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What was D-Day?
Townhall.com ^ | May 29, 2014 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 05/29/2014 4:44:08 AM PDT by Kaslin

Seventy years ago this June 6, the Americans, British and Canadians stormed the beaches of Normandy in the largest amphibious invasion of Europe since the Persian king Xerxes invaded Greece in 480 B.C.

About 160,000 troops landed on five Normandy beaches and linked up with airborne troops in a masterful display of planning and courage. Within a month almost a million Allied troops had landed in France and were heading eastward toward the German border. Within 11 months the war with Germany was over.

The western front required the diversion of hundreds of thousands of German troops. It weakened Nazi resistance to the Russians while robbing the Third Reich of its valuable occupied European territory.

The impatient and long-suffering Russians had demanded of their allies a second front commensurate with their own sacrifices. Their Herculean efforts by war's end would account for two out of every three dead German soldiers -- at a cost of 20 million Russian civilian and military casualties.

(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: dday; normandy; vdh; victordavishanson; worldwarll

1 posted on 05/29/2014 4:44:09 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

It was the day that the lefts forefathers, the European national socialists, realized hot tea was about to be served.


2 posted on 05/29/2014 4:54:23 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: Kaslin

It was the day Europe was LIBERATED bigtime by the blood, sweet, and tears of the Americans.


3 posted on 05/29/2014 5:10:56 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Kaslin
Fist time I've been somewhat surprised by a VDH column.

The victors get to write history.

D-Day was a lot closer to being a defeat than is generally admitted. If Hitler had released the Panzer divisions at Calais, the Nazis might well have stopped the invasion on the beaches. Nearly all the paratroops missed their drop zones..often by miles. Some 90% of the bombs and naval artillery missed their targets by several miles. The pre-invasion bombardment was the original "shock and awe" and it didn't do a thing to the German defenses.

D-Day succeeded because the Allied command was willing to sacrifice the troops in order to gain a foothold. The correlation of forces was about 150,000 for the Allies, to 40,000 for the Germans. That's about what most military strategists suggest is the needed ratio of attackers against a well equipped and positioned defender. However, more than 75% of the Germans were positioned inland, well off the beaches...maybe 10,000 at best were on the water line. If you throw 150,000 men against 10,000, no matter how well positioned and equipped, the attackers will ultimately get through, and win the objective, as long as you are willing to accept the casualties as the necessary price for winning the battle. That's the cold, hard, calculus of war on this scale.

4 posted on 05/29/2014 5:11:37 AM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: Kaslin

It had to be a real crap shoot.

Apart from the security, weather and logistics, I have never read of heard of any capabilities or plans for a ‘do over’

Failure could not be considered to any degree or in any form. Any effort after this kind of failure would smell of desperation. This attempt HAD to succeed no matter what.

What tremendous courage and confidence there had to be in the Allied command, to risk so much against SUCH odds and with no recourse in the case of failure.


5 posted on 05/29/2014 5:28:06 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: Kaslin

Still gets me every time I see the Russians fought alone or some rubbish like that. That honor goes to the UK. The British were also fighting a second front in North Africa before the Germans invaded Russia not to mention their operations in the Med against Italy. This was before we came in.


6 posted on 05/29/2014 5:32:56 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: SMARTY

“What was D-Day”......

Ask a WWII vet who crawled up Omaha Beach or any of the other beaches along the northern coast of France and you will find out. (My Bro-in law was one of them, God rest his soul). It was not a picnic.

Amazing that almost everyone under the age of 30 probably never heard the term, I would bet it is not, or has not, been taught in our schools.

Its time for some HISTORY LESSONS.


7 posted on 05/29/2014 5:37:33 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult
I like to point out that Canada was actively fighting the Nazis two years before the US declared war—against Japan.
8 posted on 05/29/2014 5:43:06 AM PDT by Does so ("Miranda Warnings" and loss of "Common-Law Marriage" = 2 Big Mistakes...)
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To: ken5050
From the American perspective, D Day succeeded because of the resourcefulness bravery and initiative of American non-coms and privates.

The first thing to go on that day was the official plan, and it was left up to these guys to improvise. And that they did.

9 posted on 05/29/2014 5:44:46 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: skeeter

Any military ops plan is scrapped when the first shot is fired...always has been, always will be..


10 posted on 05/29/2014 5:50:42 AM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: DaveA37
My dad landed at Utah beach and it was about the second day of the invasion.

I used to ask him about it and he would tell me his experiences.

I asked if he was afraid and he said that of course everyone was scared, BUT the trip over there across the Chanel was SO choppy and everyone was sea sick, so they were glad just to get off the craft.

Also, he said that by the time he arrived, the beach was more or less secure with a perfect SOB of a beachmaster walking around. But inland about a mile or so, ‘You'd better duck!’. There were lots of snipers and the hedge rows were killer.

He had to walk crouched over for a long time. He said he thought he'd never be able to stand up and walk again.

11 posted on 05/29/2014 5:58:35 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult

Amen. The reason why Russians suffered so many losses was because they purged all the good generals and replaced them with generals with the right mindset.
Sounds Familiar doesn’t it?


12 posted on 05/29/2014 6:08:21 AM PDT by Yorlik803 ( Church/Caboose in 2016)
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To: Yorlik803
True...then there was Marshal Zhukov, who was such a bad a$# that even Stalin couldn't intimidate him.
13 posted on 05/29/2014 6:49:54 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: SMARTY

The Russians had a lot of great generals. But in the end the Germans defeated themselves. Hitler thought himself smarter than anyone else.
Again, sounds familiar.


14 posted on 05/29/2014 6:55:21 AM PDT by Yorlik803 ( Church/Caboose in 2016)
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To: Yorlik803
Right.

We had a family friend who was in the second war too. He was in 4 campaigns and 3 invasions. (including, N. Africa and Italy-Anzio, Mt. Casino).

I asked him how the Germans lost.

HE said the Germans were SUPER TOUGH enemies and in the end they ran out of gas.... literally.

BTW, he said the British 8th Army (I guess it was) was partly made up of Sherpa's ... and THOSE guys were incredible. He said, at Casino they would go up the hill at night and return with prisoners, on demand.

15 posted on 05/29/2014 7:32:02 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: Biggirl
It was the day Europe was LIBERATED bigtime by the blood, sweet, and tears of the Americans.

And Canadians and Brits, and many other Allied soldiers from different nations.

16 posted on 05/29/2014 7:34:13 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

True, but also the Americans made the biggest effort.


17 posted on 05/29/2014 7:42:50 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Biggirl

Well also consider our population and size relative to the other countries.


18 posted on 05/29/2014 7:43:48 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

I mean the other countries helped too, and I am not belittleing them, but the Americans put the largest effort in, and suffered the most the lost of life and combat injuries.


19 posted on 05/29/2014 7:47:08 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Biggirl

I read that in the end marching into Berlin, Stalin insisted that the Russians march FIRST-because they did the most.

Eisenhower said, ‘The Americans will march last, since NO ONE can say we did the least.’


20 posted on 05/29/2014 7:47:28 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: SMARTY
Stalin insisted that the Russians march FIRST-because they did the most.

Including starting the war when they agreed with Hitler to carve up Poland.

21 posted on 05/29/2014 7:48:49 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SMARTY

“..and in the end they ran out of gas.... literally.”

I recall my HS history teacher showing photos of mules taking the new German jets out on the runways so they wouldn’t waste fuel on the taxi way.

And I think it was some German that lamented something like “They shoot one of ours down and it is gone. We shoot one of theirs down and they replace it with ten more!”


22 posted on 05/29/2014 7:55:19 AM PDT by 21twelve (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts 2013 is 1933 REBORN)
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To: dfwgator
True..and once the actual fighting started, the Russians made some of their own problems.

They were so ham-strung with KGB types spying on officers, etc. that everyone in command was fighting the Germans and ALSO fighting to keep themselves out of the political jackpot, if the KGB types ran to Stalin with stories.

Over and above the expected and unavoidable problems with succeeding in combat, their whole command was poisoned with this bunker mentality!

23 posted on 05/29/2014 7:58:00 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: SMARTY
"Sherpas"

I think you mean Gurkhas...not Sherpas. Sherpas are the guys helping climbers in the Himalayas. Both are from Nepal, but it's the Gurkhas who were the warriors. My wife's father was an airplane (aeroplane if you're British) mechanic with the RAF in Burma during WWII. He said the Gurkhas were the best soldiers he ever saw.

24 posted on 05/29/2014 9:58:06 AM PDT by driftless2 (For long term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: driftless2

Right. MY mistake... That’s what he said.

My memory failed, because aren’t they from the same part of the world?


25 posted on 05/29/2014 10:00:35 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: skeeter

It was reported that, at the press conference after D-Day was successful, with tables displaying piles of books containing the invasion and logistics plans, a reporter asked something like: “You are displaying all of these books containing plans for the invasion. However, some of your paratroopers landed in the wrong place, some of your guys even landed on the wrong beach. What good are your plans now?”

The General answered: “You don’t understand. While we were preparing all of these plans, we were learning how to plan. Now that the boots are on the ground, we know we can plan for real.” ...and he smiled.


26 posted on 05/29/2014 10:52:19 AM PDT by Mack the knife
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To: Kaslin

obama who was president at that time told the world our intentions of invading Europe on June 6 and then after heavy casualties started mounting up declared victory and left the men on the beach and went to a fund raiser then a vacation because he was exhausted.


27 posted on 05/29/2014 11:06:37 AM PDT by minnesota_bound
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To: minnesota_bound

Omaha Beach to central Germany was about the same distance as the Russian Front to Berlin. But the Western Allies covered the same approximate ground in about a quarter of the time as had the beleaguered Russians.


I never thought about the distance. I wonder how long the war would have been if the Russians had not been invaded and Germany could concentrate all it’s resources to the west.

I figure sometime in August 1945 it would have been over for the Germans.


28 posted on 05/29/2014 11:17:55 AM PDT by minnesota_bound
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To: minnesota_bound

Of course for Germans, surrendering to the Allies was much more preferable to surrendering to the Russians.

Which is one of my basic rules of war, “Make it easy for the enemy to surrender”.

To surrender to the Russians was virtually a death sentence for any German, so they had no choice but to fight.

I guarantee if it were the Western Allies that took Berlin, it would have been a short fight. But for the Russians, they lost 100,000 men just to take it.


29 posted on 05/29/2014 11:20:01 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SMARTY
"same part...of world"

Yes, both are from Nepal and the surrounding regions.

30 posted on 05/29/2014 3:16:23 PM PDT by driftless2 (For long term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: Kaslin
It weakened Nazi resistance to the Russians while robbing the Third Reich of its valuable occupied European territory.

Yep. And along with Potsdam allowed Uncle Joe to take it.


31 posted on 05/31/2014 1:47:15 PM PDT by caveat emptor (!)
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