The Great Crusade, 75 Years Ago Today

d-day normandy invasion

By Chief Photographer’s Mate (CPHOM) Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, Link

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 hope 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 will 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 beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

– General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s order of the day on D-Day, June 6, 1944

 

eisenhower d-day message

Courtesy urdocuments.gov

comments

  1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    June 6 th. 1944 The Longest Day.

  2. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    When my dad passed away 25 years ago I found his well worn army issue New Testament with a copy of that order folded up inside. Dad was a medic with the First Infantry Division and the Bible that dad carried during the war is one of my most treasured possessions.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Stand tall today, Mr Lewis.
      Two of the companies under The Big Red One lost 100% of their officers and NCOs within the first 10 minutes of the assault on D-Day. Within 30 minutes, only 25% of those company’s men remained alive.
      2 hours later, they had taken their section of the beach.
      No mission too difficult. No sacrifice too great. Duty first.

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        75 years ago today the tides in Europe turned. Only one was nautical. Airborne! All the way!

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Any fool can fall into battle. It takes guts to walk into it.
          #dirtylegforlife

  3. avatar VicRattlehead says:

    When men were men…. they’d be ashamed of what the Europe (and world) they fought and died to free has become.

    1. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

      Tranny Library Story Time.

      But at least we’re not speaking German.

      :^/

  4. avatar Ogre says:

    D-Day was a lot different from my war (Vietnam) – the Germans were highly competent professional veteran troops and were ready and waiting, and in many cases had superior equipment (armor, for example). I’ve met a couple of D-Day survivors and have nothing but the highest respect for them and the way they accomplished their mission and overcame obstacles. Same for the troops (Marines, Army and Navy) who carried out the island campaign in the Pacific. When Tom Brokaw called these folks the Greatest Generation, he wasn’t off the mark.

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      A lot different than my wars too. Where cowards would hide amongst innocent civilians. And still do.

      I don’t pretend to be the most knowledgeable about previous wars, but from my understanding people would kill themselves if they weren’t able to fight in world war II.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “I don’t pretend to be the most knowledgeable about previous wars,…”

        Strange.

        You sure seem to think you know fuck-all about everything else. Why any different on this subject?

        1. avatar B.D. says:

          U mad cuz U didn’t know what a Totenkopf was then wanted to act like an asshat for multiple people correcting you on it, and now you are trolling hard AF. All these flavors you could be, and you chose salty.

  5. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

    These were the real antifaschists.

  6. avatar sound awake says:

    we honor them by calling them the greatest generation
    then we dishonor them by not doing anything now the way they would fucking do it

  7. avatar dph says:

    This last winter my wife and I visited the ̶C̶o̶n̶f̶e̶d̶e̶r̶a̶t̶e̶ Commemorative Air Force museum in Mesa, AZ. I still have not figured out how the crews of those WW II planes got their huge balls into those aircraft.

    1. avatar Cato365 says:

      Nicely said, and very true 🙂

  8. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Watching the many programs about D-Day this week, not only was the event still awe-inspiring, but more sad than years before. I doubt there will be any of the veterans left to celebrate the 80th anniversary. Will we care any more?

    1. avatar dph says:

      I would like to think that we will never forget, but then I look a lot of the current generation and realize I’m dreaming.

      1. avatar dph says:

        edit “at a lot”

      2. avatar StLPro2A says:

        With the revisionist history being propagandized in our public schools, in a few years, no one will appreciate or understand the Greatest Generation. They may even be demonized as savage war mongers. America has been over run from within without a shot being fired. Sad to have given up what those brave men and women fought so gallantly for.
        Our Founding Fathers…..and the Greatest Generation….would already have been finished shooting a second time. We woosies have squandered their sacrifices and bravery.

    2. avatar Dave Lewis says:

      That’s why we should be teaching real history. I’m an old man and The Longest Day was on my junior high (we didn’t have middle schools back then) reading list. Today the snowflakes would say that Mr Ryan’s great work promotes violence, sexism, racism and a whole other bunch of “isms” and isn’t fit for tender children. They might be upset or offended by the story of how my dad’s generation saved western civilization. If you disagree with that remember that the only solution to the ovens of Dachau was an M-1, Enfield, or Nagant.

    3. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “I doubt there will be any of the veterans left to celebrate the 80th anniversary.”

      You never know.

      The last American civil war veteran died in 1953 :

      “The last surviving Union soldier to see combat was James Hard (1841–1953).”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Woolson

      1953. Just 10 years earlier than I was born…

      1. avatar HellBilly says:

        That’s crazy to think about. That guy went from experiencing civil war combat, to being alive long enough to see warfare evolve into what it was in WW2 and the nuclear bomb.

  9. avatar jwm says:

    Having been raised in the jet age, my first air travel was on a 707, I was truly amazed at how little space there was inside a B17 when I had a chance to board one. Black and white photos in a history book simply do them no justice.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      My comment above was meant for dph.

    2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Yeah it’s funny how much smaller the B-17 looked than I expected and how much larger the Douglas Sky Raider looked to me at Oshkosh.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “Yeah it’s funny how much smaller the B-17 looked than I expected…”

        Aerodynamics.

        The smaller the fuselage cross-section, the lower the drag, and that gets you a longer range for the same amount of fuel. The comfort of the crew got little attention. I got to crawl through one myself. Not for the claustrophobic…

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Pampanito is a ww2 era submarine tied up in SF. It’s open for tours. If you want to feel claustraphobia check it out.

          I could not have been a submariner.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Pampanito is a ww2 era submarine tied up in SF. It’s open for tours. If you want to feel claustraphobia check it out.”

          Yeah, all those WW2 submarine movies with 6-footers crammed into the conning tower give you a very wrong impression. Best WW2 movie of all was/is “Das Boot”, for realism of sub life.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          Sam. Most sub movies are filmed on a sound stage with the actors in a set that has open sides for cameras and stage crew. That’s why they all look so roomy.

          For Das Boot the crazy ass director had a full sized mock up of a u boat built and everybody, actors and film crew got in the ‘boat’ and filmed there.

          Yes. It was probably the most realistic submarine movie ever filmed. I love it.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Sam. Most sub movies are filmed on a sound stage with the actors in a set that has open sides for cameras and stage crew. That’s why they all look so roomy.”

          Of course. But when those movies are your reference point, boarding an actual WW2 sub is a jolt.

  10. avatar Darkman says:

    Why do people only celebrate the accomplishments of these Brave MEN 3 times each year. Memorial Day. D-Day and Veterans Day. Then return to their non caring lives bitching and complaining about this Right being trampled on or that politician saying they what to take that Right away. Grow some Balls and Do Something about.These MEN all Fought,Suffered and Died for the cause of Freedom. Not just for OUR Nations Citizens. For the Citizens of the World. Far to many people simply sit on their Asses waiting for someone else to fix the problems our Nation faces. If YOU want to Truly Honor the Accomplishment of these Brave MEN. ACT for the Cause of Freedom. Keep Your Powder Dry.

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      Not to take away focus from D Day, but to add other observances for our US Military (these are not all of them):
      Mar 29 – Vietnam Vet Day
      May – Natl Military Appreciation Month
      3rd Sat in May – Armed Forces Day for our men and women still in uniform
      May 27 – Memorial day – remembrance for those who died in thier uniform
      Jun 6 – Natl PTSD Awarness Day
      Sep 21 – POW/MIA Recognition Day
      Nov 11 – Veterans Day to thank those who used to wear the uniform.
      Dec 7 – Pearl Harbor Day
      Dec 14 – Natl Wreaths Across America, laying wreaths at veterans cemetaries across the US
      Every Friday is RED shirt Friday.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Always been curious about our military remembrances. We celebrate the end of WW1, not the beginning (of US involvement), or any battle. We celebrate the beginning of WW2 (Pearl Harbor), but not the end. We celebrate the Normandy invasion, but not Iwo Jima. And Korea and Vietnam never happened.

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        You are correct. Red Shirt Friday. Until they all come home.

  11. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    I miss them too. My grand uncles lived large and well.

  12. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    My mom was s “Rosie the Riveter” during then.
    She made crystals for army radios.
    She still has one in her keepsake box. Along with ration coupon books.
    What a different time.

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      The arsenal of democracy was built by many American women, working in factories across the USA. President Obama’s grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter, she worked at the Boeing plant in Kansas City, building B 29’s.

      His grandfather fought with Patton’s army across Europe and into Germany.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        And yet he worked to lessen the country they fought for.

      2. avatar drunkEODguy says:

        and Bush senior flew numerous successful mission in WW2, was shot down, and received the DFC for his service. Yet, this goes entirely unmentioned by you because your actual goal is to shill shamelessly for Shareblue or whatever shill-troll group you transparently operate for. No matter how you try to link it to the man, Obama had nothing to do with WW2, the greatest generation, or their successes. You think claiming the hit OBL as his own would be enough.

      3. avatar Paco says:

        “Arsenal of Democracy”……sums up the stupidity of paid trolls.

    2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “My mom was s “Rosie the Riveter” during then.
      She made crystals for army radios.”

      Tom, you might enjoy this 1943 WW2 film –

      “Crystals Go to War – Reeves Sound Laboratories; Piezoelectric Quartz Crystals for Radio”.

      40 minuets long of every step required to make them. Your mom may be in it :

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    “Gentlemen, we are being killed on the beaches. Let us go inland and be killed.”

    — Gen. Norman Cota, Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      A true leader steps forward and leads from the front.

      “Cota was heavily involved in the planning and execution of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in June 1944, codenamed Operation Neptune, and the subsequent Battle of Normandy. He is famous for rallying demoralized troops on Omaha Beach on D-Day, by engaging in combat with them and personally leading their first successful breakout, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.”

      I wonder what General Cota would think of the neo Nazi’s marching with torches in the streets of America…

      1. avatar jwm says:

        He would have been disgusted to see the SS antifa marching in our streets.

  14. avatar jwm says:

    When I was in service there were still guys on duty that had served in ww2, Korea and Viet Nam. I like to think that being willing to listen to them and learn from them helped keep my ignorant ass alive when my turn came.

    My favorite wartime recollection from these older guys was the story of a senior nco who had been in the Swedish navy when the war broke out. He was on the Swedish cruiser that spotted the Bismarck and Prinz Eugene on their way out on Bismarcks one and only sortie. Later he came to the states and started a career in the US military.

    30 years after the fact and there was still a tone of awe in this mans voice when he described that moment.

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      While my dad served, when I was active duty in the early 90s, and now as a
      Civ DoD, I ask to hear all those war/sea stories. It’s one of the great ways to understand and remember what our military went though for our country. Some embelished and funny and that’s OK.

  15. avatar Survivordude1090 says:

    My great grand uncle (great grandfather’s older brother) jumped in with the 82nd Airborne. He survived the first day of the invasion, went to Valhalla on the second.

  16. avatar BusyBeef says:

    100% Certified Badasses

    Our population is now full of low energy soy boy beta cucks who can’t even pass a physical.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Our population is now full of low energy soy boy beta cucks who can’t even pass a physical.”

      To be fair to those who endure Iraq and Afghanistan, we can never know how the “greatest generation” would have borne up under indecisive war for 18 years.

  17. avatar FedUp says:

    A 97 year old vet makes an anniversary jump to Omaha Beach.

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      Legend.

    2. avatar dph says:

      That 97 yo is still one tough looking SOB.

  18. avatar WI Patriot says:

    While my dad didn’t participate in D-day, he was in the South Pacific, AND he was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered…

    USS Proteus (AS-19)

    1. avatar M1Lou says:

      My great uncle was on the third ship into the bay. My grandpa said he told him about it and that everyone was scared. They weren’t sure if they were sailing into a trap or not. Luckily it wasn’t.

      One of my best memories from about 20 years ago was visiting an old Sea Bee. When he knew I was going in the Army his eyes lit up. He was happy I was joining the service, even if it wasn’t the Navy. He told me about the beach landings in the pacific. He never went with the initial waves, they just watched from the deck of the ship and would follow the Marines after they established the beach head and they could start getting to work. It was still a bit tense as the Japanese would shoot at their ships with artillery and mortars. He had a few funny stories of his time in the pacific. He lived to about his 90’s before passing on. I wish I would have thought about it and conducted a proper interview of his time as a Sea Bee. It’s rare to meet a WW2 Sea Bee in person, let alone get to visit them and talk about their time in the Navy.

    2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      Thanks to President Truman for ordering the dropping of the A bombs. And saving over a million American soldiers who would have died invading and conquering Japan.

  19. avatar Ogre says:

    My Dad fought in the Pacific Campaign (New Guinea, Philippines) in the 33rd Division (IL NG). He never would talk about his combat experiences, even after I came home as a combat veteran from Vietnam. I had to find (with some difficulty) the book on the 33rd Div’s WWII campaigns to learn what his unit (and he) had gone through, which was impressive. Only after my Mom died would he talk about his non-combat experiences in the war (all the whorehouses he’d been to, among other things), but never about combat. He said that his division had been tabbed to be in the first wave of the invasion of the Japanese home islands, if it had come to that, and while his unit was at sea rehearsing the landing, the news came about the A-bombs and the surrender of Japan. Although booze was banned on Navy ships (thanks to former SecNav Josephus Daniels), he said bottles of liquor magically appeared from almost every pack as guys celebrated their good fortune in avoiding what they expected to be a deadly business. I have Dad’s war souvenirs (Japanese flags, a Japanese police sword, and a U.S. M1917 S&W revolver) and his medals. Mine will hang with his and my kids can fight over them, as well as my other stuff, when I pass.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      ” I had to find (with some difficulty) the book on the 33rd Div’s WWII campaigns to learn what his unit (and he) had gone through, which was impressive.”

      2 really good books on what it was like for the troops during south Pacific island campaign, “Helmet for my pillow”, and “With the old breed”.

      Brutal and highly recommended reading…

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Pair “Helmet for my pillow with “Guadalcanal Diary”; same author.

  20. avatar Kevin says:

    My Grandfather Jumped with the 501st pir got shot in the leg and carried a buddy for several miles after being taken prisoner
    held POW for a short time before the Germans abandoned the POWs in the face of advancing allied forces

    He is mentioned in the Book “the Battered Bastards of Bastogne”
    SSGT Richard “Buck” Ketsdever
    Live through Bastogne, made it home, had 10 kids

    Died 4 months after I was Born

    1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      Sorry you never got to meet your grandfather.

      By the way, my father was in the 502nd P.I.R.

  21. avatar former water walker says:

    In the early 1990’s I was selling Medical Alarms. Met several WWI vets. Yes we DO forget. One old vet was blind,alone and only wanted to die. Now some 28 years later there are very old WWII vets. And Korea, Vietnam and our Asian adventure’s. A guy at my church was profoundly damaged by Agent Orange. Finally got the .gov to recognize his claim last week! My own father tried to joinup in WWII but was old and 4F. He was an inspector at Joliet Arsenal during the war. Made sure those bombs worked! My uncle Bob was at Pearl Harbor.My 2 uncles nearly died of influenza in WWI. My son served in the middle east. Now at DoD…may the brave men of D-Day not have died in vain!

  22. avatar JOHN B THAYER says:

    It would be interesting to me to see a comparison of gun rights across Europe in 1939 (before WWII) versus today.

  23. avatar W says:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48215675

    “Casualties varied widely – on “Bloody Omaha”, where around 4,000 men were killed or wounded, one US unit landing in the first wave lost 90% of its men.”

    1. avatar Dave Lewis says:

      No “time out” cards, no “safe places”. Just charge up the beach with no armor other than a wool GI shirt and get it done.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “No “time out” cards, no “safe places”. Just charge up the beach with no armor other than a wool GI shirt and get it done.”

        I use this (for years) on my regular email:
        “- In 1944 18 year-olds stormed the beach at Normandy into almost certain death.
        – In 2019 18-year-olds feel unsafe because words hurt their feelings.”

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