D-Day +70

800px-Into_the_Jaws_of_Death_23-0455M_edit


Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

— Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower


Seventy years ago today was the beginning of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy. But “D-Day” was actually just one step in a process that lasted several years. But it was a BIG step.

World War II in Europe started in September 1939 with the joint invasion of Poland by Germany and the USSR. We didn’t officially join the party until after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. A lot of fighting went on prior to that date.

France was invaded by Germany. The British army was defeated and had to be evacuated from Dunkirk by a flotilla of civilian ships and boats. The Battle of Britain began as the Germans tried to bomb England into submission. The British were expecting an invasion across the Channel. It was one of the darkest times in English history.

Things began to get better when FDR proclaimed that the United States was the “Arsenal of Democracy” and announced the Lend-Lease program to get around the Neutrality Acts passed to keep us out of foreign wars. We began to supply Britain with badly needed military supplies. Then Hitler turned his attention eastward and ordered the invasion of the Soviet Union.

When we first joined the war we had an undersized military with antiquated weapons and equipment. Most of our existing military was taking a beating in the Pacific. We literally had to build an army from scratch.

Millions of our young men enlisted in the military right after Pearl Harbor, including two of my uncles who joined the Marines. But building an army didn’t happen overnight. Each of those new recruits needed to be properly trained and equipped. Then all those soldiers and equipment had to be moved over to Europe.

The industrial might of the United States shifted to war time production as our factories and shipyards began producing planes, tanks, jeeps, trucks, submarines, aircraft carriers and all the other necessary military supplies. Then we built more ships to transport everything.

The Germans sent out wolfpacks of U-Boat submarines to sink our ships. Lots of men and equipment never made it to Europe but instead ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Meanwhile we began fighting the Nazis in North Africa, followed by Sicily and Italy. Our troops gained combat experience and developed tactics tested new weapons and equipment.

England became a giant military base as more troops and supplies made it past the wolfpacks. The Allies gained control of the seas and the skies, and bombing raids began on targets in Germany, France and other parts of Europe.

But sooner or later we would have to cross the Channel and invade the continent. It was no secret. The Germans knew we were coming, they just didn’t know when and where. But we couldn’t just swim across.

The Dieppe Raid of 1942 had shown that the Allies could not rely on being able to penetrate the Atlantic Wall to capture a port on the north French coast. The problem was that large ocean-going ships of the type needed to transport heavy and bulky cargoes and stores needed sufficient depth of water under their keels, together with dockside cranes, to off-load their cargo and this was not available except at the already heavily-defended French harbours.


The Germans knew that we would need to capture a major port in order to move all the necessary and and equipment across the English Channel. So they concentrated their defenses around every port. That is why the Dieppe Raid was a disaster. Almost 60% of the Allied troops involved were killed, wounded or captured in a raid that only lasted a few hours.

It was a stalemate until the Allies came up with a stroke of genius. (This is the part of the Normandy invasion that you rarely hear about.) If we couldn’t capture a port, we decided to make one!

MulberryB_-_Piers

A Mulberry harbour was a portable temporary harbour developed by the British in World War II to facilitate rapid offloading of cargo onto the beaches during the Allied invasion of Normandy.

Two prefabricated or artificial military harbours were taken in sections across the English Channel from Britain with the invading army and assembled off the coast of Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion of France in 1944.


That’s why we landed at Normandy. Compared to the rest of the French coast it was lightly defended. But it wasn’t undefended. They first had to take the beaches, then move inland. They had to gain a toehold and hang on to it while the Mulberries were assembled and the deliveries of troops and supplies gave them the necessary strength to break-out of Normandy and begin pushing across France and into German.

Thousands of our young men in England boarded planes and ships and headed for Normandy. Some of those kids never even made it to the beaches and landing areas. Many of the ones who made it died right after they arrived. Many more died in the days, weeks and months afterwards. But the ones that survived went on to win the war and eventually came home.

Every single one of those men was a hero.


omaha-landings


bunker-des-1944


bunker-hill-1944


Advertisements

About Myiq2xu™

Peaceful coexistence or mutually assured destruction. Your choice.
This entry was posted in History and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

106 Responses to D-Day +70

  1. The Klown says:

    Most people without military experience don’t appreciate logistics. There is a lot more to warfare than brave men marching into battle.

    • fif says:

      What a great recap. Thank you for that. Two of my uncles enlisted in the army, and one of them – my brave Uncle Bill – was in the second wave at Normandy. He lived into his 70’s. This kind of history makes me proud and also sad for what we call courage and leadership today.

    • votermom says:

      A lot of Americans now also think that our victory in WWII was inevitable.
      Actually for most of the first half the Axis was winning.

  2. The Klown says:

    BTW – Somewhere around Wednesday we passed the 200K comments mark. I can only take credit for half of those.

    Y’all did the rest.

  3. diogenes says:

    Nice post, Thanks. And congrats on the 4000 post!

  4. mothy67 says:

    Last post got me on my Dolly kick. Music is so profound. It hits us all becomes a friend. I love Led Zep Dolly Floyd Manilow Stones Sinatra Dona Summer Journet the kinks lou reed Dionne Warwick. I can sing Shadow Dancing by Andy Gibb. No shame. Trash I may be. Do not care how people see me. I do however treasure you guys. Think you are a smart sassy collectin of tools. YA remind me of this song
    http://youutube.com/#/watch?v=eI5EQUz1gCg

  5. mothy67 says:

    LINK is not working Cum stains hijacking you tube THe song is Southern Cross.. Favorite song ever save Summer Wind and Suspicious Minds.

    • mothy67 says:

      Oops forgot Lennon’s Jealous Guy. And oh the shame everything by John Cougar. Cherry bomb what was that about? Little dittie about Jack and Diane?

  6. mothy67 says:

    I think you guys are special. Often I do not know which way is up. HURTS . I cherish my brat but I live in eternal fear of doing the wrong thing. EASE and comfort visit me reading how you care about your kids. I could run down a roster letting you all know how much you all love your kids but I am a lazy dish towel. So not gonna happen. Will only say thank you. You have made it easier for me to love a kid. Doubt me I challange you to read what you hsve written. Beautiful shit.

  7. swanspirit says:

    My dad fought in that war . He wasn’t on the beaches , he was a turret gunner in a very big bomber that flew from Africa over Italy and dropped bombs so the guys on the beaches had less fighting to do . He was my hero . They were all heroes !

    • The Klown says:

      If you watch the movie Memphis Belle you will get a feel for what your dad went thru. It was no picnic. Our aircrews took heavy casualties.

      • swanspirit says:

        I have tried to watch that movie several times and for some reason incomprehensible to me , I have yet to be able to do it . Maybe I cannot envision my dad having been in that much danger , even though I know he obviously made it through the war
        . He had a “flak” injury in his right leg . He description was ” I caught some flak there ” . And he kept a little diary during the war ; which he told us he was not supposed to do . In the diary , there would be dates for his missions , with a description of each one ; and many were described as ” a milk run” which meant no flak , no enemy sightings . He had a bomber jacket with many bomb insignia stamped on it . He used to say he couldn’t fit them all on his jacket . My STUPID brother sold that jacket grrrr without asking me or my son , who also served in the Army, and he really wanted it . I could have strangled him barehanded for that!!! But I didn’t . 😉

  8. taw46 says:

    All five of my uncles served in WWII. One is still living today, he is 92 yrs old (I should say 92 yrs young). He was in Patton’s army. They were from a small town in SC. They all survived the war, but lost several childhood friends. To this day, my uncle tells stories about them, has never forgotten them and their sacrifice.

    • The Klown says:

      From Pearl Harbor thru Vietnam on both sides of my family it was basically assumed that if you were male you would join the service when you graduated from high school. I was one of the last – I joined in 1978.

  9. DeniseVB says:

    While you were sleeping…..

  10. mothy67 says:

    I am pissed off got a letter crying about illegal immigrant children. Read do you have comassion. Suck my dirty baby toe. I was nine I cleaned my grandfathers stump every day because he lost his leg in a mill. I picked corn set up bowling pins mowed lawns shoveled snow sold seeds door to door paper boy. Worked weddings at church for the tips. I did get to keep some money but most of it went on the dinner table. We had no phone no tv I grew up in a shack. Went awayvto college lived in London and Paris. MY mom who had her first kid at 15 became a Six figure earning nurse on a GED and a community college certificate. Shut the fuck up is how I feel.

    • votermom says:

      I say send them back or have them adopted.
      Any parent who sends their kid to cross a border illegally should be considered to have legally abandoned that child.

  11. lildoggy4u says:

    I’ve read many things about the invasion of Normandy and WWII. I cannot fathom the great, inspirational people of that time who came together all across this country and Europe to unite and fight that war. The painful times and sacrifices made by so many and the leadership of this country who held everyone together is awesome to think about. Yes, there were heroes on just about every street corner – including the families of those who went to fight against insurmountable odds.

    • The Klown says:

      People on the “homefront” as it was called didn’t just go about their normal lives during the war. Our country was truly united and motivated.

      • 49erDweet says:

        During WWII I was riding public transportation to grammar school in downtown LA from Inglewood-ish. I would get on an empty Florence Avenue bus every morning and at the stop across the street, going out toward El Segundo, at least three times the number of fully occupied buses would be loading up with women in coveralls and hair nets, carrying lunchboxes, going to work in the aircraft factories. Every household had someone working in the defense industry. Lots of the times in shifts. Took a lot of work to build an airplane.

  12. mothy67 says:

    I had no shoes whrn I was a kid. FOR real no shoes. An entire summer barefoot. I choose to not view that era of my life as bad. Shit happens.I do not like kids but I found myself with a little girl wrapping herself around my neck. Fuck I can not walk away. Seven years later she is my best friend

  13. driguana says:

    Here’s the policy directive. Concoct a group lie. Susan Rice presents it with determination. The lie is exposed. They rewrite the lie. If I was a media magnate right now, I would create a moderately based media outlet that took on everyone, to expose every lie and distortion of reality (regardless of political affiliation) with the best facts and evidence I could. No hearsay, no jib-jabbing, just the facts. The distortion of our reality and of our history…past, present and future is very disturbing.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/06/04/white-house-attempts-to-rewrite-susan-rices-latest-sunday-show-debacle

  14. driguana says:

    It’s really interesting having grown up in the WWII family era. All of my uncles and many of my aunts served in WWII….many in very challenging situations. Everyone was so proud of themselves and each other. My dad drove a tank called My Dottie after my mom. I cherish those pictures. He was stationed in New Caledonia and Australia and wrote wonderful letters to my mom and his family….all of which I still have. I loved the wonderfully engraved Australian stamps…still have them, too. I was wondering this morning if it is still worthwhile to hang on to all of this “stuff”, suspecting that my own children might not appreciate them as I did. And that’s not to mention the box of old letters from me to my parents when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia…..during the Vietnam War…..crazy life it is…

    • lildoggy4u says:

      As I’ve grown older and have no family left to ask the many questions I have, I regret not having the awareness to question family about our past. I do possess many letters and photographs that have enabled me an insider view of what was before me. One thing that I’ve learned is that I’m exactly like my grandfather and father. I’m also a dead ringer for him. I read and re-read letters that I have. I cherish these things that were thought by some to have no value, they were just sitting in a box for years. Driguana, I beg you to keep, then pass your things along. They will definitely be appreciated in the future

  15. DeniseVB says:

    Sweet photo…..

  16. elliesmom says:

    My mom’s first love is somewhere on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. My dad fought in Africa, Italy, France, and ended his tour in Germany. When I questioned whether my generation would have been up to the task, my dad said when the stakes are high enough, every generation is. I’d like to think he was right, but I’m not so sure as he was.

    • lildoggy4u says:

      Elliesmom, we better hope so. I have to believe we are up to any challenge or I’d have to just give up now.

    • The Klown says:

      Thanks to technology it has been a long time since our military has had to endure heavy casualties in combat. I’m talking about battles like D-Day and Iwo Jima where thousands of our troops died in a single day. I can’t imagine what that must have been like.

      • The Klown says:

        OTOH if we lose just one soldier in a battle the low casualty rate won’t make any difference if it was YOUR kid.

        • elliesmom says:

          We have friends whose son wanted to be an Army Ranger from when he was first old enough to know what that was. He completed his training and was sent to Afghanistan. A month later he came home in a body bag. His father tells everyone it’s OK. Scot died doing what he always wanted to do, but his mother’s eyes tell a very different story, and she flinches every time he says it.

        • swanspirit says:

          Why is it , so many people miss that concept entirely ??

  17. The Klown says:

    D-Day: “The Great Crusade”:

  18. The Klown says:

    WHY IS OBAMA SMEARING THESE MEN?? Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon members speak out:

    • Lulu says:

      Because they made him retrospectively look like a grinning grabby fool at his Rose Garden photo-op with the creepy parents of Wandering Simpleton Bergdahl. He looked desperate in real time while trying to pivot from the VA and Shinseki implosion, but in retrospect he looks even worse.

    • lyn says:

      They don’t look and sound like psychopaths to me. Obama and his henchmen are bastards.

  19. The Klown says:
    • Lulu says:

      Putin is giving him a “Hello Putz”. Next he says “Can I and QEII see your tiny arms? Is this from starvation as baby in Kenya?”

    • taw46 says:

      I watched that live. They did not meet at the ceremony. A split screen was shown of the two, and there was loud laughter from the crowd. The Won was not amused, thin skin and all.

  20. The Klown says:
  21. The Klown says:

    Excuse me for a little while. I am feeling a very strong urge to use some inappropriate four-letter words. I’m gonna go lie down until the urge passes.

    • The Klown says:

      I didn’t log off quickly enough:

      • Lulu says:

        They are butthurt because first we were mad but now are making fun of his dumb ass. They shaved him! Eyebrows and god knows what else. That is an insult to him and very personal. They emasculated his ass. Then they dressed him up in a new suit all pretty and bald like a new baby. Then told him to never come back like they knew his stupid butt would try. Now he hasn’t talked to his parents. Why? The army won’t let him or he doesn’t want to? Every excuse imaginable has been made for this arrested development fool. The more the left tries to rationalize his idiotic and possibly treasonous behavior (I think he was stoned out of his gourd and that is one of the reasons he kept sneaking off to possible buy more and was so impaired in his thinking and whiny behavior to his parents) the bigger the hole they dig for him and themselves. Just shut up about it Progs until his court martial.

        • lyn says:

          The groupthink is scary.

        • Constance says:

          I agree that the fact Burgdahl was shaved including eyebrows was purposeful and since it was done by a bunch of hair covered men it was intended as humiliation and emasculation. Of course most Progs are so pansy assed they probably can’t fathom this.
          And what is the excuse for not calling his Mother?? Sorry no excuse from Bergdahl or the Military is good enough for not calling Mom.

          • votermom says:

            Maybe he didn’t want to come back.
            What was the deal with his father saying “Bowe, I am your father” – did Bergdahl disown his family when he turned Muhajid?

        • The Klown says:

          If he was stoned out of his gourd and murdered someone would we let it slide?

      • angienc says:

        Funded by Soros, Nazi collaborator; what do you expect, they actually *do* hate America.

    • gumsnapper says:

      The NYT is in full defend Obama and bash Republicans mode:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/opinion/demonizing-sergeant-bergdahl.html

      The headline of the NYT editorial board reads: The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl

      And of course 95% of the comments from readers (selected by the NYT, every comment has to be read over by the Times before being printed) are foaming at the mouth anti-Repub.

      I wonder if they ever published an editorial with the headline: The Rush to Demonize the Duke Lacrosse Players or The Rush to Demonize Zimmerman?

  22. SHV says:

    “Thanks to technology it has been a long time since our military has had to endure heavy casualties in combat. I’m talking about battles like D-Day and Iwo Jima where thousands of our troops died in a single day. I can’t imagine what that must have been like.”
    *****
    The “unknown” European war for Americans was on the Eastern front. The turning point for the German military was July-August 1943 during operation “Citadel” and the battle of Kursk. About one million Germans fought two million Russians resulting in defeat of the German Army and 250,000 German and 430,000 Russian casualties.

    The ignorance of what happened in the East is reflected in the belief, by some people after the war and today that FDR, Eisenhower, George Marshall, etc. committed treason by “allowing” the Russian Army to occupy Berlin.

    The battle for Berlin, April 20-May 2, 2.5 million Russians fought 788,000 Germans resulting in roughly 100,000 killed on each side. The American public never would have tolerated the casualties needed to defeat even a broken German Army.

    • The Klown says:

      75% of all German casualties took place on the Eastern front.

      • SHV says:

        The fact that the US and Western Europe don’t recognize/realize the enormous sacrifice of the Russian people to defeat the Germans is a lingering poison in Russian/US relations. Years ago when I spent several weeks touring in the dying USSR, this subject was brought up by the old Russian veterans while visiting memorials to the “Great Patriotic War”. Seeing Putin at the D-Day event reminded me that he has mentioned the same “slight” on several occasions. With Russians, “Rodina” supersedes political systems.

        • 49erDweet says:

          At the time – and I can speak to that – the prevailing western thought was along this line: “The crazy Ruskies overthrew their Tzar to put themselves in their mess and they can jolly well pay the piper to get out.” We knew they were taking and giving horrible casualty numbers. We had accurate press reports. At the time they were better staffed and equipped (with our equipment, btw) to take on Berlin.
          I think you’ve failed to account for the HUGE Russian ego factor. They imagine “slights” when one passes them in their slow moving cars on express Motorways. Just agree with them and move on.

          • SHV says:

            “I think you’ve failed to account for the HUGE Russian ego factor.”
            *****
            For the majority of Russians, “HUGE Russian ego factor” is about all that they have had for the past thousand years.

          • 49erDweet says:

            :-). They live a tough life. To survive it is awesome. But….

  23. SHV says:

    Class Act:
    “Obama was caught on camera chewing gum while clapping during the welcome for Her Majesty the Queen.’

    http://weaselzippers.us/188765-obama-chomps-on-gum-during-d-dad-anniversary-event/

  24. votermom says:

  25. votermom says:

    I LOL’ed

    • votermom says:

      Notice this:

      President-elect Petro Poroshenko, Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel lingered a while and chatted in a threesome. Reporters observing the encounter couldn’t hear any of the animated minute-long conversation. No plans have been announced for a longer, formal meeting between the men.
      The French, British and German leaders had all scheduled individual meetings with Putin – who did not attend the Omaha Beach ceremony – but Obama had not.

    • 49erDweet says:

      Four of my grandbabies were on Utah Beach earlier today and then attended those ceremonies. They are still young enough to be awed seeing the President of the United States live, but too well raised to be taken in very far by His Specialness. Their trip is covered and chaperoned by my ex, who after a lotta years is no longer my wife’s enemy. Strange.

  26. The Klown says:

    THE FOLLOWING COMMENT IS KINDA GROSS AND DISGUSTING. DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU!

    #PetPeeves:

    You’re in the middle of some household chore like loading all your bottles and cans to take to the recycling station (so you can buy beer and lottery tickets) when suddenly peristalsis in the large intestine signals urgently that the daily mail is ready for delivery. So you do the Texas Quickstep into the house and down the hall to the library, prairie dogging it the whole way. You barely get properly seated when the show starts.

    You are not in there a whole minute and 90% of your downloading is done when your browser freezes up. You know that you’re gonna be waiting a little while for it to restart. That’s when you realize that you were in such a hurry to download that you forgot to bring any reading material.

    Even worse, you notice that you only have a little bit of paper left on the printer roll and you know you’ll need a lot more paper to deal with the Klingons on Uranus. The nearest spare rolls are in the utility closet across the hall.

    Finally, a half hour after you started you can go back out to your garage (which has been standing wide open the whole time) to finish loading up your bottles and cans. You look at the clock, sigh and shake your head because you know by now there will be a long line at the recycling station and it’s already getting hot.

  27. foxyladi14 says:

    Yes that is life alright. 🙄

  28. votermom says:

  29. votermom says:

    I found this a fascinating read; fits right in with Mr Narcissist
    http://freebeacon.com/politics/dialing-it-in/

  30. helenk3 says:

    stolen from No Quarter
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/379738/d-day-veteran-politely-declines-obama-invitation-john-fund

    one of the greatest generation speaks the truth

    • helenk3 says:

      He is not alone. The recent Bergdahl prisoner swap in which five hardened Taliban terrorists were released from prison is rubbing a lot of the military veterans attending D-Day events the wrong way. “It’s not that we don’t want to respect the commander-in-chief,” one told me sadly. “It’s just that he makes it so hard to do so.”

  31. The Klown says:

    Obama has been in Europe all week. Why hasn’t he popped over to Landstuhl for a photo-op with Bowe Bergdahl and other wounded soldiers at the military hospital??

  32. The Klown says:

    One of these days I will learn to turn off the local news while I make dinner. Then I won’t have to accidentally hear Obama’s voice.

  33. mothy67 says:

    I tended bar for twenty plus years in Philly and New York. You learn how to read people. I can gauge the sentiment far better than politico. Western PA the dimocrats are toast. People are angry. Really pissed. I see and hear the rage. Silly attempts to color this as some kind of hero story fall flat. Pub I was in people were talking about raiding money for the Six soldiers on Kelly. Everyone was contributing . This is real and the Times cannot qualify or make it go away. If it gets to a point where a small dive bar in the middle of nowhere gets the people up in arms the argument is over. Funny thing the guy in the suit on Kelley’s interview. All these straight people asked me if I thought he was hot. Duh yeah but why would they ask me that.

  34. mothy67 says:

    I have to perish. No hope left for me. I stood on a bar and sang Starting Over at the top of my lungs. I am tone deaf. Why would I do that Thank hey zeus crisco the DJ stopped me ftom doing Kate Bush’s MY Bubushka. I really wonder sometimes how I became so stupid. I am a first class dolt. Beyond that My Bubushka is a beautiful song. Term of endearment in Russian and Kate has the voice of an angel.

Comments are closed.