Dwight D. Eisenhower was known for being a careful strategist and a diligent planner. This came to take notice in the events following Pearl Harbor where his thinking of fighting the Nazis first before Japan to free up Allied Forces put him in charge of the overall war effort.

Never was that truly put to the test than his role in organizing the Invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Operation Neptune was the name for the landing mission, part of the overall Operation Overlord, and despite the gruesome details of that operation and especially that of Omaha beach, it was a success.

Ultimately, it came down to a few simple things: Allied forces being able to get creative once they arrived to tackle problems that they wouldn’t have been able to predict and train for ahead of time, the Germans having a very rigid and predictable fighting style, and Eisenhower’s methodical planning. Even so far as starting the invasion in-between weather events and knowing a lot of the German western army was on vacation. They even got luckily with the Axis commander, Erwin Rommel, going back home for the day to celebrate his wife’s birthday.

I have my problems, of course, with Eisenhower as a president (for much the same way that all generals-turned-presidents have had difficulty – Washington included) but on this anniversary of D-Day, I’ll give him a salute and cut him some slack!