News » Whistler

Letters to the editor

comment

Page 4 of 6

The Allies continued to appease, Hitler invaded Poland, still diplomacy went on. Next came the take over of France and then the Netherlands. The wake-up call sounded and war was officially declared.

I was a student in junior high school at that time. My two brothers, 18 and 19, volunteered for service. I also witnessed three uncles go off to war, they were married men with families. Patriotic fever ran high, but as the troop train carried these men off to Halifax and then on to England, it was so hard not to cry, knowing full well they too were crying inside. They were among the lucky ones. They returned six years later. Still young men in years, but old men from what they had to see and do.

The United States did not enter the war for two years. The courageous Allied Forces, including Canadians, were under the command of Field Marshall Montgomery, they were badly equipped in comparison to the Nazi war machine. The Battle of Britain showed the strategy of having a few planes ward off a huge German Luftwaffe, a huge victory. I would like to take the liberty to quote, as you did, to help clarify what took place. This is a personal message from the commander in chief to all troops under his command:

1. The time has come to deliver a terrific blow to the enemy in Western Europe. The blow will be struck by the combined land, sea and air forces of the Allies. Together constituting a great Allied team under the command of General Dwight D Eisenhower.

2. On the eve of the great invasion I send my best wishes to every single soldier in the Allied team. To us has been given the honour of striking a blow for freedom which will live in history; and for the better day ahead which will speak in pride of our doings. We have a great righteous cause. Let us pray that "the lord mighty in battle" will be forth with our armies and his special providence will aid us in the struggle.

3. I want every serviceman to know I have great confidence in the outcome and success of the operations we are about to begin. With stout hearts and enthusiasm for the contest, let us go forth to victory.

4. And as we go into battle let us recall the words a famous soldier spoke to many years ago. "He either fear his fate too much/ or his desserts are small,/ who does not put it to the touch,/ to win or loose it all."