If he had let Rommel have his way on D-Day with the armored and the counterattack, we’d be speaking German today.
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Everywhere you looked, there was ships. There was noise, there was aircraft, there was maximum class activity. Before we got into the landing craft assault, I looked at Hutchison, he was down and we were talking about something, I can’t remember what it was. And he looked at me and he said, “We’re all set, sir.” I said, “Hutch,” it’s one of the few times I didn’t call him Sergeant. I said, “Hutch, if I do something stupid or screw up, hit me on the head, don’t let anything happen to those jocks, you look after them because you know how to do it.” And he sort of smiled at me, he said, “Don’t worry sir,” he said, “If you feel that way, we’ve got no problems.”
The next time he gave me any advice was when we were in the landing craft assault and the weather was rotten, it was windy, and our little landing craft assault [used to ferry troops from transport ships to attack enemy-held shores] was just like a cork bobbing all over the place. And I’d picked up a bully beef sandwich for some flipping reason, don’t ask me why, but I had this damn big bully beef sandwich in my hand and I’m standing up in the front and I’m sort of looking around, trying to see what’s happening and what’s doing, chewing on this bully beef sandwich and all of a sudden, I had a tap on my shoulder and I looked around and Hutch was there and he was green and sick. And I looked around behind him and my jocks were the same color. He looked at me and he said, “Sir, turf that flipping sandwich, will you?” And if you can imagine sitting there seasick and this guy in front of you is standing there eating a bully beef sandwich, you’d feel the same way.
Hitler always figured, fortunately, the British scheme worked. He figured Normandy was a faint. Pas-de-Calais was the main force. This was coming, one day, two day, three days after. He held back his tanks, he didn’t trust his generals. Corporals that make field marshals all have the same problem, whether his name be Napoleon, whether it be Caesar or whether it be Hitler, they all had the same attitude. And thank God for that. He held the armor. If he had let Rommel have his way on D-Day with the armored and the counterattack, we’d be speaking German today.