Day, originally planned for this date but delayed due to poor weather, the great juggernaut of more than 1.5 million troops prepare for the largest amphibious landing in history.
“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 hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
Addressed to the Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! This letter was written by Eisenhower himself on this date, June 5, 1944. That day, he also wrote a lesser known letter accepting full responsibility for the failure of the invasion. Like any good leader, he knew that only he should shoulder all blame.
“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! The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!”
This was, of course, a prophetic statement. The German war machine was tactically among the best in the world. They were, however, at an overall strategic disadvantage as the Allies had more men, machinery, and supply resources. Combat would be between two adversaries that would give no quarter and would accept nothing short of victory.
“I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!”
D-Day was the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany and their fascist ideology known as Nationalsozialismus (National Socialism). Like all socialist ideologies, it requires dictatorial powers given to the few so that the ‘masses’ remain compliant and obedient.
“Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”
… and so it was a noble undertaking. Today, the most famous battle in modern times occurred tomorrow, 75 years ago. The invasion was an all-out effort. There was no Plan B.