Friday, June 06, 2008

Eisenhower on June 5, 1944

(Portions of this post were published on June 6, 2007.)

On June 5 General Eisenhower knowing the invasion could fail, prepared a statement to be released in the event he had to order a withdrawal from the beaches.

Eisenhower's penciled statement on plain paper contains errors, including a dating of "July 5."

Historians agree the errors suggest fatigue. In the months before D-Day, Eisenhower was under enormous pressure. He pushed himself very hard, usually sleeping only 3 or 4 hours a night.

But the quality of the man shines in his message: the men and women of D-Day had a commander worthy of them.

Eisenhower's statement - - -

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops.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.

July 5.


Jim in San Diego said...

Dwight Eisenhower retained this profound sense of responsibility, and willingness to be held personally accountable, throughout his career.

When Francis Gary Powers was shot down in a U-2 over the Soviet Union, it was then-President Eisenhower who personally took responsibility.

We admire people who accept responsibility for what they do. We should detest those who do not, at all levels of life, including within our Universities and our local governments.

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

These days, if you say you based your decision on the best information available, there is always someone at the ready to say you are lying.

Scott McClellan ring any bells?