Being Real: 6/6/44 D-Day Remembered in Pictures

“Everything indicates that the enemy will launch an offensive against the western front of Europe, at the latest in the spring, perhaps even earlier….”
–Adolf Hitler, Directive No. 51, November 3, 1943

General Montgomery’s Most Secret letter of Simplicity for D-Day.

“This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success.”
–General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Source: Victory in the West vol.1 p.168 (HMSO 1962), digitised by The National Archives (UK)
General Dwight D. Eisenhower speaking to paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division on the eve of the D-Day invasion.

“The waiting for history to be made was the most difficult. I spent much time in prayer. Being cooped up made it worse. Like everyone else, I was seasick and the stench of vomit permeated our craft.”
–Pvt. Clair Galdonik, 359th Infantry Regiment, US 90th Division


The Invasion Force Gathers…and Waits “All southern England was one vast military camp, crowded with soldiers awaiting final word to go…. The mighty host was tense as a coiled spring…coiled for the moment when its energy should be released and it would vault the English Channel in the greatest amphibious assault ever attempted.”
— General Dwight D. Eisenhower

“I jumped out in waist-deep water. We had 200 feet to go to shore and you couldn’t run, you could just kind of push forward…. then we had 200 yards of open beach to cross, through the obstacles. But fortunately, most of the Germans were… all shook up from the bombing and the shelling and the rockets and most of them just wanted to surrender.”
–Sgt. Malvin Pike, 8th Infantry Regiment, US 4th Division

“As we approached the beach at Bernires, tracer bullets could be seen heading in our general direction from a supposedly empty pillbox about 200 yards on our right. We landed in three feet of water, and I recall thinking that no matter what lay ahead, it was a great relief to be on dry land again.”
–Lt. Peter Rea, Queen’s Own Rifles, Canadian 3rd Division, Juno Beach

Photo by Steck. SC190631




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