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"[Eisenhower] said, 'My job is to stage this invasion, as you know. Your job is to keep me informed.'" (Audio Interview, 16:15)

   Alexander Standish
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Alexander Standish [ca. 1944]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: G-2 (Intelligence) Section, 12th Army Group
Service Location: England; Northern France; Normandy; Germany
Rank: Colonel
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Alexander Standish was old enough to be the father of many GIs he served with-he was 42 when the U.S. entered the war-but his experience and poise proved invaluable in intelligence work. He worked with Generals Eisenhower and Bradley in planning the D-Day invasion and subsequent strategy for taking back Europe from the Nazis. British intelligence was able to decode German messages, whose contents were often passed directly to Standish to relay to Bradley.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (11 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (117 min.)
»Photo Album  (10 photos)
»View List (12 items)
 Personal Narrative
»Memoirs of Alexander Standish
 Official Documents
»View List (41 items)
 Other Materials
»View List (4 items)
More like this
»Intel:In the Field
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (11 items)
How and why he was recruited for intelligence work at the age of 42; assigned to anti-submarine duty in New York City; getting a break: a transfer to North Africa. (07:14) Why the British were superior in their intelligence gathering; description of how the V-1 missiles worked; intelligence leading to bombing missions against their launching sites. (04:44) Eisenhower's instructions to Standish on intelligence gathering as it might affect the Normandy invasion; in praise of Ike's management skills. (02:07)
Getting briefed by Churchill on the British code-breaking activities at Bletchley Park; Churchill's ultimatum on revealing the secrets; passing on the decoded messages to Omar Bradley. (04:13) Finding out about German poison gas shipments to the western front; seeing a message threatening retaliation if the gas were to be used. (02:00) Two weeks before the Battle of the Bulge, Germans stopped using radios altogether, perhaps suspecting that their codes had been broken. (01:15)
Deception plans to decoy the Germans in advance of D-Day; landing after D-Day; halted by Germans until Patton's troops arrived; plan of attack on the German army. (04:49) Making his way to Paris (against orders) just before it was officially liberated; seeing a mob kill a Nazi; briefing Eisenhower on conditions; congratulated on his ingenuity. (05:16) Comparing the leadership styles of Eisenhower, Bradley, and Patton. (09:48)
His worst moment of the war, during the Battle of Bastogne: recommending shelling that killed 68 civilians. (02:50) The spirit and cooperation of the British civilians under trying circumstances; bad behavior by American GIs stationed there. (02:48) 
 Manuscripts (12 items)
Letter to Elizabeth [2/24/1944] Excerpt from letter [2/27/1944] Excerpt from letter [6/18/1944]
Letter to Elizabeth [3/25/1944] Excerpt from letter [6/25/1944] Letter to Unidentified Recipient [7/30/1944]
Letter to Unidentified Recipient [8/6/1944] Letter to Family and Friends [8/26/1944] Letter to Elizabeth [11/16/1944]
Letter to Unidentified Recipient [12/25/1944] Undated Letter to Unidentified Recipient [ca. Dec. 29, 1944] Letter to Unidentified Recipient [ca. May 1945]
 Official Documents (41 items)
Memo: "Assignment of Intelligence Officers to Preliminary Liason Missions" [1/2/1945] Secret Memo from Col. G. A. McHenry [8/18/1943] Travel Orders [1/26/1944]
Temporary Duty Assignment [2/4/1944] Temporary Duty Assignment [2/28/1944] Temporary Duty Assignment [3/14/1944]
Temporary Duty Assignment [3/25/1944] Temporary Duty Assignment [11/29/1944] Copy of the speech Dwight Eisenhower made on D-Day [June 6, 1944]
Secret memo regarding movement instructions [7/12/1944] Shipping ticket listing Alexander Standish's military equipment [4/3/1944] Secret memo detailing the surrender of German forces [May 1945]
Certificate presenting Alexander Standish with the Croix de Guerre Award of Legion of Merit [3/17/1944] Award of the French Legion of Honor [09/12/1945]
Certificate making Standish an Officer of the Order of the British Empire Letter from the British Consullate General setting the time and place for Standish to be awarded the Order of the British Empire [6/19/1947] Certificate making Standish an Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Memo awarding Standish three Bronze service stars for the Normandy, Northern France, and Germany campaigns [2/24/1945] Award of the Bronze Star Medal Appointment to rank of Colonel [6/5/1947]
Certificate of Service [9/9/1945] Report of Separation Separation Qualification Record
Confidential memo requesting advice on retirement [4/27/1945] Example of after action intelligence on bombing of the headquarters of the 2nd SS Panzer Corps. [1/2/1945] Memorandum concerning personnel changes [12/10/1944]
Memorandum on immunization [2/10/1944] Memorandum on conference with General Devers [1/3/1944] Receipt for courier transfer [undated]
Statement for per diem allowance for Major Alexander Standish [8/18/1943] Announcement of promotion of Standish from Captain to Major [6/16/1943] Memorandum concering issue of the Monthly Summary of intelligence [3/18/1943]
Memorandum concerning the binding of monthly intelligence reports for the record [8/17/1943] Letter from E. F. Koenig congratulating Standish on excellent work in the Combat Intelligence Course at the Army Air Forces Intelligence School [8/8/1942] Official statement of commissioned service [7/28/1942]
Selective Service registration ticket [2/15/1942] Letter of Commission in the United States Army [5/15/1942] Application for appointment and statement of preferences for reserve officers [3/31/1942]
Military and Civilian Experience of Alexander Standish Honorable Discharge from service in World War I [12/26/1918] 
 Other Materials (4 items)
Artifact: Dogtag of Alexander Standish Map: "The Travels of Headquarters Twelfth Army Group." Artifact: Dollar bill with signatures of Alex Standish's friends
Photograph of the medals of Alexander Standish  

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  October 26, 2011
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