Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Honoring D-Day Heroes

"History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." Gen. and Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower

D-Day 6 June 1944: The Battle of Normandy (Operation Overlord)

While The Greatest Generation proved themselves over and over again during World War II, it was at the beaches of Normandy where they were touched by fire and bound by courage.

D-Day marked the turning point of WWII. Let's review why:

  • The invasion involved approximately 160,000 Allied troops and over 6,000 ships. They were supported by over 11,000 total aircraft. Allied air flew approximately 14,500 sorties.
  • 73,000 were American troops.
  • D-Day stands for the commencement of military operations.
  • The invasion was called "Operation Overlord"("Operation Neptune" on the actual assault on June 6).
  • General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces.
  • Operation Overload was to commence on June 5 but the weather did not cooperate.
  • Americans landed on Omaha and Utah Beach {other landings took place on Juno Beach (Canadian Forces), Sword Beach (British), Gold Beach (British) and Pointe Du Hoc (U.S. Rangers)}.
  • Omaha Beach proved to be a difficult landing. Due to navigational problems, many men drowned before they reached the beach.

  • The landings were conducted in two phases. Phase One included an Airborne Assault that included 24,000 American, Canadian, British and Free French forces. The second phase was an amphibious landing.
  • There were two decoy operations code named Glimmer and Taxable. These were aimed to distract German forces from the real landing zones.
  • Other allied contingents included forces from Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Greece, The Netherlands and Norway.

  • Allied casualties were estimated to be 10,000 including 2500 killed. American casualties were 6603. 1465 died.
  • German casualties were estimated to be 4000-9000.
  • After the Battle of Normandy ended total casualties were 425,000 Allied and German troops killed, wounded or missing in action.

  • There are 27 cemeteries that hold the remains of 110,000 from both sides. 9386 are Americans.

    We Say "Thank You" To The Greatest Generation

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