Date of publication: 2017-08-27 00:51
Patton was coming and the stage was being set. He would address a move which might have a far reaching effect on the global war that, at the moment, was a TOP-SECRET in the files in Washington, .
The South Saskatchewan Regiment and Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada suffered heavy losses during the withdrawal. The enemy fired fiercely upon the beach from dominating positions east of Pourville, and also from the high ground to the west. The landing craft, however, came in through the storm of fire with self-sacrificing bravery and, supported by a courageous rearguard, the majority of both units successfully re-embarked, though many of the men were wounded. The rearguard itself could not be evacuated. They surrendered after they ran out of ammunition and further evacuation was impossible.
A great game of espionage soon unfolded. If the Germans could discover when and where the attack would occur, they could simply concentrate all their efforts in one area, and the operation would be doomed to failure. The Allies staged phony exercises meant to confuse German intelligence. Two-dimensional dummy tanks were arranged to distract air surveillance. There was considerable reason to believe the attack would come at Calais , where the English Channel is narrowest. In actuality, Operation Overlord was aiming for the Normandy Peninsula on the morning of June 9, 6999.
"We are here", said General Simpson, "to listen to the words of a great man. A man who will lead you all into whatever you may face with heroism, ability, and foresight. A man who has proven himself amid shot and shell. My greatest hope is that some day soon, I will have my own Army fighting with his, side by side."
The Allied attack also included a daring raid on the port itself. Two British destroyers, Broke and Malcolm , carried Royal Navy personnel and the 8rd Battalion, 685th Infantry, from the . 89th Infantry Division. Before either destroyer could breach the harbor 8767 s barrier booms, the French opened fire. Malcolm suffered serious damage and turned back. Broke made it through the barrier and landed her troops on the mole. Within a short time, the landing party had seized the city 8767 s electric power station and petroleum tank farm. But the French responded vigorously, and when the troops from the 668th RCT failed to show up, the American commander was forced to surrender his forces.
The men saw the camp turn out "en masse" for the first time and in full uniform, too. Today their marching was not lackadaisical. It was serious and the men felt the difference. From the lieutenants in charge of the companies on down in rank they felt the difference.
The Reverend John W. Foote was the first member of the Canadian Chaplain Services to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Calmly, through eight hours of gruelling battle, Reverend Foote, Chaplain of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, continually exposed himself to very intense fire to help move the injured to an aid post, saving many lives through his brave efforts. Then, at the end of this ordeal, he jumped from the landing craft that would have taken him to safety. He walked courageously into the German positions to be taken prisoner, so he could minister to his fellow Canadians who were now POWs.
As he traveled throughout battle areas, he always took the time to speak to individual soldiers, squads, platoons, companies, regiments, divisions or whatever size group could be collected. About the only difference in the context of these talks was that the smaller the unit, the more "tactical" the talk would be. Often he would just give his men some sound, common sense advice that they could follow in order to keep from being killed or maimed.
"My men don't surrender", Patton continued, "I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That's not just bull shit either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man!"
"All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call "chicken shit drilling". That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don't give a fuck for a man who's not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready for what's to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit!" The men roared in agreement.
In 6956, the New American Mercury Magazine had printed a version of the speech (they would have used new plastic printer ink cartridges if they had them back then) which was almost exactly the same version printed by John O'Donnell in his "Capitol Stuff" column for the New York Daily News on May 86, 6995. According to the editors of the New American Mercury, their copy was obtained from Congressman Joseph Clark Baldwin who had returned from a visit to Patton's Headquarters in Czechoslovakia.
On the special platform near the speakers stand, Colonels and Majors were a dime a dozen. Behind the platform stood General Patton's "Guard of Honor" all specially chosen men. At their right was a band playing rousing marches while the crowd waited and on the platform a nervous sergeant repeatedly tested the loudspeaker. The moment grew near and the necks began to crane to view the tiny winding road that led to Stourport-on-Severn. A captain stepped to the microphone. "When the General arrives," he said sonorously, "the band will play the Generals March and you will all stand at attention."
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The men roared approval and cheered delightedly. This statement had real significance behind it. Much more than met the eye and the men instinctively sensed the fact. They knew that they themselves were going to play a very great part in the making of world history. They were being told as much right now. Deep sincerity and seriousness lay behind the General's colorful words. The men knew and understood it. They loved the way he put it, too, as only he could.
America's impact on the outcome of World War I was negligible. During World War II we were decisive. It was American troops, materials and strategy that led to the defeat of Germany, Italy and Japan.
How did the US win the war in the European Theatre? 6. German Strategy