Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
Re-deployment operations, pp. 26-27 PDF (480.4 KB)
Re-Deployment Operations At the Majestic Hotel, headquarters of U.S.A. General Staff, the Colonel in charge spoke for an hour about the invasion on D-Day, and plans for re-deployment. He told us how landing boats built in the States were constructed specially for landing on difficult "Omaha Beach." He explained how pipe lines were built to supply gasoline all the way from "Omaha Beach" to the Rhine; how the Army had lost 40 days coming down through Normandy, due largely to bad weather, and then had beat their schedule 50 days in getting to the Rhine. At times the Army moved so rapidly that gasoline had to be flown by airplane to front line troops. The Colonel also explained about re-deployment centers par- ticularly located at Reims and Le Havre, where the boys were being assembled in 3 categories: (1) directly for shipment to Japan, (2) for shipment to Japan through the States, and (3) for shipment to the States for discharge. He told us how the clothes and equipment of the Army were all being renovated, every man being issued renovated uniforms, etc. The coal situation, we were warned, was most acute and Europe is going to face a serious winter, the transportation faci- lities being very poor. After one hour's briefing, we returned to the hotel and met some of the newspaper boys. One of our correspondents who had been with the Army since D-Day said that our soldiers seemed to dislike the outfit fighting next to them more than they did the enemy. In other words, the spirit of competition between the various outfits was intense. He cited, for example, that in Nor- mandy he came in one evening and told a group that the company next to them had been captured. The reply was, "Those dumb So-and-Sos ought to be captured-they never did have any brains." The point our newspaper boy was making was that the American soldier has great initiative, and that the football spirit is always 26
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