Theodore's World: Remembering D-Day June 6, 1944

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June 06, 2011

Remembering D-Day June 6, 1944

On June 6, 1944, a date known ever since as D-Day, a mighty armada crossed a narrow strip of sea from England to Normandy, France, and cracked the Nazi grip on western Europe.

June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which "we will accept nothing less than full victory." More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day's end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy.


George S. Patton speech.......................... Somewhere in England June 5th, 1944

"Be seated."

Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle.

You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, every one of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.

You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood.

Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen.

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! There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily, all because one man went to sleep on the job. But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did.

An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horse shit. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about fucking! We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we're going up against. By God, I do.

My men don't surrender, and 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 of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain. What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn't like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, 'Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands.' But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like? No, Goddamnit, Americans don't think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns and machinery of war to keep us rolling. The Quartermaster is needed to bring up food and clothes because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has a job to do, even the one who heats our water to keep us from getting the 'G.I. Shits.'

Each man must not think only of himself, but also of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the Goddamned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men. One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious fire fight in Tunisia. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at a time like that. He answered, 'Fixing the wire, Sir.' I asked, 'Isn't that a little unhealthy right about now?' He answered, 'Yes Sir, but the Goddamned wire has to be fixed.' I asked, 'Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?' And he answered, 'No, Sir, but you sure as hell do!' Now, there was a real man. A real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds.

And you should have seen those trucks on the rode to Tunisia. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-bitching roads, never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting all around them all of the time. We got through on good old American guts.

Many of those men drove for over forty consecutive hours. These men weren't combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable.

Don't forget, you men don't know that I'm here. No mention of that fact is to be made in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell happened to me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this Army. I'm not even supposed to be here in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the Goddamned Germans. Someday I want to see them raise up on their piss-soaked hind legs and howl, 'Jesus Christ, it's the Goddamned Third Army again and that son-of-a-fucking-bitch Patton.' We want to get the hell over there." The quicker we clean up this Goddamned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the purple pissing Japs and clean out their nest, too. Before the Goddamned Marines get all of the credit.

Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler. Just like I'd shoot a snake!

When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get to him eventually. The hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don't dig foxholes. I don't want them to. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don't give the enemy time to dig one either. We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cock suckers by the bushel-fucking-basket.

War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do!

I don't want to get any messages saying, 'I am holding my position.' We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn!

From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don't give a good Goddamn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder WE push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that.

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.' 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!'

"That is all."



The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 and the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its ½ mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.


Wild Thing's comment.........

We should never forget the debt we owe to such fine men who tread into harm's way to save the world from tyranny and injustice. The calling they heard, being scared half to death, but did it anyway, a debt we can never repay. The road to Heaven is lined with servicemen and women who stood their ground and gave to the world freedom. God bless them one and all. We shall honor them by never forgetting and being ever grateful.

There is a quote by Gen. Omar Bradley that is my all time favorite. It says so much and truly says volumes about our Veterans, our troops and our Freedom.

"Freedom! No Word Was Ever Spoken That Held Out Greater Hope, Demanded Greater Sacrifice, Needed More To Be Nurtured, Blessed More The Giver, Cursed More Its Destroyer, Or Came Closer To Being God's Will On Earth.And I Think Thats Worth Fighting For." ~ General Omar Nelson Bradley

Posted by Wild Thing at June 6, 2011 12:55 AM


General Patton was a character all right. In another statement he said. 'he wanted his men to hurry up and kill the Germans and then go to the pacific and kill Japanese, before the Marines get all the all the credit'. Semper Fi, General.

Posted by: Mark at June 6, 2011 10:22 AM

We all owe so much to all these Veterans who sacrificed so much, for what we enjoy to day. They are rapidly disappearing from midst. We need to hold the spirit with which they served.

I was a little boy during WWII, but I still remember the citizens of this Country, were called upon to sacrifice, also. There was manditory rationing of gasoline, food items, etc..

I doubt very much if such a thing could happen today. We have a number of generations, who have no idea what it means to sacrifice anything for the good of the country and the privilege of being a citizen.

Posted by: Sean at June 6, 2011 10:35 AM

My father was always proud of the fact that he was actually in Ste. Mere Eglise on 5 June, since he parachuted in before midnight with the 82nd Airborne. I have a book that even shows a photo of Sgt. Ernest Blanchard's Tree. It was the tree he got caught up in when he landed. A German machine gun unit was firing at him, so he took out his jump knife and cut the lines to the chute and fell about 25 feet. He survived the fall okay, but did manage to cut off most of his thumb in the panic of getting down.
It was all covered in the book, The Longest Day, by Cornelius Ryan (a good read!). They also made it into a movie, Red Buttons played my Dad's part. He made me very proud growing up.

Posted by: Dennis "K1" Blanchard at June 6, 2011 02:14 PM

What would those men say to us today if they could?
could it be: I had my life taken away from me so you could throw it all away for having America be fundamentally changed by kneeling down to hope and change?
or something like that, they would definitely not be happy campers that would be for sure.

Posted by: Heltau at June 6, 2011 11:05 PM

Thank you so much, Dennis Blanchard, for sharing your father’s first hand Normandy D-Day experience. How very proud you must still be. “The Longest Day” Irish author Cornelius Ryan also later wrote “A Bridge Too Far” which was adapted into a war film as well.

Thank you for this excellent post, Wild Thing, and thank you for the nice arial picture of the Normandy American Cemetery on that bluff of Omaha Beach. What a very, very special place indeed -hallowed ground of valor- I believe second only to Arlington. Someday I will travel to France, and this will be my first (and perhaps only) stop.

Today, the 6th of June, is of course a very special day, the 67th anniversary of the greatest armada ever assembled in the history of the world and what a valiant victory it turned out to be.

How can we as Americans and all who love freedom ever forget. Except of course -

-Note how there’s not a statement to commemorate, not a single word from these revisionists of history, these Citizens of the World that currently occupy the White House in 2011.

I submit, they are not Americans.

So on this 6th of June 2011, it is good, fitting and proper for us all to pause, listen and read along with one very real and very proud American who always remembered, in his position always commemorated D-Day, and in 1984 travelled there to Normandy and spoke on site of the Rangers that took the cliffs, “the boys of Pointe du Hoc”, on the 40th anniversary of D-Day; Ronald Reagan in his own words:

Posted by: Carlos at June 6, 2011 11:16 PM

Thank you everyone so very much.

Dennis, nice to meet you and thank you for sharing about your Father. That means a lot to me. My husband was. I will have to show him what you wrote and that Red Buttons played your Father.

Carlos, thank you for the added information and link for Reagans address.

Posted by: Wild Thing at June 7, 2011 01:11 AM