Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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General Dwight D. Eisenhower to General George C. Marshall, 5 July 1944

Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe General Dwight D. Eisenhower supplemented his official reports with regular personal letters to General George C. Marshall, chief of staff of the U.S. Army. One month after the Normandy landings, American forces faced fierce and difficult fighting in France, in conditions which Eisenhower graphically described.

. . . . I spent four days in the beachhead. We began attacking southward with the VIII Corps on the 3rd and the VII Corps joined in with one Division on July 4th. I was particularly anxious to visit these Corps and their Divisions during actual operations. The going is extremely tough, with three main causes responsible. The first of these, as always, is the fighting quality of the German soldier. The second is the nature of the country. Our whole attack has to fight its way out of very narrow bottlenecks flanked by marshes and against an enemy who has a double hedgerow and an intervening ditch almost every fifty yards as ready-made strong points. The third cause is the weather. Our air has been unable to operate at maximum efficiency and on top of this the rain and mud were so bad during my visit that I was reminded of Tunisian wintertime. It was almost impossible to locate artillery targets although we have plenty of guns available. Even with clear weather it is extraordinarily difficult to point out a target that is an appropriate one for either air or artillery.


Further Reading
Joseph Patrick Hobbs, ed., Dear General: Eisenhower's Wartime Letters to Marshall (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971), 194–195. Reprinted with permission of the Eisenhower Library. .
 

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