D-Day: What they said

22nd May 2014, Comments 0 comments

What leaders said about the Allied World War II D-Day landings in Normandy, France 70 years ago, and more recently:

US GENERAL DWIGHT EISENHOWER: "The free men of the world are marching together to victory... We will accept nothing less than full victory!"

From an address to troops before the launch of D-Day

BRITISH FIELD MARSHALL BERNARD MONTGOMERY: "With stout hearts, and with enthusiasm for the contest, let us go forward to victory."

To troops on the eve of D-Day

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER WINSTON CHURCHILL: "Heavy fighting will soon begin and will continue without end ... It is, therefore, a most serious time that we enter upon."

Announcing the operation to parliament on D-Day

"The great episode seemed to everyone to be the crossing of the Channel." Potentially poor weather conditions "hung like a vulture poised in the sky over the thoughts of the most sanguine."

Reflecting on D-Day two months later

US PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT: "The war isn't over by any means. This operation isn't over. You don't just land on a beach and walk through -- if you land successfully without breaking your leg -- walk through to Berlin. And the quicker this country understands it the better."

From a D-Day press conference

SOVIET LEADER JOSEPH STALIN: "History will record this deed as an achievement of the highest order."

From a telegram quoted by Churchill

FRENCH LEADER CHARLES DE GAULLE: "I had been ready for this voyage (to France) for several days. But the Allies were in no hurry to facilitate it."

De Gaulle was exiled in London and sidelined from the landing by Britain and the United States.

GERMAN FIELD MARSHALL ERWIN ROMMEL: "For us, as for the Allies, it will be the longest day".

Forecast ahead of D-Day -- the name stuck.

US GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON: "You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON'T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, 'Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.' No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, 'Son, your granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!'"

From an address to troops on the eve of the landing

FORMER US PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: "They gave us our world. And those simple sounds of freedom we hear today are their voices speaking to us across the years."

From his speech on the 50th anniversary

US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "What we cannot forget -- what we must not forget -- is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century."

From his speech on the 65th anniversary

© 2014 AFP

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