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World War II (1939-1945)

What we can learn from D-Day's leaders

What we can learn from D-Day's leaders

This year, the youngest draftees who invaded Normandy on June 6, 1944 are 90 years old. By now, our cultural understanding of D-Day focuses on the valor of those young men who fought and died on the beaches. The enduring image of the day is Robert F. Sargent's photo "Into the Jaws of Death," which shows American soldiers wading out of a landing craft toward forbidding, smoke-shrouded cliffs — not fearlessly, but in spite of their terror. Yet while the courage and fortitude of the everyday soldiers is profoundly inspiring, D-Day also offers essential lessons on leadership.

On half a dozen other battlefields, the men were just as brave, but their lives were wasted by...