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  1. #1
    Registered dockrocker's Avatar
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    May 2002

    OT: D-Day, 58 years ago today.

    The D-Day invasion occurred 58 years ago today. Prior to the Allied landing in Normandy, General George Patton gave a speech to his troops. Here is what he said:

    *** Fair warning, there is some medium-strong language, but nothing too bad, I think ***

    Men, this stuff we hear about America wanting to stay out of the war, not wanting to fight, is a lot of bull****. Americans love to fight - traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the big-league ballplayers, the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win - all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost, nor ever will lose, a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to an American.

    You are not all going to die. Only 2 percent of you here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Every man is frightened at first in battle. If he says he isn't, he's a goddamn liar. Some men are cowards, yes! But they fight just the same, or get the hell shamed out of them watching men who do fight who are just as scared. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some get over their fright in a minute under fire, some take an hour. For some it takes days. But the real man never lets fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to this country, and his innate manhood.

    All through your Army career you have *****ed about "chicken**** drill." That is all for a purpose. Drilling and discipline must be maintained in any army if for only one reason - instant obedience to orders and to create constant alertness. I don't give a damn for a man who is not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready. A man to continue breathing must be alert at all times. If not, some time a German son-of-a-***** will sneak up behind him and beat him to death with a sock full of ****.

    There are 400 neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily because one man went to sleep on his job. But they were German graves, for we caught the bastard asleep before his officers did.

    An Army is a team - lives, sleeps, eats, fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is a lot of crap. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for The Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting, under fire, than they do about fornicating. We have the best food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best fighting men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity these poor sons-of-*****es we are going up against. By God, I do!

    My men don't surrender. I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he is hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight. That's not just bull****, either. The kind of man I want under me is like the lieutenant in Libya who, with a Lugar against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the German with the helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German: All this with a bullet through his lung. That's a man for you.

    All real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every man in the Army plays a vital part. Every little job is essential. Don't ever let down, thinking your role is unimportant. Every man has a job to do. Every man is a link in the great chain. What if every truck driver decided he didn't like the whine of the shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into the ditch? He could say to himself, "They won't miss me - just one in thousands." What if every man said that? Where in hell would we be now?

    No, thank God, Americans don't say that! Every man does his job; every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important to the vast scheme of things. The Ordnance men are needed to supply the guns, the Quartermaster to bring up the food and clothes to us - for where we're going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man in the mess hall, even the one who heats the water to keep us from getting the GIs, has a job to do. Even the chaplain is important, for if we get killed and if he is not there to bury us, we'd all go to hell.

    Each man must not only think of himself but of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should all be killed off like flies. If not, they will go back home after the war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed brave men. Kill off the goddamn cowards and we'll have a nation of brave men.

    One of the bravest men I ever saw in the African campaign was on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of furious fire while we were plowing toward Tunis. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at that time. He answered, "Fixing the wire, sir." "Isn't it a little unhealthy right now?" I asked. "Yes sir, but this goddamn wire's got to be fixed." There was a real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how great the odds, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time.

    You should have seen those trucks on the road to Gabes. The drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-*****ing roads - never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting around them all the time. We got through on good old American guts. Many of those men drove over 40 consecutive hours. Those weren't combat men. But they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it - and in a whale of a way. They were part of a team. Without them the fight would have been lost. All the links in the chain pulled together and that chain became unbreakable.

    Don't forget, you don't know I'm here. No word of the fact is to be mentioned in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell became of me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this Army. I'm not even supposed to be in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the goddamn Germans. Someday I want them to raise up on their hind legs and howl, "Ach, it's the goddamn Third Army and that son-of-a-***** Patton again."

    We want to get the hell over there. We want to get over there and clear the goddamn thing up. You can't win a war lying down. The quicker we clean up this goddamn mess, the quicker we can take a jaunt against the Japs and clean their nest out too, before the Marines get all the goddamn credit.

    Sure, we all want to be home. We want this thing over with. The quickest way to get it over is to get the bastards. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin. When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get him eventually, and the hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don't dig foxholes. I don't want them to. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don't give the enemy time to dig one. We'll win this war but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans we've got more guts than they do.

    There is one great thing you men will all be able to say when you go home. You may thank God for it, thank God that at least 30 years from now - when you're sitting around the fireside with your grandson on your knees, and he asks you what you did in the great war - you won't have to cough and say, "I shoveled **** in Louisiana."
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  2. #2
    Boat Girl
    Dockrocker- Thanks for the post...and thanks to both of my Grandfathers that served in WWII one on a B17 and one as a Captain of a hospital ship...Thanks to all that served...and still serve

  3. #3
    Registered dockrocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Too Old and BG, you're welcome. I'm something of a politics/history buff (gee, considering those were my majors in college, ya think there's any connection? ).

    There are a number of good speeches at this site, including Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" address and Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Powerful oratory, to be sure - much different than the poll-produced verbal diarreha that is the usual case today.

    If I may, I'd like to post one more excerpt, from a speech by Samuel Adams in 1776. I read this soon after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and it struck me how well it seemed to fit over 200 years later.

    ]"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then ask yourself, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices? Are we just to do nothing? To allow the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the Earth?' I detest any submission to a people who have either ceased to be human, or have not virtue enough to feel their own wretchedness. If ye love comfort better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, [then] go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands of your master. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" - Samuel Adams, 1776
    Too bad that sort of passion for liberty and freedom is sadly lacking these days.

    DR, off the soap box.


    Side note - hey Too Old, how about some new pics in your personal gallery. I gathered up the various ones you've posted of the Sonic and showed them to the Mrs - her response - WOW!!

  4. #4
    My grandfather served as an Infantry officer in the 29th Division (Bucket of blood) which was under Patton's command in the European campain. He had some great stories to tell.

    If you watch the movie "Patton" they have the above speech in the movie, great speech. We need more Americans like him.

  5. #5
    Registered Shane's Avatar
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    Oct 2000
    Lake George, NY it's not called "Queen of American Lakes" for nothin'!
    Ditto to all the above! Thanks for sharing. Let us not forget the battle of Midway that took place prior to DDay and allowed for its success. Too many people today have forgotten how important fighting for our freedom is! It is such a shame when people today do not respect our flag and blood, sweat and tears that went in to its ability to fly proudly today. Unfortunately, there is way too much political correctness today. We need to do what we need to do more often these days and hold people accountable for their actions. THANKS TO ALL HAVE, ARE, AND WILL SERVE OUR COUNTRY! I for one love you for it and will be eternally grateful as know others are as well.

  6. #6
    Boat Girl
    dockrocker- thanks for the link, I love stuff like that too...I agree people today just dont appreciate the history, its sad that it took something like 9/11 to awaken the spirit of pride for our country and our freedoms...

  7. #7
    I found this letter in todays local paper here in San diego, I thought it fit in with this topic.

    On this day, let us remember those who served
    Today is June 6, D-Dayıs 58th anniversary. The troopship, the rope ladders, the landing craft, the ocean water, the enemy firepower, the din of battle, the assault inland, the subsequent capture of Cherbourg, and the breakthrough at St. Lo. In this Normandy invasion, 9,000 Americans were killed and 15,000 wounded.
    Six months later, during the most severe winter in memory there, in the Ardennes, the single largest WWII battle on the Western front was fought, involving 600,000 American soldiers, resulting in almost 20,000 killed, 40,000 wounded and 20,000 captured. Many of the units were the same ones that hit the beach on D-Day.
    Survivors of these battles are leaving us at the rate of 1,000 a month nationally. Approximately 150 live in North County and were recipients last year of the French governmentıs Liberation Medal for their participation in the D-Day and Normandy invasion.
    On this day, let us particularly commemorate those of that ³Greatest Generation² who gave up their tomorrows for our todays, and acknowledge those forgotten European campaign veterans still among us. If you know one, thank him for his contribution to sustaining our way of life, our freedom and our democracy.

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