Appendix F
The Supreme Commander's Orders of the Day*

I

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.

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 defeats, 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 blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

6 June 1944

II

This message was distributed to the troops with the D-Day statement.

You are soon to be engaged in a great undertaking—-the invasion of Europe. Our purpose is to bring about, in company with our Allies, and our comrades on other fronts, the total defeat of Germany. Only by such a complete victory can we free ourselves and our homelands from the fear and threat of the Nazi tyranny.

A further element of our mission is the liberation of those people of Western Europe now suffering under German oppression.


* The term, Order of the Day, is used far more frequently by foreign armies than in the United States. Since SHAEF was a coalition command, the name was applied to certain documents of more than ordinary significance. An arbitrary numbering system has been used in this appendix.

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Before embarking on this operation, have a personal message for you as to your own individual responsibility, in relation to the inhabitants of our Allied countries.

As a representative of your country, you will be welcomed with deep gratitude by the liberated peoples, who for years have longed for this deliverance. It is of the utmost importance that this feeling of friendliness and goodwill be in no way impaired by careless or indifferent behavior on your part. By a courteous and considerate demeanor, you can on the other hand do much to strengthen that feeling.

The inhabitants of Nazi-occupied Europe have suffered great privations, and you will find that many of them lack even the barest necessities. You, on the other hand, have been, and will continue to be, provided adequate food, clothes and other necessities. You must not deplete the already meager local stocks of food and other supplies by indiscriminate buying, thereby fostering the "Black Market", which can only increase the hardship of the inhabitants.

The rights of individuals, as to their persons and property, must be scrupulously respected, as though in your own country. You must remember, always, that these people are our friends and Allies.

I urge each of you to bear constantly in mind that by your actions not only you as an individual, but your country as well, will be judged. By establishing a relationship with the liberated peoples, based on mutual understanding and respect, we shall enlist their wholehearted assistance in the defeat of our common enemy. Thus shall we lay the foundation for a lasting peace, without which our great effort will have been in vain.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

 

III

This message was not included in the SGS file of Supreme Commander's Messages to AEF, but it was broadcast by the Supreme Commander. It was issued to Communications zone troops in mimeographed form by their commanding general, who indicated that he received a personal copy of the message at the Supreme Commander's field headquarters. This is included in the AG file 335.18, "Messages to the Troops of the A.E.F.," with the notation, "This is the only copy furnished AG." The writer personally received one of these copies in Normandy.

Allied Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen:

Through your combined skill, valor and fortitude you have created in France a fleeting but definite opportunity for a major Allied victory, one whose realization will mean notable progress toward the final downfall of our enemy. In the past, I have, in moments of unusual significance, made special appeals to the Allied Forces it has been my honor to command. Without exception the response has been unstinted and the results beyond my expectations.

Because the victory we can now achieve is infinitely greater than any it has so far been possible to accomplish in the west, and because the opportunity may be grasped only through the utmost in zeal, determination and speedy action, I make my present appeal to you more urgent than ever before.

I request every airman to make it his direct responsibility that the enemy is blasted unceasingly by day and by night, and is denied safety either in fight or flight. I request every sailor to make sure that no part of the hostile forces can either escape or be reinforced by sea, and that our comrades on the land want for nothing

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that guns and ships and ships' companies can bring to them.

I request every soldier to go forward to his assigned objective with the determination that the enemy can survive only through surrender; let no foot of ground once gained be relinquished nor a single German escape through a line once established.

With all of us resolutely performing our special tasks we can make this week a momentous one in the history of this war—-a brilliant and fruitful week for us, a fateful one for the ambitions of the Nazi tyrants.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

14 August 1944

 

IV

To Every Member of the A.E.F.:

The enemy is making his supreme effort to break out of the desperate plight into which you forced him by your brilliant victories of the summer and fall. He is fighting savagely to take back all that you have won and is using every treacherous trick to deceive and kill you. He is gambling everything, but already, in this battle, your gallantry has done much to foil his plans. In the face of your proven bravery and fortitude, he will completely fail.

But we cannot be content with his mere repulse.

By rushing out from his fixed defenses the enemy may give us the chance to turn his great gamble into his worst defeat. So I call upon every man, of all the Allies, to rise now to new heights of courage, of resolution and of effort. Let everyone hold before him a single thought--to destroy the enemy on the ground, in the air, everywhere--destroy him! United in this determination and with unshakable faith in the cause for which we fight, we will, with God's help, go forward to our greatest victory.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

22 December 1944

 

V

To Every Member of the A.E.F.:

The encirclement of the Ruhr by a wide pincer movement has cut off the whole of Army Group B and parts of Army Group H, thus forming a large pocket of enemy troops whose fate is sealed and who are ripe for annihilation. The most vital industrial area is denied to the German war potential. This magnificent feat of arms will bring the war more rapidly to a close. It will long be remembered in history as an outstanding battle—-the Battle of the Ruhr.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

3 April 1945

 

VI

To Every Member of the A.E.F.:

The battle of the Ruhr has ended with complete success. Following hard upon the final destruction of the German forces west of the Rhine, the 21st Army Group thrust powerfully across that river with the U.S. Ninth Army under command. Simultaneously, rapid drives across the Rhine and from the Remagen bridgehead by 12th and 6th Army Groups provided the southern arm of a great double envelopment which completely encircled the entire German Army Group "B" and two Corps of Army Group "H", whose mobility was rendered almost zero by our magnificent and tireless air forces.

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Thereafter, in the pocket thus created the 12th Army Group eliminated 21 enemy divisions, including 3 panzer, 1 panzer grenadier and 3 parachute divisions. Over 317,000 prisoners of war were captured including 24 generals and 1 admiral. Many tanks and more than 750 guns were destroyed or taken. Booty is immense and still being counted. The enemy's total losses in killed and wounded will never be accurately known.

The rapidity and determination with which this brilliant action was executed tore asunder the divisions of Field Marshal Model, and enabled all Army Groups without pause to continue their drive eastwards into the heart of Germany.

This victory of Allied armies is a fitting prelude to the final battles to crush the ragged remnants of Hitler's armies of the west, now tottering on the threshold of defeat.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

20 April 1945

 

VII

The whole Allied expeditionary force congratulates the Seventh Army on the seizure of Munich, the cradle of the Nazi beast.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

30 April 1945

 

VIII

VICTORY ORDER OF THE DAY

Men and women of the Allied Expeditionary Forces:

The crusade on which we embarked in the early summer of 1944 has reached its glorious conclusion. It is my special privilege, in the name of all Nations represented in this Theater of War, to commend each of you for valiant performance of duty. Though these words are feeble they come from the bottom of a heart overflowing with pride in your loyal service and admiration for you as warriors.

Your accomplishments at sea, in the air, on the ground and in the field of supply, have astonished the world. Even before the final week of the conflict, you had put 5,000,000 of the enemy permanently out of the war. You have taken in stride military tasks so difficult as to be classed by many doubters as impossible. You have confused, defeated and destroyed your savagely fighting foe. On the road to victory you have endured every discomfort and privation and have surmounted every obstacle ingenuity and desperation could throw in your path. You did not pause until our front was firmly joined up with the great Red Army coming from the East, and other Allied Forces, coming from the South.

Full victory in Europe has been attained.

Working and fighting together in a single and indestructible partnership you have achieved a perfection in unification of air, ground and naval power that will stand as a model in our time.

The route you have travelled through hundreds of miles is marked by the graves of former comrades. From them has been exacted the ultimate sacrifice; blood of many nations—American, British, Canadian, French, Polish and others—has helped to gain the victory. Each of the fallen died as a member of the team to which you belong, bound together by a common love of liberty and a refusal to submit to enslavement. No monument of stone, no memorial of whatever magnitude could so well express our respect and

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veneration for their sacrifice as would perpetuation of the spirit of comradeship in which they died. As we celebrate Victory in Europe let us remind ourselves that our common problems of the immediate and distant future can best be solved in the same conception of cooperation and devotion to the cause of human freedom as have made this Expeditionary Force such a mighty engine of righteous destruction.

Let us have no part in the profitless quarrels in which other men will inevitably engage as to what country, what service, won the European War. Every man, every woman, of every nation here represented, has served according to his or her ability, and the efforts of each have contributed to the outcome. This we shall remember—and in doing so we shall be revering each honored grave, and be sending comfort to the loved ones of comrades who could not live to see this day.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

8 May 1945

 

IX

To All Members of the Allied Expeditionary Force:

The task which we set ourselves is finished, and the time has come for me to relinquish Combined Command.

In the name of the United States and the British Commonwealth, from whom my authority is derived, I should like to convey to you the gratitude and admiration of our two nations for the manner in which you have responded to every demand that has been made upon you. At times, conditions have been hard and the tasks to be performed arduous. No praise is too high for the manner in which you have surmounted every obstacle.

I should like, also, to add my own personal word of thanks to each one of you for the part you have played, and the contribution you have made to our joint victory.

Now that you are about to pass into other spheres of activity, I say Good-bye to you and wish you Good Luck and God-Speed.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

13 July 1945

 

X

On this occasion, the termination of Combined Command, I welcome the opportunity to express my gratitude and admiration to the people of the Allied Nations in Europe whose fighting forces and nationals have contributed so effectively to victory.

United in a common cause, the men and women of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway joined with the British Commonwealth of Nations and the United States of America to form a truly Allied team, which in conjunction with the mighty Red Army smashed and obliterated the Nazi aggressors. I pay tribute to every individual who gave so freely and unselfishly to the limit of his or her ability. Their achievements in the cause for which they fought will be indelibly inscribed in the pages of history and cherished in the hearts of all freedom-loving people.

It is my fervent hope and prayer that the unparalleled unity which has been achieved among the Allied Nations in war will be a source of inspiration for, and point the way to, a permanent and lasting peace.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

14 July 1945

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