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CBS Reports (1964): "D-Day Plus 20 Years"

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:56 pm
by bru888
"Two decades after D-Day, former Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was Supreme Commander in charge of the operation, returned to Normandy. Eisenhower talked with CBS News' Walter Cronkite about his experiences in June 1944, the tactical decisions behind Operation Overlord, and how British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was talked out of joining the invading forces. Eisenhower and Cronkite visited the Allies' war room on England's southern coast; the coast of France, including Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach; and the American military cemetery at St. Laurent-on-the-Sea. This special broadcast of 'CBS Reports,' featuring newsreel footage of the invasion, originally aired in 19 countries around the world on June 5, 1964."

If you have an hour and a half to spend, I highly recommend this video. It's fascinating and poignant, from how the Americans solved the hedgerow problem with improvised plows welded to the front of Sherman tanks, to the short speech at the end that Eisenhower gives while sitting with Cronkite in the American Cemetery at Saint Laurent. Eisenhower seems to be speaking off the cuff but whether or not the speech was prepared beforehand, well, you listen to him and see if you are not moved by his words.

And I found this to be quite ironic, appearing as the closing credits start rolling:

Image0058.jpg (162.65 KiB) Viewed 367 times ... -normandy/

Re: CBS Reports (1964): "D-Day Plus 20 Years"

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:58 pm
by koopanique
Thanks for the interview!

It's surprising to see Eisenhower, a person, no matter the controversies, who has bore such heavy responsabilities, talking so casually, always smiling, almost laughing somtimes, to the interviewer.

And about the event talked about in this interview, yes, as everyone else here I've read quite a lot about it, and I know most of what there is to know related to geopolitical situation at the time, why the US entered the war, etc. But I'm always awed by the fact that such a war of liberation was indeed fought only 75~ years ago, and I'm always moved when thinking about it. It may not be very healthy to have a "romantic" vision of it but I just can't help it. So much happened during these years, so much death, to defeat the Nazis.

I was at the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, but I was so young I don't remember any of it lol. But I went there several times afterwards, and it's really a fascinating place, thinking such important events happened there. Seeing Eisenhower and the interviewer casually walking around the beaches, headquarters, bunkers, is indeed moving. The interview took place in 1964 -- I think it calls back to time periods that are long past but also so recent, and that have had such an impact on today's world, and that's why it feels so moving.

Re: CBS Reports (1964): "D-Day Plus 20 Years"

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:21 pm
by bru888
Good thoughts, koopanique. I believe we can assume that although Eisenhower was casual and smiling 20 years later, that he never stopped feeling the weight of those responsibilities and decisions which unfortunately led to the deaths of many fine young men. Only keeping in mind that his leadership was meant to help save many more lives, and deliver the world from fascism, would have made such a burden easier to shoulder at the time and to remember so many years later.