History of War

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, JR.

He was 56 years old and kept knowledge of a heart condition to himself. He walked with a cane due to an old wound suffered during World War I and was recovering from a bout with pneumonia. But Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of the famed 26th President of the United States, would not take “no” for an answer.

Assistant commander of the US 4th Infantry Division, Roosevelt intended to accompany the first wave of troops as they came ashore at Utah Beach in French Normandy during Operation Overlord on D-Day, 6 June 1944. He wrote a passionate plea to division commander Major General Raymond O. “Tubby” Barton explaining, “The force and skill with which the first elements hit the beach and proceed may determine the ultimate success of the operation.” Further, in a letter to his wife, Eleanor, he reasoned, “It steadies the young men to know I’m with them, to see me plodding along

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