"If at age 20 you are a conservative then you have no heart. If at age 30 you are a liberal then you have no brains."
Sir Winston Churchill

Obama obviously knows very little about economics, specifically that "Society stagnates when independent productive achievers begin to be socially demonized and even punished for their accomplishments." This dilemma fogs Obama's reality. To him, accepting this truth is a "false choice", his answer to things he doesn't understand. And by the way... where is John Galt?

Friday, June 7, 2013

D DAY JUNE 6.1944

On June 1st the weather turned bad and the Generals thought that all their plans, deceptions and strategy might, after all this time, have to be postponed. The allies needed a full moon and the spring tides to make this, the most ambitious and largest amphibious landing in history, even remotely successful. Ike had set June 5th as the invasion date for Operation Overlord, but on June the 4th the weather became truly foul and the seas so turbulent that the next day was both literally and figuratively a “washout” The full moon so critical to this invasion of “Festung Europa” was due the next day… June the 6th.

Group Captain J. M. Stagg was Eisenhower's chief meteorologist and on June 5th, when asked about the next day, told the Supreme Commander that he detected a possible break in the bad weather and essentially on that projection the decision was made to invade rather than wait another 30 days for the next lunar cycle to complete itself. The operation, planned by a team under Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan, was again the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea and air elements under direct British-American command with over 160,000 soldiers as well as 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in almost 7,000 ships.

Hitler had been convinced that the invasion was targeted across the Straits of Dover for the Pas de Calais, the shortest distance between England and France. Accordingly he had made his “Atlantic Wall” defenses stronger there than at the southern beaches of Normandy. He was also convinced that the 1st United States Army Group commanded by whom many considered ( with the notable exception of Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery) the allies best General, George S. Patton would lead the invasion.. In fact the 1st Army Group was a fiction and Patton and his phantom army turned out to be one of the most elaborate and successful ruses in warfare since the Trojan Horse. None of that however improved Patton’s peevish mood with regard to not leading this operation notwithstanding the fact he was still in the “Doghouse” for infamously slapping a shell shocked soldier in Sicily he believed to be a coward when he commanded the 7th Army.

Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, the “Desert Fox” of North Africa and the “Afrika Korps” was in overall command of the defense of western Europe but he was home in Germany celebrating his anniversary believing that the weather made an invasion highly unlikely to impossible.

An airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American and Canadian airborne troops began shortly after midnight with the British and Canadians units landing in gliders followed shortly by paratroopers in the areas around the Caen canal and the River Orne. Between approximately 12:25 AM and 2:45 AM 13,000 men of the 101st and 82nd Air Borne Divisions began the largest night paratroop drops in history followed by glider landings of artillery and howitzers. The troops were widely dispersed upon landing making linkages with each other difficult to impossible for at least 24 hours. Ironically the confusion of the chaotic dispersal of the troops also confused the Germans causing them to disperse their defensive responses in like fashion.

At 3:30 AM aerial and naval bombardments began.

At 5:30 AM one hour prior to the landings on the beaches, the U.S. 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions began their ascent of Pointe du Hoc, a 100 foot high promontory overlooking Omaha beach where coastal artillery was believed lodged. When they reached the top they found the guns had been moved back into the interior away from the coastline in order to cover Utah beach more efficiently but the Rangers found them anyway losing 60% of their men in the battle to capture and hold them.

At 6:30 AM the landings on the five beaches began. The invasion took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors from West to East Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches.

Sword, Juno and Gold were invested by the British 2nd Army of 83,115 men which besides 61,715 British also encompassed Canadians, the Free French, Poles, Czechs, Belgians and Norwegians, RAF units of Australians and New Zealanders and ships of the Greek Navy. Omaha and Utah were the responsibility of the US 1st Army which totaled approximately 73,000 men, including 15,600 from the airborne divisions.

Omaha had the worst of it. Of the 16 tanks that landed only two survived the landing. The official record stated that "within 10 minutes of the ramps being lowered, [the leading] company had become inert, leaderless and almost incapable of action. Every officer and sergeant had been killed or wounded ... It had become a struggle for survival and rescue". Within two hours of the landings only infantry could be further disembarked but small units on the beach reformed and made pockets of resistance until they could be reinforced and breech the defensive obstacles the Germans had deployed.

At the end of the first day which had begun with thousands of men, many still boys, climbing into lurching landing craft in rough seas with their hearts in their throats to land on the sandy beaches of a foreign land where other men, many also still boys, waited to kill them. The Nazi Fortress Europe was pierced and the war in Europe would be over in a little over 10 months. But also at the end of that day 2499 Americans and 1915 other free men from around the globe remained in the water, on the beach or in the interior beyond the Atlantic Wall They sleep there still, along with others in the American cemetery, in Colleville-sur-Mer, which contains rows of 9,238 identical white crosses and 149 Stars of David.
We the living, are forever in the debt of those young men for their sacrifice made on that terrible yet gallant day in history which for them would never end.



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