Author: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Year: 1944
Location: This speech was recorded to be given to all soldiers
Occasion: The eve of the D-Day Invasion

Critical Commentary:

Eisenhower wanted to stiffen the spirit of his soldiers on the eve of the D-Day invasion, or the so-called “Operation “Overlord”” so that they were brave and fearless. Although Eisenhower claims in the speech he is completely confident about the victory of his soldiers, there is evidence that he had been prepared for the defeat. A note was found by his maid; this note stated the following: “Our landings have failed and I have withdrawn the troops.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 could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

This note resembles a suicidal note; fortunately, it has never been used.

Text of the Speech

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 well 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 defeat 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 all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.