Still, we were blessed with great leadership at that time and we might ask, “Will we ever again see the likes of a Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, or a General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied troops in WW2.” Of course, Eisenhower was to become president of the United States in 1950 and his presidency has been hailed as perhaps the last great decade of relative peace and prosperity in America, and where Christian values flourished. He is considered among the top ten greated U.S. presidents. America is poised for another presidential election in 2016 and the aspirants for that office are quickly lining up. Is there another “Eisenhower” in the bunch? For that is the yardstick Americans might consider. Britons recently went to the polls; Canadians will do so this fall; was it a British Churchill they were seeking and are Canadians hoping for another noted MacKenzie King.
But, let’s focus on the greatness of General Eisenhower and the 1944 Normandy landing. On Eisenhower’s shoulders was an immense burden and it took a very uncommon man to carry that burden. Yet, even he must have known that he would need Divine help. In fact, when he ran for president, he reminisced of the awesome decision he was obliged to make and he had said, “If there were nothing in my life to prove the existence of an Almighty and Merciful God, the events of the next twenty-four hours did it”.
Historians looking back at the weeks before that remarkable landing would quickly grasp that even General Eisenhower’s careful preparations for the combined operations of our Armies, the Navy and the Royal Air Force was completely subject to one overriding factor, namely the weather. Indeed, for the successful operation and prosecution of the Normandy Invasion of Hitler’s European fortress, every detail had to be thoroughly thrashed out by the American, the British and the French Staff officers and personnel. All of this careful planning over a long period was entirely dependent upon what sort of weather prevailed at the time chosen for the storming of the Normandy coast.
The assault was planned to take place in the early days of June 1944. In the operational planning, of course, every possible contingency had to be reckoned with. While the General was engaged in conducting the North African invasion, he received the assurance from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, that “Round-up” (the code name for the Cross-channel invasion), would receive the full support of Britain when the time came.
Well, the time did come – June 1944, and the place finally decided upon – the Normandy beaches. But after all the plans had been brought to maturity, and the stage was set the greatest drama in history – the weather broke. At a combined staff meeting of all the responsible leaders, held in London, with everything prepared and with all the men and materials, and equipment and ships placed to “go”, the weather became the deciding factor once again:
General Eisenhower’s meteorological experts could only promise him a possible improvement in the prevailing weather conditions of twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
After these men delivered their chilling analysis, recounting everything that could possibly be said, everyone at that conference remained dead silent with their Commander-in-Chief in their midst. For fully five minutes not a word was spoken, but many Christian men there must have been silently praying that the Lord’s guidance would be given to the man upon whose shoulders rested the tremendous and overwhelming responsibility of deciding if, in view of the doubtful weather conditions, the great assault should be attempted, according to plan.
How would you have reacted if you were at that meeting? Better still, what do you think would be going through your mind if you were in General Eisenhower’s shoes? Most of us would just quiver in our boots, but a great leader instinctively acts with strength, courage and wisdom.
So, after five minutes of deep contemplation, with every eye upon him, General Eisenhower got up and said, “Gentlemen, let’s go”.
The assault was on! The storming of the beaches was to begin.
Another great man of history, King George VI, in an historic address on the night before D-Day called for a day of prayer. His inspiring words should never be forgotten, at least these ones recorded below.
“Four years ago our nation and Empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall. Tested as never before in our history, in God’s providence we survived that test; the spirit of the people, resolute, dedicated, burned like a bright flame, lit surely from those Unseen Fires which nothing can quench.
Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause …. That we may be worthily matched with this new summons of destiny, I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication.
We are not unmindful of our own shortcomings, past and present. We shall ask not that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God; and we dare to believe that God has used our nation and Empire as an instrument for fulfilling His high purpose “.
As an aside, it has been reported in this magazine and our former magazine that George VI was fully aware of his identity as an Israelite. His very words suggest his awareness.
But, just as the Lord God did at Dunkirk years earlier, He heard these words and came to the aid of His People Israel. The weather improved and held for a necessary period, and invasion of Europe was on. It was the key to ending the war and to free nations and people from the Nazi yoke. God had used General Eisenhower and given him the strength and determination to be His David on the battlefield.
And so, once more Anglo-Saxon Israel had proved themselves ‘God’s battle axe and weapons of war,” whereby He broke in pieces the kingdoms who sought to impose their tyrannical will upon the enslaved peoples of a whole Continent. (Jeremiah 51:20-24).