75th anniversary of D-Day...
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  1. #1

    75th anniversary of D-Day...

    This year marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of 1944. Because of this, I'm going to recycle my WWII Daily posts from a few years ago to commemorate these brave men starting today (June 1) as a lead up to the largest seaborne invasion in history.

    June 1, 1944: In the UK, preparations for the upcoming D-Day invasion reach a fevered pitch as Allied commanders meet to consider weather forecast for Normandy invasion.

    Admiral Bertram Ramsay assumes operational command of Allied naval forces for Operation Neptune, the amphibious phase of the Normandy invasion. Both Allied Eastern and Western Naval Task Force assault forces begin loading and assembling.

    A Daily Telegraph crossword puzzle the solution to 15 Down was "Neptune", the codename for the D-Day naval assault.

    In the evening, the BBC broadcasts the first code message intended as a warning to the French resistance that a invasion is imminent - the opening lines of the 1866 Verlaine poem "Chanson d'Automne" are to indicate the start of D-Day operations. The first three lines of the poem, "Les sanglots longs / des violons / de l'automne" ("Long sobs of autumn violins"), mean that Operation Overlord is to start within two weeks. The next set of lines, "Blessent mon coeur / d'une langueur / monotone" ("wound my heart with a monotonous languor"), mean that it will start within 48 hours and that the resistance should begin sabotage operations, especially on the French railroad system; these last lines were broadcast on June 5 at 11:15PM. The Germans appreciate the significance of the message and alert some units in occupied France.

    Over northwest Europe, US 9th Air Force attacks airfields and coastal installations with 100 bombers. RAF Bomber Command sends 109 aircraft to attack Ferme-D'Urville overnight and 58 aircraft to attack railway at Saumur overnight. RAF Bomber Command sends 40 aircraft on special operations with supplies and agents for Resistance forces overnight.

    Pictured: US LSTs 284, 380, 382, and 499 loading men, vehicles, and supplies for the upcoming Normandy Invasion in Brixham Harbor, Devon, England, Jun 1 1944. Note wings and fuselage of an Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper observation aircraft on a CCKW truck; Tightly packed in British-built LCA in preparation for transfer to larger transport ships, 2nd Ranger Infantry Battalion elements sit waiting in Weymouth Harbor, England, June 1, 1944; Gasoline drums ready for shipment to supply vehicles on D-Day

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    Oderint dum metuant - Lucius Accius

  2. #2
    Thread Starter

    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    June 2, 1944: the date for D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, is fixed for June 5. Originally June 4, it is acknowledged by Allied strategists that bad weather will make keeping to any one day problematic. German General Karl von Rundstedt intercepts an Allied radio signal relating the June 4 date, and is convinced that four consecutive days of good weather is necessary for the success of the invasion - there is no such pattern of good weather in sight. The general becomes convinced that D-Day would not come off within the first week of June at all.

    Typhoon fighter-bombers of No. 98 and No. 609 Squadrons RAF attack and destroy the enemy radar station at Dieppe / Caudecotein France as an important prelude to the Normandy Invasion; this installation would have given the Germans advance warning of the Allied invasion fleet.

    Two midget submarines (X-20 and X-23) set off from England, United Kingdom to sail submerged across the English Channel to the French Normandy coast where they will position themselves, ready to guide the invasion fleet with colored lights as navigation beacons.

    In the skies over northern France, US 8th Air Force attacks airfields and transportation lines in the afternoon with 300 bombers. US 9th Air Force attacks V-weapons sites with 350 bombers. US 9th Air Force fighters attack supply depots, bridges, transportation lines, and other targets. RAF Bomber Command sends 128 aircraft to attack railway at Trappes overnight, 107 aircraft to attack radar station at Bruneval overnight, and 271 aircraft to attack coastal guns overnight. RAF Bomber Command also sends 36 aircraft on special operations with supplies and agents for Resistance forces overnight.

    Pictured: HMS X-class midget submarine; Ready and waiting - tockpiled supplies in England

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    Oderint dum metuant - Lucius Accius

  3. #3
    Thread Starter

    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    June 3, 1944: Allied commanders meet in the morning and again in the evening to consider the weather forecast for Normandy invasion, still scheduled for June 5th.

    In northern France, US 8th Air Force aircraft make first daylight use of electronic equipment to jam German radar systems on the ground, including AA batteries, attacking German coastal defenses in the morning with 338 bombers and again in the afternoon with 215 bombers. US 9th Air Force attacks coastal installations, airfields, and transportation lines with 250 bombers and 400 fighters. RAF Bomber Command sends 100 aircraft to attack Ferme-D'Urville overnight and 135 aircraft to attack coastal gun positions overnight.

    Allied air forces are ordered to begin painting black and white 'invasion stripes' on aircraft wings and fuselages to maximize identification.

    In the London AP office, an Associated Press report announces the invasion has begun. The teletype operator, Joan Ellis, is just practicing, but doesn’t realize the machine is connected. The message reads: “FLASH … EISENHOWER’S HEADQUARTERS ANNOUNCES ALLIED LANDINGS IN FRANCE.” The message reaches US. news bureaus at 4:39 p.m. Eastern time. The news spreads and within minutes, the message is being blasted out of loudspeakers at baseball parks. At the Polo Grounds in New York for example, where the New York Giants are playing the Pittsburgh Pirates, the announcer calls out: “We interrupt this game to bring you a special announcement. The Allies have invaded France.” Pandemonium ensues, and then a minute of silent prayer. The same news of course also reaches Moscow and Berlin. Within minutes, however, the message is retracted. Since the German radar stations, patrol boats, and reconnaissance aircraft all fail to pick up any mass movement of ships, the damage is contained. Nevertheless, they too know an attack is imminent, hampered only by bad weather.

    Why we fight: Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp's electric fence, which had previously been turned off during the daylight hours to save energy, is now on throughout the entire day in response to the numerous escape attempts by Hungarian Jews. On this day, four transports bring 11,569 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz (2,937 from Nagyszölös (Vinogradov), 2,499 from Kassa Kosice, 2,972 from Nagyvárad (Oradea), and 3,161 from Szilágysomló (Simleu Silvaniei)).

    In Italy, forces of the US 5th Army continue advancing toward Rome. US 6th Corps captures Albano and Frascati. The US 2nd Corps and the French Expeditionary Corps advance along Route 6. To the southeast, the Canadian 1st Corps (now part of British 8th Army) captures Anagni. German forces withdraw from Rome, respecting its status as an "open city" in return for a temporary truce with Italian partisans.

    Pictured: LST-357 at a port in southern England being loaded with DUKWs in preparation for the D-Day Normandy invasion; On June 3, 1944, orders were issued to Allied transport, tactical bomber, fighter, and support aircraft units which would be flying over the invasion area to apply a series of alternating black and white stripes--18 inches wide for fighters, 24 inches for bombers--on upper and lower wing surfaces and around the fuselage. Unfortunately, because of the late notification, many of the units could only paint these bands roughly. The idea was to prevent “friendly fire” accidents.; Three fully-loaded LCTs at Portland harbor

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    Oderint dum metuant - Lucius Accius

  4. #4
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    This year marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of 1944. Because of this, I'm going to recycle my WWII Daily posts from a few years ago to commemorate these brave men starting today (June 1) as a lead up to the largest seaborne invasion in history.

    June 1, 1944: In the UK, preparations for the upcoming D-Day invasion reach a fevered pitch as Allied commanders meet to consider weather forecast for Normandy invasion.

    Admiral Bertram Ramsay assumes operational command of Allied naval forces for Operation Neptune, the amphibious phase of the Normandy invasion. Both Allied Eastern and Western Naval Task Force assault forces begin loading and assembling.

    A Daily Telegraph crossword puzzle the solution to 15 Down was "Neptune", the codename for the D-Day naval assault.

    In the evening, the BBC broadcasts the first code message intended as a warning to the French resistance that a invasion is imminent - the opening lines of the 1866 Verlaine poem "Chanson d'Automne" are to indicate the start of D-Day operations. The first three lines of the poem, "Les sanglots longs / des violons / de l'automne" ("Long sobs of autumn violins"), mean that Operation Overlord is to start within two weeks. The next set of lines, "Blessent mon coeur / d'une langueur / monotone" ("wound my heart with a monotonous languor"), mean that it will start within 48 hours and that the resistance should begin sabotage operations, especially on the French railroad system; these last lines were broadcast on June 5 at 11:15PM. The Germans appreciate the significance of the message and alert some units in occupied France.

    Over northwest Europe, US 9th Air Force attacks airfields and coastal installations with 100 bombers. RAF Bomber Command sends 109 aircraft to attack Ferme-D'Urville overnight and 58 aircraft to attack railway at Saumur overnight. RAF Bomber Command sends 40 aircraft on special operations with supplies and agents for Resistance forces overnight.

    Pictured: US LSTs 284, 380, 382, and 499 loading men, vehicles, and supplies for the upcoming Normandy Invasion in Brixham Harbor, Devon, England, Jun 1 1944. Note wings and fuselage of an Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper observation aircraft on a CCKW truck; Tightly packed in British-built LCA in preparation for transfer to larger transport ships, 2nd Ranger Infantry Battalion elements sit waiting in Weymouth Harbor, England, June 1, 1944; Gasoline drums ready for shipment to supply vehicles on D-Day

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    Full banjeaux for the whole series. I love this stuff, and sincerely appreciate the hard work it takes to produce not just one, but a whole series of posts. I still remember the extended one you did a few years ago.
    You can't reason a man out of a position he didn't reason himself into.

  5. #5
    Thread Starter

    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    June 4, 1944: the Germans know the invasion is coming; they just didn't know where or when. An elaborate deception (Operation Bodyguard - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bodyguard) has kept them guessing. This effort is so successful that even after troops storm ashore at Normandy, Hitler believes it only a feint with the real invasion to take place at Pas de Calais. On June 4, the largest amphibious force ever assembled leaves its English ports for the French coast. The Allied Expeditionary Force convoys are called back to port because of poor weather conditions expected for June 5th. Eisenhower decides, however, that the invasion can take place on June 6th. The poor weather has also encouraged the German defenders in occupied France - Rommel, commanding Army Group B, decides to go to Germany for his wife's birthday on June 6th and to meet with Hitler. Other German commanders in the Normandy area are at a training exercise in Brittany.

    Above France, US 8th Air Force attacks German coastal defenses in the first of three missions with 231 bombers; in the second mission, 8th Air Force sends 283 bombers. US 8th Air Force then attacks airfields, transportation lines, and other targets in third mission with 400 bombers. US 9th Air Force attacks coastal installations, airfields, and transportation lines with 300 bombers and 200 fighters. RAF Bomber Command sends 259 aircraft to attack coastal gun positions overnight.

    In Italy, British 8th Army moves to pursue withdrawing German 10th Army and 14th Army. US 5th Army enters Rome, but the withdrawing German armies have escaped to the north. US 12th Air Force aircraft attack multiple targets in support of Allied ground offensive, focusing on German motor transport retreating northward from Rome. US 15th Air Force attacks Turin, Genoa, and other targets with 550 bombers escorted by 200 fighters.

    Pictured: Major General R. N. Gale of UK 6th Airborne Division talking to troops of 5th Parachute Brigade, Royal Air Force Harwell, Berkshire, England, UK, June 4, 1944; US Rangers from E Company, 5th Ranger Battalion, on board a landing craft assault vessel (LCA) in Weymouth harbor, Dorset, June 4, 1944 - the ship is bound for the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy but will return to port after the attack is called off due to poor weather. Clockwise from far left: First Sergeant Sandy Martin (who was killed during the landing on June 6th), Technician Fifth Grade Joseph Malkovich, Corporal John Loshiavo, and Private First Class Frank E Lockwood. They are holding a 60mm mortar, a bazooka, a Garand rifle and a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes.; US troops marching into Rome, Italy, June 4, 1944

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    Oderint dum metuant - Lucius Accius

  6. #6
    Thread Starter

    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    June 5, 1944: as night falls on June 5th, the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, as well a British division, begin Operation Overlord (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Overlord). They are dropped behind enemy lines overnight and are to secure the roads the Allied forces are to take once the beaches are taken. Despite thousands of troops being dropped off-target, they are able to capture key areas in preparation for the main attack.

    In London, the BBC broadcasts a second message, intended for the French Resistance, warning of the imminent invasion. Again, the significance of the message is noted by German authorities but the 7th Army in Normandy is not alerted.

    Over France, US 8th Air Force attacks coastal positions and other targets in Normandy with 629 bombers. US 9th Air Force attacks coastal installations, airfields, and transportation lines with 100 bombers and 100 fighters. Overnight, US 8th Air Force aircraft uses electronic equipment to jam German radar systems on the ground, including AA batteries. RAF Bomber Command sends 1,012 aircraft to attack coastal gun positions in Normandy overnight. RAF Bomber Command also sends 22 aircraft on a diversionary operation to drop chaff simulating naval convoy approaching Boulogne and Le Havre along with 36 aircraft to drop dummy paratroopers and explosive devices away from the Normandy landing zones.

    German 15th Army in Pas de Calais sector is ordered to maximum alert overnight, but 7th Army in Normandy is not alerted. Erwin Rommel notes to Gerd von Rundstedt that there are no signs of an Allied invasion on the French coast.

    Earlier in the day, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who has doubts in the face of a "well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened" enemy, has written an 'in case of failure' letter. If the invasion of Normandy failed, this is the message he would be relayed to the public. Here's what it said: "Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone." (He accidentally dated the letter July 5. It should have been June 5 - he had a lot on his mind.)

    In Italy, the US 5th Army enters Rome in force and continues to advance in pursuit of the retreating German forces. Traffic congestion on the limited road network hinders the advance, as does the German rearguards. US 5th Army is ordered to capture Viterbo and Civitavecchia and pursue toward Livorno. British 8th Army is ordered to capture Terni and Rieti. US 12th Air Force aircraft attack multiple targets in support of Allied ground offensive, focusing on German motor transport retreating northward from Rome. US 15th Air Force attacks targets in northern Italy with 440 bombers.

    Pictured: Eisenhower speaking to Easy Company men of the 502d PIR of the US 101st Airborne Division, RAF Greenham Common, Newbury England, June 5, 1944; US troops waiting on a pier in England, United Kingdom, June 5, 1944; Allied landing ships sailing for the invasion beaches at Normandy, France, June 5, 1944; General Eisenhower’s ‘in case of failure’ letter

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    Oderint dum metuant - Lucius Accius

  7. #7
    BamaNation Hall of Fame 92tide's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    June 5, 1944: as night falls on June 5th, the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, as well a British division, begin Operation Overlord (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Overlord). They are dropped behind enemy lines overnight and are to secure the roads the Allied forces are to take once the beaches are taken. Despite thousands of troops being dropped off-target, they are able to capture key areas in preparation for the main attack.

    In London, the BBC broadcasts a second message, intended for the French Resistance, warning of the imminent invasion. Again, the significance of the message is noted by German authorities but the 7th Army in Normandy is not alerted.

    Over France, US 8th Air Force attacks coastal positions and other targets in Normandy with 629 bombers. US 9th Air Force attacks coastal installations, airfields, and transportation lines with 100 bombers and 100 fighters. Overnight, US 8th Air Force aircraft uses electronic equipment to jam German radar systems on the ground, including AA batteries. RAF Bomber Command sends 1,012 aircraft to attack coastal gun positions in Normandy overnight. RAF Bomber Command also sends 22 aircraft on a diversionary operation to drop chaff simulating naval convoy approaching Boulogne and Le Havre along with 36 aircraft to drop dummy paratroopers and explosive devices away from the Normandy landing zones.

    German 15th Army in Pas de Calais sector is ordered to maximum alert overnight, but 7th Army in Normandy is not alerted. Erwin Rommel notes to Gerd von Rundstedt that there are no signs of an Allied invasion on the French coast.

    Earlier in the day, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who has doubts in the face of a "well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened" enemy, has written an 'in case of failure' letter. If the invasion of Normandy failed, this is the message he would be relayed to the public. Here's what it said: "Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone." (He accidentally dated the letter July 5. It should have been June 5 - he had a lot on his mind.)

    In Italy, the US 5th Army enters Rome in force and continues to advance in pursuit of the retreating German forces. Traffic congestion on the limited road network hinders the advance, as does the German rearguards. US 5th Army is ordered to capture Viterbo and Civitavecchia and pursue toward Livorno. British 8th Army is ordered to capture Terni and Rieti. US 12th Air Force aircraft attack multiple targets in support of Allied ground offensive, focusing on German motor transport retreating northward from Rome. US 15th Air Force attacks targets in northern Italy with 440 bombers.

    Pictured: Eisenhower speaking to Easy Company men of the 502d PIR of the US 101st Airborne Division, RAF Greenham Common, Newbury England, June 5, 1944; US troops waiting on a pier in England, United Kingdom, June 5, 1944; Allied landing ships sailing for the invasion beaches at Normandy, France, June 5, 1944; General Eisenhower’s ‘in case of failure’ letter

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    thanks for all of these posts, ca. i had a grandfather and several great uncles who fought in the european theater. my grandfather was a medic and i don't know about the uncles because no one ever talked about it in more detail than that they were in the war in europe.
    Last edited by 92tide; June 5th, 2019 at 11:49 AM.
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  8. #8
    BamaNation Hall of Fame GrayTide's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    I've posted this in D-Day threads before but will repeat it since I believe it is something we should not forget. My wife's father, who I never met, landed in France in a glider on D-Day, he was in the 101st Airborne. He later won a Bronze Star and Purple Heart in action at Bastogne.
    "My momma always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on." Forrest Gump

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

    This may not belong in this thread. If so please delete.

    Ben Mankiewicz, host of Turner Classic Movies, wrote this interesting article for the N.Y. Times about his father’s role in WWII and how we now know the war through movies.

    possible paywall.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/o...niversary.html

  10. #10
    Thread Starter

    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    June 6, 1944: It’s Tuesday - today marks the D-Day Invasion at Normandy and the beginning of the liberation of Europe. Operation Overlord - the largest seaborne invasion in history - begins. In Normandy, France, just after midnight, the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions are dropped inland from the right flank beach. The British 6th Airborne Division is landed inland from the left flank beach. These forces achieve their objectives and create confusion among the German defenders. The Allied Expeditionary Force lands in Normandy at dawn. Forces of the 21st Army Group (Field Marshal Montgomery) commands the US 1st Army (General Bradley) on the right and the British 2nd Army (General Dempsey) on the left. There are five invasion beaches: Utah on the right flank, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, on the left flank. At Utah, the US 7th Corps (General Collins) lands with US 4th Division spearheading the assault. The troops advance inland against light resistance. Admiral Moon provides naval support. At Omaha, the US 5th Corps (General Gerow) lands. There is heavy resistance and by the end of the day the American forces have advance less than one mile inland. Admiral Hall provides naval support. At Gold, the British 30th Corps (General Bucknall) lands with 50th Infantry Division and 8th Armored Brigade leading the assault. There is reasonable advance inland although the assigned objectives are not met. At Juno beach, the British 1st Corps (General Crocker) lands with the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division and the Canadian 2nd Armored Brigade leading the assault. The tanks and infantry quickly push inland. Naval support is under the command of Commodore Oliver. At Sword beach, other elements of the British 1st Corps land. The British 3rd Infantry Division, 27th Armored Brigade and several Marine and Commando units lead the assault. The beach is quickly secured and bridges over the Orne River are captured but the first day objectives are not reached. The German 21st Panzer Division counterattacks in the late afternoon but does not dislodge the British defenders. Naval support and massive aerial interdiction prevents the German defenders from concentrating forces for a decisive counterattack. By day’s end, approximately 156,000 Allied troops have successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches. According to some estimates, more than 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives in the D-Day invasion, with thousands more wounded or missing.

    Less than a week later, on June 11, the beaches were fully secured and over 326,000 troops, more than 50,000 vehicles, and some 100,000 tons of equipment had landed at Normandy.

    Allied air forces - including 3,467 heavy bombers, 1,645 medium and light bombers, 5,409 fighters, and 2,316 transports - fly more than 14,000 sorties over Normandy.

    In Italy, British 8th Army reaches Civita Castellana, Monterotondo, and Subiaco. US 5th Army pushes north of Rome. US 12th Air Force aircraft attack multiple targets in support of Allied ground offensive, focusing on German motor transport retreating northward from Rome.

    Pictured: American soldiers coming ashore at Utah Beach, Normandy, France, June 6, 1944; Americans of the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division moved out over the seawall on Utah Beach, Normandy, June 6, 1944; Troops taking cover behind German beach obstacles, Normandy, June 6, 1944; Pre-invasion bombing by A-20 bombers of Pointe du Hoc at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, June 6, 1944; US Army soldiers resting at Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France, June 6, 1944; Situation map from June 6, 1944

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    Oderint dum metuant - Lucius Accius

  11. #11
    BamaNation Hall of Fame BamaFlum's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Just awe inspiring what these brave men did that day.


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  12. #12
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayTide View Post
    I've posted this in D-Day threads before but will repeat it since I believe it is something we should not forget. My wife's father, who I never met, landed in France in a glider on D-Day, he was in the 101st Airborne. He later won a Bronze Star and Purple Heart in action at Bastogne.
    On these days I always think of my Dad who landed on Utah Beach after the beach head was established as part of the third US Army. After the bitter fighting through the hedge row country the Third army would break out and race across France to be poised near the Siegfried Line defenses in the winter of 1944 before the forced march north to relieve Bastogne. After the Bulge was relieved the Third would break through the Siegried Line defenses cross the Rhine and attack through Bavaria to cut off German retreat into the Alpine Redoubt. My Dad's unit ended the war in Hradek, Czechoslovakia where a monument is placed commemorating the liberation of the city from the Germans. His unit was awarded five battle stars for Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe and a Presidential Unit Citation.

  13. #13
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Recently visited Pearl Harbor for the first time. It is amazing to see the video that many will never see unless they visit there. Also how everyone pulled together, even children, to help with the war effort. We as a nation had one goal and we achieved it.

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