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On D-Day, the Allies had the will, leadership to win

Let history inform our current commitments to conflict, and peace.


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With only 119,000 of the 16.4 million Americans who served in World War II still alive, the vast majority of today’s 340 million Americans have no inkling of what occurred 80 years ago today on the shores of France — D-Day, June 6, 1944.

From Winston Churchill’s “Triump and Tragedy”: 

“Our long months of preparation and planning for the greatest amphibious operation in history ended on D-Day, June 6, 1944. … Heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force attacked enemy coast-defence guns in their eoncrete emplacements, dropping 5,200 tons of bombs … In the 24 hours of June 6, the Allies flew over 14,600 sorties. So great was our superiority in the air that all the enemy could put up during daylight over the invasion beaches was a mere 100 sorties.”

Omaha Beach on D-Day
Courtesy of the National Archives


At noon on June 6, 1944, Churchill reported to the House of Commons: “… An immense armada of upwards of 4,000 ships, together several thousand smaller craft, crossed the Channel … The Anglo-American Allies are sustained by about 11,000 first-line aircraft … 

“So far, the commanders who are engaged report that everything is proceeding according to plan. And what a plan! This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place.”

Indeed it was. And it was intended to do what Sun Tzu advised in the 300s B.C. in the “Art of War”: “In war, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.”

Among the objectives of D-Day: overwhelming force and surprise.

The scope of American resources dedicated to victory consisted of manufacturing 98,000 warplanes in 1944 alone. The U.S. had 18 shipyards (compared to four today), producing three ships every two days.

On D-Day, 73,000 American soldiers participated in the assault. Allied commanders expected to lose 10,000 soldiers. The U.S. reported 2,500 dead; Britain, 1,450.

Now contrast that will for victory with what Joe Biden and the European Union are doing with Ukraine, and Biden’s meddling with the Israelis and their war with Hamas.

When Churchill reported to the House of Commons on D-Day, he told its members: “I shall not attempt to speculate upon its course. This I may say however. Complete unity prevails throughout the Allied Armies. 

“There is a brotherhood in arms between us and our friends of the United States. There is complete confidence in the Supreme Commander, General Eisenhower, and his lieutenants, and also in the commander of the Expeditionary Force, General Montgomery … (T)he whole process of opening this great front will be pursued with the utmost resolution both by the commanders and by the United States and British Governments whom they serve.”

On this 80th anniversary of D-Day, the Western World should express once again its gratitude for the courage, leadership and will that prevailed then and ultimately led to victory.

Sun Tzu foretold one of the many lessons of D-Day that can be learned today: “He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.”

 

author

Matt Walsh

Matt Walsh is the CEO and founder of Observer Media Group.

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