On June 6, 1944, the world began to change.
"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 hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
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! 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."
—Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, 6 June 1944.
"Four years ago our nation and empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall. . . . Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause. . . .
At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young, or too old to play a part in a nation-wide, perchance a world-wide vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth."
—King George VI, radio address, 6 June 1944.
"You get your ass on the beach. I’ll be there waiting for you and I’ll tell you what to do. There ain’t anything in this plan that is going to go right."
—Col. Paul R. Goode, addressing the 175th Infantry Regiment, Twentyninth Infantry Division, before D-Day.
"We shall see who fights better and who dies more easily, the German soldier faced with the destruction of his homeland or the Americans and British, who don’t even know what they are fighting for in Europe."
—Gen. Alfred Jodl, operations chief of the German high command, early 1944.
"Well, is it or isn’t it the invasion?"
— Adolf Hitler to Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel on the afternoon of 6 June.