The Eisenhower years; 6; D-Day: The Conclusion
Hope the following program is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Really this must grow on you. When he was president the tomatoes must be nice to know what you want when you want to know God. Yes No Did you know we have much time. Thanks again. Why did a dash dash cam Alang was made this morning on the coast of France by troops of the allied expeditionary force.
This landing is part of writing for the liberation of Europe. The Eisenhower years. Chronicle in sound of a life of white Eisenhower produced by expansion radio television at Kansas State University this week. They conclude. This is the way to see what you want to hear as a miser home. June 1944 the BBC French language broadcast. No no no no. I'm a slug will normally be a really good time across the English Channel the ears of a German monitoring service listened with keen interest coded messages to the French resistance the maki had increased of late German
intelligence determined the invasion of France was near the German forces were not ready and knew it for more than a year. Field Marshall Rommel with his naval adviser vice admiral Frederick ruga had been inspecting the defenses and improving them. Admiral enormous opinion. The only hope for the tonnage of the end of the war was to be tough the attack before when it reached the beach. Incidentally this coincides of the fittest directive number 14 on March 1 2 4 2. It said literally that the aim of the defense had to be. Quote. The collapse of the enemy at a time before if possible. But the latest one to actually blended. Directive 51 and November 1943. Repeats of this directive number 14 in greater detail and in warheads and codes. To give you a moment from experience from its defense system at the disadvantage of
two to death the only way the defenses could be deepened wants to extend them into the sea. It had been done but not completely and not in the right places allied to Sumption had continued to fool the Germans about where the invasion would take place. I first expected the US to strike a strike in the some remote but later favorite of the sea in bad weather actually came. However the kid w an Army crew he punched it was the supreme commander of France did not follow his reasoning. They were of the opinion that the invasion fleet. Would take and had to take the shortest way and expected their tanks between the sum the river into the shade as security for infantry divisions were stationed there in two rows even in the area which was well defended by heavy batteries or to buy concrete or. Rock to the west infantry optimally will spread and spread outward. There were some parts of the city but we don't know yet where they came. It was very
wrong. Rick Davis will never have Effect 3 June the fifth the invasion ports in southern England the biggest invasion Armada in history was poised. Then came the word. I said go. General Omar Bradley recalls I was at the first one from where I sailed and man rather loaded and he said. If you've been a terrible job take it off and still maintain security because it had several hundred thousand men back on land that knew where we were headed for because they'd been briefed before they get on board just before they get on board and the rest of breach of security would then much greater and we had to unload them as the ship from moving out. The supreme commander sent a message to the troops soldiers sailors and airmen the IDX expeditionary force you were about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months.
The eyes of the world are upon you know hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere much with you. We merely accept nothing less than victory. And let me teach the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking. Following that General Eisenhower called an informal press conference to announce Overlord was on then in isolation he wrote a press release he didn't believe he would have to use one in which he took the blame for the D-Day invasion of Normandy. In case it failed but the point was if it was going to say Oh. Somebody someone had to be said. So I thought while I was still cool in Conn. I would write out something if I wanted to. You notice what is so darn calm because I said your life if you said it was it it was a day of waiting for Ike. He drove that evening to Newbury where the 100 first airborne was loading preparing for the para drops behind the Normandy beaches in advance of the invasion.
Historian and author Stephen Ambrose chatted with the troops and resulted in some of the most famous I guess the most famous pictures of like during the war his talk here was paratroopers and their faces are all black and there's cattlemen. What I Want of the sergeant was owned a big cattle ranch in Texas and he offered. I can shop after the war in Israel and can I thought that would be a very nice thing to do and they are sure like not to worry if they had the situation well in hand would take care of everything. Eisenhower biographer Kenneth S. Davis. Ask them where they were from someone from Kansas he was delighted to talk to them about Kansas and he made the boys feel that the man was running the show really really was concerned about them and their lives and he kept up a very careful DM you know with them. As a last transport got off the ground. He turned with people who were there I could just see. He had expended his last ounce of energy very visible sagging in the shoulders.
He almost seemed to diminish in size before people's eyes as he finally allowed the weariness to descend. It was crying. To him. Carrying the mount of 100 first and eighty second headed for Norman. To do. We lost a lot of people on the drop because. Our craft came under anti-aircraft fire all the way across to Cherbourg Peninsular So they went and then came back across of sherbert Burnett's in the other direction so that they wouldn't have to go over the beach and meet the beach defenses. But they all the way across they were meeting some anti-aircraft fire and the flames looking badly scattered. And some of the men were dropped miles away from where they're supposed to be. Fortunately General
Ridgway who commanded the second division dropped in the exact little field he was supposed to and from there he was able to control it. But I talked one sergeant that had dropped and when he got on the ground he wandered away and found a road we found a sign sherbert one kilometer away that meant he was way up almost a sherbert he belonged 30 40 miles below Cherbury and he and I and that private would have to be with him worked their way down and joined us at the back Utah Beach. And. Their worst time was one time they had to hide during the day and travel at night. He said one day they were hiding in a ditch and our artillery started to shoot at the German artillery nor the German artillery one came and jumped in the ditch with them so I. Think that is the closest call we had but it was a scatter drop someone dropped into us while we were lost someone dropped me and out into the
sea and lost but. Jarred him got him on target. Fortunate to target for similar did a wonderful job. This is the BBC you are going to get my hair cut. Now came the final code words the invasion was on. Bless me OK would you want them I have time right across the Channel the Germans remained unsuspecting despite reports of para drops the weather remained bad and they still didn't believe an invasion would come during that kind of weather. Admiral I don't remember the last never condescends was a little one to six the ME the Logica like minesweeper liberation the Fifth of July was not recognized. Everything not salted or there were at least two squads of approach the French coast so much that they could make sure that any case no report reached the USA. If. The lending force was reported by rate up between 2:00 and 3:00 the morning of the day
it's about the same time the first of all was given. Coast Guard troopers and dumbest meant of the several places. To just sit for to continue in bed with of course they had no use the pro-choice party of high pressure which enabled General Eisenhower to come to this momentous decision that the weather was bad on our landing was really an asset and one way and that is the Germans didn't expect as they did not discover it. That's a very narrow channel across there we crossed about a hundred miles or so and and good weather they could of seen us from there. Her long distance coming and been better prepared to meet us. So in a way the bad weather was an asset even before dongs first light the fire power began the invasion was underway. General Bradley watched from his command almost on the cruiser August
2000. Thought no it'll sure. See things from the glasses. We had communication with a regrettable level and I mean. You look through your plans. And your mind. Supports you've got. Shown. What's above board much. Slimmer Guster we had. Some littles guns. Go out of the woods and shoot. Four thousand yards it's almost point blank for. We started to fire up and up to $25000 to. See what 15 miles away. Then we moved into 4000 or. So he was going to just like shooting a rifle almost that during Bush we had the big gun who had some battleships out there and could work and so had I moved had 14 inch guns. They really spoke with authority even when they were shelled when
here and there so we had a lot of naval guns of fire support when we went in and of course bombing support also. But there. Are aircraft that were based in England and the bombing on the right about D-Day about the h hour was very heavy. On one of the beaches were something like 800 ton dropped on each Beach about about DD got a shower at the beach as I recall about 7. We were trying to get beaches I think because of rocky times about 30 support ships started firing about six thirty. We had some rocket ships to the fires I remember about 750 rockets four inch rockets. And had one LCT and they said there was
a sound maybe a hundred at a time point saying they'd come down on an area about. Oh 200 yards wide 100 yards deep and just pervert guys it seemed like Bush factor man's damn German did come up right after they got through sure and start shooting back again. Didn't get him. I got to get him back reports right away. And I found out that Utah was going very well known to be true going very poorly. All of this Sam was filled with obstacles and there were some attempts to cut that we want to embrace the cesspool. So while we were loading equipment for example tanks so we wanted to have time for 20 years. I'm going to wish some of my own voice we got out. British should develop sort of a script to put on top of the tank make it float
and that it was to run them off their landing craft a little ways out and let him go in on their own power. There's a boat they had propellers on and then where to pull the boots is a complete surprise. But we couldn't land that way and would try to serve them when they sank wavered goove the skirt on top of the tank and so we had to abandon that and run the landing craft read up on the beach and around I'm sure right on the sand. That we would last out of our landing craft because it came under direct German artillery fire. But we did get takes assured that when instead of moving to me and we were under fire all the time and finally got up it was a long time I was there listening. Individual acts of heroism leadership starts off with two or three
hours. It was about noon of the day before I was sure about homo being able to keep schedule there's never any question of abandoning Omaha Beach assault. There's a question whether or not the follow up troops should have a room to land their second division was due in late on D-Day and there was one time that I thought of might have to divert him into Utah Beach met a man behind the first division instead of behind the first. But about noon on D-Day they began to crack the defenses here at home and move inland so give it plenty of room. But the second division show over three or four new tradition. Yeah. Sigh of relief as the fighting raged on the beaches of Normandy radios crackled around the world. This is Supremes headquarters allied expeditionary force General Dwight D Eisenhower.
People of Western Europe. A landing was made this morning on the coast of France by troops of the allied expeditionary force. This landing is part of the concerted United Nations plan for the liberation of Europe. I call upon all who love freedom to stand with us now to gather we shall achieve victory. Hey. That's great. Oh really three years simple I am a dog as he writes. By the evening of June the 6th it was obvious the beachhead were permanently established and the General Eisenhower could forget about his message of failure. Some have said the D-Day invasion was impossible that the mass of men and machines of technology and
ingenuity couldn't be marshaled that soon but the impossible was accomplished and much of it was ingenious. Like the barges of supplies floated on the beach the first day General Bradley I got that idea they would sort of suggest somebody and I got it at that. We ought to have some big barges to land on D-Day had high tide with reserves supplied it. So we sent back to the states and got to think it was ten or twelve thousand ton barge the biggest They had manganese for 100. I wanted some big ones so we got these over the term across the ocean and we learned them up with the reserve supplies. I have a mission gasoline and medical supplies and they were abused at high tide so they just stayed there and they're not none of them were ever hit. I have to be on Utah Beach on day one for Messerschmitt came in and tried to bum one and head off Sajid never touched it. But then the surprise came in
very handy. Any invasion is doomed to failure without a way to get and continue getting ample supplies ashore. That means harbors and the Allies didn't have any. The solution. Build them and they did it was just a major project. The break letters were made up of several parts when the sinking ship first yet started there were some battleships even big freighter then largely outlived their usefulness they didn't take the new ones. But we did was a big and very impressive sight as long as you could see it there and then this break letter was made of the concrete blocks that we call Phoenix as they are built so you could float them over here then sink them onto the this rock formation and finally the fears that went up and down with the tide which is very you know 21 feet some like that and they had
some ridges along with a very masterly conception. The actual completion of the thing. A long one but they following the invasion General Eisenhower and his staff boarded a ship for a firsthand look at the beaches on that occasion. This was one of the British mine layers the fastest ship afloat. And this was one of the only remaining one that the British had. And we were going to the most extreme beach toward the enemy which is the British area and we were going at that speed and we struck a shoal and the mast quivered we practically we had to hang on to things for we had run aground in fact but the skipper kept his power on and we went across a shoal and floated free. But in the process he lost two propellers he
had no mobility at the same time there was a red alert there were enemy aircraft about and we were transferred to a destroyer that took this back today. But general I try to help that skipper and court martial and. He was he was held in grade and it was just unfortunate he had to decide just like that. Bingo. Do I push this thing across or do I stop engines. So generally I calculate as much as it could in a British court martial and I pretty severe in their court martial like we are in the American Navy on D-Day plus six. I was an hour a gun boarded a ship for his first visit on shore. His public relations officer Thor Smith went along. We've often thought afterward that maybe it was a little on the foolhardy side they took the combined chiefs of staff across the channel and one destroyer in a way it was sort of thumbing their nose at the at the enemy
to show show the competence that they had but I can remember how I we went along. First we went to the destroyer. Then we moved to a Coast Guard cutter and then we moved to a depth and the duck went right up on Omaha Beach and. We were scrambling like mad you know to get off before that. Before the broadcast is because we wanted a picture of the first first flight in France and we thought it but just the idea that that there was a General Marshall general and old and general life all in one destroyer and one Coast Guard cutter Lund in the days following the invasion the allies for a tough and determined German It was a war now of inches of punching a hole in the German lines. Still Hitler kept the 19 divisions of the German 15th Army idle in the region a particular way. He still thought Eisenhower was painting in Normandy and I did everything he could to keep up the pretense of another army in Britain waiting to spring. And it worked
by the time the German 15th did finally start moving toward Normandy General Eisenhower had nearly a million men ashore in France. During this time Ike frequently visited the front and as usual he delighted in visiting with the troops. Ike left to talk to Mr. Meehan and I remember one time in there. Beach head when we went down the landing strip for him to take off to go back to London at 4 he moved his headquarters over when a few people swarmed around us getting autographs that I find had to interfere and say you've got to get going or you will get back to London before dark. And even a small plane had to get in before dark. I think he'd like to talk to me and he said autographs for they were and what they were doing and where they were from and you know what they were doing. I sometimes thought that some of the questions he would ask were a little canned but he had learned which questions would get the guys to talking quickly you know. Where you're from son. You
know that type of thing or has a child care he always had a couple of real questions that would make the soldier feel at ease. Some of general Ike's problems that summer of 1944 were caused by two friends Patton and Churchill. General Patton was in trouble in both London and Washington for remarks he'd made shortly before D-Day regarding Anglo-American cooperation after the war. General Eisenhower was a getting pressured to remove him but I decided he deserved one more chance. General Bradley recalls Ike recognized patentability as a leader and. He stood by me and that he wanted to know what a pattern of one of our commanders in Europe and he proved very effective. We plan to break out on the right and run around and the German forces and get perished as soon as possible. And we have very carefully
planned to put hydrogen commander first army which you had to do the holding and packing to do the running around because he had a sense of battle better than most people and he knew just for a fast he'd go. So we put him in command of the troops and went around. History records that Ike's decision with Patton was right. Within two months Patton's Army had broken through German lines and Patton throwing caution to the wind moved with lightning speed and in three days time over a single bridge and road moved a hundred thousand men on some thirteen thousand tanks and vehicles. Patton ripped into Britney. It was his kind of fight. Reckless fast. Hell Bent. I said I mean I was having the battle of his life with Winston Churchill over a planned operation called dragoon set for mid August calling for U.S. troops to invade southern France to take the points of my say into line and through those ports for American and French armies to drive up the Rhone Valley. Churchill wanted to use those troops to hasten the drive in Italy and then move through the Balkans.
Ike viewed Churchill's plan as politically motivated. I said he should discuss it with Roosevelt. But the argument resulted in several full days of discussions confrontations between I can Churchill used to love to describe and it is this grand old man the epitome of 19th century British Imperialism you know. Was so human that he could pull out every single and in a way I know how I always felt unfair in that. Churchill knew how much I loved him. And he would use this. To try to get Eisenhower to come around to his point of view. It was also a great actor. So that he could he could change from. The bitterest tears. To the most hilarious laughter. In a matter of seconds. In a very calculating way as an actor will do to create the emotions that he wanted and I said. You call Mickey Mouse. And leap from that to quoting Kipling and leap from that to quoting the King James Bible all to prove his point that I was an
archangel and just how strongly Churchill felt about the argument that the operation in the south of France had had a code name of Anvil. Will insist on changing the color name to drag it on the grounds that he had been dragged into the operation. Well I. I thought that was the political reasons I thought and I said Look I'm not a politician then you go back to my president and argue that he said No we're talking military things. I said well this military I have to be the last. And so we had a seven hour argument that afternoon and it was all very friendly but it was very tough. He couldn't move because I had my orders. What I wish to do you see from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and he was only half I've been the president of course stood by me. He would be you know I knew very earnestly about it. An official thing a military thing and there's only two or three times this happened. Most of the time my relationship where I did this I did dragon went off as
Eisenhower had planned it and by early September they allies in southern France had linked up with the forces from the invasion of Normandy the liberation of France was near and Hitler's Germany would be next they invasion of Normandy had wrecked despite the weather despite the obstacles despite the stubborn German defenders and 20 years later Dwight Eisenhower would reflect on all that and conclude Oh everything was long long it could be all wrong and that I say finally the thing it did for the South was a freeway on the Prairie. Join the nation beat her all the Americans. That's rubbish. Eisenhower. By extension Radio-TV at Kansas State
- The Eisenhower years
- Episode Number
- D-Day: The Conclusion
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- No description available
- Politics and Government
- Media type
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 71-6-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “The Eisenhower years; 6; D-Day: The Conclusion,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 21, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-rr1pmf6c.
- MLA: “The Eisenhower years; 6; D-Day: The Conclusion.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 21, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-rr1pmf6c>.
- APA: The Eisenhower years; 6; D-Day: The Conclusion. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-rr1pmf6c