Six months earlier, in November of 1943, Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill - the Big Three - had convened for the Teheran Conference. The Russian Premier, had pressed President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to commit to a date for an invasion of southern France, code named Overlord.
The giant invasion had taken years to organize, in part because of the need to build up adequate forces in Britain and the lack of suitable landing craft. Hundreds of thousands of troops were assembled in southern England and intensively trained for the complicated amphibious action against Normandy.
The patent sketch for the Higgins boat. Dwight D. Eisenhower emphasized its strategic importance in a 1964 interview: "If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs (Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel), we never could have landed over an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different."
On the first night of battle, President Roosevelt went onto national radio to speak about the Normandy invasion. His speech is a prayer.
"Eve of Battle." A Universal Newsreel on D-Day and the Allied Expeditionary Forces.
The Normandy invasion established a solid “Second Front” in Europe. Its success left Hitler’s armies trapped in a vise, fighting the Red Army in the East and an expanding Anglo-American-Canadian force in the West. Here, Army glider pilots who were among the first to land in Normandy and disrupt enemy communications are on their way back to England.
On the 40th anniversary of D-Day, President Reagan spoke at Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France. "Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns...Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms."
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum — http://fdrlibrary.marist.edu/
Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum — http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum — http://www.reaganlibrary.gov/
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