"Soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied expeditionary force: You are about to embark upon a great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving peoples everywhere march upon you. You will bring about the destruction of the German war, machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the German great defeat in open battle man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."
D-Day order by Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 6th 1944.
During the Second World War Gibraltar become an important British naval base as it guarded the narrow entrance to the Western Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. As a result it was frequently bombed by the Luftwaffe. It was also attacked by the airforce of the Vichy regime in reprisal for the British attacks on the French fleet in July 1940. On November 7th 1942, General Eisenhower had a secret meeting in Gibraltar with General Henri Giraud to discuss Operation Torch for the invasion of North Africa.