Monday, May 30, 2016

A General apologizes to the dead on Memorial Day 1945

Mauldin's account of Gen. Truscott's speech at Nettuno is the best record we have of that day.  He recalled the general taking the stand and then turning his back on the audience in order to address the buried corpses arrayed behind him. "It was the most moving gesture I ever saw," Mauldin said.

In his heavy rasp, Truscott told the dead men that he was sorry for what he had done. He said that leaders all tell themselves that deaths in war aren't their fault, that such carnage is inevitable. Deep down, though, if they're honest with themselves, he said, commanders and politicians know it's not true. Truscott admitted he had made mistakes, perhaps many.

Then he asked the dead to forgive him. He was requesting the  impossible, he knew, but he needed to ask anyway. - See more at:
I had never heard of General Lucien Truscott before.  He seems like he was quite a man.


Jeffrey Smith said...

You probably heard of his grandson, L. Truscott IV, who wrote "Dress Gray". Which I read so long ago that all I remember is that it was not as good as "Lords of Discipline".

Old NFO said...

I do remember Mauldin talking about that at a conference. Impressive...

cdw said...

If you watch the movie Patton, there is a particularly moving scene where Gen. Patton admonishes Gen. Truscott about being to conservative in battle. The actor portraying Gen. Truscott is amazing in the role, if even for only 4 minutes.

Atom Smasher said...

Read Perret's "There's a War to be Won!: The U.S. Army in WWII"

Covers all the relevant divisional commanders, has some nice things to say about Truscott.