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Eisenhower: President and General

Fascinating People Fascinating Places

Daniel Mainwaring

Documentary, Society & Culture:documentary, Society & Culture, History

51.1K Ratings

🗓️ 9 March 2023

⏱️ 39 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


By June 1944, the winds of war had changed. The German High Command was bracing for an invasion of mainland Europe by a liberating multi-national force. Kansas native, Dwight D Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander of Operation Neptune (D-Day). The successful operation was a turning point in the war, and in Eisenhower’s life. Less than a decade later he made the switch from civilian to military leadership when he was sworn in as the 34th President of the United States. In this episode I speak with two experts on Eisenhower’s life and legacy. Dawn Hammatt is the Director at Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, KS. The campus includes a vast repository of documents and artifacts, including the table he used while planning D-Day. Professor Benjamin P Greene (PhD Stanford) teaches history at Bowling Green University in Ohio. He is also the author of Science Advice, and the Nuclear Test-Ban Debate, 1945-1963 With special thanks to Samantha Prior of the Dwight D Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood home. Sounds: Pixabay Audio: Eisenhower D-day speech, final speech in office both public domain

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By June, 1944, after 5 years of fighting, the winds of war had changed.


The German high command were bracing themselves for the invasion of a liberating Allied force on mainland




The man responsible for Operation Neptune, now better known as D-Day, was Kansas native Dwight Eisenhower.


On the 5th of June, he distributed orders to his troops.


Soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force.


You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade toward which we have striven these many months.


The eyes of the world are upon you.


The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.


D-D-D-D-. D-Day proved to be not just a turning point


in World War II but also a pivotal moment in the life and career of Dwight Eisenhower, who is regarded as one of America's greatest


military heroes and the most popular presidents.


In this episode, I explore the life of Eisenhower, his transition from military leader to President, and his enduring legacy.


Eisenhower's meticulous planning also included preparations for the possibility


that Operation Neptune could fail. He wrote a message titled, In Case of Failure, which was to be


broadcast if the invasion proved unsuccessful. In the message he absolved his troops of any responsibility and said the failure had it come to pass was entirely his.


The original handwritten note thankfully was unneeded, but it survives today, and it may surprise you to learn


that it's situated along the I-70 corridor, often referred to as flyover country that mainly consists of farmland and fills the


540 mile expanse between Topeka, Kansas and Denver, Colorado.


The reason it's housed there, specifically in the historic town of Abilene, is that while


Eisenhower was born in Texas, from the age of two he called Abilene Kansas home. The city now hosts a campus that includes his


childhood home, his tomb, the Eisenhower Presidential Library and a Museum.


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