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18 Comments | Vintage
THE EYES OF THE WORLD ARE UPON YOU, JUNE 1944.
Original black and white photograph
Original negative by the US Army, June 5th, 1944, England (US National Archives and Records Administration). Original caption reads, "General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the order of the Day. "Full victory-nothing else" to paratroopers in England, just before they board their airplanes to participate in the first assault in the invasion of the continent of Europe."
Dwight Eisenhower’s epoch-defining letter, printed on orders to every serving member off the US Armed forces entering Normandy, read:
>SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE > >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. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. > >Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is will trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely. > >But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. 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 beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking. > >Dwight D. Eisenhower
I encourage anyone to go back and read speeches and addresses from even the most pedestrian of US presidents. It’s inspiring stuff compared to today’s communications and gives us a glimpse into the aspirational nature of our country’s soul.
Nobody really knows what that 23 sign means right?
I think the 101st airborne is pictured here.
The balls of steel these guys had to acquire knowing what they were about to face is incredible.
I really like the colorization on this one, it feels natural to me
It doesn’t inspire me when a general that has never once set foot on a battlefield sends a bunch of enlisted men to their deaths.
I wonder if Winters and Easy Company got to see this.
Copying my answer to another commenter’s question:
The man with the sign is Wallace Strobel. He was the jumpmaster of Plane 23 (hence the 23) in the 101st Airborne’s 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Disgraceful that the Americans in this pic thought it acceptable to wear black face. Thank goodness we’ve moved on from those days.
I still think people underestimate how quickly the U.S became a world power. When this happened the U.S was only 168 years old.
Is it only me or does that man look like Elon Musk
Brit here, who’s father served in the Royal Navy and took part in the Normandy Landings. My father had the utmost respect for the airborne troops, he felt it took the ultimate level of courage to jump into an unknown situation behind enemy lines.to To see Americans parading with weapons and waving swastikas on their own soil is the highest form of disrespect to these men’s bravery I can imagine.
I don’t want to sound morbid, but it feels pretty haunting to look at this photo. I wonder how many of the soldiers in the picture weren’t alive by June 7th…
Just imagine how scared they must have been. Storming an occupied mainland. I can only hope for such a day never to come for me (or us, as mankind), and if it does to have as much courage.
It’s crazy to imagine that this may have very well been the last photo taken of these gentlemen in their lives.
Charles Schultz (maker of Charlie Brown) was a friend of the man with the 23, Wallace Strobel. He says that Wallace was asked by the General "where are you from?" He replied "Michigan, sir!" and the General said "Go get em’, Michigan!"
Is this the antifa everybody is talking right now?