70th Anniversary of #D-Day – Round Up of Coverage #DDAY

On the anniversary of one of the most historic battles and largest amphibious landing, here is a round up of coverage and events taking place.

I’ll be adding links throughout the day.  If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment and I’ll add it.

 

Remembrances of the men who were there

The War that had to be won to make D-Day a success

D-Day photo’s still haunting after the invasion

WSJ – D-Day Veterans Gather to remember

D-Day Memorial Anniversary Events

WWII Vets Travel To Normandy to Remember

BBC –  Staged Landing and Remembrances Event

D-Day Historic Battle Re-created

Videos of D-Day Anniversary

70th Anniversary Parade

The Darkroom, pictures and video’s of D-Day

Blackfive – The President’s Prayer, Eisenhower 

Blackfive – Courage beyond measure

France will never forget what it owes these soldiers

What does D-Day Stand for and other facts?

The eyes of the world were upon us on the longest day

One of the finest speeches ever delivered at Pointe-du-hoc

93 year old re-creates parachute jump over Normandy

89 year old veteran sneaks out of nursing home to attend ceremony

WSJ – The debt owed to the hero’s of D-Day

WSJ – The last of the D-Day veterans battle time to bear witness, moving from personal experience to history.

#D-Day 70 Years Later, The War That Had To Be Won Before Operation #Overloard

I’ve written about D-day before here and here, but I’ve recently found research about the planning and the pre-landing war at 25,000 feet. One of the issues that the strategists had to deal with was the mighty Luftwaffe.  Almost a year before the landing in Normandy, Operation Overlord or D-Day would have been much different if air cover had been used against the Allied landing force. They had to find a way to get rid of German air superiority before the landing or it would be unsuccessful.

300px-Color_Photographed_B-17E_in_FlightIn the month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US Army’s Eight Air Force was established in Savannah, Georgia.  Less than a year later, it is tasked with defeating the most powerful air force in the world, the German Luftwaffe.  By the end of the War in Europe, there were thousands of B-17’s and fighters produced.  Unfortunately, the early fighters couldn’t match the bomber range so they flew without cover both to and from the target until the fighters could find and protect what was left of the Bomber squadron.  It was thought that with 17 machine guns protecting each plane, they would be self defending against the Messerschmitt’s. Unfortunately, it was a turkey shoot for the Germans.  Almost 75% of the airmen would fail to complete the 25 missions which would complete their duty in the European theater. (Authors note: I have the greatest respect for the contribution and sacrifice of the other countries who participated.  Their efforts can be found by other authors and should be read and celebrated for what they did).

p51Much of this was proved on Big Week which ended on February 25, 1944 when more than 2,000 American airmen failed to return from their mission. The U.S. fighters were not able to engage the German fighters deep over Europe until the advent of the P-51 Mustang which was faster, better armed and had the range to protect the B-17’s the entire mission.  It was discovered that the Mustangs could win the battle against the German fighters, but they had to beat the deadline of D-Day to stop the Luftwaffe.

It has been written in documentaries that with the knowledge that the German’s would come after the B-17’s (the Germans used radar) and that the P-51’s would win, they used the bombers as bait to knock out the enemy’s air power. This was a certain death sentence for the crews of the bomber squadrons, but knowing that the landing at Normandy and the entire Operation Overlord would fail unless this was accomplished sealed the fate for the Eighth. Nevermore was this apparent when the Eight was ordered to bomb Berlin on March 6, 1944. This was the center of German government and the most heavily fortified city against air attack with an estimated 70% of the Luftwaffe fighters and 750 anti-aircraft weapons were placed.  Although ten’s of thousands of pounds of bombs were dropped, 69 bombers were lost.  The goal of reducing the Luftwaffe was accomplished as more than 179 German Fighters were destroyed.  The difference was that American planes and pilots could be replaced, the Germans couldn’t produce any more and these were their best pilots.

Two more raids were then ordered on Berlin, some say to draw out the fighters so they could be eliminated.  It was the beginning of the end of the Luftwaffe.  This strategy ensured the goal of Allied air superiority over Normandy, but at a very high cost.

By the end of the war, the 8th Air Force would suffer 26000 combat deaths.  This was more than the Marines suffered in all of World War II.

We honor the soldiers who gave their all, many with the ultimate sacrifice to secure freedom in Europe and likely for the world.  We know from history the amphibious landing and the issues and outcome.  It all came at great cost and reminds us that freedom is never free.  It always comes at some cost.  For the year prior to the landing at Normandy, there was a great cost at 25,000 feet.

For more on D-Day at 70, you can read about it here.

Omaha Beach June 6 1944 – The Longest Day

Anniversary of D-Day b the Army

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allied nations landed around 156,000 troops on the Normandy coastline. The American forces landed numbered 73,000: 23,250 on Utah Beach, 34,250 on Omaha Beach, and 15,500 airborne troops. In the British and Canadian sector, 83,115 troops were landed (61,715 of them British): 24,970 on Gold Beach, 21,400 on Juno Beach, 28,845 on Sword Beach, and 7900 airborne troops.

The War Years has created a range of D-Day commemorative designs and merchandise. Each of our designs incorporates QR barcodes that enables anyone with a smartphone or similar web-enabled mobile device to connect to our digital content, such as this Omaha Beach video. We also use 2D QR codes so that you can connect to our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Checkout our website: http://www.thewaryears.co.uk

The Assault on Omaha Beach
On D-Day, the untested 29th Infantry Division, joined by nine companies of U.S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, were to assault the western half of the beach. The battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half. The initial assault waves, consisting of tanks, infantry, and combat engineer forces, were carefully planned to reduce the coastal defences and allow the larger ships of the follow-up waves to land.

However, the assault on Omaha Beach did not go to plan. Almost all the specially designed amphibious DD tanks, that were to provide much needed covering fire for the infantry assault waves, sank off shore. Navigation problems caused the majority of landing craft to miss their targets throughout the day. The defences were unexpectedly strong, and the Germans inflicted heavy casualties on landing US troops. Under heavy fire, engineers struggled to clear beach obstacles; later landings bunched up around the few channels that were cleared.

Many troops were drowned or killed the moment they hit the beach. Many landing craft hit under water obstacles or were destroyed by mines. The surviving assault troops could not clear the heavily defended exits off the beach. This caused further problems and consequent delays for later landings.

Eventually small groups of Rangers and infantrymen scaled the heavily defended bluffs commanding the beach. Allied naval gunfire supported these improvised assaults. By day’s end, two small footholds had been won, which were subsequently exploited against weaker defences further inland, thus achieving the original D-Day objectives over the following days.

By The War Years Online http://www.zazzle.com/trumpess

D-Day 2011, Remembering 67 years Ago

First, let’s start with President Reagan’s speech about D-Day on the 40th Anniversary

For the most graphic description of what took place, read BlackFive

Next, let’s look at the view of the beach that was taken

Here is the visual provided by the Army

It was one of the bloodiest days of WWII with the Germans cutting down our soldiers from pill boxes as they hit the beach, many seasick.  The sea was red with blood and it took days to clean up the beaches, but this was the beginning of the march to Berlin.  It was the “surge” that won the war.

As I’ve commented before, you do not negotiate the end of a war, nor the exit strategy.   You win and gain surrender, then negotiate the terms of surrender.  Pulling out just lets the enemy know how long they have to wait, then where to re-group.  Today’s enemy’s, terrorist Muslims hate the US and the West mostly because of the liberal values that are against their beliefs.  I especially blame Hollywood, MTV, College professors and the hippies of the 60’s for this.

Once, the world counted on America to know that if all else failed, they could count on us to be there.   With our leadership today, they don’t have that assurance.

D-Day was one of our greatest and most terrible moments in history.  I salute those who showed bravery and fought for the freedom we have today.