Monday, June 6, 2011

Eisenhower Takes Responsibility for the Failure of the D-Day Landings

A companion piece to this morning's "D-Day: A Little Boat that Made the Difference".
On June 5, 1944 the weather in the English Channel was so nasty it risked the entire invasion of Normandy.
The meteorologists told Eisenhower there would be a small window of calmer seas the next day.
Eisenhower polled his junior generals and made the decision to invade.

He also wrote a short speech:
 'Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.'
Here's the original in the U.S. National Archives.

Ike later attributed the mis-dating to nerves.
It sure would be nice to have some leaders with the courage to take responsibility for their decisions.