74 years ago…

Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day kicked off…

On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops left England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.

By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the first landing craft hit the beaches at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. On Omaha beach, 2,000 troops were lost in the initial landings. By day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops–Americans, British and Canadians were ashore Normandy’s beaches.

The movie The Longest Day is not fiction, it was based on fact. Link, HERE. The other oddity of the film was that actors actually spoke the native languages, English, French, and German in the film.

This was the beginning of the end for Germany. And these men were truly the greatest generation!


74 years ago… — 13 Comments

  1. When I read the stories, see the movies, and talk to the (very few)survivors, and think about all they, and the nation, sacrificed…and then I look at what is going on in the nation today…there must be more than a few folks spinning in their graves.

  2. I too will raise a glass to those who hit the beaches back then.

  3. It was the LONGEST Day. The world owes them a debt that it can never repay. Imagine if the Nazis managed to make nuclear weapons and made them first?

  4. Hey Old NFO;

    We honor those that hit the water or flew over the water to get to their goal, the liberation of Europe. Generations owe then a debt or gratitude.

  5. I used to read “The Longest Day” every year around this time. Then life got busy and other stupid excuses. I need to get a copy to read again.

    The sacrifices of all on this day must not be forgotten.

  6. Just finished my annual viewing of the first 27 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan”.
    And a bit more of it, up to watching Harve Presnell, as George Marshall, recite from memory the Bixby letter of Lincoln.

  7. Some years ago, on a visit to the doctor, I sat next to a little old man with thick glasses. He wasn’t very impressive. He had walked in with the little old man shuffle, and sat down, looking harmless and inoffensive.
    I turned to him, and greeted him, as a courtesy from a younger man to an elder. That was when I noticed the paratrooper tattoo on his arm. The little old man had jumped into combat for D-Day.
    Quite a mild-mannered fellow. I guess when you have been there, and done that, you can act any way you please.

  8. My father landed in the third echelon of troops on Utah, then slugged and slogged across northern France with 9th Army. The year before he passed away, he shared some hints about what it was like to hold the line during the Battle of the Bulge, when arty batteries and AAA battalions were facing panzers and mech infantry. I got some personal understanding about problems he never spoke about be cause men didn’t do that, after thinking about my own reactions to a lot of operations involving HE.

    Just had one in his memory, and in memory of all the brave men who did their duty. Bless ’em all.

    RT, I’ll check this out over the summer: https://www.flightdeckbrewing.com/

    Location: Brunswick, ME, in the old Small Arms Range

    Fermenters named Privateer and Neptune, beers named Subhunter and P-3. Can’t go wrong.

  9. All- Thanks for the comments, and agree with all. PK, drink one for me!

    Posted from my iPhone.

  10. The latest AIR&SPACE Smithsonian has an interview with a man who’s written a book about the bombing campaign of the USAAF and RAF. Titled “Blood and Fears”. I’m about 1/3 thru it. I find it well-written.