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Thread: First Wave at Omaha Beach

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    TOL Legend annabenedetti's Avatar
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    First Wave at Omaha Beach

    First Wave at Omaha Beach

    An account of the “epic human tragedy” that unfolded when Allied troops landed on the shores of Normandy on D-Day
    S. L. A. MARSHALL NOVEMBER 1960 ISSUE



    Photograph of American troops approaching Omaha Beach, Normandy, on D-Day.UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE/UIG VIA GETTY

    Unlike what happens to other great battles, the passing of the years and the retelling of the story have softened the horror of Omaha Beach on D Day.

    This fluke of history is doubly ironic since no other decisive battle has ever been so thoroughly reported for the official record. While the troops were still fighting in Normandy, what had happened to each unit in the landing had become known through the eyewitness testimony of all survivors. It was this research by the field historians which first determined where each company had hit the beach and by what route it had moved inland. Owing to the fact that every unit save one had been mislanded, it took this work to show the troops where they had fought.

    How they fought and what they suffered were also determined in detail during the field research. As published today, the map data showing where the troops came ashore check exactly with the work done in the field; but the accompanying narrative describing their ordeal is a sanitized version of the original field notes.

    This happened because the Army historians who wrote the first official book about Omaha Beach, basing it on the field notes, did a calculated job of sifting and weighting the material. So saying does not imply that their judgment was wrong. Normandy was an American victory; it was their duty to trace the twists and turns of fortune by which success was won. But to follow that rule slights the story of Omaha as an epic human tragedy which in the early hours bordered on total disaster. On this two-division front landing, only six rifle companies were relatively effective as units. They did better than others mainly because they had the luck to touch down on a less deadly section of the beach. Three times that number were shattered or foundered before they could start to fight. Several contributed not a man or bullet to the battle for the high ground. But their ordeal has gone unmarked because its detail was largely ignored by history in the first place. The worst-fated companies were overlooked, the more wretched personal experiences were toned down, and disproportionate attention was paid to the little element of courageous success in a situation which was largely characterized by tragic failure.

    The official accounts which came later took their cue from this secondary source instead of searching the original documents. Even such an otherwise splendid and popular book on the great adventure as Cornelius Ryan's The Longest Day misses the essence of the Omaha story.

    In everything that has been written about Omaha until now, there is less blood and iron than in the original field notes covering any battalion landing in the first wave. Doubt it? Then let's follow along with Able and Baker companies, 116th Infantry, 29th Division. Their story is lifted from my fading Normandy notebook, which covers the landing of every Omaha company.


    Read the rest at the link.

    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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    D-Day 75: Action footage of British D-Day veterans' parachute jump




    Two British D-Day veterans have relived the moment they landed on the beaches of Normandy by recreating their parachute jump.

    Harry Read, 95, and John Hutton, 94, both recreated their daring exploits to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

    Read and Hutton were part of the Allied operation to regain control of Europe from the Nazis, which began on June 6th 1944.

    Their skydive was in honour of their colleagues who lost their lives during the Normandy landings.


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    The Ghosts of D-Day
    The battle is long over, but the fight against extremist illiberal politics is not.

    6:00 AM ET David Frum




    Charles de Gaulle found the memory of D-Day so painful that he refused to participate in commemorations of the Normandy invasion during his 11 years as president of France. He did not invite heads of government to mark either the 20th anniversary in 1964 or the 25th in 1969. Old soldiers saluted; ambassadors laid wreaths.

    President Dwight Eisenhower had tried to salve the French hurt in the statement he released for the 10th anniversary in 1954. The statement did not mention the United States or its armed forces. It praised by name three British commanders, three French, one Soviet—no Americans. It credited the victory to “the joint labors of cooperating nations,” and said “it depended for its success upon the skill, determination and self-sacrifice of men from several lands.” You might want to read it as a prophylactic antidote to the boast and bombast likely to fill the air today.

    The experience of liberation was a complex thing for almost every country that experienced it from 1943 to 1945, but perhaps nowhere more than France. In the American imagination of 1944, France exists as a throng of cheering, welcoming faces, as women kissing GIs, as a landscape through which Allied tanks and trucks roar on their way to Germany. Depending on our mood, we romanticize the Resistance or excoriate collaborators—seldom caring to remember how ambiguously collaboration and resistance often blended together, or how often collaborators and resisters were the same people at different phases of the war or even different times of the same day.

    To be liberated, first you must be defeated.

    Read the rest at the link.

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    so the cheese eating surrender monkeys had their feelings hurt?

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    D-Day veteran returns to Normandy and finds his portrait in the town



    A Welsh D-Day veteran returned to Pont L'Eveque in France to find his portrait on a lamppost as one of the town's liberators.
    Ted Owens has returned to France to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
    He was a commando in the Royal Marines and a marksman. He landed on Sword Beach for D-Day on June 6.



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    Over 2500 post club Zeke's Avatar
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    You would think after Vietnam american's would have been more wary of the military complex that we see being promoted at sporting events, the power to propagandize the indoctrinated (ok) public from birth certificate to death certificate is the life of a human resource.
    Trying to awaken the divine principle in the belly of the fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
    You would think after Vietnam american's would have been more wary of the military complex that we see being promoted at sporting events, the power to propagandize the indoctrinated (ok) public from birth certificate to death certificate is the life of a human resource.
    Eisenhower's warning came in 1961, which was before the war was official IIRC, and certainly well before the end of it.

    There's a place for a healthy patriotism, somewhere way before the military-industrial complex or the right-wing fetishising of it.

    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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    Over 2500 post club Zeke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annabenedetti View Post
    Eisenhower's warning came in 1961, which was before the war was official IIRC, and certainly well before the end of it.

    There's a place for a healthy patriotism, somewhere way before the military-industrial complex or the right-wing fetishising of it.
    Yea and that's within each conscience to weigh if they acknowledge a governments right to rule over them has been voided. Being a world run on sowing and reaping, these wars will never end in Caesars kingdoms, And the enactments reappear in each generation, your there, I was there, right and left wingers, religious zealots, etc.... in another costume but its the same spirit, there is a ready supply of people protesting and defending everything under the sun, its the law, but their efforts are like waves they come and go continually thinking their the cause when their just an effect.

    The irony is humorous, just go back any year and the same political rhetoric is being used today, its all fools gold the public keeps buying, the debate here is no different same stage new actors.
    Trying to awaken the divine principle in the belly of the fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
    Yea and that's within each conscience to weigh if they acknowledge a governments right to rule over them has been voided. Being a world run on sowing and reaping, these wars will never end in Caesars kingdoms, And the enactments reappear in each generation, your there, I was there, right and left wingers, religious zealots, etc.... in another costume but its the same spirit, there is a ready supply of people protesting and defending everything under the sun, its the law, but their efforts are like waves they come and go continually thinking their the cause when their just an effect.

    The irony is humorous, just go back any year and the same political rhetoric is being used today, its all fools gold the public keeps buying, the debate here is no different same stage new actors.

    It's the human experience, you can't avoid it in one manifestation or another.

    Tried and waited then got tired, that's about it

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    Dad described the beach as hell. He had to wade through blood and step on dead bodies and crawl past body parts to get to cover. He once said that was the reason that he could not believe in God: a loving God could not allow such carnage.
    "That man of sin must first be revealed." -- Jesus

    If you haven't tried: you've already failed. -- Aimiel

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