Operation Overlord was orchestrated by the Commanding General of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had responsibility for about three million troops made up of American, British, Canadian, French, Polish, Czech, Belgium, Norwegian, and Dutch contingents (Bowden 2). This responsibility was enough to hobble any man, yet Eisenhower knew the importance of his mission and how critical each part of the assault, the weather, the timing, and each unit’s role. Everyone involved in this offensive knew the outcome to be a deciding factor in the result of WW II. For months troops were deployed on these mock invasions, many of the troops did not know if they were actually going a training mission or the actual deployment of D-Day. Private Rosco Russo was quoted saying; “We would always aim the rifle, squeeze the trigger, and say, “Kraut bastard,” fully expecting that it would make killing Germans a lot easier.” This causes a belief that these multiple deployments on training missions, while staged in England, was to desensitize these young men and to combat complacency. Most of the men who were prepped to be part of the largest offensive of history were under the age of 21
Cited: Beevor, Antony. D-day: the Battle for Normandy. New York: Viking, 2009. Print. Foner, Eric. Give me liberty!: an American history. third ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. Print. Bowden, Mark. Our finest day: D-Day: June 6, 1944. San Francisco: Chronicle Books ;, 2002. Print.