Normandy landings have failed.

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OpanaPointer
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Normandy landings have failed.

Post by OpanaPointer » 06 Jun 2019 15:15

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Max
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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by Max » 07 Jun 2019 00:38

Is this a test?
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Max
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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by Max » 07 Jun 2019 00:49

Greetings from the Wide Brown.

OpanaPointer
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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by OpanaPointer » 07 Jun 2019 01:50

Max wrote:
07 Jun 2019 00:38
Is this a test?
You did note the date, right? 8-)
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paulrward
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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by paulrward » 07 Jun 2019 05:36

Hello All '

I have read a slightly different account of this letter. According, IIRC, Eisenhower penciled the note while the troops were still pinnned down on Omaha Beach, unable to scale the bluffs due to the heavy fire and the loss of their DD tanks. Ike wrote the note, and then, later, lightly edited it, and finally, after hours of desperate fighting on Omaha, when the crisis had passed, crumpled up the note and stuffed it in his jacket pocket.

Later, in July, Commander Butcher was hanging up the jacket, and, automatically going through the pockets to ensure that there was nothing classified within, discovered the letter. He showed it to Eisenhower, who displayed little interest, but Butcher asked Eisenhower if he could keep it, and Eisenhower then penciled the date, July 5, on the bottom of the note.

As far as I am concerned, this is one of the Great Documents of WW2, right up there with the Instrument of Japanese Surrender, and the text of Roosevelt's 'Day of Infamy ' Speech.
" 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........ "

I am reminded of an event nearly four decades later when another American leader took full responsibility for a terrorist attack,
"..... If there is to be blame ........it properly rests here in this office ........... I accept
responsiblity for the bad as well as the good......"


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward

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Max
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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by Max » 08 Jun 2019 02:00

OpanaPointer wrote:
07 Jun 2019 01:50
Max wrote:
07 Jun 2019 00:38
Is this a test?
You did note the date, right? 8-)
Actually, No
I thought it might be the inaugural question of the WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic Quiz.

It's the first time I've come across this tidbit of history.

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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Jun 2019 19:02

paulrward wrote:
07 Jun 2019 05:36
Hello All '

I have read a slightly different account of this letter. According, IIRC, Eisenhower penciled the note while the troops were still pinnned down on Omaha Beach, unable to scale the bluffs due to the heavy fire and the loss of their DD tanks. Ike wrote the note, and then, later, lightly edited it, and finally, after hours of desperate fighting on Omaha, when the crisis had passed, crumpled up the note and stuffed it in his jacket pocket.

...
This version makes little sense if one considers how little information had come off of OMAHA Beach at that time. The accounts from Bradley, & the corps commanders just off shore remark on how they were essentially blind for the first few hours in that direction, with no useful radio reports. Bradly remarked how a report from a staff officer on a boat near the beach, circa 10:00, was the first solidly negative report. The second useful report he describes receiving was the capture of one of the beach exits received around 11:00. The actual capture of that beach exit occurred 30-60 minute earlier. Bradley does not remark on it much, but the radio communication with UTAH Beach was much more solid, and indicated the objectives were being captured on schedule.

Then there was the there three beaches were attacked up to a hour later in the landing sequence. Those assaults would be hardly started when the attackers on OMAHA Beach were reaching the bluffs and encircling the strong points guarding the beach exits. It would be way premature to think the attack was failing when 3/5 of the assaults were barely underway.

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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by paulrward » 09 Jun 2019 06:09

Hello All :

I think that a careful appraisal of the text is in order.

First, note that there are several significant changes. Eisenhower changes the wording from, "the troops have been withdrawn." to " I have withdrawn the troops. ", in effect taking PERSONAL responsibility for the decision.

He then removes the words, " This particular operation " and writes, " My decision..... ", again, taking PERSONAL responsibility for the failure.

Then, after the word " available " he had written the word " and " as if he were going to provide additional justification of the attack. Instead, he crossed out the word, and placed a large, heavy period in it's place. Eisenhower was NOT going to add any additional alibiing for the failure. He had made the decision, and would take the blame for it.

He removes the words, " I anticipated ", which makes it sound as if the landing forces had merely performed in an adequate manner, and replaces them with the words, " Bravery and devotion to duty could do. " In this, Eisenhower is making it plain that the fighting forces had done all that was humanly possible, and that the failure was, as he goes on to write, " ....mine alone.

Note also how the penciled words are heavy and coarse, the letters are small and somewhat crabbed. Ike was gripping the pencil tightly as he wrote, a sign of great stress. If you look at the date, " July 5 ", you will note it is written with less pressure on the page, a sign of less stress. The letters are larger, and there is a positive flourish on the tail of the number ' 5 '. This is an indication, in my opinion, that the date noted was written later, on July 5, when Eisenhower was no longer under such stress.

I feel that this note was written, and then edited, under the stress of the ongoing failures of the Omaha Beach Landing, and that the edits were added upon a re-reading, also on the morning of June 6, perhaps as a final polishing of the note in preparation for his delivering it to the Press. Of course, we shall never truly know. The letter was, as they say, overtaken by events.

What is so very telling, and what makes this such an important document, are the last two words: mine alone . Here is a true leader, preparing to take the full responsibility for a disaster. And, on June 6, 1944, was there any man in the world more alone than Dwight David Eisenhower ?


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward

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Aber
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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by Aber » 09 Jun 2019 10:10

paulrward wrote:
09 Jun 2019 06:09
I feel that this note was written, and then edited, under the stress of the ongoing failures of the Omaha Beach Landing, and that the edits were added upon a re-reading, also on the morning of June 6, perhaps as a final polishing of the note in preparation for his delivering it to the Press. Of course, we shall never truly know. The letter was, as they say, overtaken by events.

What is so very telling, and what makes this such an important document, are the last two words: mine alone . Here is a true leader, preparing to take the full responsibility for a disaster. And, on June 6, 1944, was there any man in the world more alone than Dwight David Eisenhower ?
According to d'Este, Eisenhower's biographer, the note was written on the afternoon of June 5th. Eisenhower also told Butcher that he had written similar notes for previous landings but had destroyed them without showing them to anyone.

As to taking responsibility, Eisenhower was politically intelligent to know that he would need to be seen to take responsibility.

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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by OpanaPointer » 09 Jun 2019 12:13

I don't see any reason to doubt the official date.
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 09 Jun 2019 17:23

Rick Atkinson says that the fact that Eisenhower dated the note 5 July when he wrote it on 5 June shows how much stress he was under. (Page 39 of the p/b version). He says he put in his wallet though, and the copy that Paul has posted up doesn’t look like it was in a wallet for any time does it?

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Tom

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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 09 Jun 2019 18:43

Oh,

And this is the page in the Eisenhower Papers Vol III which Rick Atkinson references and from which he takes most of his narrative of this 'note':
Ike - 5 June 44.JPG
Does anyone know how big the original is? Or how big Eisenhower's wallet was? I can't see any creases at all, but perhaps he had one of those trendy A4 document holder type wallets! :D

Edit to add: And it is worth noting that Eisenhower wasn't sure in 1966 exactly on what day he wrote the note - why not a few days earlier, especially before the 1 day postponement.

And also edit to add: Nothing to do with Omaha beach though.

I should also like to add here an enormous thank you to 'Delta Tank' who sent me all 5 volumes of Eisenhower's War Papers. Mike, you are an absolute gent. :thumbsup:

Regards

Tom
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OpanaPointer
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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by OpanaPointer » 10 Jun 2019 11:50

Why would he write that a month after the landings had succeeded?
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 10 Jun 2019 17:40

OpanaPointer wrote:
10 Jun 2019 11:50
Why would he write that a month after the landings had succeeded?
I'm not sure who that question is directed at - me? I don't know why Eisenhower wrote it, whenever he wrote it.

It does kind of beg the question why Eisenhower made such a big thing about Winston saying "I am hardening on this enterprise" at the end of the briefing on 15 May though doesn't it? It sounds like even Eisenhower had his doubts before the operation was launched.

You only have to read Brooke's eve of D-day diary entry to realise how widespread were the doubts about how successful the landings were going to be. Something that many historians ignore in the hindsight of the success of the Allies in Normandy.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Normandy landings have failed.

Post by OpanaPointer » 10 Jun 2019 17:45

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
10 Jun 2019 17:40
OpanaPointer wrote:
10 Jun 2019 11:50
Why would he write that a month after the landings had succeeded?
I'm not sure who that question is directed at - me? I don't know why Eisenhower wrote it, whenever he wrote it.

It does kind of beg the question why Eisenhower made such a big thing about Winston saying "I am hardening on this enterprise" at the end of the briefing on 15 May though doesn't it? It sounds like even Eisenhower had his doubts before the operation was launched.

You only have to read Brooke's eve of D-day diary entry to realise how widespread were the doubts about how successful the landings were going to be. Something that many historians ignore in the hindsight of the success of the Allies in Normandy.

Regards

Tom
It was an observation.

"The Atlantic Wall" had been given a lot to propaganda time and even though the scouting had shown it had weak spots no reasonable person at the time would have said it was going to be easy. I think Ike's statement was written in advance because he would being feeling terrible if the invasion had failed and many men had died. Being the master planner that he was required him to be ready for anything, and this missive would have been much easier to write beforehand, when passion and grief weren't rampant.
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