Ike's Gamble is a D-day display that I made to both honor the men who planned and participated in this great invasion while telling some of the story and the plan. The name of it of course honors Dwight Eisenhower who as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force had the weight of the go/no go decision fall on his shoulders alone when his team was split due to potentially disastrous weather conditions. He took a gamble and sent them in, while also taking the time to write a press release stating the invasion had failed and assuming full responsibility (just in case it was needed).
The inside map displays the main attack zone for Operation Overlord with landing craft representing the nations assigned to particular beaches (US, British, and Canadian). Mirrored below is the unit patch of the main division (along with their often famous nicknames) assigned to assault each location, in addition to sand or soil I collected from each spot.
The rifle is a Springfield M1 Garand which most of the Americans would have been carrying that day. This particular one was manufactured in January of 1942 so who knows, perhaps it was there? It is sporting a new stock (Until I can find a good WW2 one) which is why the wood itself looks so clean.
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Some quick notes on the details:
- The shield on the front is a CNC carved representation of the patch of the office of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). This was Ike’s department. Doing some research on this I found out the flaming sword stands for the military might of the Allies cutting though the black background representing Nazi oppression/tyranny, with the wide blue being the blue skies of peace they were fighting towards (after the war the entire patch was changed to a blue background). The multi-color stripes represent the individual allied nations. I thought this was pretty interesting – someone put some thought into that design.
- The stripes on the top represent the invasion stripes which were painted on every Allied plane from D-Day on to avoid friendly fire incidents.
- The white star with circle represents the star often used on US armor and jeeps during that period.
- The bayonet was the standard one issued for the Garand (it clips on the end of the barrel).