Lessons Learned From D-Day


I have become a student of American history in the last few years.  I have not always had a love for it, but I began to become fascinated with it.  As the anniversary of D-Day just came on June 6th I decided to read a book on the subject.  I’m a novice when it comes to WWII history so I decided I wanted to learn more about it. As I work through Stephen Ambrose’s book D-Day (still reading it as I’m writing) I’m amazed at the level of bravery and devotion that these men had for their country.

The Battle of Normandy began on June 6, 1944 (D-Day) and lasted until August of 1944.  The battle resulted in the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control. More than 4,000 allied troops died on D-Day, to help put that number in perspective; more American’s died on that day than in the entire Iraq War.

Our 34th President General Dwight D. Eisenhower led the efforts of planning and carrying out the assault on the beaches of Normandy.  What I have learned so far in my reading is General Eisenhower and his staff spent an enormous amount of time planning this invasion.  In his book, Ambrose said “the operation was the most thoroughly planned amphibious operation in history.”

If you read the book you will see how meticulous they were. Eisenhower was very detailed and expected those he led to carry that same level of detail.  Eisenhower said “before the battle is joined plans are everything.”  Not only did they cover the basis in planning, but they made sure they had the right mindset.

Eisenhower said:

“This operation is not being planned with any alternatives.  This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it is going to be.  We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success.”

What a powerful statement!  His viewpoint was that losing and failure was not an option.  I don’t know about you, but I need to start everyday off knowing that victory is the way it is going to be. Within a year Germany surrendered!

Are you planning with victory and success in mind?
Will you throw everything you have into your dream?
Have you thrown away all the other alternatives besides victory?

“We will accept nothing less than victory!” – Eisenhower

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Great lesson! Reading this post and your points reminds me of the importance of our inward dialog and thoughts. Our self-talk and what we think will drive our actions and attitude. If we want to move toward success and achieve great things, it starts on the inside.

    • http://lukeroland.com/ Luke Roland

      Hey Dan, thanks for sharing that. I have to remind myself everyday to speak and think the right things. It is so natural to think negatively.

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

        Ya, me too:)