Skip to comments.ALLIED ARMIES LAND IN FRANCE IN THE HAVRE-CHERBOURG AREA; GREAT INVASION IS UNDER WAY (6/6/44)
Posted on 06/06/2014 3:55:02 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy
D-Day... Invasion of Normandy
Tuesday, June 6, 1944 www.onwar.com
On the Western Front... Operation Overlord begins. In Normandy, France, during the predawn hours, the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions are dropped inland from the right flank beach. The British 6th Airborne Division is landed inland from the left flank beach. These forces achieve their objectives and create confusion among the German defenders. The Allied Expeditionary Force lands in Normandy at dawn. Forces of the 21st Army Group (Field Marshal Montgomery) commands the US 1st Army (General Bradley) on the right and the British 2nd Army (General Dempsey) on the left. There are five invasion beaches: Utah on the right flank, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, on the left flank. At Utah, the US 7th Corps (General Collins) lands with US 4th Division spearheading the assault. The troops advance inland against light resistance. Admiral Moon provides naval support. At Omaha, the US 5th Corps (General Gerow) lands. There is heavy resistance and by the end of the day the American forces have advance less than one mile inland. Admiral Hall provides naval support. At Gold, the British 30th Corps (General Bucknall) lands with 50th Infantry Division and 8th Armored Brigade leading the assault. There is reasonable advance inland although the assigned objectives are not met. At Juno beach, the British 1st Corps (General Crocker) lands with the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division and the Canadian 2nd Armored Brigade leading the assault. The tanks and infantry quickly push inland. Naval support is under the command of Commodore Oliver. At Sword beach, other elements of the British 1st Corps land. The British 3rd Infantry Division, 27th Armored Brigade and several Marine and Commando units lead the assault. The beach is quickly secured and bridges over the Orne River are captured but the first day objectives are not reached. The German 21st Panzer Division counterattacks in the late afternoon but does not dislodge the British defenders. Overall, the Allies land almost 150,000 men. Naval support and massive aerial interdiction prevents the German defenders from concentrating forces for a decisive counterattack.
In Italy... The French Expeditionary Corps (part of US 5th Army) completes the capture of Tivoli. Recent combat has depleted 4 German infantry divisions and reduced six of their panzer and panzer grenadier divisions.
From Berlin... General Lemelsen replaces General Mackensen as commander of the German 14th Army in Italy.
In New Guinea... On Biak, elements of the US 41st Division prepare to advance on Mokmer Airfield while other elements are engaged near Ibdi.
June 6th, 1944 (TUESDAY)
The Normandy Landings:
ITALY: The South African 6th Armored Div. takes Civita Castellona in Italy. French forces capture Tivoli, Italy.
16 residents of a Jewish home for the elderly in Florence, Italy are deported to one of the extermination camps in Poland. (Greg Kelley)
The USAAF’s Fifteenth Air Force in Italy continues shuttlebombing (Operation FRANTIC) as 104 B-17s and 42 P-51 Mustangs (having flown to the USSR from Italy on 2 June) attack the airfield at Galati, Romaniaand return to Soviet shuttle bases; eight enemy fighters are shot down and two P-51s are lost. In other missions, 570+ bombers, with fighter escort, hit targets from bases in Italy; in Yugoslavia, B-17s hit the Belgrade marshalling yard and Turnu-Severin canal installations, and in Romania, B-24s hit Ploesti oil refineries and the marshalling yard at Brasov.
GREECE: Arrested by the Nazis in May 1944, 260 Jews from Chania, Greece, and 5 Jewish families from Rethimnon, Greece, are among the passengers aboard a ship that is deliberately sunk near the Greek island of Pholegandros. (Greg Kelley)
NEW GUINEA: The 186th Infantry prepares an attack on Mokmar Air Field on Biak.
Frigate HMCS Inch Arran launched Lauzon, Province of Quebec.
Corvette HMCS Huntsville commissioned
Frigate HMCS Kokanee commissioned.
Commodore 2nd Class Cuthbert “Cuth” Robert Holland Taylor RCN awarded CBE.
Minesweeper HMCS Melville completes refit at Lunenburg and departs for workups at Bermuda. (DS)
U.S.A.: The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff issue a report entitled “Operations Against Japan, Subsequent to Formosa” which includes three phases of operations in 1945:
Phase I: Attack the Bonin and Ryukyu Islands and the east Coast of China between 1 April and 30 June 1945.
Phase II: Consolidate and exploit Phase I gains between 30 June and 30 September 1945.
Phase III: Invasion of the Japanese home islands beginning with Kyushu on 1 November 1945 and then Honshu on 31 December 1945.
From the Press Office of Cincpac: MEMORANDUM TO THE PRESS The following was given to the press by Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll, USN, Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, at the press conference of Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal today:
“Recently on a brilliant moonlight night one of our destroyer escorts sighted a submarine, fully surfaced, silhouetted against the moon. The destroyer escort immediately rang up full speed and headed for the submarine, opening fire with all her guns. The submarine elected to fight it out and opened fire with her deck guns and machine guns, tracers passing high over the bridge of the destroyer escort. The submarine maneuvered at high speed and fired a torpedo.
The destroyer escort closed the range rapidly, following the sub’s evasive maneuvers and burying the sub under a withering fire at point blank range, machine guns and three inch forecastle guns. The range finally closed until the submarine was only 20 yards away. All fire on the submarine having ceased at this point the destroyer escort
rode up on the forecastle of the submarine where she stuck. Men began swarming out of the submarine and up onto the destroyer escort’s forecastle. The destroyer escort opened up on them with machine guns, tommy guns and rifle fire. Ammunition expended at this time included several general mess coffee cups which happened to be at the gun stations. Two of the enemy were hit on the head with these. Empty cartridge cases also proved effective for repelling the boarders.
During this heated encounter the destroyer escort suffered her only casualty of the engagement, when a husky seaman bruised his fist knocking one of the enemy over the side.
“At this stage of the battle the boatswain’s mate in charge forward with a 45 Colt revolver and a Chief Firecontrolman with a tommy gun accounted for a number of those attempting to board. The destroyer escort then decided to back off to stop any more enemy trying to board her. Again the running battle was resumed, hits falling like rain on the sub’s topside. Even shallow depth charges were used against the submarine. The destroyer escort rammed a second time and then the submarine rolled slowly over.
Personnel on the escort’s deck had a clear view into the conning tower which was ablaze. A torpedoman threw a hand grenade which dropped through the sub’s conning tower before exploding. The submarine finally sank with her diesel engines still running, and the conning tower hatch open, fire blazing from It.
“The commanding officer of the destroyer escort was a young Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve, who came on active duty in 1941.”
CINCPAC PRESS RELEASE NO. 434, Truk Atoll was bombed during the night of June 3-4 (West Longitude Date) by Liberators of the Seventh Army Air Force. The airfields at Moen and Param Islands were hit.
Four enemy fighters were airborne but did not attack our force.
Antiaircraft fire was meager and inaccurate.
Ponape Island was attacked on the night of June 3 by Seventh Army Air Force Liberators and on June 4 by Seventh Army Air Force Mitchells. Installations on Langar Island and antiaircraft batteries were hit.
Lauru Island was bombed by Seventh Army Air Force Mitchells during daylight on June 3, and by Ventura search planes of Fleet Air Wing Two on June 5. Gun positions were the principal targets. Antiaircraft fire was intense.
Enemy positions in the Marshalls were bombed and strafed on June 3-4 search Venturas of Fleet Air Wing Two, Corsair fighters and Dauntless live bombers of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing, and Navy Hellcat fighters. Gun positions and runways were hit. Antiaircraft fire was meager.
Washington: This night President Roosevelt”>Roosevelt speaks to the American nation from the White House.
Last night when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
Almighty God: our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavour, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
T hey will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest - until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violence of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home - fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters and brothers of brave men overseas - whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them - help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too - strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment - let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace - a peace invulnerable to the scheming of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. AMEN (Jean Beach)
Coast Guard-manned Army vessel FS-255 was commissioned at Wheeler Shipyard, Whitestone, New York with LT Ludwig Ehlers, USCG as commanding officer. (DS)
Good morning, Homer. Interesting mix of articles today; journalists not sure what’s up, yet.
I noticed “First newspaper in Rome issued by Communists” or something to that effect. (I’m at the beach with limited computer.) We might not realize how much of the resistance and partisan organization throughout Western Europe was Communist.
Thank God for our Vets and thank God Obama wasn’t POTUS back on D-Day.
Casual Friday at work, and so in observance of today’s day in history and the men of D-Day, I’m wearing my M42 jacket and brown Corcoran jump boots to work today...
D-Day Dodgers out in Italy - For my Dad, my Uncle Bill and my 1950’s Sunday school teacher , Bill.
Today we owe a debt of gratitude to those who serve during WW 2 and in a special way, to the WW 2 vets of D-Day including those who did not come home.
Thank-you and God Bless.
"Joel Brand was a Jewish leader of the Relief and Rescue Committee in Hungary.
Approached by Adolf Eichmann with an apparently phony deal to exchange the lives of Hungarian Jews for 10,000 Allied trucks, Brand attempted to communicate this offer to the Allies, who rejected it and arrested Brand.
Released in 1944, Brand joined the Stern Group in Palestine, where he participated in violent anti-British and anti-Jewish Agency activities.
He died in 1964."
"In 1943 France's Vichy government created the Milice, a collaborationist paramilitary organization headed by Joseph Darnand, which sought both to maintain order in France, remold it in the Nazi image, and fight enemies of the Vichy regime.
Most of its members, including special groups for women and children, came from the Service d'order légionnaire, a war veterans group dedicated to protecting the Vichy regime.
This photograph shows Milice troops marching members of the Resistance into an internment camp on June 2, 1944."
"During the height of the deportations from Hungary in 1944, a German 'plan' emerged to ransom Jews for trucks.
Even Heinrich Himmler, the primary architect of the 'Final Solution,' was not averse to ransom.
A proposal was introduced to exchange one million Jews for 10,000 trucks and hundreds of tons of tea, coffee, and soap.
"The negotiations, such as they were, included Joel Brand, a Jew; members of the War Refugee Board; and the British Foreign Office.
The Allies did not seriously consider the proposal.
Not only did they not trust Himmler, but the British thought the release of so many Jews would lead to pressure for their immigration to Palestine, which Britain was trying to limit.
The Soviets opposed the plan because the Nazis would have used the trucks against them.
During the negotiations, more than 1,600 Hungarian Jews (including those pictured) were given their freedom, finding safety in Switzerland."
Good morning and thank you!
Today would be the perfect day to view a replay of Reagan’s tribute to our soldiers at Normandy.
Joel Brand was obviously quite an interesting character.
Day of Days. Thanks again for all you do with this project.
I miss him.
6 June 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): The Eighth Air Force reaches its top strength as the 493d Bombardment Group (Heavy) becomes operational, making a total of 40 heavy bomber groups now operational. Heavy bombers fly 4 missions in support of the Normandy invasion:
1. Mission 394: At first light, 659 of 882 B-17s and 418 of 543 B-24s hit coastal targets in the area of the invasion beaches between Le Havre and Cherbourg; overcast and inability of the bombers to locate (or absence of) PFF leaders causes failure of some units to attack; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 14 B-17s and 1 B-24 are damaged; 12 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 13 MIA.
2. Mission 394: The second mission strikes at transportation chokepoints in towns immediately around the assault area; total cloud cover causes 84 B-17s and 259 B-24s dispatched to return with their bombs but 37 B-24s manage to bomb secondary target of Argentan; 2 B-24s are lost and 1 B-17 is damaged; no casualties.
3. Mission 395: The third mission is dispatched against the important communications center of Caen; 58 of 73 B-24s bomb through overcast skies without loss.
4. Mission 395: Transportation chokepoints in towns immediately S and E of the assault area are the objectives of the fourth mission; 325 of 409 B-17s and 125 of 300 B-24s hit targets including Vire, Saint-Lo, Coutances, Falaise, Lisieux, Thury-Harcourt, Pont-l’Eveque, Argentan, and Conde-sur-Noireau; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 11 B-24s and 5 B-17s are damaged; 10 airmen are KIA.
In all, 1,729 bombers drop 3,596 tons of bombs during D-Day. The VIII Fighter Command has the threefold mission of escorting bombers, attacking any movement toward the assault area, and protecting Allied shipping. The fighters fly 1,880 sorties including fighter-bomber attacks against 17 bridges, 10 marshalling yards, and a variety of other targets including convoy, railroad cars, siding, rail and highway junctions, tunnel, and a dam. Very little air opposition is encountered. The fighters claim 26-0-8 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 4-0-9 on the ground. Also destroyed are 21 locomotives and 2 carloads of ammunition. Numerous targets are damaged including locomotives, trucks, tank cars, armored vehicles, goods carriers, barges, and tugboats. Targets attacked with unreported results include warehouses, radar towers, barracks, troops, artillery, staff cars, 85 trains, and a variety of other targets. 25 fighters are lost.
The 493d Bombardment Group records this day in their official history:
Began operations on June 6, 1944 25 days after Col. Elbert Helton arrived at AAFs Station 152 with the first B-24 Liberators of his command.
The events in the Pacific will be largely ignored in the coming days, but June 6, 1944 was also the first day of combat for the 6th Infantry Division in New Guinea. Their official history is available online:
From their account:
By this time the whole of the Australina-mandated New Guinea except for the isolated pockets at Rabaul and Wewak had been liberated and the Hollandia area in Dutch New Guinea had been secured. Still held by the Nips were Noemfoor, Biak and the Voglekop Peninsula, constituting the northwestern end of the island of New Guinea. The Wakde-Toem-Maffin Bay area was to provide the air bases and staging areas from which assaults could be made on the remaining Jap-held territory on the island.
The 1st Infantry arrived on 6 June and immediately relieved the troops defending the main beachhead in the Toem area. On 11 June Division Headquarters and the 20th Infantry arrived, and General Sibert assumed command of the sector. Three days later, while the 63d Infantry, 80th Field Artillery Battalion, 6th Reconnaissance and the rest of the Division were steaming into the harbor, the 20th Infantry relieved the 158th RCT along the Tirfoam River and the 51st Field artillery Battalion occupied gun positions on the east bank of the Tor River.
I had the privilege of commanding a battalion of the 16th Infantry Regiment. It was many years after the events of today, but many of those veterans were still alive and active and paid us visits at Ft. Riley. One of them was Captain Joe Dawson who commanded Company G on D-Day and whose company, together with Lt. Spaulding’s boat section from Company E, were the first to gain the tops of the bluffs on Omaha Beach. They were remarkable men and Joe still had vivid memories of the day. A few years after he told a group of soldiers at Ft. Riley about his experiences, he wrote them down. They can be found here.
Normandy is just a feint, The real invasion is coming at Calis. Patton is still in England.
Been waiting for this one, and once again, many thanks for seeing this project through! Apropos of a comment made yesterday, yes, the fall of Rome was relegated to Page 16. That has to be the biggest upstaging of all time.
Bad link, try this one for 1st Division D-Day resources
Clark wanted to take Rome, and get the headlines, so bad he diverted forces that instead could have pocketed several German divisions. Instead, they were allowed to escape. In the end he was totally upstaged.
Clark was a poor commander, and I have a very low opinion of him.
Normandie uberhaupt! Wie dumm von mir!
Felix Kersten had quite an influence on Himmler. I wondered if he might have had some role in the attempted trade of jews for trucks?
Kersten also revealed that Himmler had a great admiration for Islam.
The article about the Italian campaign is still page 1, above the fold, and continued on page 2. That it starts on page 14 on this thread is due to the way I try to group related stories together when I rearrange them for posting. Still, we won't see the Italian campaign leading the news for a while. Something like 21 of the last 24 headlines have featured the new Italian offensive. That just ended.
Thanks again for this entire series. June 6 was indeed a golden day for the Allies.
The artists sketch of the landings on p.9 reminded me of the only artwork myself and most of the boys in my junior high school almost 60 years ago ever created.
Our drawings also featured tanks and dogfights and AA shells bursting in air. That’s what red pencils were for!
They’d have us all on drugs and in counselling in today’s Grade 7 classrooms...
Kudos again on the entire Series, particularly on this pivotal Day in history
REICH ‘RUIN BROKERS’ BUSY
Thriving Trade Rises from the Wrecks Caused by Bombers
STOCKHOLM, June 5 - “Ruin brokers” has become a business in Germany. Many firms, particularly in Berlin and Hamburg, have been set up as buyers and dealers in ruins of all types caused by Allied bombers.
The following is a sample of display advertising in the newspapers by these firms:
“Any ruins for sale? We buy all types of ruins, however badly they are broken up and of whatever type, whenever the damage was done. We pay top prices. Speedy transactions.”
Many ruins are supposed to sell for substantial prices, particularly where ironwork and wrecked factory machinery are likely to be burred beneath them.
For what it is worth, ruins are still a business opportunity:
Gotcha. It really was a big deal. My Dad, who was in Italy at the time, was always mildly annoyed at the thing... ;-)
Audie Murphy had a low opinion of Gen. Clark, too.
Nonsense! My money is still on Norway.
1. Remarkable from 2014 that the brother of a paratrooper has to go all the way to Times Square to find out if the invasion is really happening ("City Reacts...").
2. Love him or hate him (and IMHO he damaged the country irreparably in many ways) FDR had a gift for saying the right thing at the right time, as in his radio prayer (post 9).
Homer, the Day of Days has finally arrived and we are all grateful to you for this project.
By the way, I agree with you about Gen. Clark.
It’s what von Rundstedt said in “The Longest Day.”
A day of days.