What happened on the beaches and in the skies above France allowed for an Allied victory in Europe, one that ended with both Germany and Berlin split in hemispheres of control, one Western, one Soviet.
What if it had failed? There are fictionalized accounts, alternative-history novels that ask and answer that question as well, should your literary tastes lean in that direction.
We can't begin to imagine the strain that was felt by both the men about to embark on the mission and the leaders who planned it. But there was one man from whom the decision finally sprang, and that man, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, on the eve of the battle, filled with uncertainty, did something that almost none of our leaders today will do.
He accepted blame for the failure of the mission.
Sen. Pat Toomey posted a fascinating glimpse into history on his Facebook page yesterday: A copy of a handwritten letter from Eisenhower written on the eve of invasion, June 5, 1944.
There are stark glimpses into the fallibility of the man who carried five stars on his shoulders during World War II and who would later occupy the White House.
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