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Thread: June 6, 1944: Remembering D-Day

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    June 6, 1944: Remembering D-Day

    [img]http://www.freecomputerwallpapers.net/wallpapers/omaha_beach_d_day_wallpaper-1024x1024.jpg[/img]

    On this day in 1944, thousands upon thousands of Allied Soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy to end the occupation of Western Europe by Nazi Germany. The soldiers of the American First Infantry Division (The Big Red One) and the 29th Infantry Division landed on the beach code named "Omaha", which was defended by the elite soldiers of the Wehrmachts 352nd Infantry Division. Thousands of American Soldiers died taking the beach in what was the opening act of Operation Overlord, the liberation of France and the begining of the end for Hitlers Nazi Germany.

    Before the amphibious invasion, in the early hours of June 6th, Paratroopers belonging to the famed U.S. Parachute Infantry divisions the 101st and 82nd, as well as Great Britains 6th Airborne jumped into Normandy behind Utah and Sword beaches, engaging the German garrisons in brutal close combat and buying time for the invasion forces to gain a foothold onto the continent. Thousands of Troopers were killed, wounded, or captured...


    [B][SIZE="5"]Honor the Fallen, Respect their Sacrifice, Remember the Brave[/SIZE][/B]


    Proud Former member of both the First and 29th Infantry Divisions

    [img]http://www.1id.army.mil/images/homepage/BRO-color-patch-70w.jpg[/img] [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1f/29th_ID_SSI.svg/200px-29th_ID_SSI.svg.png[/img]

  2. #2
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    Great thread, Jet Engine. Unfortunately, Weiner mania (tee hee) detracted from what is really important on this day, and should never be forgotten.

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    Here's some great color photos from before and after the invasion, very interesting stuff

    [url]http://www.life.com/gallery/61121/before-and-after-d-day-in-color[/url]


    My fascination and appreciation of D-Day comes from doing a research paper on it back in sophomore year of high school. Ever since then it has become one of my favorite things in history to research. I would LOVE to visit Normandy.

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    One of the great battles of WWII defining American Military Dominance

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;4042592]Great thread, Jet Engine. Unfortunately, Weiner mania (tee hee) detracted from what is really important on this day, and should never be forgotten.[/QUOTE]

    First thing I did when I got to work this morning was put the flag at half-staff.:cool:

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    An American GI walks up to a Frenchman and says, "Can you speak German?"..

    The Frenchman says "No".....

    The American GI responds, "You're Welcome"

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;4042593]Here's some great color photos from before and after the invasion, very interesting stuff

    [url]http://www.life.com/gallery/61121/before-and-after-d-day-in-color[/url]


    My fascination and appreciation of D-Day comes from doing a research paper on it back in sophomore year of high school. Ever since then it has become one of my favorite things in history to research. I would LOVE to visit Normandy.[/QUOTE]

    That slide show was beautiful, thanks!

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    [QUOTE=pauliec;4042593]Here's some great color photos from before and after the invasion, very interesting stuff

    [url]http://www.life.com/gallery/61121/before-and-after-d-day-in-color[/url]


    My fascination and appreciation of D-Day comes from doing a research paper on it back in sophomore year of high school. Ever since then it has become one of my favorite things in history to research. I would LOVE to visit Normandy.[/QUOTE]

    Awesome picture Paulie.

    [QUOTE=Phoenixx;4042694]An American GI walks up to a Frenchman and says, "Can you speak German?"..

    The Frenchman says "No".....

    The American GI responds, "You're Welcome"[/QUOTE]

    Come on Phoenix, not in this thread.

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    [QUOTE=RaoulDuke;4042778]Come on Phoenix, not in this thread.[/QUOTE]

    I meant it as a compliment to the soldiers.

    No offense intended, Raoul.

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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg;4042621]One of the great battles of WWII defining American Military Dominance[/QUOTE]

    And also thanks to Hitler's sleeping schedule and his insistence on a divided chain of command that kept the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS Panzer divisions paralyzed until after the beachheads were established.

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    [QUOTE=Equilibrium;4042909]And also thanks to Hitler's sleeping schedule and his insistence on a divided chain of command that kept the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS Panzer divisions paralyzed until after the beachheads were established.[/QUOTE]

    The Panzer divisions were kept in reserve near Calais because the German Military Authority (including Rommel) believed that Calais was where the REAL invasion would happen. Pattons fictional "First American Army" consisting of inflatable tanks and fake radio messages was believed completely by the Germans, because it was what they expected.

    Mistakes were made by both sides tactically and strategically - the allies pre-invasion bombing operations were completely ineffective because the bombardiers released their bombs to late, and beyond the beaches. Naval Gunfire completely missed the beaches (look at pictures, not one bomb crater on those beaches for the grunts to hide in or that would have removed obstacles). Paratroop drops were all over the place, hundreds, if not thousands of Troopers DROWNED before they ever had an opportunity to fight. Swimming tanks that all sank...

    Allied planners thought the hedgerows of the bocage country were only a coupe of feet high....guess they relied on aerial photos instead of ASKING a Frenchman.

    The bottom line is that the courage neccessary to get into one of those Higgins boats and then storm that open beach in the face of overwhelming machinegun and mortar fire from high ground 1000 meters away is simply mind boggling in and of itself. The fact that the invasion succeeded is a miracle of bravery, determination, and ingenuity.

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    [QUOTE=Jet_Engine1;4043348]The Panzer divisions were kept in reserve near Calais because the German Military Authority (including Rommel) believed that Calais was where the REAL invasion would happen. Pattons fictional "First American Army" consisting of inflatable tanks and fake radio messages was believed completely by the Germans, because it was what they expected.

    Mistakes were made by both sides tactically and strategically - the allies pre-invasion bombing operations were completely ineffective because the bombardiers released their bombs to late, and beyond the beaches. Naval Gunfire completely missed the beaches (look at pictures, not one bomb crater on those beaches for the grunts to hide in or that would have removed obstacles). Paratroop drops were all over the place, hundreds, if not thousands of Troopers DROWNED before they ever had an opportunity to fight. Swimming tanks that all sank...

    Allied planners thought the hedgerows of the bocage country were only a coupe of feet high....guess they relied on aerial photos instead of ASKING a Frenchman.

    The bottom line is that the courage neccessary to get into one of those Higgins boats and then storm that open beach in the face of overwhelming machinegun and mortar fire from high ground 1000 meters away is simply mind boggling in and of itself. The fact that the invasion succeeded is a miracle of bravery, determination, and ingenuity.[/QUOTE]

    :clapper:

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    [QUOTE=Jet_Engine1;4043348]The Panzer divisions were kept in reserve near Calais because the German Military Authority (including Rommel) believed that Calais was where the REAL invasion would happen. Pattons fictional "First American Army" consisting of inflatable tanks and fake radio messages was believed completely by the Germans, because it was what they expected.[/QUOTE]

    Since the German Western High Command and Hitler were unsure as to the invasion's location, a compromise solution was made where the Panzer reserves were located west of Paris. The armies stationed in Calais, 15t Army, had only one Panzer division.

    as a hint of what could have happened, only a battle group of 21st Panzer armored infantry took the initiative to counterattack towards the invasion beaches and actually reached the beach between Juno and Sword on the first day but with no armor following behind, they were forced to withdraw.

    Nevertheless, when the Panzers and infantry units did arrive, they contained the invasion for almost three months to the areas surrounding the beaches even as they were increasingly outnumbered.


    [QUOTE=Jet_Engine1;4043348]Mistakes were made by both sides tactically and strategically - the allies pre-invasion bombing operations were completely ineffective because the bombardiers released their bombs to late, and beyond the beaches. Naval Gunfire completely missed the beaches (look at pictures, not one bomb crater on those beaches for the grunts to hide in or that would have removed obstacles). Paratroop drops were all over the place, hundreds, if not thousands of Troopers DROWNED before they ever had an opportunity to fight. Swimming tanks that all sank...

    Allied planners thought the hedgerows of the bocage country were only a coupe of feet high....guess they relied on aerial photos instead of ASKING a Frenchman.[/QUOTE]

    The unanticipated events and circumstances "fog of war" are part of any conflict. Heck even Hitler had guessed that Normandy was the route the Allies were going to take in France. As I have learned throughout my career, the force that commits the least errors and can create more uncertainty for the enemy usually wins.

    [QUOTE=Jet_Engine1;4043348]The bottom line is that the courage neccessary to get into one of those Higgins boats and then storm that open beach in the face of overwhelming machinegun and mortar fire from high ground 1000 meters away is simply mind boggling in and of itself. The fact that the invasion succeeded is a miracle of bravery, determination, and ingenuity.[/QUOTE]

    Absolutely. For the ordinary infantryman, rocking in his LCI after rocking in his transport for hours seasick, with landlubber's legs, and weighed down with 60-80 pounds of equipment and contemplating one's life, watching all the incoming and unaware of what was awaiting from the other side of the ramp, it had to be one of the most terrifying experiences.

    For the verdict of history however, the invasion did not take place in a vacuum. 3/4 of the German field forces were fighting the Soviets in the most destructive and deadly war in history, the '41-'45 Eastern Front. Had they been in France instead our invasion would probably have been impossible to carry out in 1944.

    It is worth contemplating because Stalin and Hitler had initiated third party peace inquiries in 1943 but eventually collapsed as the prize of Europe neared Stalin's grip.
    Last edited by Equilibrium; 06-07-2011 at 07:02 PM.

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    [QUOTE=Jet_Engine1;4043348]The Panzer divisions were kept in reserve near Calais because the German Military Authority (including Rommel) believed that Calais was where the REAL invasion would happen. Pattons fictional "First American Army" consisting of inflatable tanks and fake radio messages was believed completely by the Germans, because it was what they expected.

    Mistakes were made by both sides tactically and strategically - the allies pre-invasion bombing operations were completely ineffective because the bombardiers released their bombs to late, and beyond the beaches. Naval Gunfire completely missed the beaches (look at pictures, not one bomb crater on those beaches for the grunts to hide in or that would have removed obstacles). Paratroop drops were all over the place, hundreds, if not thousands of Troopers DROWNED before they ever had an opportunity to fight. Swimming tanks that all sank...

    Allied planners thought the hedgerows of the bocage country were only a coupe of feet high....guess they relied on aerial photos instead of ASKING a Frenchman.

    The bottom line is that the courage neccessary to get into one of those Higgins boats and then storm that open beach in the face of overwhelming machinegun and mortar fire from high ground 1000 meters away is simply mind boggling in and of itself. The fact that the invasion succeeded is a miracle of bravery, determination, and ingenuity.[/QUOTE]

    [QUOTE=Equilibrium;4043424]Since the German Western High Command and Hitler were unsure as to the invasion's location, a compromise solution was made where the Panzer reserves were located west of Paris. The armies stationed in Calais, 15t Army, had only one Panzer division.

    as a hint of what could have happened, only a battle group of 21st Panzer armored infantry took the initiative to counterattack towards the invasion beaches and actually reached the beach between Juno and Sword on the first day but with no armor following behind, they were forced to withdraw.

    Nevertheless, when the Panzers and infantry units did arrive, they contained the invasion for almost three months to the areas surrounding the beaches even as they were increasingly outnumbered.




    The unanticipated events and circumstances "fog of war" are part of any conflict. Heck even Hitler had guessed that Normandy was the route the Allies were going to take in France. As I have learned throughout my career, the force that commits the least errors and can create more uncertainty for the enemy usually wins.



    Absolutely. For the ordinary infantryman, rocking in his LCI after rocking in his transport for hours seasick, with landlubber's legs, and weighed down with 60-80 pounds of equipment and contemplating one's life, watching all the incoming and unaware of what was awaiting from the other side of the ramp, it had to be one of the most terrifying experiences.

    For the verdict of history however, the invasion did not take place in a vacuum. 3/4 of the German field forces were fighting the Soviets in the most destructive and deadly war in history, the '41-'45 Eastern Front. Had they been in France instead our invasion would probably have been impossible to carry out in 1944.

    It is worth contemplating because Stalin and Hitler had initiated third party peace inquiries in 1943 but eventually collapsed as the prize of Europe neared Stalin's grip.[/QUOTE]

    Great stuff fellas.

    Thanks.

    :cool:

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    [QUOTE]Nevertheless, when the Panzers and infantry units did arrive, they contained the invasion for almost three months to the areas surrounding the beaches even as they were increasingly outnumbered.[/QUOTE]

    Most of the German Panzer forces - I believe the 21st, 15th, and the 12th SS Panzer (Kurt "Panzer" Meyers unit) were balanced towards the British side of the lines....and Monty was known to take his time in the best of circumstances. It wasn't until Operation "Goodwood" that the Brits and Canadians were able to get beyond Caen, a point Montgomery told Ike he would be anle to take on the FIRST DAY.

    As for the Americans driving off the Cotentin Peninsula, the German Defenders (defenders always have an advantage) were able to make use of the Bocage to slow the American Advance. Two guys with an MG42 and a Panzerfaust could hold off a damned Battalion for hours if they were in the right spot. Thankfully, Omar Bradley didn't hold to timetables, and neither did Patton once they got out of the Hedgerows. If it wasn't for Montgomery's case of the "slows" in closing the Falaise pocket, the war in the West would probably have ended much sooner.

    As for the "What ifs", sure, you can what if everything in the world, but the fact is that the Allies landed, fought their way on shore, broke out of Normandy, and drove into Germany within a year.

    As for the hypotheticals, well, if their was no "Eastern Front", and all of the German Army was positioned from Normandy to the Elbe, then they would have probably gone with the plan preferred by the British - an Invasion through the Balkans or from some other point of the Med - the "Soft Underbelly" as Churchill called it.

    But thats neither here nor there, because games of "what if" are pointless when you know the "what happened".

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    [QUOTE=Jet_Engine1;4043557]
    As for the Americans driving off the Cotentin Peninsula, the German Defenders (defenders always have an advantage) were able to make use of the Bocage to slow the American Advance. Two guys with an MG42 and a Panzerfaust could hold off a damned Battalion for hours if they were in the right spot. Thankfully, Omar Bradley didn't hold to timetables, and neither did Patton once they got out of the Hedgerows. If it wasn't for Montgomery's case of the "slows" in closing the Falaise pocket, the war in the West would probably have ended much sooner.

    As for the hypotheticals, well, if their was no "Eastern Front", and all of the German Army was positioned from Normandy to the Elbe, then they would have probably gone with the plan preferred by the British - an Invasion through the Balkans or from some other point of the Med - the "Soft Underbelly" as Churchill called it.

    But thats neither here nor there, because games of "what if" are pointless when you know the "what happened".[/QUOTE]

    One of the Wehrmacht officers who blunted GOODWOOD was Colonel Hans von Luck. On his way back to 21st Panzer from leave in Paris, he came across an isolated Luftwaffe 88mm battery pointed at the sky while British tanks were rolling beneath them. The Luftwaffe officer says that he is only supposed to fire at aircraft, von Luck pulls out his sidearm and tells him he can either win a medal or be shot. The battery promptly destroyed about 10-15 tanks and enabled the skeleton German defense to recover and stop GOODWOOD.

    von Luck became close friends with Stephen Ambrose and was often a featured guest at the D-Day museum before he passed. I met him there when I was 15, a truly fascinating and cultured man. Ambrose convinced him to write his war memoirs- "Panzer Commander" about his experiences on the Eastern Front, in North Africa with Rommel and Normandy and his refusal to surrender to the Western allies and go into captivity with 21st Panzer into the Soviet Union where he spends years there.

    Surprisingly, he held no grudges and refused to accept compensation from the US or NATO to become an advisor or consultant because he did not want to profit from the deaths of his men and those he killed.

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