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To Franklin D. Roosevelt and Henry L. Stimson
June 14, 1944 Radio No. S-53824 London, England
For the President and the Secretary of War from General Marshall eyes only. TOPSEC.
Conditions on the beachhead are generally favorable with but minor difficulties or delays. The Germans appear unable to muster a sizeable counter-attack for some days to come. Interruption of communications by Air Forces appears to have been effected. Operations of French resistance groups now appear to be growing in importance and effect.
Morale of all our troops and particularly higher commanders, is high. Replacements of men and materiel are being promptly executed throughout the US beachhead. I was much impressed by the calm competence of 1st Army Commander Bradley and by the aggressive attitude of his corps commanders. Our new divisions, as well as those which have been battle tested, are doing splendidly and the Airborne Divisions have been magnificent.
The organization of the beaches was on a remarkable scale of efficiency under Generals Hoge at OMAHA and Wharton at UTAH.1
The creation of the artificial harbor off OMAHA beach proceeds with rapidity. I think exceeding expectations. It is a tremendous affair and bears a very important relationship to the success of our expansion and drive in France.
Eisenhower and his Staff are cool and confident, carrying out an affair of incredible magnitude and complication with superlative efficiency. I think we have these Huns at the top of the toboggan slide, and the full crash of the Russian offensive should put the skids under them. There will be hard fighting and the enemy will seize every opportunity for a skillful counter stroke, but I think he faces a grim prospect.
Releases and estimates from General Eisenhower’s Headquarters have been and should continue to be conservative in tone. The foregoing is my personal and confidential estimate.2
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Office of the Secretary of War (RG 107), Secretary of War Safe, French, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. Brigadier General William M. Hoge was commanding general of the Provisional Engineer Special Brigade Group which assaulted OMAHA Beach on June 6. The unit cleared landing areas and roads and established supply dumps for ammunition, food, and gasoline for the combat units. (William M. Hoge, interviewed by George R. Robertson, General William M. Hoge, US Army, Engineer Memoirs Series [Washington: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1993], pp. 116-23. For further information regarding Hoge, see Marshall to Mrs. Hoge, July 20, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-460 [4: 529-30].) Brigadier General James E. Wharton led the First Engineer Special Brigade onto UTAH Beach on June 6, with the mission to organize that area of the beachhead.
2. For additional accounts by General Marshall of his visit to Normandy, see Marshall Statement for the Stars and Stripes, June 16, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-416 [4: 485-86], and Marshall to Stark, July 11, 1944, #4-444 [4: 514-15].
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. 479-480.