National Geographic : 1969 Jul
Supreme Commander: "In him we have had a man who set the unity of the Allied Armies above all nationalistic thoughts. In his head quarters unity and strategy were the only reigning spirits.... At no time has the princi ple of alliance between noble races been car ried and maintained at so high a pitch." In the months preceding the invasion, mighty air fleets pounded the Continent with out surcease-American bombers by day, British by night. By May, Eisenhower's plans for D-Day were firm. Upon the advice of meteorologists, he had scheduled the great cross-Channel invasion for dawn of June 5. Conditions of tide, moonlight, and weather gave him a margin of only a day or two either way; miss ing the occasion could force a lengthy post ponement. He and his planners had fixed the target as a series of beaches in Normandy between the dunes of Varreville and the mouth of the Orne River. In the war room of Widewing, as the SHAEF nerve center near London was called, big wall maps bore the code names assigned the landing areas-Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches. All would pass into his tory; one, Omaha, would become a synonym for valor (map, page 17). MORE THAN any other war in history, this war has been an array of the forces of evil against those of right eousness ... no matter what the sacrifice, no matter what the suffering of populations, no matter what the cost, the war had to be won. DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER UPON RECEIVING ORDER OF VICTORY FROM MARSHAL GEORGI ZHUKOV, FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY, JUNE 10, 1945 Years of Nazi occupation had brutalized Europe. Six million Jews had perished. Rus sians and other Slavs were officially character ized-and disposed of-as Untermenschen, How Ike saw Churchill. Taking up paint ing as a means of relaxation late in life, Eisenhower depicted the British leader (above) in 1956 from a photograph of a portrait by London artist Arthur Pan. Onetime rendezvous for part of earth's mightiest armada, the harbor at Dartmouth, England, now welcomes pleasure boats. In June 1944 several hundred U. S. vessels set sail from here to join the 5,000-ship fleet that assaulted Normandy. Eisenhower called the vast armed camp in southern England "a great human spring, coiled for the moment when its energy should be released and it would vault the English Channel in the greatest amphibious assault ever attempted." "The fate of the world is in your hands," said Churchill to Ike before the invasion. Here on a visit to U. S. troops in England, the Supreme Commander and Prime Minis ter witnessed a mass parachute jump. DEWORLD(ABOVE); KOUAHNUMB BY ROBERTW. MADDEN© N.G .S .