another realm

a picture says more than words


Queen Elizabeth’s Letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower , 01/24/1960 

Item from Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum Manuscripts Collection. (04/01/1985)

Enclosed in this letter are Queen Elizabeth’s further instructions for her drop scone recipe. It is written on Buckingham Palace note paper and signed “Yours Sincerely, Elizabeth R.”


Whoa! My handwriting is much more better and readable than queen elizabeth’s handwriting!


Eisenhower’s D-Day Order of the Day 

On the morning of the Allied invasion of France an Order of the Day from Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower was disseminated to every sailor and soldier aboard the invasion armada and to every airman about to take to the air over Normandy.  Above are two scans of Eisenhower’s Order of the Day.  The first is an early typed draft with Eisenhower’s own hand written changes to the order.  This early copy was only declassified in 1973 and gives an insight into how Eisenhower sought to create a sense of the importance of the occasion and create an inclusive and united tone.

The second image, bearing the insignia of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, the finished address was intended to be a message of encouragement to every sailor, soldier and airman about to go into action on the eve of the greatest combined air-sea-land operation ever undertaken.  Eisenhower began writing the speech in February 1944, and spent months drafting.  Once finally completed the address was printed and was also broadcast to Allied forces and later rebroadcast by Allied radio stations and played over Newsreels covering the invasion.

Both of these documents are held by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

Listen to the speech read in full by the man himself here


Image One Source

Image Two Source


Today is the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, these images show the moments before and after the landing operations onto Omaha Beach.

Almost immediately after France fell to the Nazis in 1940, the Allies planned a cross-Channel assault on the German occupying forces, ultimately code-named Operation Overlord. By May 1944, 2,876,000 Allied troops were amassed in southern England. The largest armada in history, made up of more than 4,000 American, British, and Canadian ships, lay in wait, and more that 1,200 planes stood ready. Against a tense backdrop of uncertain weather forecasts, disagreements in strategy, and related timing dilemmas, Eisenhower decided before dawn on June 5 to proceed with Overlord.

As the attack began, Allied troops came against formidable obstacles; Germany had thousands of soldiers dug into bunkers, defended by artillery, mines, tangled barbed wire, machine guns, and other hazards to prevent landing craft from coming ashore. By the end of the day 155,000 Allied troops were ashore and in control of 80 square miles of the French coast but at a heavy cost of 4,900 casualties. 

To view more images and find out more information about D-Day visit our new online Google Cultural Institute exhibit “1944 D-Day and the Normandy Invasion”: Follow along with events around #DDay70.

Images: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer (RG 111), General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1798-1947 (RG 80), and Records of the U.S. Coast Guard (RG 26).


Omaha Beach and Utah Beach were two of five sectors that made up the Allied invasion of German occupied France. They are located on the coast of Normandy, facing the English Channel, and are each 5 miles long.

Taking Omaha was the responsibility of the United States soldiers, with sea transport and naval artillery support provided by the U.S. Navy and elements of the British Royal Navy. 

These two maps of Omaha beach alerted the 1st and 29th U.S. Divisions, the 5th Ranger Battalion, and 5th Engineer Special Brigade to the expected obstacles that they would encounter when they landed on June 6, 1944.

In addition to Omaha Beach, the U.S. soldiers assaulted Utah Beach. These two maps of Utah Beach alerted the VII U.S. Corps and the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions to the obstacles that they would encounter when they landed.

Maps from the records from the Army Map Service (RG 77)

Troops arriving at the beaches US soldiers at Omaha beach D-Day The D-Day landings


June 6th 1944: D-Day

On this day in 1944, the D-Day landings began on the beaches of Normandy as part of the Allied ‘Operation Overlord’. The largest amphibious military operation in history, the operation involved thousands of Allied troops landing in France. For those landing on the beaches of Normandy, they faced heavy fire, mines and other obstacles on the beach, but managed to push inland. In charge of the operation was future US President General Dwight Eisenhower and leading the ground forces was British General Bernard Montgomery. The landings proved a decisive Allied victory, as they secured a foothold in France which had been defeated by Nazi Germany in 1940. D-Day was a key moment in the Second World War and helped turn the tide of the war in favour of the Allies. 70 years on, we remember not just the strategic victory that was D-Day but also the ultimate sacrifice paid by thousands of soldiers on both sides of the fighting.

“You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.”
- Eisenhower’s message to the Allied Expeditionary Force

70 years ago today


615mm “Karl” type mortar

"Karl-Gerät" (040/041) (German literally "Karl-device"), also known as Thor and Mörser Karl, was a World War II German self-propelled siege mortar (Mörser) designed and built by Rheinmetall. It was the largest self-propelled weapon to see service.[1] Its heaviest munition was a 60 cm (24 in) diameter, 2,170 kg (4,780 lb) shell, and the range for its lightest shell of 1,250 kg (2,760 lb) was just over 10 km (6.2 mi). Each gun had to be accompanied by a crane, a heavy transport trailer, and several modified tanks to carry shells.


Hitler on a state visit to Italy - 1938.

"how long do I have to stand here? I have to pee!" — A. Hitler


(Source: axishistory)

Fallshirmjaeger training

(Source: houseofrandom)

"The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you." — Eisenhower

"Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone." — Eisenhower

(Notes for an announcement, written in advance of the Normandy invasion, in case of its failure, but never delivered (June 1944)