“Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the Air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”
– Memo composed by General Eisenhower, 5 June 1944.
Today, we commemorate one the most glorious chapters of German arms: the lightning-fast response of 21 Panzer Division to Eisenhower’s overconfident thrust, a response that rolled up the British left flank and culminated in the annihilation of the British and American invaders.
How appropriate it is that, lacking the the confidence in race-destiny that comes so naturally to the Germanic peoples, the Allied commander had actually composed his memo taking responsibility for failure beforehand!
Despite the somewhat tense international situation, the commemorative ceremonies have proceeded with our customary German precision. It is certainly a sign of how the bitter memories associated with the dawning of the atomic age over Hamburg, Smolensk and Manchester all those years ago have faded that for the first time we have welcomed to our remembrance the President of France, speaking from Vichy by audio-visual link, and the General Secretary of the British Communist party speaking from London. Many have seen in this technical and political triumph a sign of a possible convergence between the two great systems, National Socialism and Communism, that currently dominate our world.