4
Morocco

War is a pretty dirty business, but politics—by gum!

Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery

'Command in war,' said Napoleon in one of his sincere moments, 'is a fine career.' It has however, even to the most dedicated professional, this drawback—personal success involves the expenditure of the lives of one's fellow men. No commander was ever more conscious of this moral conflict than Patton—a conflict in his innermost heart which he shared with Montgomery who like him believed in God. As the Augusta and the rest of the great fleet neared the Moroccan coast he attended the last communion service before D-Day in company with his staff, all fully conscious that it might be their last.

During the voyage a feeling of complete understanding and sympathy had developed between him and Hewitt. For the moment the latter exercised overall command of the Western Task Force. No one realised more fully the grave risk of landing troops on beaches exposed to all the vagaries of the Atlantic in November: if attempted in bad weather a disaster on a gigantic scale would be almost inevitable. On 6 November, 48 hours before D-Day, the forecasts from Washington and London were ominous: 'Surf fifteen feet high and landings impossible.' Hewitt's meteorologist however gave his opinion that the storm was moving too swiftly to affect the breakers on the beaches and predicted that the weather would improve: the landing, after all, stood a reasonable chance of success. He thus placed Hewitt on the horns of a dilemma. If he ignored the forecasts from Washington and London and decided to stick to the plan of landing at Casablanca he must deploy his forces on 7 November, the eve of D-Day. If he drowned a large number of soldiers he would, at

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