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D-Day: Advising Eisenhower
Eisenhower and advisors at table

Students will examine primary and secondary sources related to General Eisenhower’s decision to invade Normandy. After analyzing the sources, students will prepare a brief for General Eisenhower advising him on the best course of action. Students will develop an understanding of the many factors involved in making important decisions, including dealing with incomplete information. The outcome of decisions such as this one were not guaranteed. We know now what happened, but, at the time, Eisenhower did not.

Working in groups that might reach different conclusions, students will understand the importance of seeking out a variety of perspectives and will learn about how a leader benefits from the advice of his staff and makes tough decisions. Students will create a “Top Secret” memo containing their advice to Eisenhower on the eve of D-Day. These conclusions will be based on direct evidence from the provided sources.

“The essence of leadership is to get others to do something because they think you want it done and because they know it is worth while doing.”

Dwight Eisenhower

Remarks at the Republican Campaign Picnic, President’s Gettysburg Farm, September 12, 1956