D-Day: Classification BIGOT

[June 6, 2018]  There are very few men alive today who participated in the largest amphibious invasion in human history.  D-Day, June 6, 1944, was the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany; a day that will live in the chronicles of truly great human endeavors.

Operation Overlord, what we informally call D-Day, surprised everyone on its success despite heavy casualties suffered by Allied and Axis military forces as well as civilians living in the area.  What most people don’t know about D-Day, and one of the primary reasons it succeeded, was that its classification was BIGOT.

During WWII, Classification BIGOT was more secret than Top Secret and included an actual list of those few who are allowed access to the planning.  I can tell you from personal experience that keeping anything in the military secret for a long time exceptionally difficult and frequently fails.  The invasion of France by the Allies was coming and the Germans knew it.  But what they didn’t know was when or where the landings would occur.

The planning began in 1943 and involved a deep deception plan (Operation Bodyguard) and a myriad of military and civilian actions that were designed to mislead and distort actual invasion goals.  The secrecy and deception worked when the actual invasion began, the Germans were taken by tactical and strategic surprise.

D-Day was a success but what good leaders do is they study what went right and what went wrong in its planning and execution.  For example, none of the Allies goals were achieved on June 6th and the breakout and destruction of the German military was slower than expected.  Casualties were high but not as much as planners had predicted.

There is much we can learn from the invasion.  What we should consider is that leaders took a concept (to destroy the Nazi war-machine by an attack beginning in France) and turned it into a strategy that won the war and an unconditional surrender of the Axis Powers.

You can read more about it in a few of my earlier blog articles on D-Day, below:

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

31 thoughts on “D-Day: Classification BIGOT

  1. Albert Ayer

    Yes, truly these men and women were of the greatest generation; not because they were born great or learn it somewhere but because they were thrust into a situation where their freedom was on the line and they had to step up and be the ones to save humanity from enslavement. Don’t believe me? Ask the Koreans what the Japanese did during the occupation years. Yes, these people from all walks of life saved Western civilization.

    1. Roger Yellowmule

      I fully agree and will add that if it were not for our European allies, all of the continent would be enslaved under the boot of fascism.

  2. Scotty Bush

    Awesome … the greatest generation. Western civilization owes them more than we will ever know.

  3. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    Very appropriate and appreciated topic today. Thank you.

  4. Kenny Foster

    D-Day will always stand for what is great in the hearts of free-loving peoples. We can look to other nations like North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, and many more that shows what socialism (like feudalism) does to destroy the humanness in us.

  5. Jung Hoon Kim

    A great event that we never forget.

  6. Dennis Mathes

    A good post on the anniversary of D-Day, Gen Satterfield. I have personally walked along the Normandy coast and seen what it may have looked like for those storming the beaches. I am in awe of those who were there and greatly respect them for what they did to end evil.

  7. Lynn Pitts

    I never heard of classification Bigot before you wrote about it here but I did research it and looks like it was British in origin. How they kept the operation secret for so long should be studied closely by the US military.

  8. Shawn C. Stolarz

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The quote is most likely due to writer and philosopher George Santayana, here in its original form. WE CAN LEARN from historical events like D-Day but only if we set our mind to it.

  9. Max Foster

    Respecting those who stand up for the freedom of others is only the necessary minimum we should do. What we need to learn is to realize that evil is in this world and it is everywhere and not always easy to see.

  10. Georgie M.

    I agree an appropriate article today and one we should draw lessons from in order to be better leaders. Thanks.

  11. Mark Evans

    I’m always surprised by how little young adults know about World War II. They show a level of ignorance that is beyond description. I blame their parents (like me) and their schools. But they, themselves, share part of the blame for pushing history aside so that they can be “fashionable.” Just remember that when someone puts a gun barrel to your head, “fashion” is no longer important. It shows that our priorities are screwed up.

    1. Jonathan B.

      I think you hit on something we all know is occurring and will have long range detrimental effects upon future generations. When you don’t learn from the past, you are prone to repeat failures.

    2. Joe Omerrod

      This too will pass as they learn hard lessons that they would have internalized without their “progressive” education.

    3. José Luis Rodriguez

      I also agree and suggest a change in how schools are run. They should stop introducing politics into their agenda to create weak students.

  12. Anita

    Thank you for this respectful article today.

  13. Billy Kenningston

    Hey General Satterfield. Well done with this piece of WW2 history.

  14. Sadako Red

    Gen Satterfield, good to see you up writing about one of the most significant events in the history of mankind. Thank you!!!

  15. Delf A. "Jelly"

    D-Day June 6, 1944 was a hard-won victory over the German military machine that required not only a high degree of planning and resources but the courage to put it into action knowing that the result would be the death of many.

  16. Yusaf from Texas

    Thanks for the article reminding us to remember those who fought for our freedoms and, very importantly, fought for the freedom of others.

  17. Army Captain

    My unit will be honoring the men who came ashore at Normandy on June 6, 1944 during our annual WW2 dinner this evening. We plan to have about a dozen men who were on the beaches that day. It will probably be the last year we can get so many.

    1. Anita

      Thank you for your service to our nation, Army Captain.

  18. Wilson Cox

    Very appropriate subject matter for today’s post. I’m not a historian nor am I a person who reads a lot about history either. But D-Day was likely the most significant single event in the 20th Century and something we should study for leader lessons.

    1. Watson Bell

      I must agree wholeheartedly. Rarely has there ever been something accomplished of such a large magnitude.

    2. Jerry C. Jones

      Good comment Wilson and appropriate on this very important day in the history of the West.

    3. Roger Yellowmule

      Wilson. I couldn’t agree more.

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