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Author Topic: On This DAY  (Read 639 times)
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« on: 06/06/2013, 05:55 PM »

D-Day

06 June 1944

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!
Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

-- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower


On this day.

In an operation codenamed Neptune, the Allied liberation of Western Europe began with a series of landings on 6 June 1944 - D-Day. The "D" stood for day and resulted from the practice of ordering events on operational planning timelines in which days prior to the first day of an operation were listed as "D minus", and days after as "D plus". Neptune was part of larger operation codenamed Overlord which entailed the capture of the Normandy region as a start point for a broad-front advance through north-western Europe towards Germany.



On D-Day 75,215 British and Canadian, and 57,500 United States troops were landed along the Normandy coast of France. 23,400 were paratroopers and the remainder were landed on five codenamed beaches - the Americans on Utah and Omaha, the British on Gold and Sword, and the Canadians on Juno. The success of the landings was ensured by meticulous planning that had begun in mid-1943. German attention was diverted from the intended landing beaches by a detailed and convincing deception plan, sea front defences were subdued by intensive naval fire, and the Allied airforces enjoyed air superiority over much of France, and almost total supremacy over the landing areas. Apart from at Omaha, where a German division had unexpectedly moved for training, the Allied landing forces had little difficulty establishing beachheads ashore, allowing the build-up of supplies and reinforcements for the coming campaign. The landings resulted in over 10,000 Allied casualties.

By the time Neptune was declared at an end on 30 June, 850,279 troops, 148,803 vehicles and 570,505 tons of supplies had been landed and the five separate beachheads linked. By this time, however, bad weather and increasingly well co-ordinated German resistance had sapped the momentum of the Allied drive inland, which had bogged down about thirty kilometres from the beacheads. Much hard fighting would ensue before the larger objectives of Overlord were attained.

Let us all remember and give thanks to those that gave their all to the great endeavour. Let us not morn for those that sacrificed all but learn from their example and strive for a greater purpose to our existence.
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