Posted on Theology Mix.
By the first week of June 1944, Nazi Germany controlled most of Western Europe with no sign of their being stopped. To halt their forward progress and destroy their power, Operation Overlord was the code-name given to the Allied invasion of France scheduled for June 1944. From the planning to the execution of the invasion, some of history’s best-known officers were involved in Operation Overlord. These included General Omar Bradley, Lieutenant General Miles Dempsey, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Admiral Alan G. Kirk, Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery, Admiral Bertram H. Ramsay, General Walter Bedell Smith, and Sir Arthur Tedder. General Dwight Eisenhower was named the overall commander of Operation Overlord.
Initially, June 5 was the designated date for the landing in Normandy. Although the risks at Normandy were greater, the beaches were more conducive to a mass landing of people and equipment—an event now considered the largest amphibious assault in history. Allied forces were ready to travel by ship or plane over the English Channel to attack the German army dug in at Normandy, France. However, bad weather hit the channel on June 4. Eisenhower struggled with the idea of postponing Operation Overlord. He had a window of only four days of decent weather in which an invasion would be possible. With weather conditions predicted to worsen over the next two weeks, thousands of personnel and tons of supplies waiting to be moved, during deliberations Eisenhower pointed out, “The question is just how long can you hang this operation on the end of a limb and let it hang there.”
Leave the Result to a Higher Power
In Leadership Lessons from Dwight D. Eisenhower #3, Brett and Kate McKay note,
At 3:30 am, June 5, Eisenhower arose for the last weather briefing. The moment of truth had arrived; the final decision had to be rendered at last. As steaming cups of coffee were passed around, the storm shook the walls of Southwick House; the weather outside offered not the slightest hint of clearing, not a bit of evidence to buttress Stagg’s forecast. But the meteorologist reiterated his prediction: the wind and rain would soon let up and a 36 hour window of fairer weather would emerge. Montgomery and Smith remained on board with moving forward; Tedder disagreed, and Leigh-Mallory continued to doubt that the skies would be clear enough for the aerial assault. Stagg left the room; no more weather reports would be available for several hours. Ike had all the information he would ever have—only he could think through every report, every commander’s opinion, and then act.
Faced with such overwhelming odds, Eisenhower turned to prayer.
Once again Ike paced the polished wood floor, chin tucked to his chest, hands clasped behind his back. The room was silent save the crackling of logs in the fireplace. After only a few turns about the room, Eisenhower faced his staff and quietly but deliberately said: “O.K., let’s go.”
Related article: Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer Is Needed Today