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  1. #27
    BamaNation Hall of Fame BamaFlum's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    I think I've posted this before, but my brother, and most other navigators and bombardiers, did midnight requisitions of extra flak jackets and lined their compartments with them. In fact, he even sat on one. The pilots and gunners couldn't, obviously, and the highest fatality rate was among the ball turret gunners. Their chances of completing their tour alive was one in four, so, worse than the odds of drawing to a straight in poker. (At least not an inside straight.)
    https://poets.org/poem/death-ball-turret-gunner



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  2. #28
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    June 7, 1944: June 7th dawns with the allies securely in control of all five beach heads; even if the initial objectives have not yet been achieved. To the west of Utah and Omaha beaches, the American 82nd and 101st airborne divisions have established at least nominal control of large sections of land between Utah beach and the Merderet - Douve river. These units, having been parachuted in on June 6 in the dead of night, have suffered heavy casualties and are severely dislocated. By the morning of June 7th these units are operating at an average of one-third of their original strength. Despite this, by evening, the paratroopers are able to fully link up with the 4th U.S Infantry Division; having landed on Utah Beach at dawn, of the previous day (without major problems).

    At Omaha Beach, the situation of the 1st and 29th American divisions, having landed at dawn of the previous day, is more critical. This morning, these divisions control only a small amount of territory; as such, the risk of being pushed off the beaches from German counter attack remains high. To the east, at Sword, Juno and Gold, the British and Canadians, while their landings were also difficult, are having an easier time of things. The Canadians remain in control of Anisy and Cainet, having fought off a major counter attack by the 21st Pz Division the day before. By end of day, the 6th Airborne Division have managed to take bridges on the Orne river and have linked up with elements of the British 3rd Infantry Division at Sword Beach.

    British I Corps is expanding Sword and Juno beachhead and pushing toward Caen, where the German 12th SS Panzer Division counterattacks. British XXX Corps, expanding Gold beachhead, captures Bayeux and attacks Port-en-Bessin. US V Corps expands the Omaha beachhead and US VII Corps expands the Utah beachhead. US 90th and 2nd Infantry Divisions arrive in Normandy. Allied engineer units begin constructing advanced fighter air strips inland from the Normandy landing beaches.

    British troops capture Bayeux, France.

    The first convoy of material for Corncobs and Gooseberries arrives for constructing artificial harbors and blockships sunk at British invasion beaches to create Gooseberry breakwaters.

    RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force aircraft mount major ground support operations (Roadstead, Rodeo, Rhubarb, and Ramrod) over Normandy beachheads. RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force claims 45 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed at cost of 42 lost. US 8th Air Force, in first mission of the day, attacks targets in Normandy with 400 bombers. In its second mission of the day, US 8th Air Force attacks targets in Normandy with 500 bombers. US 9th Air Force conducts attacks throughout Normandy battle area with more than 600 bombers. USAAF fighters fly sweeps, escort missions, ground support, and attack missions throughout Normandy battle area, claiming 41 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed at the cost of 47 lost. RAF Bomber Command sends 337 aircraft to attack transportation targets and isolate the Normandy battle area and 112 aircraft to attack German ground forces between St Lo and Bayeux overnight.

    Luftwaffe aircraft attack Allied warships and shipping off Normandy overnight.

    In Italy, British 8th Army pushes toward Orvieto and Terni while US 5th Army drives north and captures Civitavecchia. US 12th Air Force aircraft attack multiple targets in support of Allied ground offensive and US 15th Air Force attacks targets in northern Italy with 340 bombers.

    Pictured: Americans land on Utah Beach from LCT-475, Normandy, June 7, 1944; Lance Corporal A. Burton and Lance Corporal L. Barnett of British 6th Airborne Division at a road junction near Ranville, France, June 7, 1944; note Horsa glider in background; Normandy Landing Zone 'N' littered with Horsa gliders and one Hamilcar glider (lower right), France, June 7, 1944; Vehicles of 4th County of London Yeomanry, UK 7th Armored Division moving inland from Gold Beach, Normandy, France, June 7, 1944; note Cromwell tank leading the column

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    Interesting that the town, Caen, is in Normandy but the signs are reading "Caen Bypass North" and "Caen Bypass South" - in German...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  3. #29
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    Interesting that the town, Caen, is in Normandy but the signs are reading "Caen Bypass North" and "Caen Bypass South" - in German...
    I am certain you recall that Montgomery was famously known to be pivoting on his Caen. The Brits were badly mauled by German armor with Michael Witmann savaging them at nearby Villers-Bocage. Reading the overall description of the Normandy landing belies some of the savage fighting and dying that took place in those months following the landing.

  4. #30
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by UAH View Post
    I am certain you recall that Montgomery was famously known to be pivoting on his Caen. The Brits were badly mauled by German armor with Michael Witmann savaging them at nearby Villers-Bocage. Reading the overall description of the Normandy landing belies some of the savage fighting and dying that took place in those months following the landing.
    Monty was about as big a mixed bag as anyone ever to don a beret...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  5. #31
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    June 8, 1944: More troops and equipment arrive daily as the Allied forces continue to push the germans back. The Americans at Omaha Beach and British at Gold Beach finally link up on June 8; after the British capture Port-en-Bessin, North of Bayeux. Reinforced by the 2nd Infantry Division at Omaha and the 90th Infantry Division at Utah, US forces launch new offensives deeper inland. By this point, the 1st and 29th Infantry divisions at Omaha have suffered heavy losses; yet they continue to push forward. The 29th Infantry, en route to Isigny, relieves the remaining 90 members of the 2nd Rangers Battalion at Pointe du Hoc - the Rangers having been cut off on a narrow strip of coastline for almost three days now. They also manage to liberate the villages of Grandcamp and Maisy, this allows the US to finally silence the guns at Maisy, which have been pounding Omaha beach since the invasion began. By end of day the US goal of linking the beach forces at Omaha and Utah still has many hurdles to overcome - yet it remains a vital part of Allied plans to form a united front against the Germans.

    The 4th Infantry Division, at Utah, attacks north towards the town of Montebourg. The capture of Montebourg will put US forces one step closer to their ultimate goal of capturing the port facilities at Cherbourg to the north. Both side know that the capture of Cherbourg will give the allies a permanent point of entry into France for allied troops and supplies - battles here, in the days to come, will be extremely bloody and fierce.

    British 2nd Army is pushing toward Caen (with German 12th SS Panzer Division counterattacking) and captures Port-en-Bessin on its western flank. US 1st Army attacks Carentan with 101st Airborne Division and pushes toward Cherbourg with VII Corps.

    While Frank D. Peregory’s unit advanced on the German defenses, the leading elements of his unit began receiving fire from German forces. The Germans were firmly entrenched on high ground overlooking the town and were able to inflict severe damage to allied forces as they approached. Numerous attempts to neutralize the enemy position by supporting artillery and tank fire had proved ineffective until Technical Sergeant Peregory risked his own life by advancing up the hill under heavy enemy fire. He worked his way to the crest of the hill where he discovered an entrenchment leading to the main enemy fortifications 200 yards away. Without hesitating, he leaped into the trench and moved toward the emplacement. When he encountered a squad of enemy riflemen, he attacked them with hand grenades and his bayonet, killed 8 and forced 3 to surrender. He then continued along the trench, forcing more than 32 German soldiers to surrender, including the machine gunners. This action opened the way for the leading elements of the battalion allowing them to advance and secure its objective. For his actions Peregory was awarded the Medal of Honor - his citation reads:
    “On 8 June 1944, the 3rd Battalion of the 116th Infantry was advancing on the strongly held German defenses at Grandcamp-Maisy, France, when the leading elements were suddenly halted by decimating machine gun fire from a firmly entrenched enemy force on the high ground overlooking the town. After numerous attempts to neutralize the enemy position by supporting artillery and tank fire had proved ineffective, T/Sgt. Peregory, on his own initiative, advanced up the hill under withering fire, and worked his way to the crest where he discovered an entrenchment leading to the main enemy fortifications 200 yards away. Without hesitating, he leaped into the trench and moved toward the emplacement. Encountering a squad of enemy riflemen, he fearlessly attacked them with hand grenades and bayonet, killed 8 and forced 3 to surrender. Continuing along the trench, he single-handedly forced the surrender of 32 more riflemen, captured the machine gunners, and opened the way for the leading elements of the battalion to advance and secure its objective. The extraordinary gallantry and aggressiveness displayed by T/Sgt. Peregory are exemplary of the highest tradition of the armed forces.”
    Six days later, Peregory was killed while fighting in the hedgerows. He is buried at the American Battle Monuments Cemetery in Normandy also known as Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer Basse-Normandie Region, France.

    In the skies over Normandy, RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force conducts major offensive and defensive operations over the Normandy landing beaches, attacking ground targets and intercepting Luftwaffe attacks, claiming 16 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed at cost of 11 lost during the day and night. US 8th Air Force attacks airfields and transportation targets in and around Normandy with 735 bombers and 1,405 fighter sorties. US 9th Air Force attacks targets in and around Normandy with 1,300 fighters. USAAF fighters claim 37 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed at the cost of 28 lost. Overnight, RAF Bomber Command sends 483 aircraft to attack transportation targets and isolate the Normandy battle area, including first use of 12,000-lb Tallboy bombs. Luftwaffe aircraft attack Allied warships and shipping off Normandy overnight.

    In Italy, British 8th Army advances toward Orvieto, Monte Maggiore, and Passo Corese while US 5th Army pushes toward Tarquinia and Viterbo. US 12th Air Force operations are limited by poor weather but US 15th Air Force attacks Porto Marghera and Pola with 52 bombers.

    Pictured: DUKW amphibious trucks of the 470th Amphibious Truck Company, First Engineer Brigade, bringing supplies to Utah Beach from ships anchored off shore, Normandy, June 8, 1944; note German gun in foreground; German prisoners being taken away atop a cliff at Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France, June 8, 1944; note American flag draped on cliff wall to prevent friendly fire; Reinforcements of men and equipment moving inland at Omaha Beach, Normandy, June 8, 1944

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  6. #32
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    3rd U.S. Army had around 315,000 men at the end of August 1944, probably less by December.
    1st U.S. Army had been through it in the Hurtgen Forest, so they were probably in the mid-200,000s.
    That means around 550,000 men (in the ballpark of the same size as the 8th and 15th U.S. Air Forces).
    Of course, AAF casualties were grossly concentrated in flying crew (non-flying ground crew were probably almost immune from casualties).
    In the land forces, serving in the infantry or armor, on the other hand, were the most dangerous specialties.
    U.S. ground forces in Normandy (i.e. 1st U.S. Army) lost 125,847 (https://www.historyonthenet.com/d-day-casualties) between 6 Jun and 30 Aug (that was almost all 1st U.S. Army; 3rd Army activated in Normandy 31 Aug 44). In the fight across France, casualties were relatively light.
    The 3rd Army sustained 55,182 combat casualties during the Lorraine Campaign (Cole, The Lorraine Campaign, 593).
    The 1st Army's Siegfried Line campaign costs 47,039 battle casualties (MacDonald, The Siegfried Line Campaign, 617)
    In the Battle of the Bulge, these two armies lost 81,000 men killed, wounded, missing and captured.
    Thus, just for the 1st and 3rd U.S. Armies, and just for Normandy through the end of the Battle of the Bulge (i.e. 6 Jun 44 - 31 Jan 45) the total was 309,068. (I could not find figures for the fight across the Rhine and Germany)
    Losses in the 8th and 15th Air Forces were horrendous (especially in 1943 before they extended fighter range). Losses in the 1st and 3rd U.S. Armies were much worse, by a factor of four).
    Again, not in any way making light of the airmen's service. I was just curious about comparable casualty rates. These figures were eye-opening.
    Last edited by Tidewater; June 9th, 2019 at 09:35 AM. Reason: tidying up the format.

  7. #33
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaFlum View Post
    Here is a paper about the Schweinfurt raids and the operational pause (Oct 43 - Feb 44) in the bombing campaign.

    Grabow - SCHWEINFURT RAIDS AND THE PAUSE IN DAYLIGHT STRATEGIC BOMBING

  8. #34
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    Here is a paper about the Schweinfurt raids and the operational pause (Oct 43 - Feb 44) in the bombing campaign.

    Grabow - SCHWEINFURT RAIDS AND THE PAUSE IN DAYLIGHT STRATEGIC BOMBING
    Thanks! I intend to read all 96 pages...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

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  9. #35
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    June 9, 1944: The Allies continue to land a considerable number of men and material. On the British side, the Germans position three divisions North-West of Caen: the 21st Panzer Division, 12nd S.S. Panzer Division and the Panzer-Lehr. These divisions are fighting the British soldiers of the 2nd Army who are supported on the ground by anti-tank guns and in the sky by devastating allied aircraft, which worries the German generals.

    The counter-attacks of the Luftwaffe in Normandy are thin and failing: on June 9, BF-109 German fighters are announced near the village of Lion-sur-Mer. Immediately, American P-51 Mustang fighters push them back.

    The American troops of the VII Corps continue to attack the village of Montebourg in Cotentin, savagely defended by the German soldiers - the losses are big. Other units capture the locality of Azeville and silence the German battery which opened fire on Utah Beach. The 1st American Infantry Division, which landed on June 6 at Omaha, launches an offensive West of Bayeux: the villages of Tour-en-Bessin, Etreham and Blay are liberated. The 29th American Infantry Division on the way towards Carentan and captures the town of Isigny-sur-Mer after a long day of fighting. South-west of Isigny, the Headquarters of the 2nd American Infantry Division settles in the village of Formigny. Its forces progress to the South in direction of the localities of Trévières and Rubercy which are reached in the evening. US troops also capture St. Mére-Eglise, France, cutting major road and rail links to the Cherbourg Peninsula.

    General Bradley establishes headquarters of US 1st Army ashore near Pointe de Hoc.

    Over France, RAF Bomber Command sends 401 aircraft to attack airfields in the Normandy battle area overnight and 108 aircraft to attack railway at Etampes overnight. Luftwaffe aircraft attack Allied warships and shipping off Normandy overnight, including first mining operation with 122 acoustic pressure mines. US 8th and 9th Air Forces are grounded during the day by poor weather conditions.

    Over Germany, US 15th Air Force attacks Munich and environs with 500 bombers. RAF Bomber Command sends 36 aircraft to attack Berlin overnight.

    In Italy, forces of the US 5th Army capture Tarquinia, Viterbo and Vetrella. Elements of British 8th Army advance toward Terni and Orvieto. A small amphibious force lands at Santo Stefano. Meanwhile, there is a substantial reorganization of Allied forces. Elements of British 10th and 13th Corps are regrouped while elements of the US 6th Corps, mostly, are withdrawn from the line for the invasion of southern France.

    Pictured: Truck moving across the Caen Canal at Pegasus Bridge, Bénouville, France, June 9, 1944; note grounded Horsa glider in background; American men and equipment being landed near Colleville-sur-Mer, France, June 9, 1944; Vehicles and British troops on board a LST off Utah Beach, Normandy, June 9, 1944; Some of the first German prisoners captured in the invasion of Normandy on June 9, 1944.

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  10. #36
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    Thanks! I intend to read all 96 pages...
    I hope you enjoy it. I found it interesting.
    Switching from bombing Schweinfurt to bombing coal mines in Amiens was not exactly risk-free,just less risky.
    I was unaware that the AAF had sent P-38s to northern Europe. I always saw the P-38 as a Pacific theater or Mediterranean plane. 150-gallon drop tanks and the deployment of the P-51B made all the difference.

  11. #37
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    I hope you enjoy it. I found it interesting.
    Switching from bombing Schweinfurt to bombing coal mines in Amiens was not exactly risk-free,just less risky.
    I was unaware that the AAF had sent P-38s to northern Europe. I always saw the P-38 as a Pacific theater or Mediterranean plane. 150-gallon drop tanks and the deployment of the P-51B made all the difference.
    I've only read the first part and I haven't gotten to the P-38s yet. I'm a bit surprised also. Even more a Pacific plane than Mediterranean. I wonder if it picked up its nickname of "Fork-tailed Devil" there also...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.” Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  12. #38
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Go Bama's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Known as the "Der Gabelschwanz Teuful" (The Fork-tailed Devil) by German pilots, the P-38 was the only American fighter to remain in production throughout the entire war.

    Lockheed's P-38 Lightning

    https://www.456fis.org/P-38_LOCKHEED.htm

    The P-38 served with distinction in all theaters of operation through the war. It was responsible for primary escort duty in the early stages of the daylight bombing campaign in Europe. It was the primary fighter in the Mediterranean Theater and performed with excellent results in North Africa and the invasion of Italy. It even operated in the harsh conditions of the Alaskan Aleutian Islands against the numerically superior Japanese. However, the P-38 will be forever linked to the South Pacific. Japanese ships and aircraft were being savaged under the guns of skilled American pilots. The Japanese were never able to be on the offensive, and were usually on their heels. The P-38 routinely destroyed bombers, fighters, and ships without many losses. In fact, the average kill ratio was over 10 to 1. For every ten confirmed kills, only one P-38 was lost to all causes (this includes being shot down, lost at sea, and mechanical failures).

  13. #39
    BamaNation Hall of Fame BamaFlum's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Go Bama View Post
    Known as the "Der Gabelschwanz Teuful" (The Fork-tailed Devil) by German pilots, the P-38 was the only American fighter to remain in production throughout the entire war.
    Love this plane. One of the more unique American designs


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