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Remembering D-Day
Flopping Aces ^ | 06-06-11 | Mataharley

Posted on 06/06/2011 6:00:41 PM PDT by Starman417

Survivors of a sunken troop transport wade ashore on Omaha Beach

D-Day isn't one of those dates most Americans remember easily. It's not associated with bank holidays, BBQs, parades or other high profile celebrations. There's no Hallmark cards and socially mandated gifts for spouses and lovers associated with the day. It's not even a date in history that is marked with any specific, large scale memorials or tributes. Most occasions, it slips quietly by, virtually unnoticed, save for a few token stories.... like this one... and brief mentions in between the tabloid news we're spoon fed and hyped up on these days.

But June 6, 1944 was not one of those days that would so quietly slip by. On this day, the Allied forces crossed the English channel to storm five beach heads along the French Normandy coast. The US forces landed at Utah and Omaha, while the Canadians and British attacked attacked Sword, Juno and Gold beaches. But it was not just the beaches that were a'buzz with allied activity.

On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.

By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day's end, 155,000 Allied troops--Americans, British and Canadians--had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.

The massive endeavor and coordination between the Allies was anything but smooth... with delays due to weather, most allies forces landing only a fraction of their supplies and vehicles they intended, paratroopers landing far off course and units split in different areas and, of course, the beach most famous for it's dramatic attack, difficult terrain and high casualties incurred just in the landing (pictured below).

Troops from the First Division landing on Omaha Beach - photograph by Robert F. Sargent

To date, there's no official count of the lives lost, and sources differ.

--The D-Day Museum in Portsmouth, England claims a total of 2,500 Allied troops died, while German forces suffered between 4,000 and 9,000 total casualties on D-Day. --The Heritage Foundation in the U.S. claims 4,900 U.S. dead on D-Day--The U.S. Army Center of Military History cites a total casualty figure for U.S. forces at 6,036. This number combines dead and wounded in the D-Day battles--John Keegan, American Historian and Author believes that 2,500 Americans died along with 3,000 British and Canadian troops on D-Day

Paul Reed - creator of D Day Ancestors website

Author and BBC broadcaster, Paul Reed (pictured above), is the son of a a WW2 veteran who served with 24th Field Regiment Royal Artillery. An avid historian on military history, he wanted to start a "Roll of Honour" for the British casualties on D-Day. Over time, they've been slowly collecting the names for each regiment.

The official site for the American National D Day Memorial is in Bedford, MD. The memorial came under fire in 2010 for it's display of a bust of Stalin, and it's interpretative plaque citing his crimes against humanity, within the Memorial. Under the bust is the inscription:

(Excerpt)

TOPICS: Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: dday; normandy

1 posted on 06/06/2011 6:00:43 PM PDT by Starman417
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To: tubebender


2 posted on 06/06/2011 6:08:48 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom!!! I know i was kidding)
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To: Starman417
"The official site for the American National D Day Memorial is in Bedford, MD. "

That should read, Bedford, VA.....

3 posted on 06/06/2011 6:10:55 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: Starman417; al baby; SouthTexas; Roccus; NormsRevenge

I read a story a few years that large cache of various Dday Military Signal corps Photographers given to a courier to take back to England and he was killed as he boarded a LST off Utah and the film was lost forever and that is why there are so few of the first few days...

4 posted on 06/06/2011 6:38:14 PM PDT by tubebender (Help! I've fallen, and I can't reach my wine!)
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