Saturday, June 6, 2009

D-Day


At the beginning of World War 2, Germany invaded Poland, causing France, Great Britain and Canada to declare war on Germany. By the spring of 1940, the German army was ready to invade France, defended by not only the French military, but also a sizable British force as well. Within six weeks, the Germans defeated the Allies and seized control of France. By 1944, the Germans knew that the Allies, also now including the United States, among others, would attempt an invasion of France to liberate Europe from Germany. The Allied forces, based in Britain, decided to begin the invasion by landing a huge army at a place called Normandy Beach, which is located on the northwest coast of France. Code-named "Operation Overlord", and commanded by American General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Allies landed on June 6, 1944 at five beaches in the Normandy area with the code names of: Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach. Prior to the actual amphibious invasion, Allied planes pounded the Nazi defenders and dropped thousands of paratroopers behind German lines the night before the seaborne landings. Local French Resistance forces, alerted to the imminent invasion, engaged in behind-the-lines sabotage and combat against the occupying Germans.


156,000 American, British and Canadian troops met heavy resistance from the German forces defending the area, but were able to punch inland, securing safe landing zones for reinforcements. The German failure to successfully defend the Normandy area from the Allied liberation forces in essence doomed Hitler's dream of a Nazi controlled "Fortress Europe" and marked the beginning of the end for Germany.


The exact number of men on both sides who died that day will probably never truly be known. Different sources cite different numbers of Allied, U.S. and German casualties:

--The D-Day Museum in Portsmouth, England claims a total of 2,500 Allied troops died, while German forces suffered between 4,000 and 9,000 total casualties on D-Day.


--The Heritage Foundation in the U.S. claims 4,900 U.S. dead on D-Day


--The U.S. Army Center of Military History cites a total casualty figure for U.S. forces at 6,036. This number combines dead and wounded in the D-Day battles


--John Keegan, American Historian and Author believes that 2,500 Americans died along with 3,000 British and Canadian troops on D-Day

By the end of the of the entire Normandy Campaign, nearly 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded, or missing.


Thanks, History Guy!

14 comments:

Mike Golch said...

Good posting,and great music.

AirmanMom said...

mike...I do thank you for taking the time to visit my blog!

Sarge Charlie said...

On this D-Day, give thanks for the soldiers who gave all for us. I know you will.....

MightyMom said...

oh my goodness!
is it D Day already???

wow.

where has this year gone?

Donna said...

And Europe is grateful for America's sacrifice. I hope and pray that this country always stands tall for freedom.

coffeypot said...

As a kid I would sit in the corner, unnoticed and unheard, and listen to my dad’s friends and work mates drink straight whisky and talk about their experiences in the Army, Navy and Marines. Some in the Pacific (one operated a flame thrower on the Solomon Islands and one, Mr. Partain, was on the first wave of men to reach the beach at Normandy. He would pull up his shirt and shirt sleeve to show the scars from being shot several times. None were serious and he kept on fighting until an infection caused him to pass out in a farm field three days later. He didn’t tell anyone he was wounded and the shot in the side had pierced an intestine and he became septic and almost died. He would also tell his story with tears running down his face talking about his brother and best friends from boot camp through to D-Day falling. He said he was ashamed he passed out and wanted to get back, but the infection caused too much damaged and he was discharged. Also read about the actor Charles Dunning. He was a Ranger on D-Day and has three Purple Hearts and was a POW from the Battle of the Bulge. The Greatest Generation was made up of some truly brave young men.

Fragrant Liar said...

I'm so glad you wrote about D-Day today, or it might have gone unnoticed by many. What a great historical summary, easy to swallow in one sitting. Even today, the bulk of us OVERALL have no clue what it must have been like back then. It's nice to hear first-hand accounts. That makes it all the more real.

AirmanMom said...

sarge...prayers of thanks are lifted!

AirmanMom said...

mighty mom...can you believe it?

AirmanMom said...

donna...I must concur!

AirmanMom said...

coffeypot...your commment is better than my post. Thank you! What an amazing memory!
You are correct, they were some of the finest soldiers our nation has known...but then again, I am extremely fond of the soldiers today and the soldiers of the Vietnam conflict and..........
Yep, we are a blessed nation!

AirmanMom said...

fl...I thank you for taking the time to read this post.

Mary said...

AM,

Wonderful tribute to D Day. I also have a tribute posted on my blog. God bless all those who fought in this horrific battle. Without them we would live in a much different world.

Blessings,
Mary

AirmanMom said...

mary...I thank you for stopping by, I'm on my way to visit your blog.