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Thread: D-Day

  1. #1
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    D-Day

    Just a reminder - today is the anniversary of D-Day (1944).

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #2
    I'm always in awe of them. Can you imagine how they felt, wading ashore straight into the german guns? The opening scene in Saving Private Ryan was exactly the way I always imagined it must have been. I never had a chance to meet one of the survivors of D-Day. I suspect he wouldn't talk about it anyway.

    Once again, thanks to all who have served.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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    I understand that Ike had already written a letter about the d-day failure and resigning his commission. He wrote this before the first men landed ,just in case it was needed.
    Bill D

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I understand that Ike had already written a letter about the d-day failure and resigning his commission. He wrote this before the first men landed ,just in case it was needed.
    Bill D
    I've read that, though I dont remember the part about resigning. Nixon had a contingency letter for the first moon landing, too.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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    I was eight years old and I still remember the Nazis. I also remember the Japanese war. We fought two wars and won.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    I was eight years old and I still remember the Nazis. I also remember the Japanese war. We fought two wars and won.

    Don't forget that we had allies in WWII. In Europe, it was the Soviet Union who defeated Germany, while in the Pacific, it was the Americans who defeated the Japanese.

    Mike

    [If we hadn't landed on D-Day, it's likely the Soviet Union would have swept through all of Germany and possibly France, since Germany occupied France.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 06-06-2021 at 1:03 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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    Some D-Day statistics. The casualties for the major beach landings were as follows:

    Omaha - 2,000
    Utah - 197
    Gold - 1,000
    Juno - 961
    Sword - 1,000

    Remember that causalities are soldiers out of the fight, not those killed. Out of the fight might included wounded, sick, missing, captured, and probably a few other categories. I don't have statistics on KIAs for each beach but research indicates about 4,400 KIAs (2,500 Americans, the rest British and Canadian) total for the invasion on the first day. Clearly, Omaha was the worse and is the one depicted in Saving Private Ryan.

    But when making a beach landing, the problem is not the landing, itself. The problem is staying there. The initial troops who went ashore were almost all infantry. They were limited in number, did not have prepared defensive positions, had essentially no tanks and only had artillery support from the ships - and very limited supplies (ammunition, food, water, medical supplies, etc.). They also essentially couldn't be reinforced. A counter attack by a large experienced force of tanks and infantry would have driven those infantry troops back onto the sea. The planners were well aware of this and did everything they could to block road and rail lines that the Germans could use to bring up their tanks.

    But the German failure was based in Berlin. Hitler had ordered that no tank forces were to be released except on his personal orders. By the time they were released the allies had brought tanks, artillery and supplies to the bridgeheads and were able to resist the counter attacks.

    It really was touch-and-go. It certainly could have failed.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 06-06-2021 at 3:28 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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    I copied the letter and printed it. I will frame it and hang it in my office.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    I copied the letter and printed it. I will frame it and hang it in my office.
    Lowell, Here is an account from the beginning of the war you may want to save:

    John Guy writes: "What God did at Pearl Harbor that day is interesting and I never knew this little bit of history.
    Tour boats ferry people out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii every thirty minutes. We just missed a ferry and had to wait thirty minutes. I went into a small gift shop to kill time.
    In the gift shop, I purchased a small book entitled, "Reflections on Pearl Harbor" by Admiral Chester Nimitz.
    Sunday, December 7th, 1941— Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington, DC. He was paged and told there was a phone call for him. When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone.
    He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet. Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat--you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.
    On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere you looked. As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, "Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?"
    Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice. Admiral Nimitz said, "The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which do you think it was?"
    Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?
    Nimitz explained:
    Mistake number one:
    The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
    Mistake number two:
    When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.
    Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in top of the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.
    That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or, God was taking care of America.
    I've never forgotten what I read in that little book. It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it. In jest, I might suggest that because Admiral Nimitz was a Texan, born and raised in Fredericksburg, Texas -- he was a born optimist.
    But any way you look at it -- Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeatism.
    President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job. We desperately needed a leader that could see silver lining in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    Some D-Day statistics. The casualties for the major beach landings were as follows:

    Omaha - 2,000
    Utah - 197
    Gold - 1,000
    Juno - 961
    Sword - 1,000

    Remember that causalities are soldiers out of the fight, not those killed. Out of the fight might included wounded, sick, missing, captured, and probably a few other categories. I don't have statistics on KIAs for each beach but research indicates about 4,400 KIAs (2,500 Americans, the rest British and Canadian) total for the invasion on the first day. Clearly, Omaha was the worse and is the one depicted in Saving Private Ryan.

    But when making a beach landing, the problem is not the landing, itself. The problem is staying there. The initial troops who went ashore were almost all infantry. They were limited in number, did not have prepared defensive positions, had essentially no tanks and only had artillery support from the ships - and very limited supplies (ammunition, food, water, medical supplies, etc.). They also essentially couldn't be reinforced. A counter attack by a large experienced force of tanks and infantry would have driven those infantry troops back onto the sea. The planners were well aware of this and did everything they could to block road and rail lines that the Germans could use to bring up their tanks.

    But the German failure was based in Berlin. Hitler had ordered that no tank forces were to be released except on his personal orders. By the time they were released the allies had brought tanks, artillery and supplies to the bridgeheads and were able to resist the counter attacks.

    It really was touch-and-go. It certainly could have failed.

    Mike
    I might be confusing it with a different offensive but I was thinking we also fooled the Germans into thinking the invasion was going to happen at a different location and as a result they sent their reinforcements to the wrong area. There is a good series on Netflix about WW II and the numerous turning points.

  12. #12
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    I remember WWII and I remember when the bomb was dropped on Japan. It was a miserable day in history, but it had to be.
    I had uncles in that war. I was 8 years old when it ended.

    Then there was the Korean war and I remember when it ended.

    Later, I was a navy reservist stationed in Key West Florida during the Berlin crisis and one day we were training gunners mates and I saw the brand new Atomic sub Nautilus on top of the water making about 30 knots throwing a huge rooster tail in the air. For you non-boaters, a rooster tail is the wake behind the vessel.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Blue View Post
    I might be confusing it with a different offensive but I was thinking we also fooled the Germans into thinking the invasion was going to happen at a different location and as a result they sent their reinforcements to the wrong area. There is a good series on Netflix about WW II and the numerous turning points.
    You remember it right Ronald. There was an elaborate ruse, made up of several different parts conducted over several months, all designed to mislead the germans.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    You remember it right Ronald. There was an elaborate ruse, made up of several different parts conducted over several months, all designed to mislead the Germans.
    It was Operation Fortitude.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    Some D-Day statistics. The casualties for the major beach landings were as follows:

    Omaha - 2,000
    Utah - 197
    Gold - 1,000
    Juno - 961
    Sword - 1,000

    Remember that causalities are soldiers out of the fight, not those killed. Out of the fight might included wounded, sick, missing, captured, and probably a few other categories. I don't have statistics on KIAs for each beach but research indicates about 4,400 KIAs (2,500 Americans, the rest British and Canadian) total for the invasion on the first day. Clearly, Omaha was the worse and is the one depicted in Saving Private Ryan.

    But when making a beach landing, the problem is not the landing, itself. The problem is staying there. The initial troops who went ashore were almost all infantry. They were limited in number, did not have prepared defensive positions, had essentially no tanks and only had artillery support from the ships - and very limited supplies (ammunition, food, water, medical supplies, etc.). They also essentially couldn't be reinforced. A counter attack by a large experienced force of tanks and infantry would have driven those infantry troops back onto the sea. The planners were well aware of this and did everything they could to block road and rail lines that the Germans could use to bring up their tanks.

    But the German failure was based in Berlin. Hitler had ordered that no tank forces were to be released except on his personal orders. By the time they were released the allies had brought tanks, artillery and supplies to the bridgeheads and were able to resist the counter attacks.

    It really was touch-and-go. It certainly could have failed.

    Mike
    As a group, the rangers fared the worst. More drowned from weight of water soaked rope they were carrying to climb cliffs, than from German gunfire. Same type thing happened in Operation "Market Garden." Paratroopers landed in water, and couldn't get out of their harnesses, due to poor design. British only needed to open one buckle on theirs to get out.

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