(The beach today…. nothing in the water here……)
Yes Blackberry A……. was in a different town, on a different beach.
It was really called Mulberry A and was to the west of Mulberry B in a town called St Laurent sur Mer. This was where the American Forces were going to man another version of the floating harbour. But there was a problem…..
(Monument on beach)
Remember when Prince Winston, also called Winston Churchill, was explaining his plan to his advisors? Well, he had to explain it to the allied forces at Casablanca, too. His own forces may have been dubious, but the American’s were completely against the idea. They didn’t believe in it the way that Winston did. And for some reason he didn’t inspire them.
(Blue sea and sky on the way to St Laurent sur Mer)
Below is a quote from Admiral John Leslie Hall, US Navy.
“I think it’s the biggest waste of manpower and equipment that I have ever seen. I can unload a thousand LSTs at a time over the open beaches. Why give me something that anybody who’s ever seen the sea act upon 150-ton concrete blocks at Casablanca knows the first storm will destroy? What’s the use of building them just to have them destroyed and litter up the beaches.”
(Mock up of a glider that landed at Pegasus Bridge)
Ok, you may think, so what, he disagreed, he still went ahead with it……
But the problem is not the disagreeing with the project. The problem is that the project didn’t even come close to a dream for the American in charge. He wasn’t “following his heart”, he was following his orders. And he passed on the same attitude to his men (and women). Not a big deal if the project had been straight forward, but… The project (the whole portable floating harbour idea) was so full of problems and difficulties that it needed someone to have constant attention on the desired outcome. The problem was that the Admiral has his attention on what he DIDN’T want.
(Putting together a fold-up motorbike, picture from 1944 in Pegasus Bridge Museum)
Everything seemed to be going ok. The same things that happened at Mulberry B (British), happened at Mulberry A (American). The ships were sunk, the caissons were put in place, the harbour was assembled. But then the storm that struck Mulberry B on June 19th, also struck Mulberry A and the cracks started to show.
The floating harbour floated away and was unusable. You’ll remember where the Admiral had his attention? On what he didn’t want? And that’s what happened,
“………..the first storm will destroy…….just to have them destroyed and litter up the beaches.”
(Example of Winston Churchill’s stubborn nature – his assistant had to change all times on his messages because he didn’t like reading the 24hr clock notation!)
So why do I think this is so amazing?
Because this is something we do all the time. (Well I do it and I’m going to pretend you do too!) We get this great idea, it grows in our mind and in our heart. We start to eat and sleep on it. Then something happens. We worry. What if..? Get real…. ! It’s just a pipe dream… Everyone will think I’m…… I haven’t the time…What was I thinking…..? It could never work…. What will they think…?
And of course it doesn’t work. We’ve started to put our attention on what we don’t want and that’s what we get… nothing… all our dreams destroyed and littering up the beaches……. So who do you want to be? Prince Winston or Admiral ..em what-his-name…?
(Reflection… in a window, Pegasus Bridge behind us)
Get putting your attention on what you want – the perfect scenario – and let the worries argue for themselves!
(Sunshine on way to Enniskillen……)
By now I’m waking up in a tent in a football pitch in Enniskillen, the sun is shining and I’ve had a great night’s sleep and I’m off to give my presentation and they love it!
I can put my attention on what I want….so can you!
By the way, the Prince Winston story took so long that I didn’t get to post our last day’s adventure, so that will follow tomorrow….. if I can get internet access…. on a football pitch….. maybe it will follow the next day!
Isn’t it great to be home? Mairead.