Saturday, June 06, 2009
D-Day, June 6
Here is an excerpt on D-Day via The United States Army D-Day website:
June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded -- but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.
Here is just a little bit more information on D-Day from Military History Online (an excellent site, by the way) :
After the invasion and subsequent fall of France in 1940, the German army controlled the entire coast of Northern France. Following the Allied evacuation at Dunkirk, Hitler had hoped that Britain would agree to settle the war. But, because of British determination and Germany's inability to carry out an invasion of England, Germany was forced to maintain a defensive posture along the coast. In 1944, the German war machine was still very powerful despite the many setbacks on the Eastern Front. What it lacked in Luftwaffe and materials, it made up for in highly experienced and trained men. Also, its armor, heavy infantry weapons, and anti-tank capabilities were years ahead of the Americans and British. But, the Allies controlled the air and sea and what they lacked in quality, they hoped to make up for in quantity.
At 0300 on the morning of June 6th, fleets of Allied bombers roared overhead delivering thousands of tons of bombs onto the German coastal defenses. These were followed at 0500 by the naval bombardment which had been planned to immediately precede the invasion itself. The battleship USS Nevada's 14-inch guns were assigned to the bombardment of the German batteries on Utah beach, while the USS Texas was to fire at Pointe-du-Hoc where the Rangers were to land as part of the Omaha landing. On the western end of Omaha proper, the USS Arkansas pounded a battery at Les Moulins. Several cruisers and destroyers also jumped into the bombardment with pre-determined targets and as opportunity arose. At such close range, there was very little trajectory to the shots and many Americans who were coming in to land, could feel the vacuum of the shells passing overhead. Needless to say, the bombardment was a very welcome sight to those troops about to land. At approximately 0620, the Nevada turned its guns to the beach and began bombarding a concrete seawall. Immediately after the bombardment, the plan called for a rocket bombardment by LCT(R)s (Landing Craft, Tank with Rocket launcher). This was to be followed by the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry, in 20 Higgins boats which carried a 30-man assault team each.
By nightfall on June 6th 1944-D-Day, Hitler's Atlantic Wall on the coast of Normandy had been breached. The Allies, at a cost of 9,500 casualties compared with 4-10,000 Germans, were ashore in Fortress Europe. But their position remained precarious; the beachheads had less depth than had been hoped for, and British and US forces had not yet linked up. Supplies and reinforcements were not coming ashore as rapidly as had been planned, and the initially slow and piecemeal enemy reaction could not be expected to remain so favorable. The Allies had to link up and expand their currently insecure toeholds into something more substantial as rapidly as possible.
D-Day: World War II History;
The National D-Day Memorial Foundation;
The UK has an excellent site commemorating and honoring D-Day, noting the following:
THIS WEB SITE IS DEDICATED TO THE BRAVE MEN, HEROES ONE AND ALL, WHO TOOK PART IN THE D-DAY LANDINGS 6th. JUNE 1944.
Is the significance and importance of what occurred on D-Day still taught to any degree in public schools? I hope a bit of the above might stir others to learn a little bit more about D-Day. My Dad died several years ago. When he would speak of D-Day, I didn't pay attention, I was young and didn't care about "that stuff." I wish he were still around today, so that I could ask him questions about things like D-Day.
If you have a favorite site that chronicles the importance and significance of D-Day, please leave a comment letting me know the link. If you're a blogger and you also wrote about this day, leave a link to your post in the comments and I will add it. Visit my blogroll, I know many of them are noting this historic day as well.
May God Bless the Men and Women, and their families, who fought for Worldwide Freedom on D-Day.
May God Bless the Men and Woman, and their families, around the world - one and all - who have put their lives on the line and who continue to put their lives on the line, so that people may live in Freedom.
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Labels: D-Day June 6 1944
God bless the cause of freedom, life and the persuit of happyness, all unalianable rights which come from the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, not from governments or Hollywood-type political leaders.
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