D-Day 80 Years Later

Today marks one of the largest military achievements in modern history. 80 years ago Operation Overlord, the Allied plan to establish a foothold in occupied Europe, began. Thousands of naval ships launched one of the largest amphibious assaults on the beaches of Normandy, France. For months leading up to the invasion, disinformation was leaked out about the upcoming invasion to fool the German Army into thinking the allies would be landing in Calais. A complex series of fake vehicles made of rubber were even made to fool aerial reconnaissance and German Spies. Britain was the staging ground for it all and was one packed island before it was over.

This invasion gave the Allies a foothold in France that allowed them to push back against German-occupied Europe. Beachheads, Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah were the designated landing spots heavily fortified by the Germans. Omaha Beach was the deadliest with the high cliffs and heavy fortifications. The original plan for the Allies was to link up the beaches by the end of the first day but due to heavy resistance, it wasn’t until 8 days later that they were secure. Many brave men from multiple nations helped secure this victory without which the war would’ve been much different.

The C-47, or C-53 based on its use, was used to drop paratroopers behind enemy lines and push the Germans out of the beach areas and nearby towns and villages. It was the largest airborne drop in history. The planes were marked with black and white stripes so they wouldn’t be shot by friendly ground fire. It was a massively complex operation with many variables that could go wrong; however, without the efforts of D-Day, the events and longevity of WWII could have been much different.

 

 

A Week of Rememberance

Since the beginning of June there have been many anniversaries regarding major events of WWII. The Battle of Dutch Harbor, AK honored the 75th anniversary on June 3-4th, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway was June 3-7th and June 6th was the 73rd anniversary of the Normandy Invasion known as D-Day.

Since I was having a little maintenance problem I missed a couple of those but I figured it would work out for today’s post.

It’s impossible to say which of any event had more significance then the other. The Battle of Dutch harbor which was part of the Aleutian Campaign was the only battle on American Soil by the Japanese. It was a lesser known but strategically important campaign that shouldn’t be forgotten. The Battle of Midway and the D-Day invasion of Normandy are far more known with movies and books written about both. The best part of this year has been seeing the amount of press each event has gotten. They all deserve to be remembered along with those that fought in them.

In Memory of D-Day

Today is a very important day in World History. Seventy Two years ago, thousands of allied ships and men stormed the beaches of Normandy to break the German hold on Europe. While it was only part of a much larger war, it was the start of getting back what was taken. Many brave men were lost and far fewer remain today to tell their stories. If you have ever been fortunate enough to meet such a person, give him your thanks.

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In preparation for the next day invasion, every aircraft that was taking part was painted with black and white stripes so that they could be identified from the ground as allies. Thousands of men would later jump out of those same planes. It’s hard to imagine what that would have been like or what they were thinking about at that time.

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