WASHINGTON — While the largest amphibious military assault in history was underway, U.S. Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower cabled the following top secret preliminary report to the War Department.
“All preliminary reports are satisfactory … bombing by air went off as scheduled … channels are clear and operation proceeding as planned,” Eisenhower wrote of the D-Day invasion. Originally scheduled for June 5th, the Normandy landings were carried out in the dawn hours of June 6th due to the weather.
“The weather yesterday which was original date selected was impossible all along the target coast,” Eisenhower explained.
At the time of Eisenhower’s classified message (8:00 a.m. local time), specific details of what would become a major turning point for the Allies in German-occupied Western Europe were sparse.
By the end of the day, more than 150,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen stormed the beaches of Normandy in a successful campaign that led to the unconditional surrender of Nazi-Germany on May 7, 1945.
Eisenhower ends his note, which is made available by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, by describing the spirit of the troops he met with before the operation. “The enthusiasm, toughness, and obvious fitness of every single man were high and the light of battle was in their eyes.”