D-Day: Eisenhower

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Dwight D. Eisenhower
Few military leaders are more linked with the victory of the D-Day invasion than Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.

"Men instinctively trusted him, and his measured approach to command reinforced a conviction that he was an honest broker whose central purpose was the defeat of the enemy, rather than the pursuit of any national agenda."

-- U.S. Army Center of Military History
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Invasion looms
On the deck of a warship off the coast of France are (from left) Maj. Gen. Ralph Royce, Lt. Gen. Omar Bradley and "the boss," Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.

" Eisenhower was rarely abrupt and never arbitrary and applied the particular genius of his own personality to persuade other men to accept a common strategy."

-- U.S. Army Center of Military History
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Watching the troops
Eisenhower appeared upbeat days before the D-Day invasion.

"He won the trust and confidence of the common man, both in the United States and abroad, and personified the goodwill and altruism of American policy in his era."

-- U.S. Army Center of Military History
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Making the call
Eisenhower with his chief air adviser, Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory.

"Shortly before the attack, Leigh-Mallory argued that poor landing zones and German resistance would result in the "futile slaughter" of two fine airborne divisions. Eisenhower stoutly insisted that the landings could not proceed otherwise and overrode his air commander's objections."

-- U.S. Army Center of Military History
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The generals
Top Normandy commanders confer: Gen. Omar Bradley, 1st U.S. Army commander; Gen. Leonard Gerow, V Corps commander; Gen Eisenhower; and Gen. J. Lawton Collins, VII Corps commander.

"He consistently won over men with different ideas by assuring that their points of view had a full airing and fair consideration."

-- U.S. Army Center of Military History
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'Get me a destroyer ready'
Ready to go. Gen. Eisenhower about the H.M.S. Apollo with Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay and General Bernard Montgomery (right). After the war, Montgomery was critical of Eisenhower's generalship, an opinion few shared.
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'Full victory -- nothing else'
Eisenhower gives the order of the day: "Full victory -- nothing else" to paratroopers in England just before they board their planes.
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1964 -- Eisenhower revisits Normandy with Walter Cronkite
"... I tried to think ahead to the future and the kind of world we would have if we failed in our difficult task. I knew we could not fail."

-- Dwight Eisenhower
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1964 --Revisiting Normandy
"The young boys who stormed these beaches ... did so to preserve freedom and self-government in the world. They paid for the future of millions of people."

-- Dwight Eisenhower
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The measure of their sacrifice
"The men in this cemetery were cut off in their prime. They were never allowed to fulfill themselves, to have and enjoy their families, to raise their children. That is the full measure of their sacrifice."

-- Dwight Eisenhower
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1964 -- Will humanity learn?
"I devoutly hope that we'll never again have to see such scenes as those that took place on D-Day ... I pray humanity has learned more than we had up to that time.''

-- Dwight Eisenhower


Few American figures are more associated with D-Day 1944 than Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. This selection of U.S. Army and Associated Press photos shows the famous Allied commander in 1944 and during a return 20 years later in 1964 with newsman Walter Cronkite.

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