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D-Day Remembered

Posted By Blackfive • [June 06, 2006]

    "The wind is cold, the spray is miserable. The clothes are soaked thru, and the landing craft is pitching and yawing like a kite in a windstorm. The boys vomit from the rollercoaster aaffects of the seas and smashing waves that jar your teeth out of your head.

    The place, is Normany, the beach is Fox Green.

    Welcome to the Invasion..." - from Technography's post about the Battle for Fox Green Beach

Ikeandpathfinders
Ike addressing Paratroopers of the 502nd PIR, 101st Airborne Division, at Greenham Common Airfield, England, at about 8:30 p.m. on June 5, 1944.

I'll start by posting this link to the Blog Round-Up of posts about the 60th Anniversary of the landing on Normandy in 1944.

There's lots of information there.

Ordinary Christian posts Winston Churchill's address about the invasion of France to the House of Commons on June 6th ,1944.

...There are already hopes that actual tactical surprise has been attained, and we hope to furnish the enemy with a succession of surprises during the course of the fighting. The battle that has now begun will grow constantly in scale and in intensity for many weeks to come, and I shall not attempt to speculate upon its course. This I may say, however. Complete unity prevails throughout the Allied Armies. There is a brotherhood in arms between us and our friends of the United States...

Also, Ordinary Christian also posts General Eisenhower's address to the troops before the invasion and about Four Men on D-day who were awarded the MOH.

Seawitch writes about the Higgins Boats - the wooden vessels that landed the troops close to shore.

...The men who drove these boats had to have had nerves of steel. For after they unloaded one load of men, they would have to go through enemy bombardment to return to the ships to pick up more men or supplies...

ArmyAirForces.com has a thread where readers are submitting stories.  One of my favorites there is from Don Burgett who jumped on D-Day:

...We began burning all that could not or would not be carried with us on the jump. We were ordered to write several post dated letters home which would be mailed later to our families, or who-ever addressed. Then we had breakfast, a mirror of what we had the day before. "Why are they feeding us so good"" a trooper asked me in the chow line. "A last meal." I replied...

Kit Jarrell at Euphoric Reality has a post about the Coast Guard on D-Day:

...Many Americans know about D-Day, and far too many don’t. But even those who have taken the time to learn and hold dear the story of bloody beaches and dangerous static lines may not know that the Coast Guard was there too, far away from home, bleeding and dying and fighting along with the Army, Navy, and other Allied troops...


Update:
More below...

Jerry at Confabulation has a picture of the memorial at Normandy.

John at Op-For picks my favorite piece from the landing at Normandy - Point du Hoc.  The Rangers scaled the cliffs only to find their objective missing...

Captain B at One Marine's View has a post about Role Models...from D-Day in 1944 to the streets of Ramadi.

Technography has a comprehensive post about the Battle for Fox Green Beach.

John Donovan at Argghhh! has two posts about D-Day - A Paratrooper Jumps - H-5 (with more from paratrooper Don Burgett) and Slapton Sends D+38.  And definitely check out the photo essay of the landing H Hour...

Cop the Truth takes a look at D-Day + 62 (years)...

Clarity and Resolve has a picture from the landing and updated it with some color via photoshop.

Echo9er has a post complete with a New York Times article about the invasion...can you tell the difference between the Times of 1944 and now?

Knockin' on the Golden Door has a post about Vargas girls of D-Day...

Sons of the American Legion Post 459 posts about Franklin D. Roosevelt's D-Day Prayer.

Another update:

Confederate Yankee has General George Patton's speech to the troops before the invasion:

"Be Seated."

"Men, this stuff we hear about America wanting to stay out of the war, not wanting to fight, is a lot of bullshit. Americans love to fight - traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble player; the fastest runner; the big league ball players; the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win - all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost, not ever will lose a war, for the very thought of losing is hateful to an American."

"You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Every man is frightened at first in battle. If he says he isn't, he's a goddamn liar. Some men are cowards, yes! But they fight just the same, or get the hell shamed out of them watching men who do fight who are just as scared. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some get over their fright in a minute under fire, some take an hour. For some it takes days. But the real man never lets fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to this country and his innate manhood."...

Damn right, sir...

And Ayatollah Ghilmeini leaves a Comment at LGF about D-Day.

Cool Blue Blog has an interesting post about the oldest Battleship in the Fleet (his father was aboard during the invasion)...

Chaotic Synaptic Activity has a great post about A Man Who Flew Gliders...now, those guys had major B@!!$...there's no way you could get this Master Blaster in one of those things...without a helluva lot of Guinness...just sayin'.

Murdoc Online says "Gather weapons and ammo..."

John in Carolina posts an important article from Ernie Pyle - "A Pure Miracle":

In this column I want to tell you what the opening of the second front in this one sector entailed, so that you can know and appreciate and forever be humbly grateful to those both dead and alive who did it for you.

Ashore, facing us, were more enemy troops than we had in our assault waves. The advantages were all theirs, the disadvantages all ours. The Germans were dug into positions that they had been working on for months, although these were not yet all complete.

A one-hundred-foot bluff a couple of hundred yards back from the beach had great concrete gun emplacements built right into the hilltop. These opened to the sides instead of to the front, thus making it very hard for naval fire from the sea to reach them. They could shoot parallel with the beach and cover every foot of it for miles with artillery fire.

Then they had hidden machine-gun nests on the forward slopes, with crossfire taking in every inch of the beach. These nests were connected by networks of trenches, so that the German gunners could move about without exposing themselves...

And that's just for openers.

At The Wood Shed, Steve Ambrose channels Stephen Ambrose about D-Day.

The Body Politic posts President Reagan's address about the Rangers of Point du Hoc:

...The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers at the edge of the cliffs, shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb...


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