"The time has come to deal the enemy a terrific blow in Western Europe."
Montgomery Announces the Normandy Landings to His Troops.
The famous and often-repeated lines written by General Bernard Montgomery to be read out to all troops of the 21st Army Group in the imminent lead-up to the Normandy Landings.
The 21st Army Group was composed of all ground forces participating in Operation Overlord, including the United States First Army and the British Second Army. Montgomery, the Group's commanding officer, was one of the most respected generals of the war and particularly beloved by British troops, although he did experience friction with Eisenhower.
The document introduces the imminent invasion with the line "Good hunting on the mainland of Europe," revealing to the troops that they were finally about to embark on the opening of a new front in the war. The language used by Montgomery is lofty and idealized, speaking of stout hearts, the "Lord Mighty in Battle," and dealing "terrific blow in Western Europe." At the base of the map is a facsimile signature by Montgomery, reading "B. L. Montgomery General C-in-C 21 Army Group."
We locate institutional examples at the Imperial War Museum, the Yale Center for British Art, and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.