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Statement for the Stars and Stripes
Exclusively by General Marshall1
[June 16, 1944] [London, England]
During my visit to the battle area in France there was evidence of a high standard of leadership throughout the command echelons and in the supply and logistical arrangements. The perfectly coordinated procedure in the Channel, on the beaches and throughout the narrow roads and lanes of France was tremendously impressive and on a scale never before attempted.
From every portion of the line where our men were fighting came reports of aggressive action, skill and high morale displayed by the American soldier. Those engaging in their first combat carried themselves like the veterans of the experienced divisions. This probably was the most reassuring aspect of the operation to us and most depressing to the enemy.
To those regiments, rangers, and beach parties who drove the enemy from his concrete shore defenses, and to the parachute troops, we owe a special debt of gratitude. Our planes and ships were present in overwhelming numbers and the air and naval men made a magnificent contribution to the initial success of the operation. I think all America can be proud and confident of its Armed Forces.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed draft.
1. This statement was published in the June 19, 1944, European edition of the Stars and Stripes.
2. For information regarding General Marshall’s trip to the American sector of the Normandy beachhead, see editorial note #4-407, Papers of George Catlett Marshall [4: 478], and Marshall to Roosevelt and Stimson, June 14, 1944, #4-410 [4: 479-80].
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 485-486.