Restaurant Le Roosevelt - Utah Beach

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

The General Roosevelt

Of the three regiments taking part in the Omaha Beach landings one was attached to the 29th Division, and the other two to the 1st Infantry Division.
The insignia of the 1st Infantry Division is the number 1 in reed, so it has often been called the "Big red one". Apart from the paratroopers, it was without doubt the toughest and most of the men come from New York. While they did not have the height and broad shoulders of Texans and men from the Mid West, they claim to have had the best military training - fighting for seats in the New York subway. Their commanding officer used to say to his colleagues "My men may be short, but they have a good heart. This was the third landing for Big Red One. Its first engagement was in North Africa in 1942, where they routed Rommels Afrika Korps in Tunisia. In 1943 they landed in Sicily. It was tough. On the second day, the Germans attacked with the Tiger tanks and experienced troops of the Hermann Goering Division. The New Yorkers were unfazed when they saw the tanks approaching them from the hills. They stayed in their dug-outs while the remaining tanks passed over them. Without the support of their infantry, the German tanks were forced to return to their home base. It was a feat of arms remarkable for its courage and resolution. But glory went to the head of the Big Red One. It was proud but undisciplined, only respecting orders from the two Generals commanding the Division Allen and Roosevelt. Roosevelt was the eldest son of Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States from 1901-1909, and was a distant cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt, President at the time of the D-Day landings in 1944.

Brigadier General Roosevelt was a short man with a weather-beaten face and a husky voice, of whom General Bradley said: "I have never met a more courageous man".

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