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Customer Discussions > History forum

Commemorating D-Day: June 6, 1944


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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 6, 2012 1:11:19 PM PDT
L. King says:
I'll be in Normandy next month for a couple of days. Any particular recommendations as to what to see or in what order?

I was thinking of starting at Juno Beach. (St. Aubain).

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 1:14:03 PM PDT
Ku says:
Pegasus Bridge, Ste Mère Eglise, Omaha, Arromanches, Mulberry Harbor remains, Pointe du Hoc, Merville gun battery.

Normandy American Cemetery.

Posted on Jun 6, 2012 3:02:55 PM PDT
Ku is right, the Chapel at Ste Mere Eglise is terrific. Whatever I thought about the French disdain of Americans, went out the door with that stained glass window. Be kind to those people and they will pay you back tenfold.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 7:42:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012 7:43:32 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Omaha Beach and the big military cemetary near there are impressive. I think the cemetary is shown in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.

I flew our flag today and said a prayer of thanks for the brave soldiers who fell there. Many of them never came home.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 8:46:21 PM PDT
Good John, Good.

Posted on Jun 10, 2012 7:10:45 AM PDT
Andrew says:
If you visit the French memorials you will find that the French liberated themselves; there were some foreign troops around, they occasionally lent a hand but - with the exception of the Quebecois - they had not much to do with it.

Visit the American and Commonwealth cemeteries and you will learn better.

Incidentally it is interesting how different they are in style, and how different again are the German cemeteries.

I hope the journey goes well. It is very moving.

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 1:45:54 PM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
A possible related discussion might be the D Day invasion itself.

What went right ? What went wrong ? Etc..

The number of allied casualties was a lot but it seems like it could have been much worse.

Then again the allies had complete air superiority. I don't see why there was any living German soldier within a hundred miles of the beach when they tried to land.

I did hear that the Navy was concerned about the air force dropping their bombs on the allied soldiers. So they told the bombers to wait an additional 5 seconds before dropping their bombs. That 5 second delay caused the bombs to overshoot the German guns.

Anyway the Navy guys then turned their boats broadside and opened up with their gigantic naval guns that fired shells that weighed as much as a Volkswagen car.

Interesting for me is the successful test of the atomic bomb about a year later. In that sense D Day may have saved the German people from a nightmare beyond description since I think they had surrendered by the time the bomb was ready.

The atomic bomb changed everything about World War II in my opinion. Even the fanatical Japanese realized it was over after those two atomic attacks.

Not that conventional fire bombing, etc., was that much fun either. But the atomic bomb marked the beginning of a new age in warfare.

It was all just the way fate played out I guess.

Jeff Marzano

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 1:48:05 PM PDT
Ku says:
"I don't see why there was any living German soldier within a hundred miles of the beach when they tried to land."

Because they didn't have the precision munitions to take out the concrete bunkers of the Atlantic Wall?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 2:03:51 PM PDT
Ku,
Non-military people have no idea how hard it is ot hit a small tareget like a bunker or a bridge with non-guided munitions. In WWII literally thousands of tons of bombs were dropped to take out one bridge. Even at very low level like the RAF mozquito raid on the Gestapo Headquarters in France wer not very accurate. It took multiple bombs to breach the walls and hit the mess hall killing many of the guards.

Jrff needs to take a trip to San Francisco and look at some of the old coast defense bunkers on Ft. Barry north of the Golden Gate, and those bunkers were a pale shadow of what the Germans built in Normandy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 2:13:46 PM PDT
Ku says:
Yeah, I guess people look at the CNN coverage of the Gulf wars and extrapolate it back to the 40s.

Can't work.

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 2:18:52 PM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
What about the Norden bomb sighting system ?

Could things have been done differently to avoid sending those guys into a solid wall of machine gun bullets and 88 mm shells ?

It's a great story about seeing all those guys getting massacred on the beaches. But were mistakes made ? I assume they knew where the Atlantic wall was.

Anyway Rommel wasn't there. That was probably good for the allies.

Jeff Marzano

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 2:37:10 PM PDT
Ku says:
I'm not gonna second-guess the planners of Operation Overlord.

It was the largest sea-based invasion in history.

Given the deception the Germans fell for awaiting the invasion of the Pas de Calais and the luck that Hitler wasn't woken up to free the Panzer reserves, casualty rates were quite decent compared with the Eastern Front.

When you've stood on Omaha beach and have walked from the shore to the dunes, you realize what an incredible feat of bravery those guys performed.

I salute them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 9:14:55 PM PDT
probably would have been easier to read, if I had proofread it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 9:22:42 PM PDT
The Norden bombsight was a wonderful invention and it worked well, but it couldn't compensate for winds between the bomber's altitude and the ground. It could be set to compensate for wind at the bombers altitude but there was no way to know other level's wind speed or direction.

There are always mistakes made in war. Von Clauswitz had a saying that ran something like "in war everything is simple, but the simple things are hard". Commanders are human, make human mistakes, have bad days and overlook things. There were things that could have gone better on D Day especially on Omaha Beach. The DD amphibious tanks could have been launched closer in so they wouldn't have sunk, they could have learned from the Marines in the Pacific and used LVTs for the assault waves so the troops didn't have to wade thru chest-deep water. A lot of things could have been done better or differently, but many things could have been done worse. Casualties were actually significantly below estimates in the assault waves.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012 11:58:53 AM PDT
briefcandle says:
Jeff says,

"Interesting for me is the successful test of the atomic bomb about a year later. In that sense D Day may have saved the German people from a nightmare beyond description since I think they had surrendered by the time the bomb was ready."

...........................................................................................................
You forget that the soviets would likely have wrapped up the germans before Abomb availability in aug45. Even without Dday there was always Churchill'soption of expanding the Italian campaign to become the major front for western allied defeat of the germans.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012 3:54:48 PM PDT
You mean Churchill's delusion that Italy was the "soft underbelly of Europe"? I think the history of the Italian campaign speaks for that idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012 3:58:34 PM PDT
Mickey says:
Richard,

I agree. I think Eisenhower's strategy - a Normandy landing followed by a broad front attack aimed at destroying the German army - was the best one. It's easy to second-guess after the fact.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 4:35:19 PM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
briefcandle says:

[You forget that the soviets would likely have wrapped up the germans before Abomb availability in aug45.]

Yes. So perhaps Hitler's idea of attacking Russia also helped saved the German people from atomic annihilation. Without the Russian front they probably could have kept the war going until the bomb was ready.

As bad as things got for Germany, everything still happened using conventional weapons.

That's another interesting question. What would have happened if the war in Europe was still going on when the atomic bomb became available.

Jeff Marzano

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 4:38:33 PM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
Well that might be an interesting, separate discussion.

"Mistakes Of World War II" or "Worst Mistakes In History".

Isn't there a TV show about something like that ? History's greatest blunders.

We already have the "Hitler's Mistakes" discussion which has sort of splintered out into a broad range of topics.

Jeff Marzano

Posted on Jun 17, 2012 9:05:01 AM PDT
I think in the end the D-Day invasion was a colossal success with surprisingly light casualties and good penetration and was characterized by vast numbers of little things that when correctly. A meaningful comparison is the microcosm of Tarawa. In the space of 72 hours (D+3) over 1/4 of the landing troops were either killed or wounded. The naval and air support at Tarawa and the direct assault was far more concentrated that was even remotely possible in Normandy. If one were extrapolate those numbers to a D-Day sized invasion, it is very clear that D-Day was a success of a rather unqualified nature. In fact, probably one of the most successful armed invasions in history.

Very cool thread.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012 11:00:50 AM PDT
Surfin,
I agree, but you are overlooking the character of the defenders. The Japanese would stand and die in place, the Germans would at least try to surrender. That makes a big difference in a frontal assault. Also at Normandy there were more avenues to outflank resistance. Tarawa was a very small island easily covered by interlocking fields of fire from multiple positions.

Posted on May 3, 2014 9:10:11 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
It's getting to that time again.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2014 9:28:37 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 16, 2014 6:03:32 AM PDT]

Posted on May 3, 2014 10:53:36 PM PDT
briefcandle says:
*groan*
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  Jun 6, 2012
Latest post:  May 3, 2014

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