D-Day plus 80 Years

Neptunus Lex:  The liberation of France started when each, individual man on those landing craft as the ramp came down – each paratroop in his transport when the light turned green – made the individual decision to step off with the only life he had and face the fire.]

American Digest:  A walk across a beach in Normandy

Don Sensing points out that success was by no means assured:  The pivot day of history

Stephen Green about the complexity of the planning that made success possible.

A collection of D-day color photos from Life Magazine

See Bookworm’s post from 2012, and Michael Kennedy’s photos from 2007

The Battle of Midway took place from June 4 through June 7, 1942. Bookworm attended a Battle of Midway commemoration event in 2010 and also in 2011: Our Navy–a sentimental service in a cynical society.

See also  Sgt Mom’s History Friday post from 2014.

Women building airplanes during WWII, in color and the story of the Willow Run bomber plant.

A very interesting piece on  the radio news coverage of the invasion

However, I am very sorry that this link needs to be included:  From Sacrificing FOR Freedom to Choosing the Sacrifice OF Freedom.  And this morning, one of the first things I ran across was this.  Real late-Weimar / early-Third Reich stuff.

A lot of pushback seems to be building.  Let us hope it is not too late.

7 thoughts on “D-Day plus 80 Years”

  1. When I first went into private practice of surgery, one of the two surgeons I joined had landed with the Marines at Iwo Jima. I never thought to ask him about it but I do know that he and his wife attended the 50th anniversary events on the island. The Japanese consider the island a military cemetery and restrict visits. His wife commented about seeing skeletons in carved out beds in the medical caves. I recently read PT Duetermann’s new novel about Iwo Jima. He is a career Navy officer whose books are favorites of mine.

  2. To SB’s point, not only did the Marianas Campaign commence in June 1944, but so did Operation Bagration and Rome fell as well. June 1944 was really the month when the fate of the Germans and Japanese were sealed

    As far as strategic bombing goes….

    The development of both the strategic bombing concept and the 4-engine bomber was sold in the inter-war years as one of the first “wonder weapons” that would enable a country to win wars without engaging in the mass slaughter of WW I. The development of the Norden was just the icing on the cake in that it supported the concept of precision strikes on key targets in a Jominain fashion. I will also add that the Air Force after WW II tried to sell the same concept twice by pushing the bomber with nuclear weapons.

    Well that idea of strategic bombing didn’t quite work out the way it was planned. The second most expensive weapon in military history, after the A-bomb, was the b-29, which was useless in its original role until Lemay matched it up with napalm and turned it into a city killer. I’ll leave it up to the bean counters as to whether the results of the bombing campaigns justified the costs in fighting it.

    However what the strategic bombing campaign did do, despite the failure of the bomber mafia, was to allow the Allies open up another front that allowed them to bring more of their material and manpower superiority to bear. Historically the key strategic problem for a stronger country is finding ways to not only transform its superior potential power into military power but also to extend the “line of contact” in which to bring that military superiority to bear. Lincoln and Grant worked to solve that puzzle in 1863-1864 and it looks like Russia might have solved that issue both strategically and operationally in 2023-24.

    Which back to D-Day is why Hitler’s declaration of war on the US was such a strategic disaster. Without American involvement, Great Britain’s threat to Hitler’s western flank would have been effectively neutralized.

  3. Mike: “Hitler’s declaration of war on the US was such a strategic disaster.”

    Agreed! It seems that Japan & Germany had a “NATO”-type treaty that an attack on one would be treated as an attack on both. Thus, when the US declared war on Japan following Pearl Harbor, Germany felt compelled to respond by declaring war on the US. If there ever had been a time to renounce a treaty, that was it!

    But was Germany’s foolish commitment to Japan any worse than England & France’s disastrous commitment to Poland? That foolishness resulted in them declaring war on Germany at a time when Germany was showing no signs of wanting to attack France & England — hence the following Phony War period. If England & France had been smart enough instead to encourage Poland to negotiate with Germany over things like Danzig instead of being aggressive, Germany and the USSR might subsequently have fought each other to a standstill, leaving Western Europe largely untouched and saving millions of lives. It is a scenario which remains relevant today.

  4. The fantasy that Hitler could pursue the war in the East that he intended while allowing the second biggest army in Europe to form up in his rear was not one that Hitler, a man of many fantasies, shared. France and a neutralized, if not occupied, England was on the menu from the very beginning and probably on about the timeline that occurred, declarations of war, notwithstanding. The North Africa campaign was about nothing more or less than Suez and the Persian oil fields beyond. Ironically, many of the battles took place above literally lakes of oil that had been in the sole possession of Italy all the time.

    Similarly, Japan’s procurement of Indonesian oil, Malaysian rubber and Australian iron and coal was not going to take place with an increasingly hostile U.S. maintaining naval and air bases directly adjacent to the shipping lanes connecting back with Japan.

    Let us, by all means, remember all the brave men, and the not so brave ones that did it anyway, that came ashore, that didn’t make it ashore, that never got beyond the beach and even those that just made it possible for them to try. It seems increasingly unlikely that we have the leadership that inspired that sacrifice or know where to find it.

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