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 hopes 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 oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world…
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 all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force
6 June 1944
Like any great leader, Ike was prepared for contingency, and it was discovered he had drafted the following in the event the largest landing in the history of warfare failed:
Our landings in the Cherbourg-Harve area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops.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 upon 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.”