D-Day or the Normandy beach invasion is the biggest seaborne invasion in history, and it was staged exactly 74 years ago. During the World War II, Nazi Germany seized control of France and most of Europe, but after few successful years at the beginning of the biggest conflict known to the world, the tides have changed.
The main goal of the invasion that was done by American and allied troops was to free France and later on to defeat Germany. Today is the 74th anniversary and we are bringing you some of the most famous quotes that were said by great people on June 6, 1944, when the landings started.
1. “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
2. “God almighty, in a few short hours we will be in battle with the enemy. We do not join battle afraid. We do not ask favors or indulgence but ask that, if You will, use us as Your instrument for the right and an aid in returning peace to the world.” — Lt. Col Robert L. Wolverton, commanding officer of 3rd battalion, 506th PIR.
3. “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, U.S. 90th Division
4. “They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate.” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt
5. “There’s a graveyard in northern France where all the dead boys from D-Day are buried. The white crosses reach from one horizon to the other. I remember looking it over and thinking it was a forest of graves. But the rows were like this, dizzying, diagonal, perfectly straight, so after all it wasn’t a forest but an orchard of graves. Nothing to do with nature, unless you count human nature.” — Barbara Kingsolver, American novelist, essayist and poet
6. “Lieutenant Welsh remembered walking around among the sleeping men, and thinking to himself that ‘they had looked at and smelled death all around them all day but never even dreamed of applying the term to themselves. They hadn’t come here to fear. They hadn’t come to die. They had come to win.” — Stephen E. Ambrose, Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest
7. “There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. 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.’” ― General George S. Patton, Jr. to his troops on June 5, 1944
8. “It was unknowable then, but so much of the progress that would define the 20th century, on both sides of the Atlantic, came down to the battle for a slice of beach only 6 miles long and 2 miles wide.” — President Barack Obama
9. “And what a plan! This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever occurred.” — Winston Churchill
10. “Men, I am not a religious man and I don’t know your feelings in this matter, but I am going to ask you to pray with me for the success of the mission before us. And while we pray, let us get on our knees and not look down but up with faces raised to the sky so that we can see God and ask his blessing in what we are about to do.”
“God almighty, in a few short hours we will be in battle with the enemy. We do not join battle afraid. We do not ask favors or indulgence but ask that, if You will, use us as Your instrument for the right and an aid in returning peace to the world.”
“We do not know or seek what our fate will be. We ask only this, that if die we must, that we die as men would die, without complaining, without pleading and safe in the feeling that we have done our best for what we believed was right.”
“Oh Lord, protect our loved ones and be near us in the fire ahead and with us now as we pray to you.”
All were silent for two minutes as the men were left, each with his individual thoughts. Then the Colonel ordered, “Move out.” — Lt. Col. Robert L. Wolverton, commanding officer of 3rd battalion, 506th PIR.
Wounds my heart with a monotonous languor.
—British Broadcasting Corporation message for French Resistance fighters, informing them that the invasion was on.
I am prepared to lose the whole group.
—Col. Donald Blakeslee, commanding the Fourth Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force, briefing his P-51 Mustang pilots on 5 June.
They’re murdering us here. Let’s move inland and get murdered.
—Col. Charles D. Canham, commanding the 116th Infantry Regiment, First Infantry Division, on Omaha Beach.
This is a very serious business.
—Photographer Robert Capa on Omaha Beach.
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.
We will accept nothing less than full victory!
Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
—Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, 6 June 1944.
Four years ago our nation and empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall. . . . Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause. . . .
At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young, or too old to play a part in a nation-wide, perchance a world-wide vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth.
—King George VI, radio address, 6 June 1944.
You get your ass on the beach. I’ll be there waiting for you and I’ll tell you what to do. There ain’t anything in this plan that is going to go right.
—Col. Paul R. Goode, addressing the 175th Infantry Regiment, Twentyninth Infantry Division, before D-Day.
Well, is it or isn’t it the invasion?
— Adolf Hitler to Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel on the afternoon of 6 June.
We shall see who fights better and who dies more easily, the German soldier faced with the destruction of his homeland or the Americans and British, who don’t even know what they are fighting for in Europe.
—Gen. Alfred Jodl, operations chief of the German high command, early 1944.
I took chances on D-Day that I never would have taken later in the war.
—First Sgt. C. Carwood Lipton, 506th Parachute Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) June 6, 2018
— Marina Amaral (@marinamaral2) June 6, 2018
On this day in 1944, Allied troops landed along a stretch of fortified coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion. By day’s end, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Continental Europe. pic.twitter.com/G9Ks2e8har
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 6, 2018
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) June 6, 2018
— Jocko Willink (@jockowillink) June 6, 2018
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) June 6, 2018
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) June 6, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 6, 2018
A very moving memorial service for the British 6th Airborne Division, the 74th anniversary of D-Day… pic.twitter.com/j4h4CrJaRW
— Ben Mayne (@BattlefieldBen) June 6, 2018
Today marks 74 years since D-Day "Lest we forget" pic.twitter.com/rzMnnrKSMC
— 🇬🇧📺 Classic British TV 📺🇬🇧 (@Classicbritcom) June 6, 2018
— World War II History (@WW2Facts) June 6, 2018