Skip to comments.D-DAY - June 6, 1944: the greatest generation saved the world from the Nazis
Posted on 06/05/2009 6:44:25 PM PDT by doug from upland
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D-DAY - June 6, 1944: the greatest generation saved the world from the Nazis
dday dot org ^ | 6-5-07
Posted on 06/05/2007 8:57:58 AM PDT by doug from upland
D-DAY HISTORY AND LINKS
D-Day: It is hard to conceive the epic scope of this decisive battle that foreshadowed the end of Hitler's dream of Nazi domination. Overlord was the largest air, land, and sea operation undertaken before or since June 6, 1944. The landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men.
After years of meticulous planning and seemingly endless training, for the Allied Forces, it all came down to this: The boat ramp goes down, then jump, swim, run, and crawl to the cliffs. Many of the first young men (most not yet 20 years old) entered the surf carrying eighty pounds of equipment. They faced over 200 yards of beach before reaching the first natural feature offering any protection. Blanketed by small-arms fire and bracketed by artillery, they found themselves in hell.
When it was over, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead. Yet somehow, due to planning and preparation, and due to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, Fortress Europe had been breached.
After you have finished reviewing this site, return to this page and click the links below to find out more about D-Day.
And the Japanese fascists, as well.
True but came home and gave up their country.
God Bless them all.
And, now the nazi bastards have taken America without firing a shot.
As I have said many times, it was a loss to both sides.
I just posted the following on another thread, but posting on this thread seems more appropriate.
My dad was in the first wave of the Normandy assault as a member of the First Special Engineering brigade.
He never spoke much about his military service.
It was only in the past year after reading a few books that were written about them (several years after his passing), that I discovered what this special brigade went through (the Sicily and Salerno invasions, the North African Campaign, and the Battle of the Bulge).
June 6 is a day to be revered.
Midway June 5, D-Day June 6. America kicks ass in June.
Hearing these stories and watching saving Pvt Ryan, it is amazing only 1500 Americans died
Exactly what did America lose in WWII?
Wow. If you can share any photos, we’d love to see them.
Never heard it put that way - I will agree with you.
It is a good thing that Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Murtaugh, etc. weren’t calling the shots then.
Agree. As an American, I dont speak Japanese or German as my native tongue, for that Im forever grateful to the Greatest Generation. ;-)
My salute to the greatest generation - my father served in the US Army in World War II. He didn't enter the European Theatre until after D-Day though.
I wonder what the greatest generation thinks about the US today - "June 6, 2009: the United States is now governed by what amounts to a national socialist party."
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio. (2)]
We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved and the world prayed for its rescue. Here, in Normandy, the rescue began. Here, the Allies stood and fought against tyranny, in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.
We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, two hundred and twenty-five Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs.
Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here, and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.
The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers at the edge of the cliffs, shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only ninety could still bear arms.
And behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there. These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. And these are the heroes who helped end a war. Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your "lives fought for life and left the vivid air signed with your honor."
I think I know what you may be thinking right now -- thinking "we were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day." Well everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.
Lord Lovat was with him -- Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, "Sorry, I'm a few minutes late," as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.
There was the impossible valor of the Poles, who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold; and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.
All of these men were part of a roll call of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore; The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots' Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's "Matchbox Fleet," and you, the American Rangers.
Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief. It was loyalty and love.
The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead, or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.
You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.
The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They fought -- or felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4:00 am. In Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying. And in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.
Something else helped the men of D-day; their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer, he told them: "Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we're about to do." Also, that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."
These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.
When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together. There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall Plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies. The Marshall Plan led to the Atlantic alliance -- a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.
In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. The Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost forty years after the war. Because of this, allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as forty years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose: to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.
We in America have learned bitter lessons from two world wars. It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent. But we try always to be prepared for peace, prepared to deter aggression, prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms, and yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.
It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II. Twenty million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.
We will pray forever that someday that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.
We're bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we're with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.
Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."
Strengthened by their courage and heartened by their value [valor] and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.
Thank you very much, and God bless you all."
Could you imagine jumping from an amphibious personnel carrier with 50mm machine gun fire coming down on you from atop a cliff. The chances of the survival were absurdly small.
The only hope was that while the nazi bastards were busy targeting and killing some soldiers, a few others would sneak past...only to have to scale those cliffs and dodge the hand grenades that were being dropped on them.
Obammie the Commie has some effing nerve criticizing America.
Sad but true.
Hopefully there will be enough of us to form a resistance and we’ll drive them out.
Too stupid to realize the gift they were given.
Clinton, Babs, zero an his crew,Como, most rats who blame America first, Nancy, Have to stop. As the Rolodex turns , I just get frustrated, How did it happen?
“it is amazing only 1500 Americans died”
Ummm, try 2499.
Less than on 9-11.
And what do we do? Build a *crescent* memorial to that day, pointing to Mecca?
Might as well build a swastika-shaped wall commemorating D-Day...
The country has fallen from the heights it occupied; we need to be restored.
"On the other hand..."
But who is going to save the USA from B.Husein Obama? Pray for our country and our troops. Amen.
We, all, owe these men a lot.
Especially Americans, Western Europeans and Eastern Europeans including/and Russians will continue to quarrel internally and extrenally over what actually happened and in what ways allies of theirs should’ve acted differently for at least 40 centuries from now.
My nation is no exception.
But, at least for a couple of minutes of our lives, let’s forget about all these accusations etc and remember what reality the first seven words of this post signify.
I had the great pleasure to document an “Honor Flight” trip to DC last weekend, riding with 95 WWII veterans to Arlington, the WWII Memorial, and Iwo Jima. I felt I was in the presence of living legends, people who saw battles that were epic and historic.
I can also say that at every site they visited, there were people there to honor them, thank them, and let them know that they were not forgotten.
God bless America, and restore her to strength and dignity once again.
And to think that after all this sacrifice, FDR gave half of Europe to the commies and set us up for 40 years of cold war.
Not letting Patton loose will go down in history as one of the biggest blunders of mankind.
LCT=Landing Craft, Tank. He had bulldozers and TNT on his boat.
Photo is from February 1944.
Should have added he was in Flotilla 3 on Utah Beach.
I messed up. Flotilla 4.
White Cliffs of Dover has always brought a tear to my eye, but for somewhat different reasons these days. Looks as though “the enemies within” are having much more success than those from without at taking away our liberties. God bless us again.
I'll shut up now.
Thanks so much. I like that song too!
Wonderful slideshow potlatch -
Great WWII tunes -
Thanks again devolve. So many songs could go on that!!
And all we ever asked for was a little bit of ground to bury them.
My Uncle Jim was in the Normandy invasion. He was career Army, and he also fought in Korea. Great man. When we were kids he would let us feel the top of his nose, which had a chunk of shrapnel in it until the day he died.
My wife and I visited Normandy and went to the museum there back in 1983. You just wanted to talk in whispers. Simply magnificent, and very humbling. We even stayed overnight at a bed and breakfast in St. Lo.
My great-uncle Art was a nurse at a field hospital in England that cared for many of the casualties from the Normandy invasion. The courage of those men who willingly charged the gates of he!! to free a continent and protect their homeland is truly amazing.
D Day was a very important battle in WW II and of course should be honored but to say the Nazis lost it all on that day is to forget the real decisive battles in Russia that truly destroyed the bulk of the Wehrmacht. The Kursk salient probably being the most decisive of all.
When you think about it, it is really a sobering thought that those men charged into battle knowing that they would be more than likely be killed.
It wasn’t much different than the old “kneel in front of the enemy, fire and let the next line do the same” until we beat the enemy.
I had uncles and a father that fought in WWII. Some came back, some did not. One at Omaha. One at Anzio. One at Iwo Jima.
Very, very brave men.
My head will always be bowed to them.
Thanks for sharing this great story.
They were the greatest generation, and we will not see their likes again.
Only 52 per cent in the election didn’t realize the gift.
It is a hell that is almost unimaginable.
Incredible. Please share photos and a lengthy story.
I understand, but imagine if all the sacrifice at Normandy would have resulted in being totally pushed back. The consequences would have been very, very dire.
I had a webpage full once
More than one, but one particular one I loved with tiny gifs. - long ago.