Skip to comments.D-DAY - June 6, 1944: the greatest generation saved the world from the Nazis
Posted on 06/05/2011 7:53:38 PM PDT by doug from upland
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.
Hope no one asks Palin about this Monday.
I had at least two relatives part of this event. Both have since passed away (one last year). I very much appreciate their duty.
When I was on EU threads in different parts of the Internet, they called the USA “late comers to the party.”
We should have cut the damn lines loose and let them work it through without the millions of us “latecomers.”
They would all be speaking German, the ingrates.
With the recent men-beating-their-wives-during-superbowl incident as regards Sarah Palin trying to explain American history as regards Paul Revere, and the election of an Islamo Communist as our President only nine years after 9/11, maybe we are the worst generation. We didn't vote for the Messiah, but he is President all the same and during the campaign there was enthusiasm for him worthy of a Nazi rally.
God bless every last one of them
I was visiting an old guy and his wife from church, and saw the tattoo on his arm. “Were you in the navy in WWII”
“Thank you for your service.” I left it at that so as not to pry.
His wife says “Harry drove a landing craft on D-Day, but he doesn’t like to talk about it.”
I shook his hand and said something like thank you doesn’t begin to say it, but it’s all I have.
We would visit several times and he would talk of his children, businesses he started, etc. But always in the back of my mind was “This guy was in the thick of it on D-day!”
bumped and bookmarked
For those interested, here is a recording of CBS radio’s live coverage of D Day, starting in the wee hours of the morning and going through the entire day’s programming.
(There’s also a similar recording of NBCs coverage on the same site.)
But it could have been a whole lot worse:
"There was no German counterattack. Rommel's plans for fighting the D-Day battle were never put into motion. There were many reasons.
"First, German surprise was complete. The Fortitude operation had fixed German attention on the Pas-de-Calais. They were certain it would be the site of the battle, and they had placed the bulk of their panzer divisions north and east of the Seine River, where they were unavailable for counterattack in Normandy.
"Second, German confusion was extensive. Without air reconnaissance, with Allied airborne troops dropping here, there, everywhere, with their telephone lines cut by the Resistance, with their army, corps, division, and some regimental commanders at the war game in Rennes, the Germans were all but blind and leaderless. The commander who was most missed was Rommel, who spent the day on the road driving to La Roche-Guyonan -- another price the Germans paid for having lost control of the air; Rommel dared not fly.
"Third, the German command structure was a disaster. Hitler's mistrust of his generals and the generals' mistrust of Hitler were worth a king's ransom to the Allies. So were Hitler's sleeping habits, as well as his Wolkenkuckucksheim ideas.
"The only high-command officer who responded correctly to the crisis at hand was Field Marshal Rundstedt, the old man who was there for window dressing and who was so scorned by Hitler and OKW. Two hours before the seaborne landings began, he ordered the two reserve panzer divisions available for counterattack in Normandy, the 12th SS Panzer and Panzer Lehr, to move immediately toward Caen. He did so on the basis of an intuitive judgment that the airborne landings were on such a large scale that they could not be a mere deception maneuver (as some of his staff argued) and would have to be reinforced from the sea. The only place such landings could come in lower Normandy were on the Calvados and Cotentin coasts. He wanted armor there to meet the attack.
"Rundstedt's reasoning was sound, his action decisive, his orders clear. But the panzer divisions were not under his command. They were in OKW reserve. To save precious time, Rundstedt had first ordered them to move out, then requested OKW approval. OKW did not approve. At 0730 Jodi informed Rundstedt that the two divisions could not be committed until Hitler gave the order, and Hitler was still sleeping. Rundstedt had to countermand the move-out order. Hitler slept until noon.
"The two panzer divisions spent the morning waiting. There was a heavy overcast; they could have moved out free from serious interference from Allied aircraft. It was 1600 when Hitler at last gave his approval. By then the clouds had broken up and Allied fighters and bombers ranged the skies over Normandy, smashing anything that moved. The panzers had to crawl into roadside woods and wait under cover for darkness before continuing their march to the sound of the guns."
(Exerpt from: Hitler's D-Day Mistakes)
You don’t do the right thing for the praise and glory. You do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. That is what we did.
The seeds of a Great Generation are with us still. It just requires the right leader.
Obviously, that leader is not Obama. But neither was that leader George W. Bush. Remember his let's-all-go-shopping speech? Bizarre and in some respects pathetic.
As my tagline suggests, we need another Reagan. And the closest politician to Reagan that I can see is Palin.
Allied Expeditionary Force (AEF): The Allied force under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Twelve nations supplied troops and materiel for the AEF: United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, and the United Kingdom.
Allies: Countries that fought against the Axis Powers.
Axis Powers: The alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Belgian Gate: A large metal structure hidden by high tides and designed to rip the bottom out of larger landing craft.
Churchill, Sir Winston: Prime Minister of Britain during World War II.
Concrete Bunker: Steel-reinforced concrete casement providing cover and concealment for German guns and gunners.
DUKW: An amphibious 2 1/2 ton utility truck used to deliver supplies, ammunition, and weapons from ship to shore. Pronounced “duck,” the acronym reflects the date it entered the inventory (D[ate]: 1942); the kind of vehicle it is (U[tility], amphib.); its forward drive (K or front-wheel drive); and its rear drive (W or two rear driving axles).
Eisenhower, Dwight D.: Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force on D-Day. Eisenhower was named commanding general of the European theatre in June 1942 and the following November assumed command of the Allied Expeditionary Forces for the invasion of western Europe. In December that year, Eisenhower was promoted to the five star rank of General in the Army. He later became the 34th President of the United States.
Fortitude: The shadow operation conceived to conceal Overlord.
Gooseberries: Artificial harbors created by sinking Allied ships.
Hedgehog: Obstacles hidden by high tides and composed of three metal beams welded together designed to scuttle landing craft.
Home front: A term used to describe the United States mainland during W.W. II.
LCA: Landing craft, assault
LCI: Landing craft, infantry
LCM: Landing craft, medium
LCT: Landing craft, tank
LCVP: Landing craft, vehicle and personnel - (Higgins Boat) Capable of carrying up to 36 men.
LST: Landing ship, tank
Mulberries: Artificial harbors constructed by the British. They were made from caissons and steel sections that were towed across the Channel and positioned near Omaha and Gold beaches on D-Day.
Nazi: Abbreviation for the National Socialist German Workers Party.
Neptune: The code name for the naval operations supporting Overlord.
Overlord: Code name for the D-Day invasion, June 6, 1944.
Panzer: German battle tanks.
SHAEF: Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
Teller Mine: German antitank mine. “Waterproof” versions of the Teller mine were mounted atop poles. Hidden by high tides, these mines were formidable obstacles for landing craft.
Tetrahedron: An underwater obstacle taking its name from its geometrical shape; used by the Germans to scuttle landing craft.
UDT: Underwater demolition team.
WAAC: Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps.
WAC: Women’s Army Corps.
WASP: Women’s Air Service Pilots.
>>You dont do the right thing for the praise and glory. You do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. That is what we did.<<
And there are places in Europe (even France) where they tend the graves of US Servicemen/women with reverence.
But the young men and women of the EU should be kicked back in the teeth for the kicks in the teeth they give to our USA soldiers — including my grand-uncle and grandfather.
Yeah, these latecomers to the party should have tested the atomic weapons not in New Mexico but in Germany or we should have executed all those bastards right down to the last woman and child.
>>Yeah, these latecomers to the party should have tested the atomic weapons not in New Mexico but in Germany or we should have executed all those bastards right down to the last woman and child.<<
That is a great point — but I get the flak from British and Swedish and the like.
It isn’t that they forgot — it is that the memory interferes with their insipid small shadows of what came before them. If I was them I would be embarrassed by the comparison too.
Just as barry zero attempts to diminish our Greatest Generation.
You `get flak from the Swedes’? Over WWII?
The Swedes sat it out while making money selling their iron ore to the Nazis.
Tell them to go pound sand.
May I suggest an excellent book on this subject. Written by an English Historian named Anthony Cave Brown.
“Bodyguard of Lies: The Extraordinary True Story Behind D-Day”
I read this book in 1976 when it first came out. This book made me a History Student. I spent almost 10 years reading related material because of the impact of this book. For me the truly interesting part was the Sig/Intel of the time and the impact on WWII.
Those were truly the “times that try men’s souls” (as these are).
If a European tells you that crap suggest they look at this:
American Battle Monuments Commission
Flanders Field, Belgium
Mexico City, Mexico
North Africa, Tunisia
St. Mihiel, France
>>Those were truly the times that try mens souls (as these are).<<
The difference is that at that time there were men (and women) who cared about the USA and freedom as both a structure and a concept.
The only people who feel “these times are those that try men’s souls” are those not on the dole (need I remind everyone that fewer than 1/2 of all Americans pay .01 in taxes?) and those whose religious/ideological fellation of a pedophile is exalted upon the altar of Political Correctness.
These are not the times that “try men’s souls” since souls are in such a meager supply.
If Britain and France truly had Poland's back like they said they would, it wouldn't have come to this.
Latecomers,, . isn’t is amazing that Europeans then and now assume that they should retain full and immediate access to American kids for any war they begin. The most recent war in the Balkans is a good example.
If we do enter a Eurowar, it should be as a bitter last resort, as we did in WWII.
Ahhh Yes. Slick Willie's Wag the Dog War. Still think we chose the wrong side. Trying to appease the Muzzies did not work out that well then. Going to stop there, although I have some strong feelings about our mistakes in the Balkans.
The dice are on the table. It is hot in Suez.
"The Invasion....They're Coming!"
Yep, I brought my father (and mother) dinner tonight. Normally I do that at lunch each day. He packed an M1 in France, Belgium, Germany and Checkloslavakia. He was an armorer, worked on Quad 50's and Bofors.
He missed "the Bulge" by 2 weeks.
He was at Munich about 3 weeks after Dachau was liberated, and was in charge of overseeing a group of German Prisoners who cut the timber from around the camp that winter for firewood.
At 18 he faced evil in the eye. There were many that did then. You should have seen his face when I showed him the Obozo "Sing for Change" video during the campaign for the last Presidential elections. (he had seen the Hitler Youth in Germany)
D-Day was a tremendous show of military will power,courage and faith. No doubt the world learned and remembers that men dedicated to a cause of freedom can overcome life consuming obstacles. Only about one year later after many other island invasions the USA would have to face the last great invasion of the war for Okinawa with as many combat troops. However D- Day stands as a monument to what this Nation and fighting men were able to rise to when needed.
What is the source of your claim that most D-Day soldiers were not yet 20 years old? The truth is that the average age of WWII GI’s was 26. Also, the reality is that the Soviet Union was on it’s way to defeating Germany on it’s own. D-Day was all about saving Western Europe from the Soviets.
I have the same view from over here.
The Soviets were utterly dependent upon supply lines from the U.S. through Britain. If we were that concerned about stopping them, we would have simply cut them off. There's no arguing that the USSR was the other major pincer in the Allied fight, but the Nazis were hardly washed up. The main thing the Soviets did was drain them, and they couldn't even have done that if Hitler had awakened from his obsession with the East and focused solely on nailing down Britain. If he had, it would have been a very different outcome, and the Soviets would never have stopped him or taken Europe - Hitler would have simply entrenched in the UK, gone back at North Africa until he retook the oil fields, and then cut up Russia, all while we faced a cross-ocean fight without the UK as a base.
As an Air Force Tech Controller(307X0), I was privileged to have been taught the then still Classified Counter Measures and Counter Counter Measures of WWII.
A ping in honor of our dad...
29th Infantry Division, 116th Infantry Regiment
D-Day - Omaha Beach
2 Purple Hearts, bronze star
Well, I’ve told my dad’s story on FR before, but I like it, so here it is again. My dad detonated mines on Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was an ensign. After he and his men cleared the beach, he rescued floundering soldiers out of the water and carried the wounded. He was awarded the Navy Cross by President Truman himself for his valor that day. His own reflection on that time was merely that he was following orders. Also, for the rest of his life, he passed up fireworks displays, saying that he had seen enough rockets red glare in the D-Day invasion to last him a lifetime.
He went on to do more military service, though. After D-Day, he was sent to the Pacific theater to work with the brand new SeaBees. He was also called up for active duty in Korea and was in Thailand during the Vietnam War.
He was a life-long Democrat, but that was back when a patriotic, anti-communist, pro-life Democrat was not an oxymoron. It was normal. He wouldn’t recognize his party now.
And then screwed it all up with their kids.
The info I posted is from the website.
Thanks for telling his story.
“When I was on EU threads in different parts of the Internet, they called the USA late comers to the party.
I have a friend who married a woman from England, and I met her FIL, a WWII vet. He claimed that England was on their way to winning the war when we “showed up”. To be fair, he was on the ground and didn’t see the whole picture.
I tried to point out to him that Great Britain was actually pretty close to mass starvation without US support, so they might have been pretty hungry and/or have reverted to cannibalism on their way to victory...
There is fire at the travel agency.
The History Channel has an all day “American Pickers” Marathon breaking for one episode of “Pawn Stars” in the evening planned for D-Day anniversary.
They are so incredibly worthless.
My father-in-law and his brother were serving aboard a submarine (USS TENOSA) and a Battleship (USS TENNESSEE) in the Pacific at the this time in history. My f-i-l passed away in March 2010. Military Honors were rendered at his
Salute to George and Ron!
LCT: Landing Craft, Tank. My Dad was a 22 year old LT(j.g.) in charge of one of those. Didn’t have tanks, he had bulldozers.
I think that I will be spending some time at this website- thanks for posting this, Doug- I didn't know about this ten year old memorial.
June 6, 1944. D-Day. Here’s a prayer of thanks to all who participated in this vast effort.
I'll be completely thrilled if Palin decides to run, and I'll be just as thrilled if Jim DeMint decides to run. I consider them equals in Conservative attributes, with Palin having a great deal of "star power", but also a great deal of media generated negativity among some of the weaker-minded electorate. DeMint suffers from lack of name recognition.