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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)

Page 26

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
The point our newspaper boy was making was that the American
soldier has great initiative, and that the football spirit is always

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