What Do You Want Me To Do? Go Out And Measure The Holes With A Ruler?

On 5 June 1944, the German C-in-C for the Western front (Oberfeldshaber West usually abbreviated to OB West) signalled to all subordinate commands and to German Armed Forces High Command: “as yet there is no immediate prospect of invasion.”

The Allied landings at Normandy commenced at dawn on the next day, 6 June 1944 – D-Day.

Early on the morning of 6 June 1944, the BBC French Service begin to broadcast to the people of coastal France:

“This is London calling. I bring you an urgent instruction from the Supreme Commander … the lives of many of you depend upon the speed … with which you obey it … leave your towns at once … get as quickly as possible into open country …”

Dawn 6 June 1944.  The following is from The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day by Cornelius Ryan. Although this book is quite dated, some of the personal interviews the author conducted and wrote about are priceless including this one based on a personal interview with Major Pluskat after the war.

From his bunker overlooking Omaha Beach Major Pluskat rings through to division HQ:

“It’s the invasion! There must be ten thousand ships out here!”

Division HQ: “Which way are the ships headed?”

Pluskat: “Right for me!”

Division to Pluskat several minutes later: “What’s the situation?”

“We’re being shelled!”

“Exact location of shelling?”

“For God’s sake, they’re falling all over. What do you want me to do? Go out and measure the holes with a ruler?”


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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

2 thoughts on “What Do You Want Me To Do? Go Out And Measure The Holes With A Ruler?”

  1. Toward the end of the clip, note the black and white stripes on the wings and fuselage of each of the Allied fighter aircraft. Just a week or so before D-Day, every single Allied aircraft in the European theater except for strategic bombers had these stripes painted on them to help Allied troops recognize Allied aircraft and not shoot at them. It didn’t work. Allied soldiers were notorious for opening up on any aircraft they saw.

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