Skip to comments.D-DAY - June 6, 1944: the greatest generation saved the world from the Nazis
Posted on 06/05/2007 8:57:58 AM PDT by doug from upland
D-DAY HISTORY AND LINKS
D-Day: It is hard to conceive the epic scope of this decisive battle that foreshadowed the end of Hitler's dream of Nazi domination. Overlord was the largest air, land, and sea operation undertaken before or since June 6, 1944. The landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men.
After years of meticulous planning and seemingly endless training, for the Allied Forces, it all came down to this: The boat ramp goes down, then jump, swim, run, and crawl to the cliffs. Many of the first young men (most not yet 20 years old) entered the surf carrying eighty pounds of equipment. They faced over 200 yards of beach before reaching the first natural feature offering any protection. Blanketed by small-arms fire and bracketed by artillery, they found themselves in hell.
When it was over, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead. Yet somehow, due to planning and preparation, and due to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, Fortress Europe had been breached.
After you have finished reviewing this site, return to this page and click the links below to find out more about D-Day.
Gee, the French didn’t protest or try to stop us.
....only to have their sons give it all away with “amnesty”.
Yes we do...
Folks don’t realize how many jumped off the boat ramps, and sank to the bottom, drowning. The human cost was staggering.
It is said that a total of only 200 men, working in small groups, led the breakout from the beach that day. Their heroism, and the heroism of all who took part in the invasion, will be spoken of for centuries.
God rest them, their loved ones, and their memory.
How did the Nazis know about the landing? They were there waiting weren’t they?
We are charged with saving it from the Islamofascists. Probably half our nation does not realize what we are fighting. It is business as usual, and they hate the war-mongering neo-conservatives, whom they call the real fascists. We have quite a battle that includes the enemy within.
If al Qaeda has half a brain, they won't make any attacks on the US mainland until after the 2008 elections. They risk having their Dem allies lose if they remind America of 9/11.
My Pop landed on Utah Beach on D-Day [4th ID].
I am considering watching Saving Private Ryan with my twins tomorrow to give them an appreciation of what their great grandparents went through to defend the freedom that we enjoy today. They will be 12 on Thursday, I would appreciate opinions if that is a good age to show that movie to them. I decided against it last year, but I feel that they are mature enough to handle it now.
Rommel flooded the fields behind the beaches. We had some airborne troops drown in two feet of water. My Pop also saw the paratroopers killed when they came down over St. Mere Eglese, whose bodies were hanging in the trees and on buildings.
How the WWII generation, the epitome of self-sacrifice gave rise to the most Self-ist generation is beyond me. But this country and the world will pay the price of self-centered Baby Boomers for generations to come.
We are eternally grateful. Do you have any momentos or photos to share?
Yes, we Baby Boomers have wasted much of that for which they sacrificed.
I would go with "The Longest Day" myself, with 12 year olds. It would give them a better historical perception.
Yep, my son was about 8 when we watched it together. He always liked army movies and I thought it would be a good wake-up call for him while still young. I'll never forget his comment, made from the heart and in total innocence. "This makes me want to cry."
Yes it does, son. Yes it does.
Rommel [and Hitler, surprisingly enough] suspected Normandy could be the landing site [the General Staff stuck with the Pas de Calais], so they had it fortified to a degree. The big surprise, for the Allies, was the German 352nd [or was it the 235th?] ID which was behind the Omaha Beach sector. They didn’t know it was there, and unlike a lot of German coastal units, it was veteran, well trained and led, and quite capable.
Fortunately for the Allies, 4th ID landed a mile from where they were supposed to, and avoided a head on with a pretty good German division.
Yes, their losses were very high, from gliders being shot up and crashing, to men dropping into trees and rooftops where Germans machine gunned them.
Hard to imagine the amount of courage it took to jump into that hell.
National Archives and Records Administration, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas
Thanks for reminding me of TLD. I have decided that we will watch both!
If you watch the first 15 minutes of “Band of Brothers” episode 2, that is as gut-wrenching as “Private Ryan.” A lot of paratroopers on those planes never got a chance to jump.
Definately watch TLD first, and I would even recommend Band of Brothers, before Private Ryan, since it is based on true events.
Very good historical resource -— http://www.britannica.com/dday
Very good historical resource -— http://www.britannica.com/dday
Hitler Directive Number 51
Primary Source Document
In this directive, issued in late 1943, the German leader formally responded to concerns caused by the ominous buildup of Allied forces in the British Isles. Hitler displayed here his tendency to issue detailed orders far below the strategic level, and he divided responsibility for military operations among the land, air, and naval commanders, who would answer not to a theatre commander but ultimately to himself. Such interference and rigid control contributed to the military debacle of the Normandy campaign in June-August 1944.
3 November 1943
Directive No. 51
For the last two and one-half years the bitter and costly struggle against Bolshevism has made the utmost demands upon the bulk of our military resources and energies. This commitment was in keeping with the seriousness of the danger, and the over-all situation. The situation has since changed. The threat from the East remains, but an even greater danger looms in the West: the Anglo-American landing! In the East, the vastness of the space will, as a last resort, permit a loss of territory even on a major scale, without suffering a mortal blow to Germany’s chance for survival.
Not so in the West! If the enemy here succeeds in penetrating our defenses on a wide front, consequences of staggering proportions will follow within a short time. All signs point to an offensive against the Western Front of Europe no later than spring, and perhaps earlier.
For that reason, I can no longer justify the further weakening of the West in favour of other theaters of war. I have therefore decided to strengthen the defenses in the West, particularly at places from which we shall launch our long-range war against England. [Here Hitler refers to the Pas-de-Calais area north of Normandy, where launch facilities were being installed for the secret V-1 missile.] For those are the very points at which the enemy must and will attack; there—unless all indications are misleading—will be fought the decisive invasion battle.
Holding attacks and diversions on other fronts are to be expected. Not even the possibility of a large-scale offensive against Denmark may be excluded. It would pose greater nautical problems and could be less effectively supported from the air, but would nevertheless produce the greatest political and strategic impact if it were to succeed.
During the opening phase of the battle, the entire striking power of the enemy will of necessity be directed against our forces manning the coast. Only an all-out effort in the construction of fortifications, an unsurpassed effort that will enlist all available manpower and physical resources of Germany and the occupied areas, will be able to strengthen our defenses along the coasts within the short time that still appears to be left to us.
Stationary weapons (heavy AT [antitank] guns, immobile tanks to be dug-in, coast artillery, shore-defense guns, mines, etc.) arriving in Denmark and the occupied West within the near future will be heavily concentrated in points of main defensive effort at the most vulnerable coastal sectors. At the same time, we must take the calculated risk that for the present we may be unable to improve our defenses in less threatened sectors.
Should the enemy nevertheless force a landing by concentrating his armed might, he must be hit by the full fury of our counterattack. For this mission ample and speedy reinforcements of men and materiel, as well as intensive training must transform available larger units into first-rate, fully mobile general reserves suitable for offensive operations. The counterattack of these units will prevent the enlargement of the beachhead, and throw the enemy back into the sea.
In addition, well-planned emergency measures, prepared down to the last detail, must enable us instantly to throw against the invader every fit man and machine from coastal sectors not under attack and from the home front.
The anticipated strong attacks by air and sea must be relentlessly countered by Air Force and Navy with all their available resources. I therefore order the following:
1.) The Chief of the Army General Staff and the Inspector General of Panzer Troops will submit to me as soon as possible a schedule covering arms, tanks, assault guns, motor vehicles, and ammunition to be allocated to the Western Front and Denmark within the next three months. That schedule will conform to the new situation. The following considerations will be basic:
a) Sufficient mobility for all panzer and panzer grenadier divisions in the West, and equipment of each of those units by December 1943 with 93 Mark IV tanks or assault guns, as well as large numbers of antitank weapons.
Accelerated reorganization of the 20 Luftwaffe field divisions into an effective mobile reserve force by the end of 1943. This reorganization is to include the issue of assault guns.
Accelerated issue of all authorized weapons to the SS Panzer Grenadier Division Hitler Jugend [Hitler Youth], the 21st Panzer Division, and the infantry and reserve divisions stationed in Jutland.
b) Additional shipments of Mark IV tanks, assault guns, and heavy AT guns to the reserve panzer divisions stationed in the West and in Denmark, as well as to the Assault Gun Training Battalion in Denmark.
c) In November and December, monthly allotments of 100 heavy AT guns models 40 and 43 (half of these to be mobile) in addition to those required for newly activated units in the West and in Denmark.
d) Allotment of large numbers of weapons (including about 1,000 machine guns) for augmenting the armament of those static divisions that are committed for coastal defense in the West and in Denmark, and for standardizing the equipment of elements that are to be withdrawn from sectors not under attack.
e) Ample supply of close-combat AT weapons to units in vulnerable sectors.
f) Improvement of artillery and AT defenses in units stationed in Denmark, as well as those committed for coastal protection in the occupied West. Strengthening of GHQ [General Headquarters] artillery.
2.) The units and elements stationed in the West or in Denmark, as well as panzer, assault gun, and AT units to be activated in the West, must not be transferred to other fronts without my permission. The Chief of the Army General Staff, or the Inspector General of Panzer Troops will submit to me a report through the Armed Forces Operations Staff [headed up by General Alfred Jodl] as soon as the issue of equipment to the panzer and assault gun battalions, as well as to the AT battalions and companies, has been completed.
3.) Beyond similar measures taken in the past, the Commander in Chief West [at the time of this directive, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt] will establish timetables for, and conduct maneuvers and command post exercises on, the procedure for bringing up units from sectors not under attack. These units will be made capable of performing offensive missions, however limited. In that connection I demand that sectors not threatened by the enemy be ruthlessly stripped of all forces except small guard detachments. For sectors from which reserves are withdrawn, security and guard detachments must be set aside from security and alarm units. Labour forces drawn largely from the native population must likewise be organized in those sectors, in order to keep open whatever roads might be destroyed by the enemy air force.
4.) The Commander of German Troops in Denmark will take measures in the area under his control in compliance with paragraph 3 above.
5.) Pursuant to separate orders, the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army will form Kampfgruppen [battle groups] in regimental strength, security battalions, and engineer construction battalions from training cadres, trainees, schools, and instruction and convalescent units in the Zone of the Interior. These troops must be ready for shipment on 48 hours’ notice.
Furthermore, other available personnel are to be organized into battalions of replacements and equipped with the available weapons, so that the anticipated heavy losses can quickly be replaced.
The offensive and defensive effectiveness of Luftwaffe units in the West and in Denmark will be increased to meet the changed situation. To that end, preparations will be made for the release of units suited for commitment in the anti-invasion effort, that is, all flying units and mobile Flak artillery that can be spared from the air defenses of the home front, and from schools and training units in the Zone of the Interior. All those units are to be earmarked for the West and possibly Denmark.
The Luftwaffe ground organization in southern Norway, Denmark, northwestern Germany, and the West will be expanded and supplied in a way that will—by the most far-reaching decentralization of own force—deny targets to the enemy bombers, and split the enemy’s offensive effort in case of large-scale operations. Particularly important in that connection will be our fighter forces. Possibilities for their commitment must be increased by the establishment of numerous advance landing fields. Special emphasis is to be placed on good camouflage. I expect also that the Luftwaffe will unstintingly furnish all available forces, by stripping them from less threatened areas.
The Navy will prepare the strongest possible forces suitable for attacking the enemy landing fleets. Coastal defense installations in the process of construction will be completed with the utmost speed. The emplacing of additional coastal batteries and the possibility of laying further flanking mine fields should be investigated.
All school, training, and other shore-based personnel fit for ground combat must be prepared for commitment so that, without undue delay, they can at least be employed as security forces within the zone of the enemy landing operations.
While preparing the reinforcement of the defenses in the West, the Navy must keep in mind that it might be called upon to repulse simultaneous enemy landings in Norway and Denmark. In that connection, I attach particular importance to the assembly of numerous U-boats in the northern area. A temporary weakening of U-boat forces in the Atlantic must be risked.
The Reichsfuehrer-SS will determine what Waffen-SS and police forces he can release for combat, security, and guard duty. He is to prepare to organize effective combat and security forces from training, replacement, and convalescent units, as well as schools and other home-front establishments.
E) The commanders in chief of the services, the Reichsfuehrer-SS, the Chief of the Army General Staff, the Commander in Chief West, the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army, the Inspector General of Panzer Troops, as well as the Commander of German Troops in Denmark will report to me by 15 November all measures taken or planned.
I expect that all agencies will make a supreme effort toward utilizing every moment of the remaining time in preparing for the decisive battle in the West.
All authorities will guard against wasting time and energy in useless jurisdictional squabbles, and will direct all their efforts toward strengthening our defensive and offensive power.
signed: Adolf Hitler
One of the members of my church drove one of the lnding boats. He said he dropped off three loads of troops before he had a survivor.
Just got back from visiting Normandy and the cemetary at St. Laurent—Omaha Beach. It was a sobering experience. I am glad I did not see if commercialized like so many other memorials.
One thing I find very sad is that many of the graves have no names. The cross says, “His name is only known to God.”
God Bless our brave soldiers who are laid to rest there. If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it.
My Dad was in D-Day plus 8, but he saw action in the Battle of the Bulge and the battle of St. Lo that is in Private Ryan.
Does he have any momentos to bring to this thread?
I hope to finally make it there this year.
Those are U.S. paratroopers of the 101st Airborne.
Note the "screaming eagle" patch.
General Eisenhower’s Order of the Day, 6 June 1944
“Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces: 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 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, 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.”
Tuesday, May 28, 2002
Bush in Normandy Not a Clinton Repeat
I watched the television coverage of President Bush in Normandy yesterday. All in all, a good event. No posturing. No phony tears. No convenient stones on the beach.
Stones on the beach? Surely you remember, don't you? It happened during Clinton's visit to this very same spot on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. Clinton wanted to go for a solitary stroll on the beach. Everyone else was to stay back ... just let him think. Let him reflect on the brave men who lived and died on that sand.
Clinton, of course, knew that the television news cameras were up there above the beach, recording every moment of his reflective walk. Clinton came upon a group of stones scattered on the beach. He stopped, knelt down and arranged the stones into the shape of a cross. Cameras rolling. What a moment! Who knows how many votes that amazing moment of reflectivity might have been worth in 1996. It certainly didn't hurt.
It was what the cameras didn't show that makes this story. The cameras weren't there earlier that day when a group of Clinton aides walked down that very same beach. The cameras weren't there when those aides stopped at the precise spot where Clinton would later fashion his rock cross. The cameras weren't rolling when those aides reached into their pockets, came out with some rocks, and scattered them on the beach.
And Why Do I Still Bring Up the Clintons?
Or, as the left would like to phrase it, "bash" the Clintons? Because they're still powerful, that's why. Bill is still corrupt. He's still a sociopath, and he's still without any moral scruples at all. Hillary is still a socialist, she's still a liar, she's still drunk with a desire for power ... and she intends to run for president.
They're dangerous, and I'll continue to point out their threat and their dishonesty as long as we are all around.
Thanks for the D-Day post.
Thank you! Please make sure you post a separate thread so FReepers don’t miss it.
("What if" in History - No. 3) June 1, 1944: NEW YORK TIMES breaks OPERATION OVERLORD
Free Republic ^ | 12/25/2005 | Origionally Posted by Doug from Upland
Posted on 06/06/2006 5:11:23 AM PDT by AirBorn
("What if" in History - No. 3) June 1, 1944: NEW YORK TIMES breaks OPERATION OVERLORD DFU "what if" in history | June 1, 1944 | Jonathon Risen (fictitious name)
Posted on 12/26/2005 7:15:58 PM PST by doug from upland
Jonathon Risen, New York Times Dateline: France June 1, 1944
The NEW YORK TIMES, always first with breaking news, has discovered that a daring invasion is planned on the coast of France on June 5 in an effort to liberate the courageous and valiant French citizens from the Nazis. If the weather conditions are not right, we have learned that Gen. Dwight Eisenhower may delay the invasion for a day.
OPERATION OVERLORD will be a massive Allied invasion of Western Europe that will include simultaneous landings on five beachheads by U.S., British, and Canadian forces.
When Eisenhower's chief meteorologist, James Martin Stagg, informs the general of a break in the weather, Eisenhower will announce -- O.K. We'll go.
Within hours of the decision to go, an armada of 3,000 landing craft, 2,500 other ships, and 500 naval vessels--escorts and bombardment ships--will began to leave English ports. At night, 822 aircraft, carrying parachutists or towing gliders, will roar overhead to the Normandy landing zones. They will be just a fraction of the air armada of 13,000 aircraft that will support "D-Day."
The largest of the D-Day assault areas, Omaha Beach, stretches over 10 km (6 miles) between the fishing port of Port-en-Bessin on the east and the mouth of the Vire River on the west. The western third of the beach is backed by a seawall 3 metres (10 feet) high, and the whole beach is overlooked by cliffs 30 metres high.
Utah Beach is the westernmost beach of the planned five landing areas. It will be assaulted by elements of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. In the pre-dawn hours, units of the 82nd and 101st airborne division will be airdropped inland from the landing beach. Their plan is to isolate the seaborned invasion force from defending German units.
Sword Beach is the easternmost beach of the five landing areas of the planned invasion. It will be assaulted by units of the British 3rd Division, with French and British commandos attached. Shortly after midnight on D-Day morning, elements of the 6th Airborne Division will launch a daring glider-borne assault, hoping to seize bridges inland from the beach and also silence artillery pieces that could threaten the seaborne landing forces.
H-Hour (the time the first assault wave is to land) at Gold Beach is set for 0725 hours, one hour later than the scheduled landings on the American beaches owing to the direction of the tide, which move from west to east and bring high water later to the British beach.
Juno Beach is the second beach from the east among the five landing areas of the invasion. The Canadian 3rd Infantry Division will invade Juno Beach.
Sources have told us that this invasion could be the beginning of the end for the Nazis. Although TIMES editors held a meeting to discuss whether this information should be reported, it was decided unanimously that it is news and our first obligation is to journalism and reporting the story. We do hope, of course, that Allied casualties are kept to a minimum.
Count on the NEW YORK TIMES for all your war coverage. If it's news, we will have it first.
I prefer this speech:
The Speech Somewhere in England June 5th, 1944
Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullsh—. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle.
You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, every one of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.
You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he’s not, he’s a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood.
Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen.
All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call “chicken sh— drilling.” That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don’t give a f-— for a man who’s not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn’t be here. You are ready for what’s to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you’re not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-a—hole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of s—t! There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job. But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did.
An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horse s—t. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don’t know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about f-—ing! We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we’re going up against. By God, I do.
My men don’t surrender, and I don’t want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That’s not just bull sh— either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man!
All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don’t ever let up. Don’t ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain. What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn’t like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, ‘Hell, they won’t miss me, just one man in thousands.’ But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like? No, G—damnit, Americans don’t think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns and machinery of war to keep us rolling. The Quartermaster is needed to bring up food and clothes because where we are going there isn’t a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has a job to do, even the one who heats our water to keep us from getting the ‘G.I. Sh—s.’
Each man must not think only of himself, but also of his buddy fighting beside him. We don’t want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the G—damned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men. One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious fire fight in Tunisia. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at a time like that. He answered, ‘Fixing the wire, Sir.’ I asked, ‘Isn’t that a little unhealthy right about now?’ He answered, ‘Yes Sir, but the G—damned wire has to be fixed.’ I asked, ‘Don’t those planes strafing the road bother you?’ And he answered, ‘No, Sir, but you sure as hell do!’ Now, there was a real man. A real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds.
And you should have seen those trucks on the rode to Tunisia. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-bitching roads, never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting all around them all of the time. We got through on good old American guts.
Many of those men drove for over forty consecutive hours. These men weren’t combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable.
Don’t forget, you men don’t know that I’m here. No mention of that fact is to be made in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell happened to me. I’m not supposed to be commanding this Army. I’m not even supposed to be here in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the G—damned Germans. Someday I want to see them raise up on their piss-soaked hind legs and howl, ‘Jesus Christ, it’s the G—damned Third Army again and that son-of-a-f-—ing-bitch Patton.’ We want to get the hell over there.” The quicker we clean up this G—damned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the purple pissing Japs and clean out their nest, too. Before the G—damned Marines get all of the credit.
Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler. Just like I’d shoot a snake!
When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get to him eventually. The hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don’t dig foxholes. I don’t want them to. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don’t give the enemy time to dig one either. We’ll win this war, but we’ll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we’ve got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We’re not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we’re going to rip out their living G—damned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We’re going to murder those lousy Hun c-— suckers by the bushel-f-—ing-basket.
War is a bloody, killing business. You’ve got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it’s the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you’ll know what to do!
I don’t want to get any messages saying, ‘I am holding my position.’ We are not holding a G—damned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy’s balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living sh— out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like sh— through a tin horn!
From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don’t give a good G—damn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder WE push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that.
There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, ‘Well, your Granddaddy shoveled sh— in Louisiana.’ No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, ‘Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a- G—damned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!’
“That is all.”
Yes, indeed. A great speech.
I have his campaign ribbons, and a pamphlet the 4th ID issued to the troops. Plus his VERY funny war stories. And his memory.
It would be great if you were able to share those by scanning them and posting.
Took me a good 15 minutes to bleep out all the obscenities. ;)