chapter  6
22 Pages

Manage Results As They Come In

In the annals of the Second World War, one of the most famous assaults of June 6, 1944, or D-Day, took place at Pointe du Hoc, a promontory overlooking the coast in Normandy, France. In the initial planning for the assault, Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder wasn’t slotted to participate. When he was told that he was too valuable to lead what would become renowned as one of D-Day’s most dangerous operations, the young Texan responded with unusual candor. Rudder looked back at Lt. Gen. Clarence Huebner and simply replied: “I’m sorry to have to disobey you, sir, but if I don’t take it, it may not go.” 1

The mission’s objective was daunting. For months, the Nazis had been preparing for the Allied invasion they knew was coming. By the time the Allies launched Operation Overlord in early June 1944, the German military had fortifi ed most of the French coastline. In many of the most strategically placed locations, they had built casements to protect the artillery they would use to repel any invading force. In Normandy, one such location was Pointe du Hoc, situated between Utah and Omaha Beaches. The German cannons there had the ability to pivot and could fi re on both beaches within seconds, wreaking havoc on an invading force. Everyone knew that silencing those guns early would prove critical to the success of any invasion.