I was on a college trip to Paris in 70 but we didn't go that far south but I stood above the
Arizona. It was still leaking oil.
Those WW1 battle fields are very important and little known. There are American cemetries there
just like at Normandy where Americans took heavy casualties in the Argonne Forests. They
held their ground and protected the flank which enabled Pershing to break thru.
A big thanks to all the vets that risked their lives and are still risking their lives.
Yea, man. It is lying in very shallow waters.
It's still hard to believe someone was that stupid putting 90 ships in one spot unless
that's what they wanted to do to get into the war. We still won it after losing about 90
ships - most obsolete and left over from WW1 which is maybe why they left them out.
Forty nine were destroyed and about 40 were damaged.
The biggest ships - the carriers were out making runs to the islands dropping planes off.
One carrier was 225 miles from Peril when it was being bombed.
They also made a mistake leaving the subs alone as they went after the big boys. The
subs bit them in the ass later on.
Back to the ARgonne Forest, the 77th Division's Commander that held the flank was
MG Robert Alexander from Baltimore, MD. His first mission was at Wounded Knee that ended
the great indian wars in 1890-91. That dude saw some action.
I thought Saving Private Ryan did a good job portraying the Normandy beaches.
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Here's some pics of Vierville. No. 8 is where the roadblock was.
The boys from Maryland took a heavy hit at Normandy as they went in on
the first wave. My neighbor always had a photo of her brother in her living
room who died that day. He was 18 and the movie Longest Day depicted young
teenagers at Normandy. The public was horrific but it was fact.
My dad was supposed to be there but was in an Army hospital from an earlier
injury that probably saved his life. There was some hard fighting in North
Africa and elsewhere before Normandy.
The Longest Day shows how the 101st Airborne missed their drop site
behind the lines at Normandy and were
dropped right into the German's laps. They took over 50% casualties and
most were dead before they hit the ground.
I had 3 uncles who took part in the D-Day invasion...one at Normandy and two at Anzio...they did not talk about their experiences very much but you could tell it affected them for the rest of their lives. Sadly they had passed before Saving Private Ryan came out...the first 15 minutes of the movie is very disturbing and speaks highly of the men who charged up those beaches
I visited a few WWII cemeteries in Germany when I lived there..never made it to Normandy and like many others here, it is on my list of places to visit....also visited Dachau...want to talk about a moving experience...
knots: I visited Dachau on my first trip to Europe in 1980. Amazing how you walk through the gate & the place just sucks all the color out of a bright summer day...In subsequent years I got to Buchenwald, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Maidanek, all horrific in their own ways, but there's something about the first camp.
FTR, I think it's appropriate to give a shout out to the outside organization that was most responsible for the success of the Normandy invasion: The Red Army. If the bulk of the Wehrmacht had not been locked in massive & mortal combat with the USSR on the Eastern Front, our guys would not have made it off the beaches.
Say what you will about the political system they fought under--the soldiers of the old Soviet Union were tough, brave, determined & could endure just about anything, & their country ran red with their blood. We lost roughly 400,000 citizens on both fronts--the USSR lost 20 million.
(And as for an unintentional boost to the D-Day landings, let us not forget the unnamed artillery unit whose barrage of mustard-gas shells toward the end of World War I hospitalized Gefreite Adolf Hitler. Der Fuehrer had no compunctions ordering "undesirables" gassed but owing to his experience he never sanctioned its use in battle. A good thing for the Allies, who did not even suspect the existence of the nerve agents tabun & sarin developed in Germany from 1936 on, & whose protective gear would have been utterly useless against them. A thorough soaking of the beachheads would have left them littered with thousands of Allied soldiers "doing the dying cockroach," as the mid-level Army officers I once worked with put it. And it might have left large tracts of Central Europe uninhabitable for a generation--Churchill once stated that if the Germans ever used gas, he would retaliate with mass bombings of the Reich using the anthrax spores the Brits had managed to weaponize. )
My dad was a wing commander in the 8th army air force; flew a B-17 over Normandy that day. Later he was involved in the bombing of Dresden. After the war he became a Methodist minister and, yea, he would talk about Dresden. One of his churches was Mt Vernon Place downtown.