It was the longest, most miserable, horrible day
that I or anyone else ever went through.
~ Pvt. Felix Branham
The sixth of June, 1944, was an exhausting day,
a frightening day, an exhilarating day,
a sorrowful day, and a joyous day.
~ Lt. Charles Ryan, Company A
In addition to the inspiration that comes from reading about courage and bravery, I gleaned several principles from this book:
• The tactical difference between planning (offensive) and preparing (defensive).
• The power of exhortation; the more potent force of example.
• Isolation will cause loss of momentum.
• The failure to advance while they had the advantage was a consistent weakness of the Allied forces.
I can easily apply these lessons to the trivial-by-comparison struggle of losing weight. If my weekly weigh-in shows a loss, I reward myself and act like the soldiers who stopped to brew tea instead of moving forward.
This book is crammed with odd bits of information:
• The Tiger, the biggest and best German tank got 1/2 mile to the gallon!
• General Eisenhower did not give a single command on D-Day.
• The D stands for Day (also H-Hour). There are several D-Days in history.
• “We are asking rather a lot if we expect Russians to fight in France for Germany against the Americans.”
• The New York Daily News printed the Lord’s Prayer in place of lead article.
• My favorite sentence: “To see tanks coming out of the water shook them rigid.”