June 06, 2004

Order of the Day

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 to yourselves 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.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, Jun. 6, 1944.

Posted by DeLong at June 6, 2004 08:24 AM | TrackBack | | Other weblogs commenting on this post
Comments

I hope it is not churlish to comment that what we celebrate today is the West living up to the standards of the Russian Army.

What a goddamn shame that nobody could struggle through to finding a way of framing all these celebrations in a way that could have drawn the now non-Communist Russians into joining the celebration. It's a difficult job -- but when Putin last visited England I was very struck by the gracefulness with which the Queen's toast, presumably written by Tony Blair but perhaps by Lilibet Herself, rose to the somewhat similar task.

Posted by: David Lloyd-Jones on June 6, 2004 09:14 AM

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I was thinking that Germans, on their part, stopped being Nazis, in fact, even before the Russians stopped being communists, perhaps even before the war ended... but then maybe it is yet too early to emphasize that fact...

Posted by: Bulent Sayin on June 6, 2004 09:31 AM

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I once saw a rope pulling contest played out via internet; I think they did that in Japan. The two teams were in different towns; they pulled at ropes which activated sensors; signals were compared by a computer; the servo-powered pulley on the side of the team exerting relatively greater force unwinded in proportion to release a length of the rope; while the pulley on the side of the other team did the opposite; this went on until the length of the rope released at the side of the winning team reached a certain mark.

I was wondering if they have already put in place dart boards connected to via internet?

Could I have another beer please?

Posted by: Bulent Sayin on June 6, 2004 09:41 AM

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On the afternoon of July 11, 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower came across a forgotten note tucked inside his wallet. He called in his naval aide, Capt. Harry C. Butcher, who, taking the paper, read:

"Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre 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."
http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1142906/posts

It would be nice to see modern leaders preparing to take that level of responsibility for failure.

Posted by: john on June 6, 2004 09:59 AM

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I saw the web page referred to above. I saw an incredible amount of emotion on that page; some of the posters were "there" on D-day; well at least one of them...

May be I should have not mentioned internet dart boards and beer in this thread...

But I still think Germans should be included in D-day memorial events. After all, they were part of what happened on and about that day. The Allies did not won a victory against thin air, did they? As to Germans; they are a better people now because of their defeat in 1944, not a worse people. They too should maintain memory of WW II, preferably along and in touch with the other actors of that war.

Posted by: Bulent Sayin on June 6, 2004 10:44 AM

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Both Schroeder, for Germany, and Putin, for Russia, have been present in this commemoration.

DSW

Posted by: Antoni Jaume on June 6, 2004 10:59 AM

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And Poland, BTW.

DSW

Posted by: Antoni Jaume on June 6, 2004 11:16 AM

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Good. These are small but important steps towards building up elements of credibility behind any "European" foreign policy....

I can't believe this! Dubya's speech writers did it again: "... twenty summers ago..." they made him say... what's wrong with "twenty years ago"?

... what was I sayin? yeah, elements of credibility behind any "European" policy, "common", or maybe if not that, then a "composite" one?

Common of composite, if it is not credible, it is not worth much.

Posted by: Bulent Sayin on June 6, 2004 01:20 PM

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Hufs! ".. twenty summers ago..." doesn't make sense... he must have said "sixty summers ago" and I must have got it wrong from behind the voice of the French translator...

Posted by: Bulent Sayin on June 6, 2004 01:24 PM

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The 'twenty summers ago' line was in reference to Reagan's appearance there in 1984.

Posted by: Charles Kinbote on June 6, 2004 02:10 PM

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Ah, I just made an ass of myself. I listen to French for the music of it; I understand only a very small fraction of what I hear. So once the French translator's voice took over, after President Bush said "twenty summers ago", I did not understand exactly what was being said and so I "assumed"...:-)

Sorry for taking up thread for this trivia.

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