Restaurant Le Roosevelt - Utah Beach



History of the 6th june 44
from "Le grand jour" of Gilles Perrault



The General Roosevelt


His men admired him for his courage and his humility. He talked to them as if he did not have a star on his uniform, using words which went down well with his men who had little time for grand speeches. When the Afrika Korps were defending fiercely against the American assaults in Tunisia, Roosevelt told his men: "When we have finished with the Germans, well get back to Oran and sort out the Military Police". The MP were not very popular with the tough soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division, and they took Roosevelt at his word.The top military brass finally became exasperated with the unruly 1st Infantry Division. Roosevelt left the Division to take part in his third landing, in Corsica with the Free French. After the campaign, General Roosevelt was placed in the position of Chief Liason Officer between General Mark Clark and General Juin of the Free French Forces, for which service he was awarded the Legion of Honor. But shuffling paper was very frustrating for a man who was an explorer before entering the US Army. He wrote to his superior officer General Bradley: "If you want to send me swimming with a 105 shell in my back, thats OK by me. Ill agree to anything. Just do everything you can to get me out of this rat-hole." Bradley admired Roosevelt, even if his strengths and weaknesses were the exact opposite of his own. He told him: "There is no question of you returning to the Big Red One. But there is another Division which will be leading the attack the 4th Infantry Division. Its men have never fired a shot in battle.

Your presence will certainly be a great support to the men, but I should warn you that this will be a batlle where you might well lose your life." It was thus that Brigadier General Roosevelt found himself for the fourth time in a landing craft, this time heading towards the beach in the early dawn of 6 June 1944.

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