- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Field Marshal B L Montgomery and Dwight Eisenhower
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 03 January 2006
These transcriptions of messages recieved were entered onto the peoples war website by Rod Sutton on behalf of Dave Burleigh who fully understands and accepts the sites terms and conditions.
21 Army Group Personal Message from the C — in — C
On this day of victory in Europe I feel I would like to speak to all who have served and fought with me during the last few years. What I have to say is very simple and quite short.
I would ask you all to remember those of our comrades who fell in the struggle. They gave theirs lives that others might have freedom, and no man can do more than that. I believe that he would say to each of them:
“Well done thou good and faithful servant.”
And we who remain have seen the thing through to the end. We all have a feeling of great joy and thankfulness that we have been preserved to see this day. We must remember to give the praise and thankfulness where it is due:
“This is the Lords doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
In the early days of this war the British Empire stood alone against the combined might of the axis powers. And during those days we suffered some great disasters, but we stood; firm on the defensive, but striking blows where we could. Later we were joined by Russia and America and from then onwards the end was in no doubt. Let us never forget what we owe to our Russian and American allies; this great allied team has achieved much in war; may it achieve even more in peace.
Without doubt, great problems lie ahead; the world will not recover quickly from the upheaval that has taken place; there is much work for each one of us. I would say that we face up to that work with the same fortitude that we faced up to the worst days of the war. It may be that some difficult times lie ahead for our country, and each one of us personally. If it happens thus, then our discipline will pull us through; but we must remember that the best discipline implies the subordination of self for the community.
It has been a privilege and an honour to command this great British Empire team in Western Europe. Few commanders can have had such loyal service as you have given me. I thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart.
And so let us embark on what lies ahead full of joy and optimism. We have won the German war. Let us now win the peace.
Good luck to you all, wherever you may be.
(Sgd) B L Montgomery
21 Army Group
Orders of the Day and Congratulatory Messages Received
July 12th 1944
The Chief Engineer 1 Corps wishes to thank all ranks of 71 Field Company for the work they have done whilst under command of 1 Corps and states that the company has very good reason to be proud of its achievements since the operation commenced and wishes the Company every success in the future.
August 14th 1944
Order of the day by the Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight Eisenhower
To the United Soldiers, Sailors, and Airman:
Through your combined skill, valour and fortitude you have created in France a fleeting but definite opportunity for major allied victory, one whose realisation will mean notable progress towards the final downfall of our enemy. In the past I have in moments of unusual significance, made special appeals to the Allied Forces it has been my honour to command.
Without exception the response has been unstinted and the results beyond my expectations. Because the victory we can now achieve is infinitely greater than any it has so far been possible to accomplish in the west and because this opportunity may be grasped only through the utmost zeal against the German nation and speedy action, I make my present appeal to you more urgent than ever before.
I request every airman to make it his direct responsibility that the enemy is denied safety either in fight or flight.
I request every sailor to make sure that no part of the hostile forces can escape or be reinforced by sea, and that our comrades on land want nothing that guns and ships and ships-companies can bring to them.
I request every soldier to go forward to his assigned objective with determination that the enemy can survive only through surrender. Let a foot of ground once gained be relinquished, nor a single German escape through a line once established.
With all of us resolutely performing our special tasks, we can make this week a momentous one in the history of this war. A pleasant and fruitful week for us, a fateful one for the ambitions of the Nazi pirates.
(Sgd) Dwight D Eisenhower
November 14th 1944
With regard to the engineer ops carried out 5th-9th November 44 the Corps Commander concerned renders his thanks to all ranks for their hard work and for the excellent results achieved. Commander Army Group Royal Engineers adds his congratulations. CRE in passing on this well deserved commendation wishes all ranks to know he well realises that the tasks which fell to this formation did not give any unit the opportunity of bringing all its skill into play. The manner in which the less interesting tasks were tackled and carried through was particularly praiseworthy. It contributed greatly to the success of the operation.
The following message was received from CE 12 Corps
The Engineer Force which effected the Rhine crossing on the front of the Rhine crossing of 12 Corps is now breaking up.
I want to thank you all for your very loyal co-operation and the extremely fine show you put up.
The FMN and units, which did the work, were simply splendid. In the term “Engineer Force” I include of course the many attached units of other arms and services — the RN Detachments, 85Br Coy RCASC and the RASC Dets, and the Pioneer Companies. It does not matter what your units were doing, whether it was bridge building, ferrying, stormboats, or roadwork, every unit, which took part, played a vital part in the operation.
You “delivered the goods” as Senior Royal Engineer Officer of the 12th Corps I congratulate you and all ranks under your command on the successful completion of a historic achievement of military engineering.
From: Second Army TPS
C57(.) The following victory order of the day issued by the Supreme Commander is to be delivered to every member of all Headquarters and units under your command (.)
From SHAEF FWD signed Eisenhower (.) Quote men and women of the Allied Expeditionary Force the crusade on which we embarked in the early summer of 1944 has reached its glorious conclusion (.) It is my especial privilege in the name of all the nations represented in this theatre of war to commend each of you for valiant performance of duty (.) Though these words are feeble they come from the bottom of a heart overflowing with pride in your loyal service and admiration for you as warriors(.)
Your accomplishments at sea in the air on the ground and in the field of supply have astonished the world (.) Even before the final week of the conflict you had put five million of the enemy permanently out of the war (.) You have taken your stride military tasks so difficult as to be classed by many doubters as impossible (.) You have defeated and destroyed your savagely fighting foe (.) On the road to victory you have endured every discomfort and privation and have surmounted every obstacle ingenuity and desperation could in your path (.) You did not pause until our front was firmly joined up with the great Red Army coming from the east and other Allied Forces coming from the south (.) Full Victory in Europe has been attained (.) Working and fighting together in a single and indestructible partnership you have achieved a perfection of unification of Air Ground and Naval Power that will stand as a model in our time (.) The route you have traveled through hundreds of miles is marked by graves of former comrades (.) From them has been exacted the ultimate sacrifice — blood of many nations American, British, French, Polish, and others helped us gain the victory (.) Each of the fallen died as a member of the team to which you belong bound together by a common love of liberty and a refusal to submit to enslavement (.) No monument of stone no memorial of whatever magnitude could so well express our respect and veneration for their sacrifice as would perpetuation of the spirit of comradeship in which they died (.) As we celebrate Victory in Europe let us remind ourselves that our common problems of the immediate and distant future can be best solved in the same conceptions of co-operation and devotion to the cause of human freedom as have made this Expeditionary Force such a mighty engine of righteous destruction (.) Let us have no part in the profitless quarrels in which men will inevitably engage as to what country what service won the European war (.) Every man every woman of every nation here represented has served according to his or her ability and the efforts of each have contributed to the outcome (.) This we shall remember — and in doing so we shall be revering each honoured grave and be sending comfort to the loved ones of comrades who could live to see this day (.)
Signed Dwight Eisenhower.
As written in cipher.
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