Blog #696 D-Day

It was 75 years ago today – D-Day

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-10-things-you-need-to-know-about-d-day

Today’s thought is surrounded by the “Haters going to Hate” topic.  But, it really was part of it.

Hitler (and others) were haters.  They hated the Jews, they hated people unlike themselves.  The German and Axis armies had conquered western Europe – with their partners in Japan – who had conquered much of eastern Asia.  England had survived the “Battle for Britain” (barely). Is was time to free Europe and get rid of this dictator.

So, let’s look at D-Day – June 6, 1944 – 75 years ago today.

-1 It was the start of Operation Overlord

D-Day started the final phase of World War II.  Paratroopers landed inside France early in the morning with the plan to disrupt the German army along the English Channel.  Then boats from men (I don’t think there were combat women yet) to Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches. By the end of that bloody day the Allies had established a foothold on the shores of France.

-2  It established a second front.  After the blitzkrieg of the first part of World War II, the Western Front was pretty quiet.  Yes, the Allied bombers bombed munition factories and important sites in German and western Europe.  The Russians and Germans armies were logged down in Russia. The Allies needed a second front to stretch the German army to a breaking point.

-3 D-Day involved massive planning

(And without computers).  There needed to be coordination of Allied leaders.

-4 D-Day required an international effort

For example, how to get 1.4 million American servicemen from the US to Britain (and feed, clothe, and arm them and the Canadians and Aussies and free French and all the others.

-5 It was the largest land and air operation in history

Over 18,000 paratroopers were dropped into the area starting at midnight.  Over 14,000 flights took place. Over 7,000 boats were used with over 132,000 ground troops.  Vessels off shore bombarded German positions prior to the invasion.

-6 The Germans were ready.

But, the Allied had ‘leaked’ plans for an invasion through Italy and other places as a ruse.  Americans landed at Omaha Beach and were met by well prepared German troops. Other beaches were not quite as well defended.

-7 D-Day worked because of other efforts

Strategic bombing for a year ahead of the invasion helped D-Day; as well as did the “Battle for the Atlantic” – so Allies (mostly American and Canadian) could ship supplies and men to Britain.

-8 Operation Overlord required more than just D-Day.

Landing forces was the first step in freeing Europe.  It took almost a whole year to subdue the German forces.

-9 Operation Overlord was a significant turn in World War II

It pushed the Germans back in a retreat.  (The German armies did bring more offense later in the Battle of the Bulge and others)

-10 There were other ‘D-Days’

Like landing in Sicily and Italy, later in Southern France.  

All-in-all it was a bloody day.  WIkipedia adds “German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000’

I was one of those ‘baby boomers’ born when the troops came home.  Peace and prosperity!!

Karen

Posted by Bruce White

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