10 Replies to “D-Day, Normandy + 77 years, let us remember

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    D-Day, Normandy + 75 years, let us remember

  2. 2
    paige says:

    My husband was named after someone who died on D-Day.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    “… This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be rememberèd—
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition; …”

    — Speech before Agincourt, Henry V, William Shakespeare.

  4. 4
    jawa says:

    Had it not been for this humongous effort and sacrifice, the Red Army would have stopped in Lisbon rather than East Germany. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean back then wasn’t as easy as crossing the Oder (Odra) river.
    Too bad that the D-day didn’t happen earlier.
    Too bad that back then apparently the POTUS threw Poland under the bus and gave it away to Stalin. Churchill didn’t like that, specially considering that brave Polish pilots fought on the British side and brilliant Polish mathematicians were helpful in the breaking of the Enigma code.
    Contrast it to what the POTUS said about Poland in his 1981 Christmas message. Clear message that was followed by strong measures that led to the lifting of the martial law and eventually the end of the old system in that Eastern European nation.
    Is there anything that we can learn from history?

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Jawa, there’s much there. Air superiority was not fully won until the months leading up to June 1944, and indeed the Mustangs that did it were seriously flawed. Until that was won, no go. First Mustangs over Berlin, Dec 1943 IIRC. Which requisite, meant the earliest date was May, which was constrained by want of key landing craft. By that time, after Bagration was on the table, the Red Army was at the gates of Poland. Note, breakout from the hedgerow country was long delayed so the two breakouts were in parallel and logistics stopped the advance basically at the German border, with Hurtgen Forest, Bulge and more to come. BTW, I also wonder why Amphtracks were not used esp at Omaha. The reality is, Hitler should have been stopped in the mid 30’s but there was no stomach for it. KF

  6. 6
    jawa says:

    KF,
    Excellent explanation of the general situarltion preceding and leading to the event. Thank you.
    I see your point. It makes sense.
    “ The reality is, Hitler should have been stopped in the mid 30’s but there was no stomach for it.”
    Well said.

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Here’s some information that might put things in perspective. In my opinion, more than any other single factor, the West’s abandonment of Czechoslovakia unleashed seven years of hell in Europe. As a result, Czechoslovakia chose not to resist Hitler in order to try to prevent the complete destruction of their country.

    Hitler then seized the Czech industry and large quantities of modern armaments so that when Nazi Germany invaded Poland and France, about a quarter of the armaments used by Germany had been originally manufactured in Czechoslovakia. Germany gained 2,175 field guns and cannons, 469 tanks, 500 anti-aircraft artillery pieces, 43,000 machine guns, 1,090,000 military rifles, 114,000 pistols, about a billion rounds of small-arms ammunition and three million rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition.

    Here are some quotes relating to Czechoslovakia before the German invasion:

    How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should dig trenches and try on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.
    – Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin, September 27, 1938

    The humiliation of the Czechs was a tragedy, but it was solely thanks to Mr. Chamberlain’s courage and pertinacity that a futile and senseless war was averted.
    – Sir Nevile Henderson, British ambassador to Germany,1938

    No sacrifice made by others is too much for the cause of peace. The Czechs have not been sold out–just given away for nothing.
    – Karel Capek, Czech writer, 1938

    There is no doubt whatsoever that had Czechoslovakia defended herself, we would have been held up by her fortifications, for which we didn’t have the means to break through.
    – Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, September 30, 1938

    After Romania fell to the Red Army, Germany had about 30% of the oil they needed for continuing the war and didn’t have enough aviation fuel to train new pilots. By then, the West was hoping to let the Soviet Union continue to bear the brunt of the war. On the other hand, the Allied invasion at Normandy sustained a brutal number of casualties and it was very lucky that Hitler intervened to prevent an immediate counterattack by the German armored divisions in the area.

    D-Day was the largest amphibious invasion in military history with combined the forces of 156,115 U.S., British and Canadian troops. But also note that the size of the Allied invasion was tiny in comparison to the military forces between the Germans and the Soviets. The Normandy invasion was about a 30% of the size of the Soviet forces that invaded Finland in 1939 and about 4% of the size of the German army, most of which was occupied fighting the much larger Soviet army.

    -Q

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, yes, the more or less bloodless, diplomacy- riding- on- agit-prop, subversion driven seizure of Czechoslovakia was a key point where logistics and combat power were massively enhanced, actually enabling blitzkrieg. The 35 T and esp 38 T tanks and the trucking etc made a big difference. However by that time it was probably too late, the Luftwaffe was the most advanced air force in the world and there was a paralysing fear. The Spitfire was not yet in squadron service and there were far too few Hurricanes, the pitch-controlled propeller that made a big performance difference, was 1940, just before the Battle of Britain. The key point was when the Rhineland was re-occupied by frankly a bluff, in 1936. Oh, it’s just a man going into his own backyard was a fatal error, as Churchill . . . by then recognising the gathering storm . . . warned. KF

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    The reality is, Hitler should have been stopped in the mid 30’s but there was no stomach for it

    There was also no knowledge of what to expect either.

    Nearly all we know about the tremendously catastrophic consequences of Hitler’s policies happened afterwards. If he had been stopped in the 1930’s all the German people would have known was that a man who made Germany prosperous while the rest of the world was in a Depression was unfairly stopped by their oppressors. There was a vivid memory of Versailles.

    It would not have been peace and honey. My guess is another regime would have arisen and a different war would have ensued.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, actually, Mein Kampf was all too clear as was the behaviour of his thugs. He, being thug in chief. My recall, is that an ouster was actually planned but because of no intervention, it was not carried through; want of allied backing in effect. You have an interesting point that a war was coming. I think the shadow of the last war led to a path of naive thinking that failed to stop a demonic mad man in time. KF

    PS: Forgot, the Versailles treaty was far less harsh than what Germany inflicted on Russia. Brest Litovsk.

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